(Closed) Contemporary music for mass

posted 8 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Send me a pm and after my honeymoon in a few days I’ll shoot our program over to you. We did “contemporary” music for our mass.and had so many complements! Even our non catholic and atheist francs enjoyed it! ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 4
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@stressedbride2be: Music in the Catholic Church is a pretty complicated subject.  The safest thing to do is to find the name of the music director at the church and call him or her and ask for a list of music that’s acceptable or for names of outside musicians that they’ve already approved (they usually have a standard list of 30 or 40 songs and 10 or so musicians that can be forwarded to you).  If you use an outside musician, I highly recommend using someone who has already performed in that church. 

If you want to look up music on your own and then ask if it’s acceptable, most contemporary liturgical music comes from OCP (http://www.ocp.org/) which is a division of the Portland Archdiocese. Usually their music is approved.  Anything that you’d hear on a Top 40 radio station is almost certainly out.  Any music made for a TV show, a movie, for a musical, for an opera, for a ballet, etc. is secular music and probably won’t be allowed.  Contemporary Christian may or may not be allowed, depending on the lyrics.  Keep in mind that something that sounds harmless to you as a lyric might actually mean something that’s unsuitable for a Catholic Mass.

And also keep in mind that any music played is at the discression of the music direct and the pastor.  They can veto any music choice, even if it’s an OCP song.  That’s another reason it’s usually good to talk to the music director of the church pretty early. 



Post # 5
4123 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

OK, i’m adding the info to the thread. ๐Ÿ™‚ Here was our mass.

Instruments. 2 Acoustic Guitars, 1 violin, 1 djembe drum, male and female vocals. All musicians were about 23-28. We had a LOT of compliments on our contemporary music, especially the mix of the guitar and violin. It was refreshing and people enjoyed actually participating in what they thought would be a long boring catholic mass. ๐Ÿ™‚

As you will see, we did some traditional hymns, but with the style of music and instruments its more contemporary. We also did some contemporary modern songs

Music selections with lyrics

Prelude Music

Set Me As A Seal   –  Matt Maher

Refrain: Set me as a seal on your heart

Set me as a seal on your soul

As strong as death is love

Unyielding as the grave

Nothing will quench its flame

Nothing will quench its flame


1. Kiss me, my love

That your name be on my lips

You intoxicate my being

With the fragrance of your presence


How beautiful you are, my darling

Show me your face, let me hear your voice

Sweet as the dew in the early morn’

Like a lily among the thorns



2. I looked for you, the one my heart loves

I looked for you but did not find you

Searched through the night

Until I rested in your sight

Now I will never let you go


‘Cause you have stolen my heart

My sister, my bride

You’ve stolen my heart

With one glance of your eyes

Your lips so sweet, adorned with honey

My hands, they drip with myrrh


Bridal Procession

Be Thou my Vision –  Public Domain

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart

Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art

Thou my best thought by day or by night

Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light


Be thou my wisdom and Thou my true word

I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord

Thou my great Father, I, Thy true son

Thou in me dwelling and I with Thee one


Riches I heed not nor man’s empty praise

Thou mine inheritance now and always

Thou and thou only first in my heart

High King of heaven my treasure Thou art


High King of heaven my victory won

May I reach heaven’s joys, O bright heaven’s Sun

Heart of my own heart whatever befall

Still be my vision O Ruler of all


Bridal Entrance

Cry of the Beloved   – Alicia Hernon

Draw me, O King, I will follow You eagerly! Draw me, O King, to Your rooms! The love that You give is sweeter than wine. How rightly you are loved! How rightly you are loved!

  1. Where are you whom my heart loves, most beautiful among women? You are precious to me my beloved. Your eyes are like doves. Arise, my beloved and come! Arise my beloved and come!

  1. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, let me see you. Allow me to hear your voice, for it is sweet and you are lovely to me. And you are lovely to me!

Responsorial Psalm

Blest Are Those  – Marty Haugen

Refrain: Blest are those who love, happy those who follow you, blest are those who seek you, O God.

1. Happy all those who fear the Lord, and walk in God’s pathway; You will find what you long for – the riches of our God.

2. Your spouse shall be like a fruitful vine in the midst of your home, your children flourish like olive plants rejoicing at your table.

3. May the blessings of God be yours all the days of your life, may the peace and the love of God live always in your heart.


Alleluia – chorus of Matt Maher’s “Love has Come”

Word of God Enthroned, dwell in us forever more, love has come to show the way. Alleluia, peace be with us, love has come to show, the way. 

Litany of the Saints                                  Matt Maher

Saint Michael, pray for us

Saint Gregory, pray for us

Saint Elizabeth, pray for us

Holy Mary, pray for us


Ora pro nobis, ora pro nobis


Juan Diego, pray for us

Catherine Drexel, pray for us

Saint Francis, pray for us

Saint Agnus, pray for us


Ora pro nobis, ora pro nobis


St. Thaddeus, pray for us

St. Cecilia, pray for us

St. Joseph, pray for us

St. Gabriel, pray for us


Ora pro nobis, ora pro nobis (2xs)


Presentation of the Gifts   The Servant Song

Will you let me be your servant.

Let me be as Christ to you.

Pray that I might have the grace

To let you be my servant, too.


We are pilgrims on a journey.

We are brothers on the road.

We are here to help each other

Walk the mile and bear the load.


I will hold the Christ-light for you

In the night time of your fear.

I will hold my hand out to you;

Speak the peace you long to hear.


I will weep when you are weeping.

When you laugh, I’ll laugh with you.

I will share your joy and sorrow

Till we’ve seen this journey through.


When we sing to God in heaven,

we shall find such harmony

Born of all we’ve known together

Of Christ’s love and agony.



Holy Holy Lord  (Holy Holy Lord)

God of power and might (God of power and might)

Heaven and earth are full (Heaven and earth are full)

Of your glory (of your glory)

Hosanna! (Hosanna!) Hosanna! (Hosanna!)

In the highest (in the highest)

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord

Hosanna! (Hosanna!) Hosanna! (Hosanna!)

In the highest (in the highest) 


Memorial Acclamation                         Mass of Hope

Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again. (2x’s)

Great Amen                         Mass of Hope

Amen! King of the ages! Amen! Lord of Lords! Amen! Blessing and Glory! Yours forever more! Amen! (2x’s)

Agnus Dei                                                    Matt Maher

Lamb of God, you take away,

the sins of all, the world

Miserere nobis

Bread of life, You take away,

the sins of all the world

Miserere nobis

Agnus Dei, You take away,

the sins of all the world

Dona nobis Pacem

Communion Hymns

I Shall Be Healed      Bob Rice

Oh precious Father, tell me what good have I done? This gift you offer, that of Your precious Son and yet before His real presence now I feel I am not worthy. I am bruised and I am bent I am so worldly, and You are so heaven sent-Sent from the Father, from the Son, and sent to me.

For I am not worthy to receive you, Lord. No, I am not worthy of Your Body and Your Blood, only say the word and Your mercy is revealed. Say the word and I shall be healed. Say the word and I shall be healed.

Oh blessed Mother, will you please pray for me? Is there another so pure and so holy Except for He, except for He, except for He? I can believe it, that you would shed Your Blood and I receive it. I who was once a broken cup but now I’m healed, but now I’m healed, but now I’m healed.

For I am not worthy to receive you, Lord. No, I am not worthy of Your Body and Your Blood, only say the word and Your mercy is revealed. Say the word and I shall be healed. Say the word and I shall be healed. (2 x’s)

Oh my Lord, if you are willing, I can bee… You are willing! I can see the face of God It’s looking lovingly on me and I am healed. How I love You Lord, how I love You Lord, How I love You, my precious Lord.

As I Kneel Before You               Maria Parkinson

1. As I kneel before You, as I bow my head in prayer, take this day, make it Yours and fill me with Your love.

Refrain: Ave Maria, Gratia plena, Dominus tecum, Benedicta tu.

2. All I have I give You, every dream and wish are Yours. Mother of Christ, Mother of mine, present them to my Lord.

3. As I kneel before you, as I see your smiling face, ev’ry thought, ev’ry word, is lost in Your embrace.


Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee                  Henry van Dyke

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,

            God of glory, Lord of love;

            hearts unfold like flowers before thee,

            opening to the sun above. 

            Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;

            drive the dark of doubt away. 

            Giver of immortal gladness,

            fill us with the light of day!


All thy works with joy surround thee,

            earth and heaven reflect thy rays,

            stars and angels sing around thee,

            center of unbroken praise. 

            Field and forest, vale and mountain,

            flowery meadow, flashing sea,

            chanting bird and flowing fountain,

            call us to rejoice in thee.


Thou art giving and forgiving,

            ever blessing, ever blest,

            well-spring of the joy of living,

            ocean depth of happy rest! 

            Thou our Father, Christ our brother,

            all who live in love are thine;

            teach us how to love each other,

            lift us to the joy divine.


  1. Set me as a seal; Matt Maher  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ta83lISU5rE
  2. After Exchange of Consent before vows (this isn’t necessary) The Litany of the Saints by Matt Maher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NG75daBWPdQ
  3. Presentation of Gifts: The Servant Song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzyFSNUB6nk&feature=related
  4. Holy Holy: Sanctuce http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sRLoY6QGqcY
  5. Memorial Acclamation and Great Amen from the Mass of Hope, music by Jim Cowan(This is what my sheet music says it is, but I can’t find a sample of it online. Anything online is not what I have.)
  6. Agnus Dei; Matt Maher http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7V35jHEf8kg
  7. Communion: I Shall be Healed; Bob Rice    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h84VIltm8-M
  8. Flowers to Mary After Communion: As I kneel before you; Maria Parkinson http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lqa3NJit2LE&feature=related

Post # 6
46 posts
  • Wedding: June 2011

My understanding (for whatever that’s worth!) is that contemporary music in the Catholic Church includes a guitar and sometimes other instruments and that, like you said, it’s a little more folksy.  This is an unexpectedly big issue between my fiance and I because my church does not allow outside musicians, cantors, or contemporary music of any kind (guitars are not permitted), and his aunt is the musical director of and guitar player in the contemporary ensemble in his church.  She’s extremely insulted that she’s not allowed to play at our wedding.  Woops!

Post # 7
606 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I just attended a Catholic wedding (Catholic myself) where they played pop music and musicals.  All only on the piano of course, but I was shocked to see that!  I don’t think my church would allow that – has anyone else seen that?

Post # 9
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

@jenandchris: That’s a direct violation of the Musicam Sacram and is a grave liturgical abuse.  The local bishop should be notified. 

Post # 10
2204 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@jenandchris:That’s crazy!!

The best advice I can give to the OP is to talk directly with the music coordinator at the church. They give the best advice and usually have a TON of experience ๐Ÿ™‚

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