(Closed) Best songs for a Catholic wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Catholic
Post # 2
Member
343 posts
Helper bee

My faves:
Ubi Caritas, Ave Verum, The King of Love My Shepherd Is, O God Beyond All Praising, Sweet Sacrament (Faber), Oh Lord I am Not Worthy, Jesus Jesus Come To Me

These are older. Imo,  they are way more musical and sing-able than a lot of the modern stuff that is out there.

Do you know the Mass setting you will use?

Or rather I guess,  I should ask if you are having a full Mass?

Post # 3
Member
143 posts
Blushing bee

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ashleymarieaucoin :  I second all of the above recommendations. Some other good ones for during mass are Love Divine All Loves Excelling (Hyfrydol) and For the Beauty of the Earth (Dix). Adoro Te Devote is a beautiful Eucharistic hymn if you are doing a full mass, but it’s a chant, so it works best if there is a choir rather than just cantor/congregation. If your church requests that instrumental music be sacred in nature as well, Prelude to Te Deum by Charpentier and Sheep May Safely Graze by Bach are good alternatives to the standard processionals. One option for recessional is Marcello’s Psalm 19 “The Heavens Declare.” Good luck with planning your liturgy!

Post # 4
Member
1263 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

I second For the Beauty of the Earth- I’m planning on having a piano arrangement of it for the bridesmaids’ entrance! I could give you some more suggestions if I knew the general format of your wedding- whether you’re having a full Mass, what sorts of instruments will be available (organ or just piano?), etc. 

Also, is there a music ministry at your parish to help? At mine they gave us a CD with options for the wedding music, I’m fairly certain they have a standard handful of pieces they typically use for weddings. You can probably discuss that when you meet with the priest or whoever will be cantoring your wedding. 

Post # 5
Member
378 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Interesting – I’m a Catholic and go to mass every week and I haven’t heard any of the above listed songs! My favorites are: Here I Am Lord, On Eagles Wings, Seek Ye First, and One Bread One Body.

Post # 6
Member
708 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

Just a tip: don’t get your heart set on anything before you know what you can use, some Catholic Churches only allow certain songs during weddings (ie. no popular songs/modern songs etc). I know for our church they are fairly strict with what we can and can’t use. 

Post # 7
Member
819 posts
Busy bee

At my church, we can use classical music for the entrance and exit (we’re doing Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring and Ode to Joy for those), but everything else has to be liturgical. We’re doing a beautiful song called Wherever You Go (I think it’s #867 in the current music books in church) during the ceremony– it references the story of Ruth and Naomi and is just stunning!

When we talked to the cantor and pianist, we told them that we wanted a lively, joyful mass, and they gave us some perfect suggestions– think about how you want your mass to go, and see if your musicians can help find songs that fit that mood.

Post # 8
Member
343 posts
Helper bee

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wineandthings :  I think it comes down to who your music director is/has been over the last decade. If your music director is younger, they are probably more old school with the music. A little bit older and they are probably more in to modern things. It takes time to build a repetoire in a parish, so very often music directors stick with what the parish knows, whatever that may be.

From your list I love Seek Ye First.  Many beautiful ways to do that one.  On Eagles Wings drives me crazy because it is so frickin hard to sing. I’ve heard it many times at funerals though and have personally felt very comforted by it.

Post # 10
Member
4240 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

I’m a Catholic school music teacher so I know a thing or two about Catholic liturgy.  😉 

 

This is the order of a typical Mass setting, you likely won’t need all of it:

Gathering Hymn and/or processional (not a necessity as you will have processions, but we had one)

Gloria (depends on the Mass setting your church uses, some may not require it)

Psalm (in between readings)

Gospel Acclamation (again, will depend on the Mass setting — this is typically the Alleluia)

Offertory Hymn (preparation of gifts)

Acclamations (depends on setting)

Communion Hymn

Closing Hymn and/or Recessional

 

Of course you would have the vows, exchanging of rings, etc. in the middle there.  We didn’t have the full Mass as my husband is Methodist, but I think the weddings I’ve been to with a full Mass, vows and ring exchange happened after the homily and before communion.

 

Be sure you read the lyrics of the hymns before you choose them.  For example “On Eagle’s Wings” is great, however in my opinion it is more appropriate for a funeral than a wedding.  I love the following, some that we used in our wedding:

Servant Song

You are Mine (I simply ADORE anything by David Haas — I actually saw him in concert in December…AMAZING!)

Seek Ye First

Ode to Joy (Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee — good for a recessional)

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace

Here I Am Lord

Be Thou My Vision

One Bread, One Body (Communion, obviously)

 

If you are looking for a vocal selection, say lighting of the unity candle, How Beautiful is gorgeous (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T281lL_6e44)…I think it would be pretty easy to find the music for it.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any questions!

Post # 11
Member
4019 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Two of my favorites that we did were Ave Maria for the seating of parents/ grandparents and Ruth’s Song for our unity candle lighting.   

Post # 12
Member
3 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: April 2018

Hey there! I work for the Church and I’m also a worship leader, so I’ve got plenty of ideas! If you’re going with voices and guitar, some of my quick suggestions:

Love Has Come for sending hymn – Matt Maher (just change the lyrics of the second verse from “Father Yaweh Elohim” to “God the Father Elohim” – we’re not actually allowed to use YHWH during Mass)
Set Me as a Seal for offertory or communion – Matt Maher
Litany of Saints for communion – Matt Maher has one, and there’s also a beautiful one in the regular music issues most parishes use.
O God Beyond All Praising for entrance or sending – Public Domain.
Dance With Me for offertory – Jesus Culture
How Beautiful for communion – Twila Paris

I’m having a full children’s choir for my wedding (my parents are musicians by trade), so here’s our set list:
Entrance // Be Thou My Vision
Offertory // Original Composition based on Song of Songs
Communion // Ave Verum Corpus & The King of Love My Shepherd Is
Offering to Our Lady // Salve Regina (chanted)
Sending // Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow

If you let me know what your readings are, I can give you a few more specific ideas!

Post # 13
Member
20 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2014

As some churches are more stricter than others, it is definitely worth asking the music director at the church (or your priest) for the rules around music and if they can provide assistance with your song selection. As I am sure you know, when it comes to the order of  catholic wedding mass and music, you could probabaly outline a whole book here with all the different options. Eek

Here is a helpful guide for how to chosse the music, the order of the music, as well as some examples for different songs that you could play.   Hope that helps 🙂

Post # 14
Member
252 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

In our case we really took charge of the music because we sing in the church choir and both cantor regularly. We just grabbed our hymn books (mostly looked at CBW 3 as we basically have that, Glory and Praise, and some other newer stuff we don’t like as much). We didn’t necessarily theme it on the wedding. We wanted hymns that were not super cliche/overdone and that meant something to us. A lot of our music was actually more themed on asking God for help and support.

We walked in to a prelude – the Adagio in Xerxes (Handel I think?) – then had the actual opening hymn – O God Our Help in Ages Past. We did a really pretty psalm from Glory and Praise, and our favourite mass setting for the mass parts. We had our church choir sing all that, with a soloist friend as the cantor for the psalm. At some point we had Eternal Father Strong to Save (fav hymn ever and also no one ever does it).

 

We also sing in a chamber choir and our priest allowed our chamber choir to sing a piece as a communion meditation (I can’t remember what we sung but I think it was Mary-tastic) and then one as we signed the registry (this was a secular work).

 

I recommend seeing what your priest allows/prefers, and then grabbing a hymn book so you can be an active participant in selecting your music.

Post # 15
Member
1943 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

If you can get your hands on a choir and a great organ, I highly recommend O Spirit All Embracing, which is an incredibly Catholic song with the “pomp and circumstance” feel of a processional hymn. It’s even a plus if you’re a Holst fan! That’s what we’re doing and my church organist is 100% pumped for it lol

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