Wedding Music Guidelines
Guide for Selecting Wedding Music
We want your wedding Mass to be memorable and filled with beautiful music. Wedding music should be carefully chosen based on the following criteria:
- The prelude music before the wedding serves to prepare the congregation for the sacrament of Mass, and for witnessing the sacrament of Matrimony. The music inside the Wedding Rite serves the sacrament and should be from the Catholic Church’s sacred music tradition. The postlude serves as a joyful sending forth of the couple and the congregation.
- During the Mass and/or Wedding Rite, the music should be drawn specifically from the sacred music tradition of the Catholic Church.
- Some further guidelines for music during the Wedding Mass: music being beautiful is essential! But beautiful is not enough on its own, for the music within the Wedding Mass. The music must relate to the actions being taken in the Rite and/or Mass, while the music is being played or sung. The music inside the Mass must be sacred in character, tone, and text. In vocal music, this is easy to determine from the text. In instrumental music, whether or not the music is actually sacred is sometimes hard to discern. Often times, classical music is simply beautiful, but not particularly sacred. (Example: a Beethoven string quartet is certainly beautiful, but is not sacred; however, Bach’s “Sheep May Safely Graze” has no words, but is clearly sacred.) Put differently, sacred music is music during Mass which is directly connected to the liturgical action and draws its musical language from the musical traditions of the Catholic Church.
Hiring Musicians & Deadlines
- As soon as you have met with the pastor, please contact the Director of Sacred Music to begin making music arrangements.
- All wedding musicians are engaged and approved by the Director of Sacred Music. Any outside musicians must be approved by the Director of Sacred Music.
- If you have a friend or guest musician you would like to play/sing at the wedding, please notify the Director of Sacred Music at least 3 months before the wedding date, to request approval.
- If you have special music you would like played, not listed on this sheet, it must be approved by the Director of Sacred Music at least 3 months before the wedding date.
- If your wedding is a full Mass with Communion, a Cantor and Organist are required.