Parish Music Director
Importance and Purpose of Music at the Sacrament of Marriage
Music has always been an important part of the Church’s sacred rites. The Parish Music Director can assist you in planning musical selections that are conducive to prayer, as well as liturgically appropriate. When selecting music for your Sacrament of Marriage, the norms of the Church and the principles of good liturgy have priority over all procedures and opinions. The ideal music for the liturgical celebration of marriage in the Catholic Church is that which is identifiable as prayer and contains explicitly Christian text. It should be expressive of the Christian community at ritual prayer. Please keep in mind that favorite ballads or popular songs that mention love do not necessarily speak of the mystery of Divine Love. Therefore, romantic popular songs, though they may inspire religious sentiment, are usually not appropriate for the Sacrament of Marriage.
As soon as your wedding date is confirmed, contact the Parish Music Director, to assist you in helping plan your ceremony music. Contact numbers are listed above (email preferred). You will then be sent two pages:
1) the Wedding Music Selection List, which will include links to audio samples on the web, and
2) the Wedding Music Form.
After reviewing the sound selections on the List, you will fill out the Form and return it by email to the Parish Music Director. Once you have returned your completed form, the Director will contact you to schedule a liturgical consultation.
The Parish Music Director must be contacted for your wedding music, and is the best choice to play your ceremony music. Outside musicians are not familiar with the sound system, the musical instruments, microphone set-ups, church protocols, etc. It is not recommended, therefore, that you employ an outside organist/singer in place of the parish Music Director. You may hire one in addition to the Music Director. In rare instances, an outside musician may be hired in place of the parish Music Director, but this will be assessed by the Music Director on a case by case basis. In these instances a $50.00 fee will be collected to facilitate correspondence between the Church and the outside musician regarding musical protocols, sound system procedures, and other logistical details. Music is performed by live musician(s) at your wedding; CD tracks and Youtube recordings are not played during the Holy Sacrament of Marriage. The Parish Music Director is capable of playing and singing all required Mass parts, leading the congregational hymns, and providing any appropriate solos for the Prelude Music, and must be employed for your wedding. In some unusual instances, where your particular musical selections require it, an additional musician may also need to be hired. This will be discussed at the liturgical consultation.
*If you request to have a friend or family member sing or play an instrument at your ceremony, they must be capable of obtaining and learning the chosen music on their own and they will need to provide the sheet music accompaniment to the Music Director. Rehearsals with the family’s musicians are scheduled on the day of the wedding itself, not at the rehearsal prior. Please provide the name and phone number of your guest musician as soon as your wedding date has been confirmed with your presiding priest.
The fee for the liturgical consultation, by phone or in person, is $50.00. The Director’s fee for the ceremony music is $200. Additional charges may be assessed if a large number of musicians is requested, or if something outside the standard wedding repertoire is selected, which requires extra rehearsals. (Fees for additional musicians, if requested, are generally between $150- $200 per musician.*) As mentioned above, in unusual circumstances where the parish Music Director has approved an outside organist to cover your wedding, a $50.00 fee will be collected by the Music Director to cover correspondence and logistical details between the wedding party, the outside organist, and the Church.