Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

Catholic Ceremony- Music Help!

I am having a slight dilemma with the music for my Catholic wedding ceremony. First of all, I was raised Catholic- baptised, confirmed, etc. So it is very important to me to be married in the Catholic church so I can recieve the sacrament of marriage. It's also very important to my parents and they are thrilled that my fiance is supportive of this. My fiance and his family are Baptist, so in order to make everyone comfortable, we are just having the ceremony (no mass). In our interviews with the priest and in our premarital counseling, we are starting to discuss music for the ceremony. This is one part of my wedding I have always looked forward to the most, since I am a musician. My vision for the music for the ceremony was to have some of my good music major friends come and play bluegrass music that would appropriate for the ceremony. They are offering to come play our wedding for free, as our wedding present to us. My fiance and I are BIG country music lovers and have a few songs that we would like them to play in addition to the church pianist playing traditional non-secular (religious) and classical music. I have always wanted to have our parents and grandparents walk in to "I Hope You Dance" and then have our wedding party walk in to "Bless The Broken Road". In the lighting of the unity candles, my fiance would like to have one of "our" songs playing, "The Day Before You" (Rascal Flatts). None of these songs have offensive lyrics- and besides, we would not have anyone sing the lyrics. It would be instrumental. Well, we brought this up to the priest in our last counseling session and he basically told us we could not use any of the songs we wanted to and could not bring in outside musicians. He gave us a church songbook and told us to pick out songs from there. We asked why we couldn't incorporate some of the music we wanted played into our ceremony, and he said that the diocese does not allow it. But, I have been to more than a few weddings in that church since I was 6 years old and they were allowed to play any kind of music. My cousin was married there this past summer and she had Disney music being played on the guitar by a friend. I was also a big part in the music program there until I left for college five years ago, and they had people come in and play weddings all the time. He finally told me to e-mail him the lyrics to the songs we want and I did. He replied saying he would only approve "Bless The Broken Road" because of the line, "God blessed the broken road that lead me straight to you". I find this to be kind of ridiculous since it's our wedding and not his, but I do not want to seem like I am disrespecting the priest. He is a very nice man. I have an appointment to talk to the minister of music this coming week but I am unsure of how to approach this situation. If there are any Catholic brides out there who can give me some advice, I would be very appreciative! Thank you!

Re: Catholic Ceremony- Music Help!

  • In Response to <a href="">Catholic Ceremony- Music Help!</a>:
    [QUOTE]I find this to be kind of ridiculous since it's our wedding and not his, but I do not want to seem like I am disrespecting the priest. He is a very nice man. I have an appointment to talk to the minister of music this coming week but I am unsure of how to approach this situation. If there are any Catholic brides out there who can give me some advice, I would be very appreciative!
    Posted by abwkem2129[/QUOTE]

    Honestly, I would drop it. I think it was very nice of him to allow you to play one of the songs. Catholic Churches often have strict rules about what can and cannot be played. We were restricted to only a few choices. It's your wedding, but you chose to have your wedding at this Church, and it's <em>his</em> Church, not yours. If the music is that important to you, you could always find another ceremony site.
  • Why can't you use those songs that are special to you at your reception?

    FWIW:  I am a church organist in a Presbyterian Church, and we don't allow secular music during our wedding services.  In the Presbyterian church, we feel that weddings are worship services, and the music used should reflect that.

    I believe that the Catholic church tradition is that weddings are sacraments and thus should be worshipful and holy in nature.

    I wouldn't fight your priest~it's not just him but your parish's policy.  Use your favorite music during the reception.
    "Trix, it's what they/our parents wanted. Why so judgemental? And why is your wedding date over a year and a half ago? And why do you not have a groom's name? And why have you posted over 12,000 posts? And why do you always say mean things to brides?" palegirl146
  • I agree with the others. Many churches do not allow any secular music to be played at all. It was nice of him to compromise with you. You say that others have had secular music by outside musicians played, but has the priest changed since then? It could be his policy.
  • My sister was able to use contemporary Christian music in her Catholic ceremony, but nothing secular.  (She didn't actually select music, just told the band to play what they wanted.  Worked out well.)  She also attended a fairly progressive Catholic church, though.

    This is an extremely common restriction in churches.  If this music is a dealbreaker for you, you may want to look at non-religious ceremony venues.

    (BTW, line breaks would definitely help the readability of your posts.  I didn't read your giant wall o' text, I'm just basing my answer on the other responses.)
    This is a neglected planning bio.
    This is a belated married bio, with no reviews yet because I'm lazy.

    Sometimes I feel like people think that brides are delicate little flower princesses who get all dressed up and pretty for one special moment of their dreams, when really they're just normal people who just happen to be getting married. Things shouldn't have to be sugar-coated for grown-ass women. -mstar284
  • Thank you for your honest responses. I agree that we should leave it be after reading these. It is his parish after all and I don't want to disrespect him- he is a very nice man. I just wish the priest I had while I grew up in that church was still alive. He passed away very suddenly a few years ago. I don't know this priest too well yet, so I will step back and respect his wishes. I would rather get married in my church rather than have the music I want played.
  • Honestly, it's the same way in our diocese.  But in most cases, the problem is having secular music, not music prescrbed by a certian book.  He might be worried about using music that they do not have the copyrights to use.

    Check into CCLI music as well - it's contemporary christian, and I know allowed in our diocese as long as the parish has the copyrights to use it.

    There are some with a country flavor too: Big Daddy Weave and BarlowGirl would be good contemporary artists to get the bluegrass flavor with.  Casting Crowns and Ginny Owens would be good artists to look into as well.

    Otherwise, there are some nice Gather songs too.  We're doing "Wherever You Go" (It's in the Gather 2 books - navy, not teal, but is in the up to date Gather licensing) very traditionally styled. 
  • Sorry, CCLI is one copyright license, Gather is another copyright license.  We didn't have CCLI for years, and are so happy since we got it!  Almost all contemporary music is covered under CCLI, but the bottoms of sheet music can confirm that as well.
  • I have nothing else to add that pp haven't already mentioned, so I'm just going to add this slightly off-topic bit: just as a warning, I would ask your priest and get a FIRM answer as to whether you will actually receive the sacrament of marriage if you don't do the full mass.  I understand wanting to be inclusive of your fiance's family's background, but I don't think you can get the sacrament unless it's done in the context of a nuptial mass.  That's how it was explained to me by my priest, so I would check with your priest to make sure so you don't assume that's what's happening and then find out too late that it's not.

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  • edited December 2009
    You can certainly check out other music that may use "God" but may be more to your liking. There's a good list at I'm using them for my wedding and they've been incredibly helpful in selecting music that will fill the religious obligations and represent my fiance and me well.
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