Wedding Music
  • Looking for more wedding music options--both vocal and instrumental. What works for you? Singing the propers is not normative here, but perhaps a general antiphon and psalm for communion would be nice. Typically I've used a hymn or song out of the hymnal for offertory and communion and then typical instrumental pieces for entrance/exit music (Pachelbel Canon, Clarke trumpet Voluntary , Handel Hornpipe, Mouret Roneau, etc). Just kind of getting board with the same old same old. Also I'm typically solo (playing and singing at the same time). Extra instruments are a rarity and the choir never does weddings. Would be nice, but...
  • What specifically are you looking for? Processionals/Recessionals and Voluntaries?? Or just more hymns to use??

    I love using Diane Bish's wedding arrangements for the standard marches, etc... There are several other very good books that have mixes of marches, processionals, hymns, etc.... I have also come across Anthony Newman's Wedding Collection, which is pretty good as well....
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • Nothing specific. Just wondering what others were doing. Looking to expand my repertoire.
  • image

    this is what I have put together for weddings. Needs some changing but general idea.
    Thanked by 2Earl_Grey canadash
  • Let me know if it is helpful.
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    This may be one concern inwhich OCP shineth forth, E_G, if you are dealing with FACP (true, active participative singing from a diverse, newly assembled congregation.)
    I've long championed the texts of M.D. Ridge, and therefore her "God, who created hearts to love" (LASST UNS ERFREUEN) would work on diverse levels. Brian Wren's (a tad overwrought with verse 3, a bit presumptive tho' generally and likely true) "When love is found" (O WALY WALY) is very serviceable, however the accompaniment is very lacking and encourages a "rushed" feeling. Harry Huxhold's text "Hear us now, O God and Father" is set to the mother of all easy hymns, HYFRYDOL, but could serve as a great recessional or even Opt.4 communio at a moderate tempo.
    For instrumental, I'm sure you just forgot "Jesu, Joy..." as a staple. "Bist du bei mir" as a preludial is in that category. There are some English versions of "Der Herr segnet euch" which can be rendered by any combination of two voices, but the accompanist shouldn't be asleep at the wheel as it's trickier than it looks. IIRC, GIA has some other works ( a text set to IN DULCI JUBILO) and Cooney's compelling version of the Song of Ruth (B. Hurd has one, too.) in the more contemp. style. Not bad music, tho' really.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,950
    my list i scooped from st clements in chicago. the psalms are so so, but are functional. I have scored a number of the instrumental selections into my own arrangments which I have posted on this forum at different points in time, especially the marches, and a setting of the ave maria which is more idiomatic to the organ.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • The hymnal “Worship, Fourth Edition” (GIA Publications) has several contemporary texts set to familiar tunes in the Marriage section of the hymnal that were not in any previous GIA hymnal. They are:

    • Love Has Brought Us Here Together (Text: Mary Louise Bringle; Tune: HYFRYDOL)
    • Let’s Praise the Creator (Text: Shirley Erena Murray; Tune: KREMSER)
    • This Is a Miracle-Moment (Text: John Thornburg; Tune: LOBE DEN HERREN)
    • God of Love, Embrace Your People (My attempt at a text; Tune: HYMN TO JOY)
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • There ARE assigned propers for the Nuptial Mass...

    Just sayin'....
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Here's my wedding planner (Yes, this is in jest...)

    Write an "x" next to your option:

    Deus in loco sancto suo: From Graduale __ | From SEP __

    Immittet angelus: From Graduale __ | From SEP __
    In te speravi: From Graduale __ | From SEP __

    Beati mundo corde: From Graduale __ | From SEP __
    Primum quærite: From Graduale __ | From SEP __

    Ordinary: English Ordinary __ | Latin Ordinary __

    If English:
    Page number from the Vatican II hymnal where the ordinary is be found ____

    If Latin:
    Which Mass will you be using (allowable options: I-XVIII) ___
    If you wish to use a latin polyphonic ordinary, contact the music director
  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Ben and Adam S., reminded of our fearless leader's exhortation be good for goodness' sake, and for those who may be new to the forum, this would be a good moment to re-read Earl_Grey's original post, and his actual need, which is not necessarily and always our castor oil.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    For communion, Joseph Gelineau has a nice setting of psalm 23 that could be used effectively for communion.


    Calvin Bower, at Notre Dame, also has a very nice setting of Taste and See that I've often heard at my diocese's ordinations or holy week Masses. Here's the only sheet music I found for it, but there must be an organ accompaniment and SATB score somewhere too. The melody is in Bass1 in the TTBB version I linked to. If you wanted the full score, you might try emailing Mr. Bower. It's very nice.
    Thanked by 2Earl_Grey canadash
  • I realize this was an odd time to post this question, but we have quite a few weddings this month, and I found myself just suggesting the obvious top few choices in each category and thought it would be good to explore what else is out there before wedding season really picks up in the spring.

    Funny but true, the last couple who planned their music requested all Latin Chant for the ordinaries. Not a typical request, but was refreshing to say the least.
  • Widor Toccata is always nice for a recessional. I have used the Arrival of the Queen of Sheba an abridged arrangement for entrance. Most of Handel's Water Music is pretty good. I have used on occasion the Sinfonia to Cantata # 29 J.S.Bach arranged by Dupre for recessional. Those are 3 nice not heavily used pieces at least in my neck of the woods. I have tried to stir most couples to doing hymns or propers for processional/recessional, without a lot of success. I have probably had 1 in every 100 brides go for a hymn.
  • I do not at all mean for this to be a negative comment, but it has seemed to me for quite some time that such things as the Queen of Sheba, Water Music, Fireworks, and so on are undeniably fine music and aedifying both for performers and hearers... BUT they are no more 'liturgical music' than are some of the awful things against which we rightly rail herein. There is a fine line between accepting fitting trumpet or organ voluntaries, or ceremonial organ and/or trumpet music, and in programming the baroque equivalent of Mendelssohn or Lohengrin or such... which are, also, 'good music'. So, all 'good music', of whatever style or period, is not ipso facto fit for liturgy just because it is good music. A British penchant for playing Elgar's Enigma Variations and things like the Queen of Sheba as organ voluntaries attached to liturgy seems to be gaining some following over here. In many things the English are our tutors. But not in this matter. These and similar repertory is as equally unfit for liturgy and voluntaries as stuff we don't like. There is an endless vein of organ, and organ and instruments music conceived of as liturgical embellishments for voluntaries, preludes, postludes, etc., not to mention numberless appropriate cantus firmus literature, and one could program these ad infinitum without exhausting the trove. Not only is there no need for Water Music, Sheba, or Enigma, etc.: programming them when more appropriate music is waiting to be heard is irresponsible, immature, and silly.
  • MJO, how about listing your wedding musical selections to help Earl, instead of worrying about whether Water Music is the perfect fit. Recessionals are not a part of the liturgy, and it is very debateable as to whether the bridal parties and bride's procession are considered "part of the liturgy". If I remember correctly "liturgy" begins with "In the name of the Father...." I would definitely prefer Water Music and Sheba to all the routine Spirt and Song, Beetles, and other vast requests of hokey pokey music that constantly pops up.
  • Thanks CB, but don't knock the Beatles! :) No, I don't actually play them in church.

    MJO, I hear what you're saying and don't disagree. Still I prefer Watermusic etc. to Eagles Wings and such, and I've even consented to Wagner and Mendelssohn, though I never suggest it.

    The point of this thread was to collect some more suggestions for liturgically appropriate organ solos and hymns for weddings. Obviously I'm not familiar with the endless vein of which you speak which is why I started the thread.
  • I've mentioned this collection here before: Maestoso by Calvert Shenk.

    The third piece, Processional, is my first go-to piece for every wedding now. I recommend it to almost all brides unless they're one of the rare ones that doesn't want a "big" piece when they process in. I think the piece is solemn, joyful, and is used for "both" processions - bridesmaids and the bride. Of all the brides-to-be for whom I play it in a planning session, I'd ballpark about 75% choose it for their wedding.
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • • This Is a Miracle-Moment (Text: John Thornburg; Tune: LOBE DEN HERREN)


    Paint by number hymns
  • Noel,

    In answer to your question... Yes, the fine text "This Is a Miracle-Moment" is sung to the familiar tune LOBE DEN HERREN.
  • I can only quote from the Christus Vincit blog:

    *987 This Is a Miracle-Moment ("Lobe den Herren") - a "miracle moment"? WTF? Awful text. Too bad the tune is excellent.

    It's like singing an Easter text to Hark, the Herald Angels....a melody with such strong associations does not deserve this treatment.

  • melofluentmelofluent
    Posts: 4,160
    Yup, BMP's always had such a delicate way with words!
    I'm afraid that were he and Liam to share a cell overnight, only one of them would walk out alive at morning roll call. ;-)
  • Please, find, attached, my "Uxor tua", Gradual for the Nuptial Mass, for SATB and organ.
  • R J StoveR J Stove
    Posts: 302
    I find several of Carl Piutti's chorale-preludes (early 20th century) to be very effective - and uniformly short - organ pieces for weddings.
  • aldrich
    Posts: 222
    We sang a falsobordone of Psalm 127 (the Matrimonial Psalm) while the Priest led the Nuptial Couple on the edge of his stole to the Sanctuary (according to the Mozarabic Rite). Mode 1 for the first half, and mode 2 for the second half.
  • Please, find, attached, my nuptial version of Ave Maria by Schubert, in English and Italian.
    Thanked by 1chonak
  • I seem to remember Charpentier wrote something processional-like, but I don't have the score in front of me.

    Do remember when choosing music that it is for Mass, first and foremost, and only secondarily for the entrance of the bride.

    I've used both William Boyce and John Stanley for processionals and recessionals.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,356
    Thanks, Massimo, for posting your "nuptial version" of the Schubert Ave. That's rather appealing.
    Thanked by 1Massimo Scapin
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,656
    Charpentier Prelude on the Te Deum perhaps, cgz?
    Thanked by 1R J Stove