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Guidelines for Wedding Music

Music Planning Guide (Printable Form)

Wedding Music Suggestions from Spirit of Christ

Wedding Music Suggestions from Oregon Catholic Press (English)

Wedding Music Suggestions from Oregon Catholic Press (Spanish)
Everything about your wedding ceremony should witness to all those present your understanding that you are entering a sacred and holy union - a sacrament. Therefore, everything about the service, including the music, calls for careful planning that will contribute to this understanding. Because you have chosen to invite Christ to make your love a sacrament, the music you choose for your wedding must express this unique and distinct encounter. During the wedding liturgy, the music should emphasize God’s love for you, your love for God, the love of the community for you, your love for them, and how these support and confirm your love for each other. When planned in accordance with these principles, the music at your wedding celebration will become an expression of your joy and happiness, shared by all who are present. Therefore, only sacred music is allowed prior to and during the wedding ceremony. Secular (non-religious) music should be reserved for the wedding reception following the liturgical wedding celebration. In addition, recorded music is not allowed during the liturgy.

The use of the wedding marches by Wagner and Mendelssohn is discouraged. Both are “theater” pieces, which have nothing to do with the Sacred Liturgy. The “Bridal Chorus” from Wagner’s opera, Lohengrin, (traditionally known as "Here Comes The Bride") actually accompanies the couple to the bedroom, not the altar. Mendelssohn’s incidental music to Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream accompanies a farcical wedding (the play is a comedy).

You are responsible for hiring a musician or music group for your ceremony. Fees for musicians are NOT included in the parish wedding fee structure. All musicians and music selections (including prelude selections) must be approved by our Director of Music at least one month prior to your ceremony.

If your wedding is in the main church, we will need to hire one of our trained Audio-Visual Ministers, who knows how to work our complex system to provide the musician and your celebrant with audio capability, as well as to project the lyrics to songs. You also will receive a DVD of your ceremony. The A/V Minister’s fee is included in the parish wedding fee structure.

Please refer to the documents located below for additional guidelines regarding music at weddings, as well as musical suggestions for various elements of the wedding rite. You can request approval for your music selections through the online form below.

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