Catholic wedding music guide: your Toronto ceremony

When it comes to choosing music for your Roman Catholic wedding in Toronto, the very first thing you should do is talk to your priest about what kind of music they will permit at a wedding ceremony. I have found there is a very wide range of attitudes regarding music from church to church and from priest to priest.

Often the priest will be fine with you picking whatever music you like, from Jack Johnson’s “Better Together” to “Pachelbel’s Canon in D.” They will be happy to welcome guitar, flute, violin, or just about any ohter instrument.

Other more traditional priests may insist on only classical or liturgical music. They may insist that you employ the church organist, and don’t want a guitarist or any other instrument. This is probably even more likely if you’re getting married in a Greek Orthodox church.

Parts of the Mass

Once you have determined what kinds of music are permitted, the next step is to plan for the different parts of the mass. Here are the points in a Catholic ceremony where music is typically heard:

  • Seating of the guests
  • Processional (entrance of the wedding party and bride)
  • Offertory
  • Communion
  • Signing the Register
  • Recessional (bride and groom leave the church, followed by the wedding party and guests)

Other sections of the mass, such as Kyrie eleison (“Lord, have mercy”), Gloria (“Glory to God in the highest”) and the Credo may sometimes be sung or chanted, but are not usually performed by the wedding musician. Also, not all parts of the mass are always included in the wedding service. You will need to talk to your priest to find out.

You should budget about an hour and a half from the time the guests begin to arrive until the end of the mass (the recessional.)

Choosing the Music

Here are some of the songs I am most often asked to play at a Catholic wedding:

I will work closely with you to create a ceremony music program that suits your desired tastes and the requirements of your individual church.