Wedding Music Parts and Details

The following is an outline of the musical elements of a Wedding Liturgy.

These are the areas for which musical choices/selections need to be made. The music selections discussed are included in the sequence in which they will occur in the Liturgy of your wedding.  The Director of Music will help guide you through the music-picking process at the wedding music planning meeting. This meeting is planned 6-8 weeks prior to the date of your wedding.

[Note: The selections with an asterisk * indicate that this portion of your wedding is optional, and music, therefore, would not be chosen if you opt out of it. Remember, also, to inform your wedding coordinator of any optional portions you decide not to do.]

Prelude Selections: These selections take place as your guests are being seated. They may be vocal or instrumental, or a combination of the two, usually in alternation, covering the 15-30 minute interval prior to the wedding as guests are arriving.

Processionals: An instrumental work should be chosen for this element of the Liturgy. One song will be chosen. 

Responsorial Psalm: When choosing Scripture readings to be proclaimed, please select one of the Responsorial Psalms’ texts, which are given in the “Together for Life” book. We can then choose a musical setting of the Psalm, which will be sung at the wedding.

Gospel Acclamation: an ‘Alleluia' is appropriate. The “Celtic Alleluia”, a common alleluia known to many Roman Catholics, is recommended. If your wedding takes place during the Lenten season, an “Alleluia” is not used; instead, a Memorial Acclamation will be selected (“Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ”). 

*Lighting of the Unity Candle – This is optional. If you do choose to light a Unity Candle at your wedding, a song is chosen for this time. The song chosen must be brief in duration, since the action of lighting the candles does not take very long. A vocal solo is recommended pertaining to the nuptial theme and the symbolism pertaining to the lighting of the Unity Candle.

Preparation of the Gifts: A brief vocal solo or congregational hymn is chosen here. It is common for the bride and groom to pick a common Catholic hymn that their relatives would enjoy singing. The hymn must be liturgically appropriate (for example, no Christmas songs outside of the Christmas season).

Eucharistic Acclamations: These are also known as the “Holy, Holy, Holy”; “Memorial Acclamation”; “Great Amen”; and “Lamb of God”. These are mass parts that are sung at every Catholic mass and, unless there is a specific preference indicated, the Director of Music will offer a suggestion that is commonly known to all Roman Catholics.

Sign of Peace: The couple customarily greets the guests of honor seated at the front of the church. Therefore, a vocal solo can be chosen pertaining to peace at this time. 

Communion: A vocal solo or congregational hymn is chosen here. A favorite hymn of the bride and groom can be used, if appropriate.

 *Veneration of the Blessed Mother: This is also optional.  Typically, a song honoring the Virgin Mary (e.g. Ave Maria) would be sung or played here immediately following the distribution of Holy Communion.

Recessional: An instrumental work should be chosen for this element of the Liturgy when the bride, groom, and bridal party are exiting the church.

Sample Musical Selections

The following list of compositions should be considered suggestions of possible choices for use during your Wedding Liturgy. This list is not exhaustive, yet should serve as an example in your planning. If you have any questions regarding specific musical selections prior to the wedding meeting with the Director of Music, e-mail her at Include the date of your wedding in the e-mail.


Prelude Ideas: 

*light background music as people are being seated- this selection is optional, bride will not hear this music on the day of the wedding since neither she nor the bridesmaids will be at the church yet        

            Air on the G string -Johann Sebastian Bach

            Adagio (from Organ Sonata no. 1) -  Felix Mendelssohn

            Arioso in A- J.S. Bach

            Ave Verum Corpus - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

            Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring - J.S. Bach 

            Laudate Dominum - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

            Panis Angelicus - César Franck

            Prelude in C Major (BWV 846) - J.S. Bach 

            Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimme - J.S. Bach


Processional Ideas:

    Select one song.     

            Arioso in A - J.S. Bach

            Canon in D -Johann Pachelbel

            Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring -Johann Sebastian Bach

            Overture (From Royal Fireworks Music) - G.F. Handel

            Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke

            Trumpet Tune and Air - Henry Purcell

Responsorial Psalm Ideas:    

            Psalm 34: Taste and See -David Haas

            Psalm 103: The Lord is Kind and Merciful - Jeanne Cotter

            Psalm 128: Blest Are Those who Love You - Marty Haugen

            Psalm 145: I Will Praise Your Name - David Haas

Lighting of Unity Candle Ideas:

            By My Side - Thomas Porter

            May Love Be Ours -  Marty Haugen

            A Nuptial Blessing - Michael Joncas

            Faith, Hope and Love - David Haas

            Pass It On -   Kurt Kaiser

Presentation Hymn Ideas:

            Here I Am, Lord - Dan Schutte

            How Beautiful* - Twila Paris

            I Am the Bread of Life - Suzanne Toolan

            I Have Loved You - Michael Joncas

            Panis Angelicus* - César Franck

            You Are Mine - David Haas

*Indicates vocal solos instead of congregational hymns

Songs for the sign of peace:

***A song for the sign of peace is used when the couple chooses to bring peace flowers to their parents during the sign of peace. If you are not going to do so, do not choose a song here.

            Prayer of Saint Francis/Make Me a Channel of your Peace - Sebastian Temple

            An Irish Blessing - Michael Patrick Murphy

            Let There Be Peace on Earth -  Sy Miller

            Peace Is Flowing Like a River - Carey Landry

Communion Hymn Ideas:

            I Am the Bread of Life - Suzanne Toolan

            How Beautiful* - Twila Paris

            I Have Loved You - Michael Joncas

            Eat this Bread - Jacques Berthier

            One Bread, One Body - John Foley

            Panis Angelicus* - César Franck

*Indicates vocal solos instead of congregational hymns

Veneration to the Blessed Mother Ideas:

            Ave Maria - Franz Schubert

            Ave Maria -  J.S. Bach/Gounod

            Hail Mary, Gentle Woman -  Carey Landry

            Hail, Holy Queen Enthroned Above  -  Traditional Hymn

Recessional and Postlude Ideas:

     Please select one song for the recessional and one song for the postlude.      

            Allegro Maestoso (From Water Music) -G.F. Handel    

            Rondeau - Joseph Mouret

            Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke

            Trumpet Tune and Air -  Henry Purcell

            Ode to Joy (from Symphony no. 9) -  Ludwig Van Beethoven

            Spring (From The Four Seasons) - Antonio Vivaldi

            Autumn (From The Four Seasons) - Antonio Vivaldi

            La Rejouissance (From Royal Fireworks Music) -  G.F. Handel