Whether you choose a catholic wedding ceremony that includes a Mass or simple a Liturgy of the Word, music will play an important party in your marriage ceremony. The catholic faith has certain stipulations regarding wedding music, and it is wise to be aware of these before you start to plan your ceremony.
There are three criteria the music at your wedding should meet in order for it to be suitable for a catholic ceremony:
It should be liturgical
Music at a catholic wedding ceremony should be appropriate to the liturgy and should help the congregation to pray and to give thanks to God for your love. Hymns should focus on the religious view of marriage, not the romantic view. Choosing catholic hymns is usually the safest way to ensure that your music serves this purpose. Save pop music and movie soundtracks for your reception.
It should be pastoral
The catholic faith states that you need to make the music at your wedding ceremony accessible to the congregation so that they can join in. Choosing simple, well known hymns and providing printed verses in your wedding program are two ways to achieve this. Try to avoid solos or musical performances during the liturgy itself; you can always have one during the signing of the register when the liturgy is effectively over.
It should be musical
The Catholic Church believes that Catholic wedding music used in worship should be beautiful, so any musicians that you are using for your ceremony should be competent and talented. Many catholic churches have their own musicians, and not all are flexible about using different ones.
Parts of the ceremony that should be accompanied by music
You will need to choose appropriate prelude and processional music before the liturgy begins, often followed by a gathering hymn to unite the assembled guests. After the initial Old Testament reading, it is customary to have the Responsorial Psalm, and this can be very effective when it is sung.
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