Wedding Liturgy Planning
Click below to begin planning a wedding liturgy with a planning worksheet:
- Nuptial Mass Planning Worksheet (.doc PDF)
- Nuptial Liturgy outside of Mass Planning Worksheet (.doc PDF)
Wedding Liturgy Scripture Reading Options
For a list of the scripture reading options for a wedding liturgy, please click each link below:
- First Reading Options (.doc PDF)
- Responsorial Psalm Options (.doc PDF)
- Second Reading Options (.doc PDF)
- Gospel Reading Options (.doc PDF)
At least one reading that explicitly speaks of Marriage must be chosen as the first reading, Responsorial Psalm, second reading, or Gospel reading. These readings are designated by an asterisk (*).
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 the music 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 as follows:
- 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, CD's, 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 a 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 Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. The most common musical forces for a wedding are an organist/pianist and a cantor (singer who leads the sung prayer and sings the verses of the Responsorial Psalm). However, many additional vocal and instrumental forces are available: guitar, trumpet, flute, strings (individual or ensemble), harp, SATB vocal ensembles, etc. Adding just an extra "accent" instrument or harmony vocals can add extra beauty to your ceremony. These musicians will be professionals, and their fees range from $75-$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 insist on the musicians attending the rehearsal, an extra fee may apply.
"Guest musicians" are welcome to take part in the wedding music, but these must be approved by the Music Director, who can talk with them about liturgical music principles. Sometimes even excellent performers can be lousy liturgical musicians, so care must be taken to ensure the musicians are servants of the liturgy, and not vice versa.
Wedding Music Samples
We are delighted to help you prepare for the sacred day of your Sacrament of Matrimony. We hope the music listed on this page will help you make music choices that will honor God and his central role in your life together. We also hope that this music will uplift you and your guests, help you and them participate in the liturgy, and contribute significantly to the beauty and holiness of your wedding. May God bless you as you prepare for your life together.
Click on each song title to listen!
About 20 minutes of sacred music; can be instrumental and/or vocal. Purpose is to set a prayerful, reverent atmosphere for your guests.
|Air on a G-String||Bach|
|Hail Mary, Gentle Woman||Landry|
|He Shall Feed His Flock||Handel|
|Set Your Heart on the Higher Gifts||Warner|
|Take Lord, Receive||Foley|
|Wherever You Go||Haas, David|
Processional(s) and/or Gathering Hymn:
A Processional song is usually instrumental. Can be one piece for the entire procession, but can also be one piece for the wedding party, with a separate piece for the bride’s entrance.
A Gathering Hymn is optional. Effectively encourages participation of the entire Assembly, sending the signal that we are participants in this celebration. Particularly useful in mixed (Catholic/non-Catholic) congregations to unite us all in one voice. Cantos invites all to sing and leads the singing.
|Entrance Antiphon: "God is in his holy dwelling place..."||Bartlett, Adam|
|All Creatures of Our God and King||Tune: LASST UNS ERFREUEN|
|Alleluia Sing to Jesus||Text:Prichard|
|Canon in D||Pachelbel|
|Canon in D with Gathered in the Love of Christ||Pachelbel, Haugen||The most oft-used wedding processional (Canon in D), adapted to include bride's procession and segue into the Gathering Hymn. Canon in D can certainly be used with a different gathering song, as well.|
|Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (May the grace of Christ...)||Bach||Violin is an excellent addition. Often used for wedding party.|
|Joyful, Joyful We Adore You||Beethoven||One of the most familiar melodies of all time (from Beethoven's 9th). Good text of love, good chance in getting the Assembly to join in singing.|
|Glory and Praise to Our God||Schutte|
|God, Who Created Hearts to Love||Text: Ridge||Very familiar hymn melody in most denominations, with excellent wedding text.|
|Love Divine, All Loves Excelling||Text: Wesley||Very familiar hymn melody in most denominations, with excellent wedding text.|
|Trumpet Voluntary (Prince of Denmark's March)||Clarke||The most oft-used processional for the bride. Trumpet adds a great deal.|
|Roman Missal English Chant|
|Simple Latin Chant|
|Mass of Wisdom||Janco|
|Mass of Renewal||Stephan||Gloria begins at 00:46 in video|
|Psalm 34: Taste and See||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 34: Taste and See||Keil, Kevin|
|Psalm 103: The Lord is Kind and Merciful||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 103: The Lord is Kind and Merciful||Haugen, Marty|
|Psalm 103: The Lord is Kind and Merciful||Manalo, Ricky|
|Psalm 128: Blessed Are Those Who Fear the Lord||Guimont, Michel|
|Psalm 128: Blest Are Those Who Love You||Haugen, Marty|
|Psalm 145: I Will Praise Your Name, My King and My God||Haas, David|
|Psalm 19: Lord, You Have the Words||Haas, David|
|Psalm 33: Lord, Let Your Mercy Be on Us||Dufford|
|Celtic Alleluia||Walker; O'Carroll|
|Mass of Wisdom||Janco, Steve||Alleluia begins at 2:15 in video|
|Mass of Renewal||Stephan, Curtis||Alleluia begins at 3:01 in video|
|Mass of Light||Haas, David|
Preparation of Gifts:
Assembly hymn, instrumental selection, or silence. A good chance to involve the Assembly in song.
|Be Thou My Vision||Tune: SLANE||This Irish folk melody is very well known, with beautiful text on focusing on God in all areas of our life.|
|God Who Created Hearts to Love||Text: Ridge||Very familiar hymn melody in most denominations, with excellent wedding text.|
|Love is the Sunlight||Jacobson||Well-known tune (Morning Has Broken), with good wedding text makes it easy for the assembly to join in singing.|
|Shout to the Lord||Zschech||Very widely-known popular setting. Text of praise for God and His mighty love.|
|Take My Life||Underwood||Pop setting of text of offering one's life to the Lord for Him to transform in His will.|
|The Servant Song||Gillard||Fairly well-known hymn that's easy to join in on even if not previously known. Excellent text.|
|We Have Been Told||Haas||Well-known contemporary setting of text paraphrase on love from John's Gospel.|
|When Love is Found||Haas||This English folk melody is well known, with excellent text of the struggles and triumphs of marriage.|
|Where Charity and Love Prevail||Text: Ubi Caritas|
|Roman Missal English Chant (Holy, Mem. Acc., Amen)|
|Simple Latin Chant (Holy, Mem. Acc., Amen)|
|Mass of Wisdom||Janco||Acclamations begin at 4:24 in video|
|Mass of Renewal||Stephan||Acclamations begin at 5:45 in video|
Lamb of God:
|Roman Missal English Chant|
|Simple Latin Chant||Angus Dei begins at 00:38 in video|
|Mass of Wisdom||Janco||Lamb of God begins at 7:15 in video|
|Mass of Renewal||Stephan||Lamb of God begins at 8:23 in video|
An appropriate song or psalm. The Assembly should participate in the singing, and the song should ideally speak of our love and unity in the Body of Christ. In general, songs in verse/refrain form work best, because the cantor can sing the verses, while the Assembly can sing the refrain, even while processing for Communion. In general, only one Communion song is needed.
|Communion Antiphon: "Blessed are the pure of heart..."||Bartlett, Adam|
|I Am the Bread of Life||Talbot||Very widely-known popular setting of "the" Eucharistic text from John's Gospel|
|Foley||Excellent choice. Well know, solid text of unity and communion.|
|Psalm 34: Taste and See||Haugen||Widely-known setting of text from Psalm 34 and an excellent communion psalm.|
|Psalm 63: My Soul is Thirsting for You||Angrisano||Pop-style setting of the excellent text of Psalm 63. Assembly joins in on refrain; cantor sings verses.|
|Ubi Caritas||9th Cent. Chant|
Joyous, festive music. Usually instrumental, but can be a vocal piece or congregational hymn.
|Eccossaise||Clarke||Excellent choice that's "off the beaten path".|
|Hornpipe from Water Music||Handel||Probably the most-oft chosen recessional. Joyous and festive.|
|Prelude to Te Deum||Charpentier||Joyous and festive, especially with trumpet|
|Trumpet Tune||Purcell||Joyous and majestic, especially with trumpet|