Catholic Wedding Songs For A Mass Ceremony & Reception
For those who embrace Christianity, there is no more solemn and sacred commitment than marriage. Faith and love are intertwined in the Catholic faith.
As you approach your wedding day, you will want to reflect on songs that celebrate your devotion to both God and your partner.
Here are some Catholic wedding songs that will set the reverent tone desired for your special day.
Catholic Wedding Songs for Your Ceremony
The actual wedding ceremony itself is the most sacred part of your wedding. For the ceremony, you will likely want to stick with traditional Catholic liturgical music which evokes a sense of worship and religious devotion.
The church stresses the solemnity and reverence of a wedding ceremony, so popular music is generally not allowed. Your choices will need to be limited to songs from the Catholic canon, and you’ll need certain ones for certain portions of the ceremony. Here are some suggestions for each stage of the Catholic marriage rite.
“In Christ Alone” is a beautiful choice for your wedding processional. It has a very modern feel that will appeal to a beautiful modern bride. No one ever said your music choices had to be older hymns that are hard for young people to relate to.
Choosing “In Christ Alone” is especially wonderful if you have chosen to use live instruments in your wedding. This song was written especially for the violin, and it fills the hall with a glorious melody that will uplift the hearts of your guests.
In Christ Alone – Passion feat. Kristian Stanfill
2013, Passion: Let The Future Begin
The Gathering Song
The Gathering Song is a moment when all of the guests at your wedding can raise their voices in celebration of God’s blessing upon your wedding vows. This song is generally a beautiful hymn, and “Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” is a glorious composition that honors the holy nature of the day.
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling – Rowland H. Pritchard & Charles Wesley
2012, Journeysongs Third Edition: Volume 23
“Love Divine, All Loves Excelling” was written by Charles Wesley in 1747. The use of minor chords in the song gives it a sacred feel. The song speaks of perfecting one’s self through the love of Christ, and it reflects the desire you and your partner have to make one another better people.
The Psalm is the only song that will be used in your Catholic wedding ceremony that you will not choose. It is chosen for you by the church, and it is a reflection of the wisdom that your priest wishes to offer you on this special day of your wedding.
The song is a response, meaning that the guests at your wedding will sing it. Some of the Psalms that are commonly used during the ceremony are:
Psalm 112 – Blessed is the Man Who Greatly Delights in the Lord’s Commands
Psalm 145 – How Good is the Lord to All
Psalm 34 – I Will Bless the Lord at All Times
The Presentation of the Gifts
“Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” is a beautiful selection for this part of the ceremony. The lyrics of this song are actually a prayer by St. Francis of Assisi. They speak of humility and service to God and your partner. The message of this song is to live in a spirit of service to those around you, and to your partner most of all.
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace – Susan Boyle
2010, The Gift
You can certainly use a modern recording of “Make Me a Channel of Your Peace” in your Catholic wedding. The song has been performed by Susan Boyle and other artists. It can be found performed by children’s choirs as well as individuals. Choose the version that warms your heart.
Communion is one of the most important parts of a Catholic wedding ceremony. This is the first time that you and your partner will receive the Holy Communion as man and wife. There are a few choices here that will make the moment special.
“On Eagle’s Wings” has been used at wedding Communion ceremonies for many years. It is even likely that a member of your own family may have used the song at their wedding. The traditional nature of the song appeals to many brides and grooms who want to preserve the sanctity of the marriage ceremony. Based on classic passages from the Bible, this song has been recorded by Josh Groban and others.
On Eagle’s Wings – Kitty Cleveland
2007, Be Not Afraid
“Amazing Grace” is another traditional hymn that is often used for Communion. It may seem a bit dated to some, but the lyrics are still powerful enough to create a sense of prayerful reverence and express one’s religious devotion.
Amazing Grace – Elvis Presley
1971, He Touched Me
If you are fortunate enough to have a choir for your wedding, “O God Beyond All Praising” can make a wonderful Communion hymn. It is best when performed by an ensemble of voices that will resonate throughout the sanctuary.
O God Beyond All Praising – Focus feat. Sarah Kroger
2016, Origin (A Beauty Initiative Within Focus)
The Reflection Song
This is a time of the ceremony to pause and let the feelings of the day sink in. As such, “Be Thou My Vision” is a wonderful choice. It has been recorded by everyone from Van Morrison to Audrey Assad. You can even find the song in different tempos to suit your own preference.
Be Thou My Vision – Audrey Assad
“Be Thou My Vision” is an Irish hymn that is based on an old Middle Irish piece of poetry. It speaks of commitment, and your commitment to God is a symbol of the devotion you should share with your partner. All of your guests will recall their own sacred wedding vows as they join in singing this song.
A good song to exit the church following your wedding is “Ode to Joy” by Beethoven. It has the proper sense of conclusion and the vibrant tempo that indicates celebration. It is not too fast, but it is uplifting. This is the time to exchange the tears of joy for a winning smile as you and your partner make your way back up the aisle past your supportive friends and family.
“Ode to Joy” from Beethoven Symphony 9 – Barrymoore Chamber Orchestra
2008, “Ode to Joy” Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Pachelbel
“Ode to Joy” can be found in modern arrangements, but you will likely want to stick with the performance of a grand orchestra here. The music should swell and fill the sanctuary, just as your heart is filled with love for your spouse.
A Final Word About Catholic Wedding Songs
It is important to remember that a Catholic wedding ceremony is different from the ceremonies many people are used to. The use of the traditional wedding march is not permitted because it was composed of secular use in the theater. Portions of the ceremony are very structured, offering less flexibility than a secular wedding.
Nevertheless, there are plenty of opportunities for you to use music that touches your heart. Select songs and hymns that are valued by you and your spouse, ones that reflect your own beliefs about the role of family and faith in your marriage.
After your beautiful Catholic wedding ceremony is complete there are still plenty of opportunities for song selection. Your reception is a great time to choose Christian wedding songs that are perhaps more timely than the hymns you chose for the processional, Communion, and other portions of your ceremony. Here is a list of songs that combine expressions of love and Christian faith.
You Raise Me Up – Josh Groban
This is such a perfect song for a Catholic wedding reception. It is great for the first dance with your new spouse. “You Raise Me Up” was recorded by Josh Groban and released on his 2003 album Closer. It has become a modern classic and is one of the most requested songs in Groban’s catalog.
The song speaks of how the presence of another in our life makes us better people, and it carries the same message about a personal relationship with God. Marriage in the Christian faith is very symbolic of the completeness that comes when we embrace the love that Christ has for His Church.
Angel – Casting Crowns
2011, Come To The Well
Casting Crowns scored a hit with “Angel” in 2011. It speaks of that moment when your life changed upon seeing your partner for the first time. The song also makes a strong acknowledgment that God has led you to the one that is right for you.
“Angel” is suitable for a first dance, but it also fits nicely into the mix of songs that are played throughout the reception. Many couples have also used this song to walk into their reception following the ceremony.
With Arms Wide Open – Creed
2000, Human Clay
Creed was known for finding unique ways to slip a Christian influence into their popular music. Defined by the powerful vocals of Scott Stapp, “With Arms Wide Open” is a celebration of true love. It reminds us of our vulnerabilities and brings the hope of trust that is a necessary part of any marriage.
The song has a modern vibe that many young Christian couples will appreciate. It is a nice contrast to the formality of other songs that will likely find a place in your wedding reception.
Because You Loved Me – Celine Dion
1996, Falling into You
Celine Dion belongs on any list of wedding songs, Christian or otherwise. Her songs of love are legendary, and this is one of the best. “Because You Loved Me” was released in 1996. While many focus on the message here from one lover to another there is also a subtle spiritual context.
When you find the perfect partner your sense of worthiness blooms like flowers in May. The same can be said when one accepts that the love of God changes them for the better. No longer do we feel inadequate and unworthy of love.
Father’s Love – Bob Carlisle
1995, Simply Bob Carlisle
The emotional songs of Bob Carlisle are another good choice for Catholic wedding receptions. There will be a song needed for the bride’s dance with her father, and they don’t come much better than this one.
God’s love is precisely like that of a father. Your father is there to pick you up and dust you off when you fall, to love you unconditionally, and to provide a stabilizing influence in this crazy world. Honor him with this poignant song at your wedding.
I Swear – John Michael Montgomery
1994, Kickin’ It Up
“I Swear” was first recorded by country artist John Michael Montgomery in 1994. The song reached a more mainstream audience when All-4-One covered it in 2005. Weddings are about commitment, and this slow song sums up the vows you took in your wedding ceremony.
The song works well for receptions because every married couple or pair of sweethearts in attendance will be able to relate. They will be able to share the joy of your wedding and recall their own devotion to the one they love.
The Marriage Prayer – John Waller
2011, As for Me and My House
Don’t forget to include some traditional Christian fare at your wedding reception music selection. It will remind your guests and your partner that the solemnity of the day is not lost on you. “The Marriage Prayer” is a heartfelt composition that invokes the blessing of God on your union.
There may not be much dancing during this song, but that is okay. It is best enjoyed in moments of quiet reflection. The song is one that will come to mind each year as you celebrate another anniversary.
I’m In Love With You – Fred Hammond
2012, God, Love & Romance
Those who have a strong faith know that popular music can also be wholesome. “I’m In Love With You” is Fred Hammond’s 2012 ode to the purity of love. No one can come close to the person you have chosen to spend your life with when it comes to filling your soul with joy. This song celebrates that awareness.
The best Christian wedding songs are the ones that let you look deep into your partner’s eyes and know that there really is a meant-to-be. This one will remind you that God knows what is best and that He joins those who trust in His guidance.
I Can Only Imagine – MercyMe
1999, The Worship Project
The best-selling contemporary Christian song of all time certainly deserves a place at your wedding reception. This song by MercyMe has touched people all over the world. Remember, you should not neglect the spiritual side of the day. Play this one to let everyone pause for a moment of adoration and worship.
Isn’t it wonderful to know that someday you will rejoin your spouse in the presence of Jesus? That bedrock of the Christian faith should help you move through each day with sublime joy and happiness.
Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts
2004, Feels Like Today
There are a lot of twists and turns on the road to true love. Play this song by Rascal Flatts and think about all of the steps that had to fall just right to put you in this magical moment. How could anyone think that God doesn’t play a role in the affairs of those who serve Him?
Everything that you have been through only served to bring someone special into your life. “Bless The Broken Road” will remind you that all the struggle was worth it.
Non-Traditional Catholic Church Wedding Songs
Above we discussed Catholic wedding songs for both your Christian ceremony and your reception. It is also the desire of many couples to include some wholesome popular music on their wedding day. Popular music can be a very welcome addition, and many modern love songs reflect the spiritual values that you find to be meaningful and important. Here are some Christian wedding songs to complete the celebration of starting a new life with your partner.
All of Me – John Legend
2013, Love in the Future
True love is the complete giving of oneself to another. “All of Me” by John Legend sums up this awareness in a poignant and moving way. Legend released it as the breakthrough single from his 2013 album Love in the Future. When one listens carefully to the lyrics it isn’t hard to see a spiritual connection.
“All of Me” is about loving someone unconditionally despite their flaws, just like Jesus loves all His children. The person you choose to spend the rest of your life with is one that will help you realize that the perfectly imperfect you are a miracle of creation.
I Will Be Here – Steven Curtis Chapman
1989, More to This Life
Steven Curtis Chapman is one of the most successful Christian artists the world has ever known. His song “I Will Be Here” resonates with a promise of lasting love. It is a melody of devotion through the good times and the bad.
The song reflects the importance of your wedding vows. For better or worse, in sickness and in health. Let the lyrics to this song inspire you on your wedding day to be a spouse that will stand beside a partner through thick and thin.
Thank God I Got Her – Jonny Diaz
2014, Let It Fly
As you prepare to marry your soulmate this song will help you express thankfulness that God brought the two of you together. It was recorded in 2014 by Jonny Diaz for Let it Fly. A strong marriage should be based on the firm knowledge that there are no accidents in God’s plan. Everything is carried out with purpose.
Grooms need special songs for their wedding reception, too. This is one that uplifts the heart and soul. The song powerfully reminds everyone in attendance that the bride is worthy of fairytale love.
For You – Michael W. Smith
1990, Go West Young Man
This beautiful song from Michael W. Smith is a timeless classic. It was recorded in 1993 but remains one of the most popular Christian love ballads. There is a promise in this song from one man to one woman. That promise is to love and cherish her throughout the years.
Growing old together is the essence of true love. Learning how to live unselfishly for someone else is a part of that growth, and this tune is great for a nice dance with your partner as the wedding festivities come to a close.
Love of My Life – Jim Brickman
People of faith have long appreciated the piano compositions of Jim Brickman. “Love of My Life” is one of his best, and the song has been recorded by everyone from Carly Simon to Pam Tillis. There truly is someone for everyone. A love of a lifetime is what everyone wants and prays for. God has answered that prayer for you.
Many of the songs on this list are slow and will be more suitable to the latter stages of a wedding celebration. These are the moments during your wedding festivities when all you want is to look lovingly into your partner’s eyes and savor the memories of the day.
Marry Me – St. Vincent
2007, Marry Me
Although it is a secular song, “Marry Me” by St. Vincent is a simple affirmation of the vows you have both agreed to take. It will remind you of that glorious moment when you said yes to your partner’s wedding proposal. Remember how you felt then? You can relive the moment when you play this at your wedding.
The lyrics of this song are very simple, but so is the best wedding music. It has been said that the easiest things are the hardest to say. Sometimes all you need is a reminder that those three little words hold enormous power. The spiritual connection in this song is the one that stresses the sacred nature of marriage.
When God Made You – Newsong
2003, More Life
Newsong is a wonderful Christian contemporary band that belongs in your selection of wedding music. This is an upbeat tune that can be danced to in a mood of spiritual celebration. It appeared on the group’s album More Life in 2003, and it features a guest vocal by Natalie Grant.
Your partner is a unique soul. This song will inspire you to see them for the first time. As you listen to it, think about all the ways that your partner is a one-of-a-kind miracle of God’s creation.
More Than What I Wanted – CeCe Winans
2001, CeCe Winans
As a Christian, you surely prayed for God to bring someone special into your life. You probably had a very clear picture of what you expected. Then the right person comes along and you realize that God gave you so much more than you ever thought you would find. It is moments like this that make us conscious of God’s love.
CeCe Winans is the artist on this track, and her lovely voice is a perfect soundtrack for the emotions that you will feel on your wedding day. Remember to breathe deeply and soak in all the love and positive energy that is coming your way.
It is so important to remember that music is a gift from God. Music can express the things that we have trouble saying directly. Know that God wants you to celebrate your marriage with beautiful music. When you listen with your heart there is a powerful spiritual message that can be found in many modern love songs. God uses those with vocal gifts to impart wisdom, and you should have no problem finding a large selection of Christian wedding songs that will inspire and uplift you.
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