(Closed) Is using “Ave Maria” as a processional song sacrilegious?

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
57 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I agree with you. “Ave Maria” is beautiful and I think it would be fine to use in the ceremony. A friend of mine used the instrumental version as her processional and it was classic and beautiful. They were married in a Roman Catholic church and “Ave Maria” worked out well.

Why not ask your fi to go with you to meet with whomever will be performing the ceremony music? Maybe hearing the okay from a professional would ease any of his concerns.

Post # 4
5 posts

I walked down the aisle to Ave Maria, and I’m not Catholic.  I don’t really understand how it would be sacrilegious.  It’s a piece of music that means different things to different people.  You don’t have to be Catholic or believe in the Virgin Mary to think Ave Maria is beautiful, nor does the song only belong to religious people.  It would be different if you made a bunch of religious statements up at the altar that you don’t actually believe, that would be false.  Especially since the place you are getting married mandates using classical or religious music for the ceremony, you should choose a piece you like.  

Post # 5
248 posts
Helper bee

Ave Maria is traditionally used at a Catholic wedding if the birde chooses to place flowers at the altar of Mary as a sign of honor. You might want to read the words translated into English to see if the song has meaning to you as you walk down the aisle or if it might be more appropriate at some other time in your service.

Post # 6
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

The best people to talk to about this are probably the priest performing the ceremony and the musician playing your music (if he/she has experience with Catholic ceremonies).  I’m not Catholic, so I can’t say for sure if your fiance’s feelings would be shared by most in his church, but I’m sure your priest and the organist would be able to help!  I also like Surgie’s idea of looking up the English translation to see if it changes your feelings about when you’d like the song to be played in the service.

Post # 7
135 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

We walked into the ave maria as bridesmaids for my cousins wedding. My aunt used it during the unity candle lighting. I would say go for it, it isnt sacriligious.

Post # 8
2365 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

I think it is a beautiful lovely song. I actually am using it for when I walk into the church also! My planner is currently searching for someone who can sing it. I am getting married in a catholic church.

Post # 9
2004 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2008

Surgie is right that the Ave Maria is typically reserved for if you place flowers on the altar for Mary during the ceremony. I believe it is because the text of the Ave Maria is the Hail Mary in Latin. Your fiance might think it’s sacrligious because in some sense (even if there’s no lyrics accompanying) they would be playing the Hail Mary for your processional, almost as if you were Mary!

However, I think this is a gray area where you will just have to appreciate the views of those involved. There is definitely no "official" ruling on whether it’s an okay song for a processional, and certainly it is beautiful and very religious. In particular if there is no lyrics to your version I think it could be fine. Or, you might consider using it as a song during communion, if you choose to have communion during your ceremony. I would discuss this with the music director at your church. At my catholic wedding we decided on all the ceremony music through this sort of discussion. He or she will have a good idea of what’s appropriate in that church. Good luck!

Post # 10
365 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2009

I was going to use this as my processional, but when my husband heard it, he HATED it, so I nixed it and went with something more contemporary. 

Post # 11
14183 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2009

I thought Ave Maria was a classic religious song! How is it sacriligeous?! Hmmm. Ask your priest/father if your Fiance thinks it’ll be a big deal.

Post # 12
1 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

I am Catholic, and I plan to use the Ave Maria as the processional song. With all do respect your fiancée is incorrect with using the term “sacrilegious”. Sacrilegious means profane utterances against the Church.  The Ave Maria is definitely not that. If it were, it would not be used at all. The church requires that you use a religious song because a wedding in the Catholic Church is a sacrament. The couple is called to imitate God’s love…meaning to love each other as Christ loved the church…despite each other’s faults and weaknesses. The focus of the service is really to glorify God and His love.  This is why secular music is not used during the mass.

That being said, whether or not you can use Ave Maria as a processional is based on whether it would be liturgically appropriate. Every portion of the Catholic mass has its meaning and purpose. It depends on whether singing the Ave Maria at the processional would fit with the liturgy. Yes, the Ave Maria is sung when the bride and groom places roses at the foot of blessed Virgin’s statute, but it can also be sung during meditation after communion or during communion as well. The Ave Maria is not a sacrilegious song. I want it sung at my wedding because it has a lot of meaning to me. I think the best step would be to speak to the organist as well as the priest officiating. I have already discussed it with my pastor and he has agreed that it would fit beautifully with my mass. I say look at up the lyrics as suggested. If you love the words, go for it!! here is a video i found on youtube where the bride used Ave Maria in her processional in a Catholic Church.



Post # 13
16195 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Ave Maria is a song our church suggested for the repetoire. I wouldn’t worry about it!

Post # 14
158 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I am using this song when we leave the flowers in front of the Virgin Mary. Beautiful song!

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