Wedding Music Guidelines
The music for your wedding can be both a source of great beauty and a strong unifying force to draw your guests together in prayer and celebration. Your wedding music is governed by the liturgical guidelines of the church. In general, the music for your wedding should resemble that done for a Sunday Mass. All music selections must be sacred, in keeping with the sanctity of the sacrament.
The overall principles in selecting music are:
In the Roman Catholic Nuptial Liturgy, every effort should be made to involve the Assembly in "full, conscious, and active participation" in the Liturgy, including elements of the music.
The text of the music chosen should ideally speak of the love between husband and wife as a reflection of God's love for us, His Church. Secular love songs may not be used in the Liturgy.
A wedding Liturgy is not a "wedding with concert attached." The music selection and the musicians must be servants of the Liturgy, not the other way around.
In Roman Catholic Liturgy, we worship together, here and now. Therefore, the Church does not allow recordings, taped music, CDs, or accompaniment tracks in the Liturgy.
Our parish policy calls for at least one of the musicians present for a wedding to be one of our regular parish ministers of music. These musicians are prepared to act as actual ministers of music, not just "soloists." They also know the workings of the sound reinforcement system and can operate it properly to avoid audio problems.
We have a number of excellent musicians at Blessed Sacrament. The most common musicians for a wedding are an organist and a cantor (singer who leads the sung prayer and sings the verses of the Responsorial Psalm). However, many additional vocal and instrumental musicians are on our roster and are available: trumpet, flute, strings (individual or ensemble), SATB vocal ensembles, etc. Adding just an extra "accent" instrument or harmony vocals can add extra beauty to your ceremony. These musicians are professionals, and their fees range from $100-$150 per person, depending on their level of training and experience. The music director can help you explore the options.
Please note that the musicians do not normally attend the wedding rehearsal. There is really no need, since they will organize their own rehearsal at a time when the church is not in use. If you require the musicians attend the rehearsal, an extra fee may apply.
"Guest musicians" are welcome to take part in the wedding music, but must be approved by the Music Director, who can talk with them about liturgical music principles. Sometimes even excellent performers don’t understand the liturgical setting, so care must be taken to ensure the musicians are servants of the Liturgy, and not vice versa.