“If music be the food of love, play on; Give me excess of it……” William Shakespeare
Getting married is one of the most important events of your life. On your ‘big’ day you want the wedding singer and church music to be taken care of by somebody with experience. Having performed as a professional singer for many years, I bring expertise and the highest possible musical standards to this crucial element of your wedding day. I realise how important the right choice of music is. To this end I’ve compiled a list of secular and church music that is varied, ranging from classical to traditional to popular. There is something there for everyone! I will provide you with this and help you choose the best music, tailored to YOUR taste. Your wedding ceremony will be so unique that your guests will talk about it for a long time after your special day.
Music for your Wedding Singer
The following are some guidelines regarding the choice and selection of music for your wedding. Whether you are having a civil service or a Christian wedding, I’m happy to guide you in the choice of music that is right for you.
Music for Church Weddings
The celebration of the Sacrament of Marriage is a wonderful occasion for a couple, their families, friends and the wider Christian community who gather to witness this public declaration of love and commitment. Music has the power to convey the unity of the congregation gathered in faith and love where words alone may fail to express. Reflective songs that bring out the meaning of the Christian celebration of Marriage are most desirable. This sacrament is usually celebrated in the context of the Eucharist and therefore the usual principles for making music choices apply. If the church celebration takes place as a Service (Liturgy of the Word) we can apply the same principles leaving out the music that occurs only in the context of the celebration of a Mass, namely the Eucharistic Prayer, Acclamation and Communion Song.
Church Weddings in more detail….
An instrumental piece is most commonly played to accompany the procession of the wedding party through the church. This piece can be extended to include the candle ceremony which is currently very popular. Instrumental example: Irish air – Tabhair Dom Do Lámh – Harp Classical – Arrival of the Queen of Sheeba – Organ Classical – Pachelbel’s Canon – String quartet/Harp/Organ
Glory to God
This payer can be more effective when brought alive through song, though it can lengthen the ceremony.
Liturgy of the Word
The Responsorial Psalm after the first reading from scripture should be sung where possible.
It is good to allow time for reflection after the homily and before the Marriage Ceremony itself. Do not be afraid of silence at this time. Taking time for music around the wedding ceremony itself will help everyone to appreciate the richness of what is being celebrated.
Preparation of the Gifts
The music as the gifts of bread and wine are brought forward and prepared for the celebration can be either instrumental or lyrical.
The Eucharistic Prayer is the central prayer of the Mass that is prayed by the priest on behalf of all present. The prayer has three important acclamations that can be sung by everybody if desired.
It is important to remember that in general a Wedding is in a Church and religious setting and that it is not possible to have every type of music included. How much latitude given depends on the Church and sometimes the size of the funeral.
I work with a number of accomplished musicians who use various instruments. For example most people choose piano or harp for their weddings while keyboard or organ are generally used at a funeral. Due to the short notice of funerals it is not always possible to have a musician who plays a specific instrument but usually the organ or keyboard are more than sufficient.
Some Familiar Wedding Songs
Ave Maria (Schubert’s/Gounod’s)
Jesu Joy Of Man’s Desiring
Queen Of The May
Sing To The Mountains
How Great Thou Art
Set Your Heart On The Higher Gifts
Se An Tiarna Mhuire
Christ Be Beside Me
Like The Deer Yearns For Running Streams
As I Kneel Before You
All That I Am
In Gifts We Bring You Lord
Make Me a Channel Of Your Peace
When Love Is Found
I Know You By Heart
Morning Has Broken
One Hand One Heart
Fields Of Gold
If You Love Me
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
All I Ask Of You (Duet)