Planning your wedding liturgy requires the same thought and reflection as securing the reception site or choosing the color of the attendant’s dresses or even deciding which flowers will best enhance the beauty of your wedding. Director of Music, will assist you in planning the music for your wedding.
You can listen to the music selections on the website.
When planning the music for your wedding liturgy there are some important elements to consider. First and foremost is the function and placement of music within the liturgy. The Bishops Committee on the Liturgy states this clearly in the document Music in Catholic Worship:
“Among the many signs and symbols used by the Church to celebrate its faith music is of preeminent importance. As sacred song united to the words it forms a necessary and integral part of the solemn liturgy. Yet the function of music is ministerial: it must serve and never dominate. Music should assist the assembled believers to express and share the gift of faith that is within them and to nourish and strengthen their interior commitment of faith. It should heighten the texts so that they speak more fully and more effectively. The quality of joy and enthusiasm which music adds to community worship cannot be gained in any other way. It imparts a sense of unity to the congregation and sets the appropriate tone for a particular celebration.”
The wedding liturgy is an act of public worship in which the bride and groom commit themselves to each other through the Sacrament of Marriage. It is a sacred event in which the focus is on God’s unconditional love for His people as manifested in the love of husband and wife and in the love shared by the community of family and friends which has gathered to witness this union. The music, words, and actions should reflect this communal aspect of love. Therefore, the music, which is selected, should complement the liturgy and not compete with it. When considering choices for music, the most important consideration is appropriateness; that is, is this particular piece appropriate for this gathering, in this place, at this precise moment in the liturgy? Secular love songs, although they may have beautiful melodies and meaningful texts, are very often limited to a personal dialogue between two individuals and do not express the three-dimensional love of the Sacrament of Marriage. Therefore, they are not appropriate for a Catholic wedding liturgy. Songs of this nature are best performed at the wedding reception where the focus is on this more personal type of love.
In addition to having an organist and cantor/soloist at their wedding, some couples choose to include other instruments as well (such as trumpet, violin, flute, harp, etc.) The Director can assist you in securing professionally trained musicians from the area to play at your wedding. Requesting relatives or friends to provide the music can create problems: very often these people are not professionally trained and, as a result, the quality of music suffers. If you request a guest singer or instrumentalist, he/she must have the approval of the Director before being contacted. He/she should meet one or more of the following criteria:
1. Be a parish cantor (musician) at his/her own parish,
2. Have professional qualifications in church music,
3. Submit a cd of liturgical music (vocal/instrumental),
4. Audition in person.
All music planning should be done with the final approval of the Director and Organist. The Code of Ethics of the American Guild of Organists and parish policy do not permit the hiring of another organist or cantor/soloist without permission. In any case, both fees must be paid.