Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Music for UMC Ceremony

Long time lurker, first time poster.
FI and I are getting married in the United Methodist church we grew up in and even first became friends at. While we now are closer to lax Presbyterians than anything else (largely due to PCUSA's stance on social justice and LGBT rights), we went ahead and decided to use the childhood church. It's meaningful to our family and our history however there are limitations on the music that we are struggling with. In order to use the church, the music at the ceremony must be as our officiant calls it "Christ-centered" and based on the sample music cd that means either lame praise songs or classical pieces. We only plan to use music for processional and recessional, but it's still an issue.
While fiance enjoys the symphony, I fundamentally don't "get" classical music and find it odd to play something that I have no personal attachment to at such a personal and meaningful moment. I'm also that weirdo in church who genuinely gets nothing out of praise music and find most hymns to be incredibly stuffy and old-fashioned.
We've been thinking as a compromise to use contemporary rearrangements of hymns that focus on natural beauty. I'm absolutely in love with "Morning Has Broken" as performed by Cat Stevens. Would it be odd to use that song at a 6 pm ceremony? Any ideas for other songs in a similar vein that are beautiful, sweet, have a religious heritage but aren't entirely religious? We're also fans of "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" as performed by Sufjan Stevens.
OurWildKingdom

Re: Music for UMC Ceremony

  • ILoveBeachMusicILoveBeachMusic Indiana member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    I think it would be odd to use "Morning Has Broken" for an evening wedding. @CMGragain I bet you could help this gal out!

  • kimmiinthemittenkimmiinthemitten Detroit, MI member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary 5 Answers
    edited June 2016
    Long time lurker, first time poster.
    FI and I are getting married in the United Methodist church we grew up in and even first became friends at. While we now are closer to lax Presbyterians than anything else (largely due to PCUSA's stance on social justice and LGBT rights), we went ahead and decided to use the childhood church. It's meaningful to our family and our history however there are limitations on the music that we are struggling with. In order to use the church, the music at the ceremony must be as our officiant calls it "Christ-centered" and based on the sample music cd that means either lame praise songs or classical pieces. We only plan to use music for processional and recessional, but it's still an issue.
    While fiance enjoys the symphony, I fundamentally don't "get" classical music and find it odd to play something that I have no personal attachment to at such a personal and meaningful moment. I'm also that weirdo in church who genuinely gets nothing out of praise music and find most hymns to be incredibly stuffy and old-fashioned.
    We've been thinking as a compromise to use contemporary rearrangements of hymns that focus on natural beauty. I'm absolutely in love with "Morning Has Broken" as performed by Cat Stevens. Would it be odd to use that song at a 6 pm ceremony? Any ideas for other songs in a similar vein that are beautiful, sweet, have a religious heritage but aren't entirely religious? We're also fans of "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "Come Thou Font of Every Blessing" as performed by Sufjan Stevens.
    Do you have a favorite hymn that perhaps you could walk to a more modern musical version of?   For example, growing up Here I am, Lord was one of my favorites.  

    While it's not really a processional style song, you could eliminate the lyrics, but because you would know what it was and what it meant to you, it wouldn't be just music either.

    ETA:  here is a link to a UMC church with recommended songs  and hymns for weddings.  Maybe it will help.  
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    CMGragainOurWildKingdom
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited June 2016
    There are many hymns that use traditional Celtic, Scottish and English tunes.  Our daughter had a harpist at her UMC wedding, and used them.  (Since I was a church organist for so many years, she wanted something different.)

    Be Thou My Vision (Irish)

    Londonderry Aire  (O Danny Boy)  http://www.hymnary.org/text/i_cannot_tell_why_he_whom_angels_worship

    St. Columbia  (The King of Love my Shepherd Is)

    Salley Gardens  several sets of words for this old tune.  The secular music is romantic.

    The Ash Grove (Let All Things Now Living)

    All Things Bright and Beautiful

    O Waly, Waly (The Gift of Love)  You probably know this as "The water is wide"

    Simple Gifts - a Shaker tune  (Lord of the Dance)

    Holy Manna (Bretheran, We Have Met to Worship)

    Duke Street (Jesus Shall Reign)

    Promise, by Natalie Sleeth "In the bulb there is a flower, in the seed an apple tree..."

    I Am Bound for the Promised Land

    On Eagles Wings  The version in the hymnal is shortened.  Your organist will know the full version if you ask.

    Children of the Heavenly Father

    Beethoven's 9th Symphony, (Joyful, joyful we adore thee)

    Holy, Holy, Holy

    I hope this helps you.  You might have used "The Skye Boat Song", but that has been used as the theme for "Outlander", so I don't think you would want to use it now.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    STARMOON44
  • Literally the primary selling point of the Methodist church is the richness of our musical tradition! I love all of @CMGragain 's suggestions, and would add Love Divine All Loves Excelling. There's a modern arrangement by Mark Miller that is excellent and might suit your taste. 
    ILoveBeachMusicOurWildKingdom
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