There are very specific rules and regulations to adhere to at a Catholic Nuptial Mass. These rules cover the totality of the wedding ceremony, from the readings to the wedding script, and even the songs for Catholic weddings. And so, before deciding on certain songs for your ceremony, it is important to ask the priest as well as the church venue for some guidance. Every church has its requirements for Catholic wedding songs. And while there might be no official list of catholic wedding songs for the ceremony, it is required that the songs be prayerful.
Music holds a significant place in Catholic wedding ceremonies, enhancing the worship experience and elevating the celebration of the sacrament. In this article, we explore the importance of music in Catholic weddings and guide you through the process of choosing appropriate songs for each key moment of the ceremony.
Traditional Catholic Wedding Hymns
Traditional hymns hold a special place in Catholic weddings, connecting couples to a rich heritage of faith and devotion. Here are some beloved traditional Catholic wedding hymns:
- Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
A vibrant and uplifting hymn that expresses joy and gratitude for God’s love and blessings.
- Here I Am, Lord
A song that signifies a readiness to respond to God’s call and dedicate one’s life to serving Him.
- Ave Maria
A timeless and reverent hymn dedicated to the Virgin Mary, seeking her intercession and honor.
- Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
Celebrates the surpassing love of God and invokes His blessings upon the couple’s journey of love and commitment.
- Panis Angelicus
A Eucharistic hymn that reflects on the sacred presence of Christ in the Eucharist, invoking His grace upon the couple’s union.
- Be Thou My Vision
A prayerful hymn that seeks God’s guidance and wisdom, asking Him to be the center of the couple’s lives and their vision for the future.
- Holy, Holy, Holy
A hymn that glorifies the Holy Trinity, inviting reverence and awe in the presence of God’s majesty and holiness.
- Praise, My Soul, the King of Heaven
A hymn of praise and adoration for God’s greatness and His steadfast love, acknowledging His reign over all creation.
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
A beautiful hymn that expresses the desire for Jesus’ presence and joy to fill the couple’s hearts and their journey together.
- All Creatures of Our God and King
A hymn that praises God’s creation and invites all creatures to join in worship and thanksgiving for His goodness.
Catholic Wedding Processional Songs
These are traditional songs popular for walking down the aisle at Catholic weddings. They work with various instruments, from the piano, and organ to string instruments.
- Arioso, Johann Sebastian Bach
A popular favorite when it comes to Catholic church wedding songs, you can’t go wrong with any work from J.S. Bach. And Arioso stands out as one of the world’s most magnificent melodies.
- Panis Angelicus, Franco Corelli
Drawn from the series of the hymn “Sacrissolemniis”, Panis Angelicus is a great addition to Catholic wedding bridal processional songs.
- This is the Day, Scott Wesley Brown
A popular classic wedding song, “This is the Day” has remained relevant to Catholic church-approved wedding songs from the 1970s until today.
- Come to Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Robert Robinson
A song with multiple versions, it is at its best when rendered by a simple soloist. A popular choice for Catholic wedding processional songs, it can draw a few tears every time.
- In Christ Alone, Keith Getty
A popular modern Christian song with an Irish melody, you would be lucky to get this approved by your music minister. This out-of-the-box option is a great choice for walking down the aisle, especially if you have a talented violinist.
Catholic Wedding Ceremony Songs
Below are popular Catholic wedding songs with just the right tempo for Catholic wedding mass songs. Beautiful music that works well as background music to the couple’s wedding vows.
- God is Able, Hillsong
While this song is a more contemporary option than the traditional hymn, it’s still a great choice for wedding mass songs. It is best sung accompanied by a guitar or piano.
- For the Beauty of the Earth, Kocher
A beautiful song and a great choice for a wedding ceremony song. Best played by a group or solo instrument such as a piano.
- Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, J.S. Bach
This song is flexible with instrumentation. It is also a reflective and calm melody that can be sung whole or cut.
- Ave Maria, Schubert
This popular classic has been found on countless lists of traditional Catholic wedding songs. Best sung by a soloist accompanied by a piano or other solo instrument.
- The Prayer, Josh Groban/Charlotte Church
This beautiful piece of music is best played on a piano if only the instrumental. Otherwise, a duo would be perfect.
Modern Catholic Wedding Songs for the Ceremony
Planning a modern Catholic wedding ceremony? Here’s a playlist featuring contemporary songs that can beautifully complement the sacred moments of your special day:
- The Prayer, Celine Dion, and Andrea Bocelli
A soul-stirring duet to foster unity and reflection during the ceremony.
- Ave Maria, Beyonce
Beyoncé’s rendition infuses new life into the timeless hymn while respecting tradition.
- All of Me, John Legend
A tender love ballad, perfect for vows or a symbolic unity ceremony.
- How Beautiful, Twila Paris
Contemporary Christian song celebrating the profound beauty of love and devotion.
- I Will Be Here, Steven Curtis Chapman
A poignant pledge of enduring love, fitting seamlessly into the heart of a Catholic wedding ceremony.
Catholic Wedding Communion Songs
A Catholic wedding song list would be incomplete without accompanying music for the communion. Communion is a sacred part of the Catholic denomination. Below are several songs for this part of the wedding.
- Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, Sebastian Temple
This song is a popular option for the sacred ceremony that is the communion. One of the most popular wedding hymns of all time with an inspirational back story.
- Amazing Grace, John Newton
A popular classic that would be recognized by everyone, Amazing Grace was written from the personal experiences of John Newton, the English poet, and Anglican clergyman.
- Air from Suite in D (Air on the G String), J.S. Bach
Another great and popular choice for a list of Catholic wedding songs, this tune is best played with string instruments.
- Be Thou My Vision, Audrey Assad
With Irish origins in an Irish poem from the sixth century, this traditional Christian hymn is a lovely song that will pull on your guests’ heartstrings.
- On Eagle’s Wings, Michael Joncas
Another favorite and long-standing choice for the presentation of the communion is, “On Eagle’s Wings”. A globally popular number that has been translated into a variety of languages over the years.
Catholic Wedding Recessional Songs
Below is a list of Catholic recessional songs you can suggest to the music minister or priest. Amazing songs that are popular in the Catholic community.
- Ode to Joy, L. Beethoven
An easily recognizable tune, this classic has religious lyrics and flexible instrumentation.
- La Rejouissance, Handel
This song has the right jubilant tempo for a wedding recessional. The tune works best played by instrumentalists.
- This is the Day (That the Lord Has Made), M. Joncas
Choosing from the many different versions of this song, this one gives the right celebratory feel and tempo to the close of the service.
- Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Chris Rice
The upbeat version of this song works best for a recessional as opposed to the soft, solemn version which can be used for communion.
- O God Beyond All Praising, Gustav Holst
A huge statement song for a recessional, it will sound amazing if performed by a choir or at least a group of singers.
Choose Psalms that harmonize with the liturgical season and the couple’s faith journey. Consult the parish music director for suggestions that align with the ceremony’s solemnity and theme. Select Psalms reflecting the couple’s spiritual journey. Personalize by incorporating favorite verses or those significant to their relationship.
- Psalm 23 – “The Lord is my shepherd…”
- Psalm 103 – “Bless the Lord, O my soul…”
- Psalm 118 – “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good…”
Navigating the Mass
When it comes to the Catholic Mass, understanding the role of music is crucial for a seamless ceremony. Here’s a breakdown:
- The Processional
This marks the beginning of the Mass. Choose an uplifting piece that reflects the anticipation and joy of the moment.
- Responsorial Psalm
During this liturgical moment, a psalm is sung or recited. Opt for a psalm or musical setting that aligns with your wedding’s theme.
- Offertory and Communion
These segments offer opportunities for reflection and unity. Select songs that emphasize love, sharing, and spiritual connection.
The recessional signifies the end of the Mass and the start of your married life. Choose an upbeat and celebratory tune that captures your joy and readiness for the journey ahead.
Choosing Catholic Wedding Songs
Selecting the perfect music for a Catholic wedding involves considering the guidelines and requirements set by the Church. From the entrance procession to the nuptial blessing and the reverencing of the Eucharist, here are the key moments to consider when choosing your Catholic wedding songs:
- Guidelines and Requirements for Catholic Wedding Music:
Familiarize yourself with the guidelines set by your parish or diocese regarding the types of music allowed in the ceremony.
- Selecting Hymns for the Entrance Procession:
Choosing hymns that reflect the sacredness of the occasion and set a joyful tone for the ceremony.
- Reflecting on the Liturgy of the Word:
Responsorial Psalms and Gospel Acclamations:
Selecting psalms and acclamations that enhance the proclamation of the Word and invite the congregation to participate.
- Options for the Presentation of the Gifts and Preparation of the Altar:
Considering songs that express gratitude and reverence during the offering of the gifts and the preparation of the altar.
- Celebrating the Sacrament of Marriage – Song Choices for the Nuptial Blessing and Exchange of Rings:
Choosing songs that reflect the sacramental nature of marriage, emphasizing the couple’s commitment and the blessing of their union.
- Reverencing the Eucharist – Songs for the Offertory and Communion:
Selecting songs that evoke reverence and gratitude during the presentation of the gifts and the reception of the Eucharist.
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Choose Catholic Wedding Mass Songs
There are several factors that are important to consider when choosing the best Catholic wedding songs. To stick to the rules and requirements of the Catholic church, these songs will have to adhere to the following.
- Be prayerful
Seeing as a Catholic liturgy, including those for a wedding is to sanctify the worshippers, and give glory to God; any chosen wedding music would have to reflect the same. This is why popular secular music, is often not permitted; and even modern Catholic songs would have to be pre-approved.
- Be accessible
It has to be music that your guests and audience will be able to sing along to. Catholic liturgy expects that everyone in the assembly participates instead of watching passively from the sidelines.
- Be beautiful
The church calls for the chosen music to be beautiful as beauty is a window into the divine. While this is a subjective factor, any tried and trusted music wholly accepted by numerous congregations should pass as beautiful.
Whatever your heart is set on for your wedding where music is concerned. Whether you are searching for wedding entrance songs, songs for the recessional, or even Catholic wedding songs for the ceremony. This hopefully has given you a good starting point for making your musical selection for your big day. Be sure to try to find tried and true classic or traditional options to increase the chances of getting approval.