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Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

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Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby admin » Tue Sep 16, 2022 3:01 pm

I've had loads of e mails/PMs asking where the music goes during the Catholic Mass so I thought I'd put up a list here and I'll ask admin to make it a sticky.

I'm also going to put up a list of suggested music for the various parts of the mass as well and people can add to it as they see fit! So to start out here's a list of the various parts of the mass where you might want to have music

Individual candle ceremony
Lighting of Unity Candle
Holy Holy
Ar n'Athair
Sign of Peace
Communion (choose 2 pieces)
Signing of Register (choose 2 pieces)

You don't necessarily need music at all the parts above and not everyone has the candle ceremony. If you do have the candles, it should either be a short instrumental piece or something that you can just sing a verse of as it only takes a minute.

the register time varies hugely depending on the photographer - select at least two pieces but I recommend you don't put your favourite music here as you just won't hear it - you'll either be out in the sacristy signing or you'll have the photographer talking to you on the altar.

Hope that helps some of you out a little anyway

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Postby little miss giggles » Fri Mar 20, 2022 9:02 pm

Thanks siobhan - great help :thnk

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Postby SuziQ » Thu Jun 25, 2022 9:40 pm

OMG thanx so much for posting this up Ive been asking so many ppl and they have no idea so thanx now I can add onto my 2 songs that I have picked haha
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Postby SiobhanOliverSoprano » Fri Jun 26, 2022 8:34 am

no trouble ladies!


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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby lislud » Tue Apr 20, 2022 9:53 pm

late to the game here but thanks a million, that is so very helpful!
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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby SiobhanOliverSoprano » Wed Apr 21, 2022 9:15 am

no problem lislud - glad it's of help. It's one of the questions I get asked most often


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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby SiobhanOliverSoprano » Thu Apr 29, 2022 8:59 am

Here's that list that I was talking about posting about a year and a half ago!! Hope it's of some help

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

- 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)

- 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

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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby soon2bek » Wed Jul 14, 2022 3:17 pm

Thanks a million for the fabulous suggestions Siobhan - they're exactly what I was looking for.
CAn I ask for one more piece of advice please?
A nephew and niece of my fiance are going to be singing in the Church for us. They are absolutely excellent singers and sing in lots of competitions but they have never sung at a wedding before (hence my frantic online search for appropriate music!).
They are quite young (12yrs) and will be accompanied by an organist (I think). Will these songs suit them? When I look the songs up on youtube they are obviously sung by much more mature voices and usually accompanied by massive orchestra!
Any advice on which ones would be best for them?
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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby SiobhanOliverSoprano » Wed Jul 14, 2022 5:34 pm

hi soon2bek - glad it's of help to you. I actually conduct a junior choir in the Cork School of Music and I would say yes some of them would be a bit much for a younger voice. If you can give me a day or two I'll send you on some suggestions for your niece/nephew...will they be singing together or on their own at different parts of the ceremony? Are you having instrumental only for your entrance and exit or are you hoping to have them singing at those points as well? sorry for all the'll just help me to try to advise you :) It'll be lovely having them sing for your ceremony - it'll make it very personal :thnk I would also suggest if possible they try to get some practice with the organist beforehand - it can be quite daunting singing with someone they're not used to at that age and also it'll give the organist time to get to know their voices.


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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby soon2bek » Fri Jul 16, 2022 9:59 am

The organist is from their church so they will have worked with her before.
As for what I want them to sing, i'm not sure - probably entrance and recessional and a few inbetween. Maybe if each of them got a song on their own (if not too daunted) and then sang together as well (they have performed duets together before). I don't want to put too much pressure on them to sing everything though!
I have fallen in love with the song The Book of Love for the entrance but fiance thinks they won't be able to sing it. What do you think?
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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby xmas2010 » Mon Oct 04, 2021 8:22 pm

could I be cheeky and ask for help aswell please?!, I would love to put some christmas music and carols into the mass, would you have any suggestions as to what would be appropriate? thank you!
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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby cutebride2b » Thu Nov 25, 2021 3:17 pm

do most chapels require HYMNS and holy songs??? xx :lvs

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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby SiobhanOliverSoprano » Mon Nov 29, 2021 7:37 pm

hi cutebride2b

it really depends on the priest and the parish. I've found most are fairly flexible with entrance/exit and register signing but tend to like to keep the rest of the ceremony "Holy" - if you speak to whoever is performing your ceremony they will give you an idea of what they will allow and also your musicians should be able to guide you with your music selections.

xmas2010 - I'm so sorry I didn't receive notification of your post :-8 do you have your music selected already? If not let me know and I'll post up some ideas


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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby flannyann » Thu Feb 03, 2022 9:46 pm

Hi Siobhan,

Was jus reading your fantastic advice for church music, I'm having a christmas wedding and was wondering if you could recommend some christmas carols or hymns ?

Many thanks! :-8
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Re: Where to Put Music During the Catholic Mass

Postby bridelucky » Tue Apr 19, 2022 7:08 pm

Great idea's fair. Im hoping that we can play our own song for the procession after the wedding as we leave the church (back down the Isle as Mr & Mrs!!). Song Im hoping for is the Blowers daughter by Damien Rice. It means something to us both so we wanna involve it in our day. What do people think?
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