Church Wedding Music for your Christian Marriage

June 29, 2022

Choosing your church wedding music is a personal and deeply meaningful decision. How many times have you heard people say that hearing their wedding music or song takes them back to the day itself? Our auditory senses are incredibly powerful, and your wedding is the best day of your life, so choosing wisely is key.

As a Catholic, you will want to respect certain boundaries and only use music allowed in your church and during your wedding ceremony. 

As part of your wedding preparatory activities, ask your priest or pastor about the music they allow or recommend, and remember that each church’s regulations will vary slightly on the matter. To be on the safe side, you want to choose songs that enhance spirituality and connection or speak of true and pure love. 

Wedding Songs For When The Guests Are Gathering 

Picture the scene of your wedding day when the church is lit up, there are beautiful candles everywhere, and maybe some flowing silk trailing down to the floor as the altar is decorated with scores of flowers. The songs you should play to set the mood when the guests are just arriving and settling into their seats are as follows:

Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, by J.S. Bach

This song is a calming, melodic tune that is ideal for playing just to create an atmosphere. It can also be played partly instead of the whole track if you want to add variety to your ceremony. 

The Prayer, by Josh Groban/Charlotte Church

You can have a duo play this song as the ceremony begins, or it can also be used as an instrumental. Make sure you have a good sound system if you haven’t hired a pianist! 

God is Able, by Hillsong

This song combines traditional hymn styles with a more modern touch. It can be sung with an accompanying piano or guitar, and a live rendition works best! 

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Ideal Church Wedding Music For The Processional 

Walking down the aisle is a very memorable and heartfelt moment for the bride and groom and one they will likely remember until the end of time. For some, it can be the culmination of a life’s dream! But, walking towards your forever love surrounded by your beloved family and friends requires a unique, deliberate soundtrack. Here are some fantastic ideas for Church wedding processional music.

Panis Angelicus by Franco Corelli

This is a well-known adaptation of the hymns of Sacrissolemniis, and nothing says Catholic bride like this masterpiece playing when you’re walking down the aisle. 

In Christ Alone by Keith Getty

For couples that fancy a modern rendition of a traditional Catholic wedding song, this one is a crowd-pleaser like no other. This song has an Irish tune in its melody and works even better if you have been able to engage a violinist as part of your band or by his/herself. 

Arioso, by Johann Sebastian Bach

Bach is a favorite for a Catholic wedding ceremony, especially the processional one when everyone expects a slow but powerful instrumental to be playing that communicates inner happiness and contentment. While any musical enthusiast will wholeheartedly recommend the entire collection of Bach for any part of the wedding, Ariso is a moving choice for the bride making her way down the aisle. 

This is the Day, By Scott Wesley Brown

This is an old favorite from the list of the best church wedding songs. You can’t go wrong using it in your professional for some old-school vibes from the 1970s! 

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The Wedding Recessional 

When laying out the wedding song playlist for your Catholic wedding ceremony, you must consider the recessional or the closing of the church matrimonial service when everyone is preparing for the couple’s exit. So here are some songs to boost your great send-off into the world! 

This is the Day (That the Lord Has Made) by M. Joncas

This song beams with the spirit of celebration and joy; it has a relatively upbeat tune but is still within the bounds of music meant to be played at a church recessional. This is one of the many versions of this song you can find, and this particular one is the most wedding ceremony-appropriate. 

Ode to Joy by L. Beethoven

As far as tracks from Beethoven go, this is a much-loved and familiar track with spiritual and religious connotations in its lyrics. And the use of instruments is adaptable for the atmosphere it is played, making it perfect for a jointly sober and joyous moment as the couple departs from the venue, waving goodbye to their loved ones and embarking on a new chapter of their lives together. 

Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, By Chris Rice- this song has more than a few versions, and all of them work for the church setting, but this exciting and festive version is splendid for a wedding recessional. It shares the message of daring to hope and counting all your beautiful blessings in life. The couple will play the song years from now and relish in the memories of their wedding day when this song was playing as they exited the ceremony and began their lives anew. 

La Rejouissance by Handel

If you want a song that depicts general festivity, jubilation, celebration, and boundless happiness, this is the one for you. It’ll get everyone swaying to the beat and giggling as you exit from the wedding ceremony. It has the right instruments and melody to elicit a smile from any guest, no matter how solemn they are! 

children's choir Church wedding music

Holy Communion Music

The Eucharist or the Holy Communion is a beautiful and sanctified part of the Catholic wedding ceremony. The communion is symbolic of the last supper of Jesus Christ before his death. Guests at a Catholic wedding ceremony will make a line and wait for the priest to administer food and wine, but non-Catholic guests may stay seated for this part of the ceremony. This section of the wedding can have a song or two playings, and here are the most fitting choices:-

Amazing Grace, By John Newton

Everyone knows the song Amazing Grace, and its popularity has endured over the centuries. A soulful rendition of this song can be a beautiful addition to your communion, especially if you have someone to sing it in person instead of playing it on the sound system. 

Be Thou My Vision, By Audrey Assad

This traditional Christian hymn with a gentle, heartfelt lullaby tune that perfectly fits communion. 

Make Me a Channel of Your Peace, by Sebastian Temple

This is one of the most popular and well-known hymns that everyone at your ceremony will surely appreciate. 

On Eagle’s Wings, by Michael Joncas

This song has been a global hit for many years and has been widely translated. It fits in very nicely with the spirit of a wedding communion allowing somber reflection and inner peace. 

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Choosing The Right Songs For Your Catholic Wedding Ceremony

Choosing wedding songs that comply with the Catholic tradition requires thoughtful research, and they usually must satisfy a criterion approved by your church. Here are a few tips for choosing sensibly after asking for guidance from your priest or pastor. 

  • The ideal playlist should have songs that praise the glory of God, that have a deeply religious and spiritual meaning attached to them, and ones that inspire people to pray more and improve themselves in generosity and faith. Of course, getting your church to pre-approve songs is better, so there is no issue on the day of the ceremony. 

  • Catholic church wedding music should be chosen, keeping in mind that people will want to sway with the tune and sing along. Popular hymns are therefore always a good choice as many of them have popular modern versions that the new generation will love and relate to. Also, choose uplifting church wedding music that can be sung in a chorus-like situation if the guests want to band together and join in. 

  • Remember that having a singer and musician there to perform the songs and instrumentals for a wedding ceremony is a lot more impactful than playing a recording. Some pianists and guitarists also sing, so make sure you ask around in your immediate family and friends circle if someone is a hidden musical genius who can perform at your ceremony. If you are playing recorded tracks, take the time to set up a good sound system to ensure the result is crisp and pleasing. 

  • Lastly, opt for tracks and songs that exude beauty and hope. Catholic church wedding music is about strengthening one’s faith and sharing joy among the people you love best. Therefore, the songs you choose should echo those sentiments and make everyone in the gathering feel welcome and loved. 

Music is an integral part of any wedding, but you can't just select any songs when you’re having a Catholic wedding. Make sure to run your wedding ceremony playlist by your Priest for approval.

There is something magical about music…it sets the tone for the experience, conjures up feelings and emotions, and will forever be connected to your memories of your wedding day.

Up Next: What To Wear To A Catholic Church Wedding: The Guide

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