experienced violinist
first wedding dance

MP3 Music Samples

Trumpet Tune
Air on a G string
Eine Kleine
Con te Partiro
All I Ask of You
Moon River
The Rose

Best of Weddings on The Knot

Roman Catholic Wedding Music


Roman Catholic Wedding

The Great Lakes Chamber Players specializes in playing music at Roman Catholic weddings.

In this article we will cover;

Simple Wedding Ceremony (Not a Full Mass)

For a simple wedding ceremony, the music we typically provide is;

In cases such as this, the Great Lakes Chamber Players either play alone or with the parish organist. Please check with the Priest for the parish wedding policies.

Full Mass - Playing Along With the Parish Organist and Cantor

For a full Mass, which role we take depends on the situation at each parish. Most of the larger Roman Catholic parishes have established music programs with a full-time music director. These parishes usually have set guidelines and policies for weddings. Rarely, in situations such as this, would we provide all of the music for a wedding, particularly if it is a full Mass. When the music director is a full-time position, often the contract includes playing at weddings. And typically there are cantors that the music director calls on as well.

In a large parish we usually provide the following music;

Providing All of the Music for a Full Mass

In other situations, particularly if the parish is smaller, we are sometimes asked to provide all of the music and musicians, including the cantor. We have cantors available that are experienced singing the Catholic Mass. This, of course, needs to be cleared with the parish Priest.

When we provide all of the music, some possible instrument combinations are;

When You Will Need a Cantor

If you are planning to have a full Mass, you should count on having a cantor to sing the Mass parts. Without a cantor all of the Mass parts will be spoken and you probably will find the ceremony to be a bit on the dry side. Imagine an hour-long, full Mass with very little music!

If you are not planning on having a full Mass, a cantor is not absolutely necessary unless you would like a vocal selection during the ceremony, such as the Lord's prayer or the Ave Maria, for example.

New Mass Settings

There are recent changes to the wording in the Roman Catholic Mass. As a result, many new settings of the Mass have been composed. If the music director/organist is playing for your wedding, the musical setting of the Mass will probably be the one used each Sunday at that parish.

If you have the Great Lakes Chamber Players provide all of the music at your wedding, we are able to play the following Mass settings;

The Mass for a Servant Church (click on link above to listen) has a traditional yet festive quality. It has some wonderful brass fanfares throughout and, therefore, works great with trumpet.

The original Mass of Creation by Marty Haugen (click on link above to listen) was probably the most popular Mass setting throughout the United States. The revised version incorporates the new wording and keeps the music mostly the same. The advantage to this setting is that those attending your wedding will probably recognize the music and be more likely to sing (always a challenge at the wedding!). The disadvantage is that you or your guests may have grown tired of this musical setting.

The Great Lakes Chamber Players is currently looking into adding one or more Mass settings to our repertoire. To listen to more revised Mass settings click here.

Complete Music List for Catholic Wedding

If you look at the Mass settings listed above, you will notice that there are quite a few musical selections. Below is what is typically sung and played at a full Mass for a Catholic wedding (in order). The musical portions are in bold;

Pre-service Opening Rites Liturgy of the Word Rite of Marriage Liturgy of the Eucharist Concluding Rites

Choosing the Responsorial Psalm

Here are a few ideas for the Responsorial Psalm:

Choosing a Communion Song

Here are some ideas for a Communion song:

Hopefully this article will be helpful to you as you plan your wedding in the Catholic Church.

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