Post # 1
I am marrying my fiance in 6 weeks’ time and we need to decide what hymns to have. My fiance is catholic, whilst I am atheist. We are marrying in a Catholic church but are trying to keep the hymns as non-religious as possible.
Basically, I don’t want any hymns which either promote evangelising, or are about creationism.
So far we have agreed on Amazing Grace. We are considering Give me Joy in My Heart though we’re a bit worried it’s a bit primary – school esque.
We have ruled out a LOT of hymns (including: All things bright and beautiful/Morning has broken – too much about creationism, All love divine all loves excelling / make me a channel of your peace – too much about becoming christian).
We’re a bit stuck! Any ideas???
It also has to be a fairly well-known tune!
Thank you 🙂
Post # 3
i’ve been looking and finding it hard to find non-religious hymns.. – i’m assuming you arent having a mass, and just the wedding so the rules around that may be a bit different
i pulled this from catholic wedding help: “Remember, though, that a Catholic wedding (even one outside of Mass) is a liturgy. The whole thing, from beginning to end, is a prayer. That’s why the Church says that all music used in its liturgy should be easily identifiable as prayer.”
i would suggest talking to your priest and seeing what hymns they allow – he should be able to give you a list that you can choose from.
Post # 4
why does it HAVE to be religious? I would think amazing grace would be religious—“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound! That saved a wretch like me?” Not trying to be rude, but IMO it is fairly religious.
Post # 5
You’re right, it’s not a nuptial mass, just a wedding service (it’s not possible to have a nuptial mass if one of you is not baptised, and in any case we didn’t want a nuptial mass).
We have the hymn book from the church, but are still a bit stuck. One problem is that I know very few hymns from the lyrics, i.e having read through the book there are only about 5 that I think I know! I’m wondering if there might be any hymns out there that have a famous tune that I do know, but less famous lyrics, that I might have missed when looking through the hymn book.
like I said before, any suggestions would be great.
Post # 6
@jellyspoons: What about “Will Your Anchor Hold”? Although it is not all airy, the lyrics are about strong and steadfast which is sometimes what marriage is about.
Oh Promise Me
Oh promise me that someday you and I, Will take our love together to some sky.
Where we can be alone and faith renew, And find the hollows where those flowers grew.
Those first sweet violets of early spring, Which come in whispers thrill us both and sing
Of love unspeakable that is to be, Oh promise me, oh promise me.
Oh promise me that you will take my hand, The most unworthy in this lonely land.
And let me sit beside you in your eyes, Seeing the vision of our paradise.
Hearing God’s message while the voices roll, They’re mighty music to our very souls.
No love less perfect than a life with thee, Oh promise me, oh promise me.
What about some classical music that can pass for religious music? Or what about “I Will Follow Him” (sung in Sister Act). It sounds like a hymn, but isnt it a a love song too? 🙂
Post # 7
@jellyspoons: We are doing having a Catholic Ceremony outside of mass as well since FH isn’t Catholic. We chose not to have additional music and for everything where music was “necessary” we chose Classical Tunes, which meant no picking hymns.
Post # 8
Honestly all hymn are religious, they all have a religious meaning or undertone. If you dont want religious then you can try choosing other music rather than hymns
Post # 9
Most Catholics aren’t evangelical or into creationism. 🙂
Is any mention of a creator off limits for you? There are a some really charming songs by the St. Louis Jesuits that have a lot of references to nature in them, but many (most?) also reference a creator here and there.
Sing to the mountains, sing to the sea
Raise your voices, lift your hearts
This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad
That was always one of my favorite songs as a kid. 🙂
Dan Schutte also wrote a lot of upbeat, contemporary songs that we sung at mass when I was younger. I think the references are a little stronger in his stuff.
Post # 10
Not rude at all!
I agree that basically all hymns are religious. This is kind of the problem. We’re getting married in a Catholic church (in England) as my fiance is Catholic and therefore it is very important to him to get married there. However, I am strongly atheist and find it pretty uncomfortable singing hymns about stuff I don’t believe in. For example, when I have been to friends’ weddings in recent years in Churches, I have not sung the hymns if I perceive them to have meanings which I don’t believe in.
It is fairly subjective, I agree, and I can see that Amazing Grace was written with the intention that Grace = God/religion, however I can also interpret it to mean the amazing grace of our relationship (this sounds v soppy now!) i.e. “I once was lost but now am found” to mean I was lost spiritually before I got together with my fiance. (Rather than the intended meaning of being lost before you find god).
I would much rather have completely secular songs, but unfortunately the Church don’t allow this!
Post # 11
Can you just have the organ play with no lyrics? How do you feel about Ava Maria? Or On Eagles Wings?
Post # 12
Hmmmm thank you for the suggestions!
Will your anchor hold – 90% of this is fine but there are just a few too many references to the Saviour being the thing that keeps you safe against the storm… which jars a bit against my own (non-)beliefs. Also, whilst an easy tune to pick up, I don’t think many of our guests will actually know it.
Oh Promise me – I like the lyrics a lot! 🙂 Buuuut unfortunately I don’t think it will be allowed as a hymn in our service, as it isn’t really a religious hymn.
This is the crux of the problem – I don’t want any religious hymns, but all hymns are religious!! <sigh> at least we’re starting our married life having got good at compromising by going through all this!
Post # 13
That’s what I was gonna say…what about instrumental versions of hymns? No singing/words involved, just beautiful music! 🙂
Post # 14
@Jeannine @ Small Chic:
Sing to the mountains, sing to the sea – I like the chorus of this one, and the tune is nice too (AND it’s in the hymn book the church has given us.). But I’m not so sure about the mentions of “you have saved my soul from death” and “he has turned all death to life”….
I guess whilst my biggest problem is with creationism and evangelism, I also feel a bit uncomfortable singing lyrics like this which I feel hypocritical singing because I don’t believe in it. And these lyrics are quite explicit, I can’t pretend to myself I’m singing about something else!
Post # 15
- Wedding: July 2011 - Catholic Church, Lakeview Golf Resort and Spa
Ave Maria won’t work–it can be played before the ceremony, but since the service isn’t celebrating Mary, it can’t be played. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think you’re going to find a hymn that suits your needs. All hymns are going to be evangelistic, it’s kind of the point. I really like Make Me a Channel of Your Peace and think it’s less evangelistic than Amazing Grace (which actually makes me think of funerals)–I think it’s just kind of about being a good person, but it’s up to you and your taste.
My Fiance is atheist (well, really agnostic…he uses atheist to get Fundamentalist Christians to shudder) and we’re getting married in the Catholic church. He’s letting me pick out everything because he knows that being in a church does not afford much leeway to what we may want otherwise. I say, just pick a tune that sounds pretty and go with it.
Post # 16
well… you could always ask opinions of the priest or other member of the church – if they have a wedding planner or something. Well. bachabells canon is good (no words), Amazing Grace, Joyful Joyful we are Joyful, Morning has Broken. Of course – what about not having any signing – just music? You can always choose not to sing.