The Wedding March
  • What are your thoughts on allowing the Wedding March as a recessional at a Catholic wedding Mass? I think it's tacky, but since the liturgy is technically over what are your thoughts on allowing this?
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    A lot of this comes down to what your pastor will allow, and whether or not you want to be paid. I am not crazy about the Wedding March, but have played it on occasion. I took the money, of course.
  • rich_enough
    Posts: 753
    That's my basic objection, too - that it's tacky. I don't list it as one of the options, and try to talk brides out of it. But if they really insist, I'll hold my nose and do it.
  • hartleymartin
    Posts: 1,447
    It's cliche, it's tacky, and who wants to have a tacky cliched wedding?

    The best way to dissuade brides is to ask "What will people think?" - because no-body wants to have a wedding that people will describe as "bad", "poorly-done" or "tacky and cliched."
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,114
    It could be worse, e.g. "Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war."

    Would you think the Toccata from the Widor 5th Organ Symphony appropriate?
  • Adam WoodAdam Wood
    Posts: 6,304
    who wants to have a tacky cliched wedding?


    as far as I can tell, almost everyone
  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 455
    Well, since weddings have become all about the human in white as opposed to a certain omnipotent being, even many tasteful weddings seem little different than this:

  • What's wrong with the Widor Toccata? I use it from time to time.
    Thanked by 1IanW
  • Earl_GreyEarl_Grey
    Posts: 794
    I concur with Gary's article. It it is generally fading from popular memory. On the rare occasion it's requested, it's typically because the mother of the bride had it at her wedding. While I would certainly discourage it, I can't say that I could in good conscious refuse playing it when considering all the other non-liturgical music that has been permitted into the Liturgy in recent decades. The point is, most young couples haven't even heard of Wagner or Mendelssohn, and even if they have, they don't associate the music with the shows. I've talked many couples out of :"All I Ask of You" from Phantom, explaining how the text and the context of the show is not appropriate for Mass, and the typical response its, "I never thought of it that way, I just liked the pretty music."

    So unless you're in a parish that actually always follows the rubrics and sings the propers and never plays secular music during, before or after Mass, it would be hard to justify banning these two pieces on moral grounds when most of the baggage that was associated with them in past generations is long forgotten.

    Of course, by all means, suggest something else.
  • jpal
    Posts: 365
    In three years at my current parish, I have received no requests for the Wagner, and only one for the Mendelssohn. The young lady had clearly asked for it because it was what she thought she was supposed to have, and merely informing her of the scene which it accompanied was more than enough to convince her otherwise. Besides, she liked my suggestion of another Mendelssohn piece much better.

    I don't know if this is true everywhere, but it seems that at my parish, brides who have been regularly attending Mass at this parish for the past few years are not surprised to see that the music suggestions in the guidelines we give them conform with what they have come to expect from the parish music in general. And I can see how the Sunday music program influences their choices.

    Two examples of this: (1) I have had three or four brides in the past year enthusiastically request Salve Regina for the veneration of the Blessed Mother ("flowers to Mary," if you will); (2) the next two weddings coming up, both brides have selected hymns to be sung for the bridal procession ("Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" and "Christ Is Made The Sure Foundation") and the exit ("Now Thank We All Our God").

    Also: we try to head them off before they have Googled "catholic wedding music." The gung-ho gals who do this the day that they become engaged (if not before) are the toughest to work with.

    (Regarding the Widor, I too am curious to know what's objectionable)
    Thanked by 1Earl_Grey
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 4,114
    I didn't say the Widor Toccata is objectionable. But I did wonder how often it is used as a wedding recessional.
  • I get the occasional request for it. I just wish it would either get used more often or not, as sometimes you can go months or a year without it being requested, and then I have to pull it back out, and go over it a few times to make sure there is no hiccups with it.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    The Widor is entirely too long, and I have to cut it when I use it. I don't like to do that. Also, I play it so infrequently, I almost have to relearn it each time.
  • Where are you shortening it exactly? Do you have a specific spot where you bring it to a close? It is quite long and quite frankly, I am not sure anyone is really paying attention through those 6 minutes.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    I have cut out the entire middle section to avoid playing to an empty building for 3 minutes. It depends. Once, I started past the soft section and only did the last part. No one noticed or seemed to care.
  • So you basically eliminate the key change? go from first part, into the final part?

    I feel the same way on that too, I don't think I want to be playing for an additional 3 minutes to an almost empty church, or the noisy picture taking that will occur right after. It's a nice concert piece, but to practice all those hours, only to have 1/8 or less of the those attending a wedding, actually listen to it, is a bit aggravating.

    Even that Wedding March, I never get through the whole piece. They are out by the second section, and it isn't worth going into the 3rd unless I am doing it just for myself.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    My church is only 1/2 block long. It doesn't take long to get a procession in, or the "general retreat" (recessional) out the door. Those large French works are better timed for massive French churches.
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    I've been asked to organise the music for a wedding at which I'll be present but otherwise engaged. The Widor's happening on the way out (with no cuts); the Duruflé Ubi Caritas and Guerrero Surge propera amica mea during the signing of the register (a liturgical hiatus proper to England & Wales); but what to have at the entrance? The bride has politely but firmly declined Mendelssohn & Wagner. We could probably arrange for a trumpet voluntary, but it would be a shame not to make use of the voices present for the occasion. Any suggestions?

    ps no liturgical angst necessary - it's an Anglican affair (though the voices will be Catholic).
    Thanked by 1ContraBombarde
  • Liam
    Posts: 3,761
    Only if they agree to pay you to play the Nocturne* outside their hotel room on their wedding night. Not that wedding nights are what they used to be for most.....

    * Horn player here....
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    IanW - are you asking us to suggest a *choral* piece that could be used as an entrance?
  • IanWIanW
    Posts: 749
    Marajoy: choir or vocal solo, plus organ (e.g. the Wagner, except it's been ruled out). Thanks.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    How about the introit?
  • mahrt
    Posts: 508
    I often offer the introit as an alternative to an organ processional, and often they like that. Occasionally, also, we sing a motet for both processional and recessional. This is for weddings for which my choir is singing a high Mass. Rarely do they ask for the Wagner, and when they do, I suggest alternatives. I play the Wagner with a dull registration, and then the alternatives with better registration for them to choose from. Only once did they stick to the Wagner "because it is traditional." It has never occurred to me to inform them of the text of the Wagner, which members of the congregational will know: "Here comes the bride, big, fat, and wide." One can also point out that both the Wagner and the Mendelssohn are drawn from dramatic contexts, in which they are a part of failed marriages.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 2,419
    And Bugs Bunny...
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    Kill the wabbit...
  • Dan F.Dan F.
    Posts: 205
    At my wedding, I requested the Widor as a recessional. This was in a Methodist church, where our organist played the piece every year at Easter. I wanted to hear the piece myself, so I made my new bride stand with me at until it was almost done, then leave the church together! I don't think I'd do the same now (11 years later, now a Catholic), but I loved hearing the Widor!
    Thanked by 1IanW
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,234
    With the Widor, I cut out the manuals.

    (also, in college we used to play 'tea for two" in the pedals instead of the usual pedal part.)
    Thanked by 1jpal
  • marajoymarajoy
    Posts: 781
    IanW- what about one of the Bach pieces from the cantatas, like Wachet Auf or Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring? (they would make a rather long processional. I could think of more, but I need more time. Feel free to PM me, and that will give me time to brainstorm.)
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    What do you mean, francis? You just play the pedal part?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,234
    Ben

    Sorry... was being sarcastic. Don't like the Widor. It's a "hey, everyone, look what I can do" kind of piece. Too showy for my philosophy in appropriate music for the liturgy (or immediately thereafter)
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    I do like the Widor, but as the composer intended it to be played, and in a concert setting. As for a recessional, everyone is headed for the door and any pretense at liturgy has ceased. It's over by then.
  • Ben YankeBen Yanke
    Posts: 3,114
    Ah, I see... I was wondering if that was what you meant.
  • GavinGavin
    Posts: 2,799
    Actually, Widor played many his pieces at Mass.
    Thanked by 1R J Stove
  • Gavin: Which goes to show that confusion about what is appropriate to be played for mass is not by any means a modern problem. Except that inappropriate Widor et al., is far better music than the inappropriate music of our day.
    Thanked by 1marajoy
  • and whether or not you want to be paid


    I should have known better than to get my poor kids involved in this but thought we could make it work. Just this past Monday, a woman from our parish called to ask if my son could play the organ for her wedding tomorrow (some people aren't much into planning ahead). She also asked specifically that my daughter sing the "Ave Maria" since she had heard her sing that before and thought it so beautiful. For music she asked for "Here Comes the Bride" as the entrance. I told her that only sacred music is allowed for weddings in the church (this is our parish policy) so, while she was on the phone, I had my son play through several pieces from his wedding collection and she chose one for the entrance and one for the recessional. Tuesday we all went up to our parish 30 miles away so my children could practice. We also made special arrangements for my son's piano auditions on Saturday so he would have enough time to get home and turn around so we could go to the wedding.

    The bride just called to say they wouldn't need us after all because her fiance insists they have "Here Comes the Bride" for the entrance. I think it may be they didn't want to pay the musicians' fees ($50 for my son, $25 for my daughter). Oh well, none of us were looking forward to it and will be glad to have our Saturday evening back. The last "last minute" wedding I agreed to, also "booked" less than a week in advance, lasted two hours and only my son was paid $50 even though I sang the "Ave Maria". I think I need to set some better policies and stick to them. "More than a week's notice" for starters.

    Kathy
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,234
    Weddings:

    I require payment at the latest, seven days before the wedding. If it doesn't show up, I start calling on the phone. Rush fees are 200%.
    Thanked by 1teachermom24
  • KARU27
    Posts: 104
    -.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    I use March Pontificale by Bossi. It's majestic and bold.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    After all my years in music, the Bossi is one I had never heard. A quick trip to IMSLP and I now have a copy to practice. It lists it as Entrée Pontificale by Enrico Bossi, so I thought it must be the same piece. There were multiple Bossi composers on the IMSLP listing.
  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,895
    Charles, you have the right piece. I made a mistake when quoting the title. If you decide you like ME Bossi, you can try the beautiful Chant du Soir and also another work entitled Revelation.
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • Padster
    Posts: 37
    I have played Widor during a funeral (Meditation in Eb in case you're wondering).

    What's the problem?

    Just because Charlie was perhaps more worldly than the likes of Cesar Franck doesn't mean his music can't be played at mass.

    Best wishes,
    Padster
    Thanked by 1CharlesW
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,008
    I play Widor Prelude Symphony 8 - IV and have never been concerned about any adverse reactions. Everyone thinks it is beautiful.
  • Padster
    Posts: 37
    The Symphonies were actually meant to be played in their entirety between the last of the low masses and the high mass of a Sunday morning. As the Aussies say: good on you mate!

    Best wishes,
    Padster
    Thanked by 1Jahaza