You already got the veil, the perfect flowers, the best photographer and of course the right dress, you feel the excitement going through your veins because almost everything is ready, almost … The most important moment, if your wedding is Catholic, will be the ceremony. What differentiates one ceremony from another is music, the rest the rites are almost all the same. Today we will tell you all about the best songs for your Catholic wedding.
Just as a beach wedding has its own order and its own thematic music, Catholic weddings do too, the protocol order at our Catholic weddings is called the liturgy.
On many occasions your wedding songs have to be approved by the priest or music director of the church. You may have in your head the idea of playing only the top 10 of the billboard list, but if the songs are not suitable they will not work.
To add more complexity to the issue, Catholic weddings should have only religious songs by nature. Of course, the definition of “what is a religious song” varies and is debatable, it depends a lot on the father you choose and the church where you get married. One of the most classic songs at the entrance to the altar has nothing to do with our religion, Johann Pachelbel’s Canon in D minor is a super instrumental classic and has nothing to do with Catholic culture.
How to choose the songs for my Catholic wedding?
In your first formal meeting with the father make sure to discuss all the ideas, especially the music, do not leave out the songs that most identify you as a couple, usually priests sit down to musical requests, always and when the versions properly.
The advantage of having a music director in the church, is that he usually already has a pre-established song list for each part of the ceremony, you just have to consult the most personal topics you want to add. For example, at my wedding once we kissed and were preparing to leave the altar, the band played an instrumental version of “what a wonderful world”, in fact it was also the theme of our first dance, it was spectacular.
The number of musicians you hire and the type of instruments they have are key factors. Make sure you not only hire good musicians, but people with experience in Catholic weddings. Check with the musicians for the list of songs you have and ask them to give you new ideas, if they are musicians with experience in insurance ceremonies They will help you with the choice of topics.
Once you have decided which instruments will be used, be sure to listen to the versions of the songs that have been chosen, remember that not all songs can be heard well on all instruments. For example, that version you had in mind of “November rain” played on the harp, may not sound as good as you expect. Lean on the musicians to advise you and listen to their opinions. Above all, listen to the most important songs at least once before the wedding, you will not want to realize in the middle of the ceremony that the song does not sound like you expected .
The best songs for your Catholic wedding
Here is a selection that we made with options for each part of the ceremony.
This is a super traditional selection that combines very well with any type of instrument, they also have the necessary tempo to adapt to your triumphal entry. Our favorites are the last two. In my case I entered the ceremony with Trumpet Voluntary.
Arioso, J.S. Bach:
Panis Angelicus, C. Franck:
Trumpet Tune, H. Purcell:
Trumpet Voluntary, J. Clarke
Hail Mary, instrumental version:
These are very good to fill in between the bride’s entrance and the next protocol event that is the delivery of the rings. In fact you can touch them before your entrance, so that attendees understand that the formalities have already begun and they must take a seat and be silent. Normally when you put music on the guests as they enter the ceremony becomes more solemn, I recommend it if you are Latin American and want an orderly wedding.
Joy of Man’s Desiring, J.S. Bach
For the Beauty of the Earth, Kocher:
The Prayer, Josh Groban / Charlotte Church:
Songs for the imposition of the children:
When the time comes these are the classic songs for the blessing and imposition of the rings. Remember that you can ask the music director for advice.
Here I Am Lord, J. Talbot
One Bread, One Body, J. Foley:
Songs for communion:
The key to this part is to use songs that all the faithful can easily recognize. People who commune like to feel connected at that time.
As the Deer, M. Nystrom:
Songs for the Final blessing and farewell:
We’ll leave the classic ones on the list, but this is the right time to add a personal request to the repertoire.
Ode to Joy, L. Beethoven (Hymn of Joy):
La Rejouissance, Handel:
With this you already have a guide on what to choose, how and at what times. We hope you have found our selection of the best Catholic wedding songs helpful. Always remember to personalize your list, so if you add a single song different from the ones the music director has established, this will give your marriage character and you will feel much more personal.