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Catholic Weddings

recessional advise

I need some help, please.  We're using Ode to Joy as our recessional song.  FI wanted to keep it more like a normal mass, where the first verse would be sung at the alter and then we'd process out on the second verse.  When I talked to our music director about doing this, she was really negative about it.  She esentially said she'd do it if we really want, but it's stupid.

What are your thoughts?  Have you ever done this or seen it done?  Is it better to just do the instrumental?  

Thanks for the advice!  
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Re: recessional advise

  • we started walking out right away.
    if your guests are regular mass attenders, they may "get" why you are waiting, but if they arent, they may wonder why you are standing at the altar not doing anything and wonder why you arent walking out.
  • The more a wedding is like a Sunday mass, the better in my opinion.

    Although, not all priests hang around for the first verse of a song at the end of mass. If you want a hymn sung...by all means, have it.  The music director should be encouraging participation, not dissing it. 
  • I kind of agree with Calypso.  Are you going to have a cantor who would tell everyone to look up the song in the hymnal to sing?  That might make it make a little more sense.  We also processed right away.

    And to be honest, the recessional song was the one I was most looking forward to, and afterward I had to ask if it had even been played (it was).  At that point my head was in the clouds and I did not see or hear anything except my husband.  I hate to say "let it go," but at least consider just having it instrumental.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_recessional-advise?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d690ee9d-b285-4daf-85c7-5543bbdd0a8bPost:18a9ea2d-771c-46a4-9093-8b478c546f85">Re: recessional advise</a>:
    [QUOTE]I kind of agree with Calypso.  <strong>Are you going to have a cantor who would tell everyone to look up the song in the hymnal to sing?  </strong>That might make it make a little more sense.  We also processed right away. And to be honest, the recessional song was the one I was most looking forward to, and afterward I had to ask if it had even been played (it was).  At that point my head was in the clouds and I did not see or hear anything except my husband.  I hate to say "let it go," but at least consider just having it instrumental.
    Posted by professorscience[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>We're including the words for all the hymns in the programs, so that won't be an issue.  </div><div>
    </div><div>I just wish she hadn't been so negative about it.  FI and I are going to talk it over with the preist tomorrow (we're meeting with him to finalize the ceremony-so excited) and I guess we'll decide after that.    </div><div>
    </div><div>Thanks for your opinions!

    </div>
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  • I don't think it's a horrible idea, but I can see how it might be, I don't know...awkward? Like the "energy" that comes when everyone is clapping and the final song is going and you're walking down the aisle is just really...incredibly fun, I thought. Once you stop and have everyone sing something, then that moment is gone, and you'll never get it back.

    If you're tryign to relate it to a "regular" Sunday Mass, however, a "closing song" has absolutely nothing to do with the liturgy. Once the priest says, "the Mass is ended," it's done! You can leave! (While I hate it when people walk out during the closing song, there's techinically nothing wrong with that other than basic rudeness.) "GO! It's FINISHED!" Is what the priest is saying! The closing song is just an "add on", probably originally from the Protestants, but who knows. It comes as a result of our wanting some sort of "grand finale," but wasn't the Eucharist enough?
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  • I think it might de-emphasize the priest/deacon giving the final blessing (also where he introduces the newly married couple) and dismissal if you remained on the altar for a verse singing the hymn rather than proceeding with recessing.  Guests will be paying attention to you, the priest/deacon and wedding party on the altar at this point, probably not their programs.  Other than those minor things... I don't see an issue with a sung hymn for the recessional!


  • The recessional was the only song that we had instrumental (Ode to Joy, actually), and it worked out really well. There had already been lots of vocal music, especially at the end of mass (3 communion songs -- we really wanted a final reflection song -- and a song for the presentation to Mary). Everyone was happy and we were on Cloud 9, so I barely remember the music there, and the flow just worked.

    FWIW, when I've seen recessionals at other masses (like 1st communions and stuff) that involved lay people, they've usually just followed the priest on out without waiting around. It seems to flow better, even if some priests wait a verse or two before processing out.

    Side question: do priests at masses process in and out, or do they process in and recess out like brides?
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_recessional-advise?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d690ee9d-b285-4daf-85c7-5543bbdd0a8bPost:a0cc2145-0759-460e-a187-17fe0d1ecac9">Re: recessional advise</a>:
    [QUOTE]Side question: do priests at masses process in and out, or do they process in and recess out like brides?
    Posted by bibliophile2010[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>At our wedding, the priest and deacon were already up front and had entered from the Sacristy at the back of the church in the beginning of the mass and it was just the wedding party, etc. that processed in.  At the end of the Mass, I think it's typical that they process out after the wedding party... but I think in our case they waited till we were all in the narthex and they returned to the sacristy where we signed the marriage papers.  We weren't permitted to have a receiving line at church, so that may have been why ours was structured that way.  Chances are, agape knows what's typical :)</div><div>

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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_recessional-advise?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d690ee9d-b285-4daf-85c7-5543bbdd0a8bPost:d40e054a-ceac-43a8-bd30-a1a5a100ba44">Re: recessional advise</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: recessional advise : At our wedding, the priest and deacon were already up front and had entered from the Sacristy at the back of the church in the beginning of the mass and it was just the wedding party, etc. that processed in.  At the end of the Mass, I think it's typical that they process out after the wedding party... but I think in our case they waited till we were all in the narthex and they returned to the sacristy where we signed the marriage papers.  We weren't permitted to have a receiving line at church, so that may have been why ours was structured that way.  Chances are, agape knows what's typical :)
    Posted by newlyseliski[/QUOTE]

    I was actually asking about the terminology. My instinct is to describe a priest as processing both at the beginning and end of any mass, but at weddings, we clearly talk about both processionals and recessionals.

    Our priest led the procession at the wedding, and normally do participate at our parish. Then, the sacristy is not convenient for just "appearing" so I don't know if that makes a difference at weddings.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/cultural-wedding-boards_catholic-weddings_recessional-advise?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Cultural%20Wedding%20BoardsForum:615Discussion:d690ee9d-b285-4daf-85c7-5543bbdd0a8bPost:a0cc2145-0759-460e-a187-17fe0d1ecac9">Re: recessional advise</a>:
    [QUOTE]The recessional was the only song that we had instrumental <strong>(Ode to Joy, actually)</strong>, and it worked out really well. There had already been lots of vocal music, especially at the end of mass (3 communion songs -- we really wanted a final reflection song -- and a song for the presentation to Mary). Everyone was happy and we were on Cloud 9, so I barely remember the music there, and the flow just worked. FWIW, when I've seen recessionals at other masses (like 1st communions and stuff) that involved lay people, they've usually just followed the priest on out without waiting around. It seems to flow better, even if some priests wait a verse or two before processing out. Side question: do priests at masses process in and out, or do they process in and recess out like brides?
    Posted by bibliophile2010[/QUOTE]<div>
    </div><div>That's the song we're using.  I absolutely love it!</div><div>
    </div><div>We ended up deciding to just do instrumental.  You all had some great points.  Thanks for all the advice :)  

    </div>
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