Congratulations on your engagement! As you begin to prepare the liturgy and music for your marriage celebration, we would like to take this opportunity to explain the basic principles we follow in preparing all liturgical celebrations here at Loyola.
First and foremost, the goal of all your preparation is to encourage the full and active participation of all who gather to celebrate your marriage. Singing by the assembly at a wedding expresses the joy and unity of the people gathered. It is an attractive and meaningful way of inviting guests to actually participate rather than remain spectators throughout the liturgy.
The assembly at most weddings will be a mixture: members of the local church, visitors from other churches, people of Catholic background now inactive, alienated Catholics, Christians from other denominations, persons of other faiths, agnostics, and atheists. For those who will be unfamiliar with worship in this community, we need to do everything possible to make them welcome and help them understand our prayer. We encourage all couples to prepare a printed booklet for use by your wedding guests. The University owns the reprint licenses needed for legally reprinting music for one-time occasions. And although we cannot do the actual printing of the programs, we are more than happy to assist you in whatever way possible.
Musicians are chosen because of the ministry they fill and the professional quality of their art. All weddings at Loyola MUST use the musicians who are part of Music Ministry at the University. In the wedding liturgy, the bride and groom are ministers of the sacrament of marriage. Other ministries usually at work in the Sunday assembly also function in the wedding liturgy: ministers of hospitality (ushers), ministers of the word (lectors), and ministers of music (Eucharist).
A cantor, or leader of song, is indispensable at wedding liturgies. The task of this person is to enable and motivate the song of the assembly. This is different from a soloist who usually performs for an assembly, although the roles are not mutually exclusive. If you are considering a friend to sing for the wedding, he or she would function best as a soloist (singing one or two songs before/during the liturgy).
Wedding celebrations are rooted in the expectations and experience of regular Sunday celebrations. Where Sunday worship is healthy, the goal is simple: couples preparing for marriage will draw on that Sunday experience in planning their wedding. The basic shape and outline of the wedding liturgy is precisely what the assembly does in its celebration each Sunday. Therefore, the same elements of the Mass that are sung each Sunday, are sung for weddings, namely: the Gathering Hymn; the Responsorial Psalm; the Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia before the Gospel); the Eucharistic Acclamations (Holy, Holy, Holy; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen; Lamb of God); and the Communion Song.
Particular decisions about choice and placement of wedding music should grow out of three judgements set forth in Music in Catholic Worship, the definitive work by the United States Bishops Conference on Liturgy (1982). The liturgical judgement: Is the music's text, form, placement, and style congruent with the nature of the liturgy? The musical judgement: Is the music technically, aesthetically and expressively good, irrespective of musical idiom or style? The pastoral judgement: Will it help the assembly to pray?
All styles of music for liturgy-classical, contemporary, and folk-should conform to these principles. You are encouraged to set up a consultation/planning meeting with the Director of Liturgy and Music, George Miller. At this meeting you will be able to finalize the details of your wedding music. All proposals for wedding music selections must be submitted for approval by the director of liturgy and music.
Under the "Wedding Music Selection Demos" link below are suggested songs for your wedding. You are not limited to the titles listed there, only by the guidelines in choosing suitable music.
Music/Liturgy Preparation Checklist
6-8 months prior: We make arrangements for your cantor and organist. If you wish additional musicians for your ceremony this is the time to secure them. Be sure and discuss the additional musicians with George Miller.
3 months prior: Set-up consultation for music selection with the Director of Liturgy and Music, George Miller. Discuss the program with George.
1 month prior: Your wedding program must be submitted for approval by the director of liturgy and music.
3 weeks prior: Send your wedding program to the printers.
2 weeks prior: Mail all stipend checks ($175) to musicians. Mail stipend check to priest or minister (this is not included in chapel fee).
Planning Your Wedding (PDF)
Wedding Liturgy Music Preparation (PDF)
Wedding Music Selection Demos
Director of Liturgy and Music