Prior to the Nuptial Mass there may be a period of about 5 to 10 minute when the couple elects to have music.  Seating of guests can continue during this time, and music here tends to set a joyful but dignified tone for the Mass and the exchange of vows.  This music is chosen at the discretion of the musicians and can consist of solo organ repertoire or (if requested) a vocal selection.  Instruments such as a harp, violin, or trumpet may be included during this time as well.

Seating of the Parents

Couples often wish to have the seating of the parents highlighted and accompanied by a special piece of music.  The seating of the parents takes place just prior to the procession of the wedding party.  Music played here is generally quiet and reflective in nature so as to distinguish it from the processional music which is typically more triumphal in tone and tempo.  This selection can be instrumental or vocal and can be chosen from the list of possibilities given at the end of this document.


The processional is usually an instrumental piece played by the organ alone or with other instruments.  It is possible to choose a well-known hymn tune as a processional or a selection can be made from the list of possibilities at the end of this document.  The aisle at Our Lady of the Mountains is relatively short, so please take this and the size of the bridal party that will be processing into consideration when choosing a piece of music.

Liturgical Music

The Nuptial Mass has texts that are specific to the rite.  These texts are closely related to those texts taken from the Feast Day of The Holy Family, the perfect model for all Catholic married couples.  These beautiful chants are brief, but nonetheless, add dignity and solemnity to the rite.  The cantor will sing the chants at the proper place within the liturgy.  While these chants are fixed, the couple is free to choose from among several options for the Responsorial Psalm and the Gospel Acclamation.  Psalms by their very nature are songs and meant to be sung, therefore, after making your selection, the Director of Liturgical Music will choose a fitting musical setting for the psalm and Gospel Acclamation.  (Please refer to the book Together For Life which is available after meeting with Fr. Byrd.)  The cantor and the organist will see to it that the Psalms and Ordinary chants (sometimes referred to as “the Mass parts”) are sung at the appropriate times.  Please specify either Latin or English for the Mass settings.


Music is appropriate during communion and should reflect the nature of the Eucharistic Rite.  Quiet instrumental or a vocal solo would be effective here.  Communion hymns could also be chosen from the St. Michael Hymnal.

Optional Devotional to the Blessed Mother

This is a cultural adaptation to the Catholic wedding ritual that some may choose to incorporate.  Couples with a devotion to the Blessed Mother sometimes take a few minutes to pray before her shrine and lay a bouquet of flowers at her feet.  The couple may also choose to visit briefly the shrine of St. Joseph and invoke his protection on the now newly married couple.  It is customary that an Ave Maria or another Marian hymn be sung during this time of personal prayer.  Please discuss this option with the priest prior to the wedding.  The soloist and organist can accommodate the couple’s musical selection here.


The wedding recessional is usually a festive and joyous musical expression, most often played by the organ alone or with trumpet or other instruments.  Many of the pieces that can work as a processional could also be used here.  In this instance, they would be played a little faster and with perhaps “bigger registrations,” meaning a little louder and more full sounding.  Please choose from the list of suggestions below.

Music Lists



The Planets:  Jupiter – Gustav Holst                          Rigaudon – Andre Campra

Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke                     Sonata No. 3:  Allegro Maestoso – Felix Mendelssohn

Trumpet Tune – Jeremiah Clarke                               Select a hymn from the St. Michael Hymnal

Trumpet Tune in D – David Johnson

Prelude to the Te Deum – Marc-Antoine Charpentier

Rondeau – John-Joseph Mouret

Minuet – Jeremiah Clarke (requires a trumpeter)

Royal Fireworks Music:  Overture – G. F. Handel

Canon – Johan Pachelbel


Vocal Solo

Sheep May Safely Graze – J. S. Bach

Panis Angelicus – Cesar Franck

The Call – Ralph Vaughan Williams

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

Ave Maria – Bach/Gounod

Ave Maria – Saint Saëns

Ave Maria – Schubert

Other possibilities with approval



Trumpet Air – Purcell

Trumpet Voluntary – John Stanley

Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke

Trumpet Tune – Jeremiah Clarke

Trumpet Tune in D – David N. Johnson

Water Music:  Hornpipe – George F. Handel

Rondeau – Jean Joseph Mouret

Symphony No 9:  Ode to Joy – Ludwig Van Beethoven

Toccata – Giambattista Martini (Requires a trumpeter)

La Réjouissance (Royal Fireworks IV Suite) – G. F. Handel

Please note:  This list is not exclusive of other possibilities.  Consult with the organist, soloist/cantor, and Director of Liturgical Music for other choices.