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Music for a Catholic Ceremony

Renowned musician, Siobhán Oliver takes the mystery out of planning your ceremony music.

Processional - There are so many options for your entrance music...even at a Catholic wedding ceremony. The priest usually allows a bit of leeway regarding your processional music as the actual mass hasn't started at this point. I suggest you run all your music by your priest first though just in case. Here's a few ideas anyway - some are instrumental only and some are for voice and instruments.

Wagner's Bridal March
Air on the G String
Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring (sung or instrumental)
Pachelbel's Canon (sung or instrumental)
Delibe's Flower Duet (sung or instrumental)
Nella Fantasia (sung or instrumental)
Songbird (Eva Cassidy)
When You Say You Love Me (Josh Groban)
I've Dreamed of You (Barbara Streisand)
The Lark In the Clear Air
First Time Ever I Saw Your Face

The candle lighting ceremony - this only takes about half a minute so a nice short instrumental piece is perfect for this part of the ceremony or if you want something sung just a verse should be sufficient or verse and chorus if you don't mind standing at the altar for a couple of minutes until your singer has finished. There are two candle ceremonies - the individual candle (often the priest will allow secular music here as the ceremony hasn't officially started at this point) and the Unity Candle (this is during the mass so I usually suggest a hymn at this point)

Flower Duet
Lascia Chio Pianga
The Prayer
She Moved Through The Fair
O Mio Babino Caro
Nella Fantasia
First time ever I saw your face
As I Kneel Before You
I Watch The Sunrise
Let There Be Love Shared Among Us
A Clare Benediction
I Will Be The Vine
Father, In My Life I See
Amazing Grace

The Psalm - From experience, there are certain parts of the ceremony that the priest likes to keep very holy and one in particular is the psalm. There are many others that the priest may allow e.g. I Watched The Sunrise is not a psalm but depending on your priest he may ok it!

Sé an Tiarna mAoire
Hiding Place (Irish version - Mo Ghrá Thú)
Be With Me Lord
How Can I Repay The Lord
Eagle's Wings
Like the Deer That Yearns for Running Streams
The Lord is My Shephard (there is also the version from The Vicar of Dibley)
Sing a Song To The Lord
The Song of Ruth

The Offertory

I Watch The Sunrise
Amazing Grace
As I Kneel Before You
Ag Criost an Siol
A Mhuire Mhathair
I Will Be The Vine
Only A Shadow
Here I Am Lord
Deus Meus
The Servant Song

The Sign of Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem
Make Me A Channel of your Peace
Agnus Dei
Let There Be Peace Shared Among Us
Peace Perfect Peace
May The Road Rise To Meet You

Communion - Having been singing at weddings for quite a few years now from my experience it is best to keep the communion part of the ceremony very sacred but there are many beautiful hymns out there to choose from so don't worry! This is just my experience - your priest may allow pieces that are not hymns so if you want a secular piece run your selection past him first. You should select two pieces for your musicians.

Bach's Ave Maria
Caccini's Ave Maria
Schubert's Ave Maria
Ave Verum (Karl Jenkins)
Ave Verum (Mozart)
Amazing Grace
A Clare Benediction
Eagle's Wings
Panis Angelicus
You are Mine
The Clouds Veil
The Voice of an Angel
Laudate Dominum
When This Day Is Done
Set Your Hearts On The Higher Gifts
Jesu Joy of Mans Desiring

Signing of the Marriage Register - most priests are fairly flexible with the music at the signing of the register as the actual mass is over at this point. Again though be sure to check with your celebrant to make sure he is ok with whatever you select. You should select two pieces for your musicians and possibly a third just in case!

When You Say You Love Me (Josh Groban)
Feels Like Home (Randy Newman - theme tune from the movie Michael)
Miracle (Foo Fighters)
What A Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
You Light Up My Life
All I Ask of You (The Phantom of the Opera)
Over The rainbow (Eva cassidy)
At Last (Eva Cassidy)
Songbird (Eva Cassidy)
Come Away With Me (Norah Jones)
A World In Union
Unforgettable (Nat King Cole)
When I Fall In Love (Nat King Cole)
Love Changes Everything (Andrew Lloyd Weber)
We've Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
Nella Fantasia (Theme tune from The Mission)
Sul Aria (From the Marriage of Figaro)
Cinema Paradiso (Katherine Jenkins)
True Love (High Society)
I’ve Dreamed of You (Barbara Streisand)

Recessional - Like the processional, the pieces you can have for your recessional are endless! Usually something a little more upbeat is preferable as you walk back down the aisle and instrumental is usually a good idea as there will be a lot of clapping going on! I've included a few options for sung pieces though - something with a bit of jazz/swing is ideal as well.

Ode To Joy (Beethoven)
Wedding March(Mendelssohn)
Largo (Bach)
Largo (Handel)
Trumpet Voluntery (Clarke)
Sheep May Safely Graze (Bach)
Allegro (Mozart)
Arioso (Bach)
Four Seasons-Spring(Vivaldi)
Arrival of The Queen of Sheeba
Hallelujah Chorus (Handel)
Joyful Joyful
Fly Me To The Moon
Let There Be Love
Here Comes The Sun
Say A Little Prayer
If I Should Fall
O Happy Day


Contact Siobhan for more info:

Phone: 021 2348128
Mobile: 086 1509477
Fax: 021 4774146
Email: [email protected]

Image by Darren Purcell,


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