Ok. Being raised Catholic AND being a music major, I’m done with the norms. So here are some Catholic awesomenesses that are a little off the beaten path. Don’t know if they will help at all, but at least it is great spiritual listening. Side note: I was a choral major, so I’m leaning towards vocal music…
Bach’s Quia Respexit from his Magnificat – Bach didn’t write a lot of music for Catholic’s since he was paid by the Lutherans. This gem (if you have an oboe, organ and soprano you are GOLD) is a beeeeautiful song for Mary saying “For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden; behold! Henceforth all generations shall call her blessed.”
Bogoroditse Djevo by Rachmaninoff from his Vespers. This is russian choral music, but it is the most beautiful setting of the Ave Maria I know of (I like it better than the over done Schubert) Rejoice, O virgin mother of God, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with thee:
blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, for thou hast borne the savior of our souls.
Ubi Caritas by Durufle “Where there is love and charity, God is there”, traditionally used on Maundy Thursday as the feet washing antiphon. But the text is great for a wedding.
William Byrd’s Mass for Five Voices – I was always a fan of connecting the whole mass with one cohesive ordinary tied together by the same chant melody. If you dig the beauty of the latin mass, this a cappella setting from the 1500’s is hauntingly beautiful and serene. He set the Kyrie, Gloria, Credo, Sanctus & Benedictus and Agnus Dei.
I Thank You God (for Most this Amazing Day) OR This Marriage by Eric Whitacre – Ok so this is an e.e. cummings poem and not *quite* sanctioned by Rome. But Eric is like the Brad Pitt of contemporary choral music. And the rich lush shimmering chords are amazing. This Marriage is a medieval poem by sufi poet Rumi, and is a simple SATB setting of a benediction for marriage. YouTube it!
Gabrielli’s Canzones (or anything else) – He started the antiphonal brass back in the renaissance, surround sound in a church! This is all instrumental.