Music Selections

Choosing Music for the Ceremony

In a Catholic Wedding Mass, there are many musical choices to make. Below is a layout of the ceremony and song suggestions:

Entrance Procession:

Many people choose an instrumental piece as the bride walks up the aisle.

  • Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  • PM’s Love Theme (from Love Actually)
  • Flightless Bird, American Mouth (from Twilight)
  • Forrest Gump Theme
  • Gabriel’s Oboe (Morricone)
  • Spring (Vivaldi)
  • Bridal March (Wagner)
  • Carolan’s Concerto

Some people prefer to have a song that means something special to them as entrance music. This is usually acceptable, but it is important to discuss any non-liturgical music with the priest before the wedding. Some song suggestions are:

  • She Moved Thru the Fair
  • Nella Fantasia
  • Heaven (Bryan Adams)
  • Suantrai
  • How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goudling)
  • The Book of Love (Gavin James)
  • Your Song (Elton John)
  • Perfect (Ed Sheeran)
  • To Make You Feel My Love (Adele)
  • A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
  • Beautiful in White (Shane Filan)
  • All of Me (John Legend)
  • Can’t Help Falling in Love With You (Elvis)
  • Marry Me (Bruno Mars)
  • This I Promise You (Ronan Keating)

Lighting of the Candles:

This is where the bride and groom light individual candles. It is often covered by the entrance procession music. However, if the priest decides to begin the ceremony before inviting the couple to light the candles, a short piece of music is required. Suggestions are:

  • Tabhair dom do Lámh
  • Kissing You
  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring
  • One Hand, One Heart
  • Air on a G String
  • The Prayer (short version)

Responsorial Psalm:

This is sung in between the first and second readings. Suggestions include:

  • On Eagle’s Wings
  • Hiding Place
  • Mo Ghrá Thu
  • Here I Am, Lord
  • In the Presence of Your Holy Angels
  • You Are Mine

Gospel Acclamation:

  • Seinn Alleluia
  • Celtic Alleluia
  • Alleluia (Plain Chant)
  • Mo Ghra’sa mo Dhia

Lighting of the Candles (Second time):

The couple light the unity candle after exchanging vows. It is a nice idea to repeat the music used for the first lighting of the candles.

Offertory:

As the gifts are brought to the altar, song suggestions here would be:

  • Ave Maria
  • Ag Criost an Siol
  • Eat This Bread
  • Nella Fantasia
  • A Mhuire Mhathair

Sign of Peace:

At a wedding ceremony, the priest usually encourages the congregation to shake hands. Appropriate music here would be:

  • Gaelic Blessing (Deep Peace)
  • Make me a Channel of Your Peace
  • Tabhair Dom Do Lamh
  • Bind Us Together

Communion:

Two songs are usually required here. It is a good idea to have a hymn and a reflection piece.

Suggestions include:

  • Panis Angelicus
  • The Cloud’s Veil
  • The Prayer
  • Ave Maria
  • I Watch the Sunrise
  • How Great Thou Art
  • Only a Shadow
  • You Raise Me Up
  • Voice of an Angel
  • His Eye is on the Sparrow

Signing of the Register:

As the bride and groom sign the register and the photographer takes over, it is advisable to choose two or three songs. Contemporary songs are usually quite acceptable at this point in the ceremony. (Many of these songs may also be used for the entrance or recessional)

  • Songbird (Eva Cassidy version)
  • How Long Will I Love You (Ellie Goulding)
  • Rule the World (Take That)
  • We’ve Only Just Begun (The Carpenters)
  • Close to You (The Carpenters)
  • A Thousand Years (Christina Perri)
  • Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran)
  • Perfect (Ed Sheeran)
  • Real Love (John Lennon)
  • All of Me (John Legend)
  • All I Ask of You (Phantom of the Opera)
  • The Voyage (Christy Moore)
  • Perhaps Love (John Denver)
  • The Rose (Bette Midler)
  • From This Moment On (Shania Twain)
  • Fields of Gold (Sting)
  • Somewhere Over the Rainbow (Original or Eva Cassidy)
  • Feels Like Home (from My Sister’s Keeper)
  • First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Roberta Flack)
  • Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
  • The Way You Look Tonight (Tony Bennett)
  • Bright Blue Rose (Mary Black)
  • Red is the Rose (Liam Clancy)
  • Come What May (Moulin Rouge)
  • Into My Arms (Nick Cave)
  • Down to the River to Pray (Alison Krauss)
  • At Last (Etta James)
  • Let’s Stay Together (Al Green)
  • Love Me Like You Do (Ellie Goulding)
  • Let me Love You (Justin Bieber)
  • Yours (Ella Henderson)
  • Chasing Cars (Snow Patrol)
  • I’ll Walk Beside You

Recessional:

Many people choose an instrumental piece here or it can be an upbeat song. Suggestions include:

  • At Last
  • Oh Happy Day
  • Greatest Day
  • Best Day of My Life
  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered
  • Higher and Higher
  • I Only Wanna Be With You
  • It Must Be Love (Madness)
  • Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now
  • On Top of the World (The Carpenters or Imagine Dragons)
  • Paradise (Coldplay)
  • Hold My Hand (Jess Glynne)
  • Everlasting Love
  • Everything (Michael Bublé)
  • I Love You Always Forever
  • Here Comes the Sun
  • Wedding March (Mendelssohn)
  • Trumpet Voluntary (Handel)
  • Water Music (Handel)
  • 9th Symphony (Beethoven)

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As the wedding ceremony is all about the bride and groom, I am open to ideas and I am happy to learn up to three new songs for your ceremony. The above is simply a guide and suggestions for the signing of the register can be used for other parts of the ceremony. Again, please be aware that for a Catholic ceremony the couple will have to clear all non-liturgical music choices with the priest.

For a Civil Wedding Ceremony, the officiant can usually advise the couple on where music is appropriate. Only secular music is acceptable at these ceremonies and normally require three to five songs. Feel free to choose from some of the songs above and make the music as personal as you like.

I usually have an accompanist on keyboard or organ for church ceremonies, but if you would like a different instrument such as harp, guitar or strings, I am happy to discuss these options.