Prelude and Gathering

Prior to the beginning of the wedding liturgy, there is a prelude consisting of about 5-10 minutes of music as guests arrive and are seated. Music during this time is selected at the discretion of the musicians and encompasses a combination of pieces that mirror the festive nature of the occasion as well as the quiet dignity of prayerful reflection. Often the prelude is comprised entirely of solo organ repertoire but the utilization of other musicians (cantor, trumpet, strings, harp, choir etc.) is possible as well.

Seating of Parents

Couples often wish to have the seating of their 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, so the music should be clearly different from that of the processional. A meditative vocal solo or relatively quiet instrumental piece is usually best here. If this is desired, please choose an appropriate vocal solo or instrumental selection from the possibilities listed below, or indicate that you have no preference. You may choose not to have a Seating of the Parents.


Be Thou With Them – Johann Sebastian Bach
Wedding Hymn -  George Frideric Handel
Wedding Song – Heinrich Schütz
Ave Maria –  Gabriel Fauré
Ave Maria - Franz Schubert
This Love – Donald Busarow
Now With Thanksgiving - Traditional Irish


Canon – Johann Pachelbel
La Grace – Georg Philipp Telemann
Four Seasons Winter: Largo – Antonio Vivaldi
Xerxes: Largo – George Frideric Handel
Serenade – Jeremiah Clarke (this one requires a trumpeter)
Ecossaise – Jeremiah Clarke (this one requires a trumpeter)


The processional is usually an instrumental piece played by the organ alone or with other instruments The procession could also be accompanied by an opening hymn that would be sung by the entire congregation. It is customary at Saint Clement to choose one piece of music for the entire procession. The wedding rite does not specify a change in music for the entrance of the bride. Since the ritual calls for a single liturgical procession, the same piece you select will be played for the entire wedding processional. Keep in mind that the main aisle is relatively short.

The Planets: Jupiter - Gustav Holst
Trumpet Voluntary - Jeremiah Clarke
Trumpet Tune - Jeremiah Clarke
Trumpet Tune in D - David N. Johnson
Prelude to the Te Deum – Marc-Antoine Charpentier
Rondeau – Jean-Joseph Mouret
Minuet – Jeremiah Clark (this one requires a trumpeter)
Royal Fireworks Music: Overture – George Frideric Handel
Canon – Johann Pachelbel
Rigaudon – André Campra
Sonata No. 3: Allegro Maestoso – Felix Mendelssohn

The Liturgy of the Word

Responsorial Psalm

The Responsorial Psalm is always sung and you may choose your Psalm from the selections listed below. Do not select the Psalm from the book "Together for Life." It is possible to sing a Psalm that is not listed. However, since not all songs are set to music, please discuss with the music staff.

Psalm 33 – setting by J. Robert Carroll
REFRAIN: "The earth is full of the goodness, the goodness of the Lord."

Psalm 34 – Psalm 34 setting by Joel Martinson
REFRAIN: "Taste and see the goodness of the Lord, happy are those who trust in God."

Psalm 103 – Psalm 103 setting by David Haas
REFRAIN: "The Lord is kind and merciful."

Psalm 103 – setting by Richard Proulx
REFRAIN: "My soul give thanks to the Lord, and bless God's Holy Name."

Psalm 104 – setting by A. Gregory Murray
REFRAIN: "The earth is full of your riches, O Lord, in wisdom you made them all."

Psalm 104 – setting by Ronald Arnatt
REFRAIN: "Lord, send out your Spirit, and renew the face of the earth."

Psalm 112 – setting by J. Robert Carroll
REFRAIN: "Happy are those who do what the Lord commands."

Psalm 118 – setting by Richard Proulx
REFRAIN: "This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice, let us rejoice, let us rejoice and be glad."

Psalm 128 – setting by James Chepponis
REFRAIN: "May the Lord bless us all the days of our lives."

Psalm 145 – setting by Marty Haugen
REFRAIN: "The Lord is compassionate to all his creatures."

Psalm 148 – setting by Robert Batastini
REFRAIN: "Let all praise the name of the Lord."

Gospel Acclamation

Before the Gospel reading, an Alleluia is always sung (except during Lent). This will be led by the cantor. (Since the Alleluia is a standard liturgical response, it is taken from standard liturgical repertoire.) During the season of Lent, alleluias are omitted from the Church's liturgies, and the Lenten gospel acclamation "Glory to you, O Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ" is sung instead, led by the cantor. 

Liturgy of the Eucharist

Skip if not having a Mass. While the Liturgy of the Word focuses upon the Word of the Lord, spoken to us here and now, the Liturgy of the Eucharist centers upon the altar-both a place of sacrifice as well as the table from which as Christians we are fed.


Skip if not having a Mass. If you are planning a full Mass, the liturgy continues with music during the offertory and preparation of the altar. This usually takes very little time, so a short organ improvisation or instrumental selection  The selection of the offertory music is left up to the musicians.

Eucharistic Acclamations

Skip if not having a Mass. During Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer follows next. The cantor will lead the congregation in singing the responses within the prayer. Also called Eucharistic Acclamations, these include the Sanctus (Holy, Holy), the Memorial Acclamation, and the Great Amen. These responses are taken from the standard liturgical repertoire.

Lord's Prayer

Sometimes couples ask to have the Lord's Prayer (Our Father) sung. Although this generally works well on Sundays in your local church, keep in mind that your wedding guests will likely come from several different churches and faiths. Since this is the one common prayer among all Christian denominations, it is very important that everyone be able to join in praying it together. For these reasons, the Lord's Prayer is spoken, rather than sung, at all Saint Clement weddings.

Sign of Peace

Since the sign of peace involves speaking and movement on the part of the congregation, it is not appropriate to have vocal or choral music at this point.

Agnus Dei

Skip if not having a Mass. The Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is sung immediately following the sign of peace, just before Communion. As with the other acclamations, musical settings of the Lamb of God are taken from the standard liturgical repertoire.

Communion Procession

Skip if not having a Mass. In selecting music for communion, couples will want to keep in mind the nature of the Eucharistic rite as a sign of the unity of everyone gathered. If you have a congregation that likes to sing, a congregational hymn would be very appropriate here. A vocal solo, a choir anthem, or a meditative organ/instrumental selection could work well here too. Please note that one piece of music is usually sufficient for communion.


God Is Love – Richard Proulx
Taste and See – Joel Martinson
Gather Us Together – Owen Alstott
Sing to the Lord – Owen Alstott
Mandatum Novum - Christopher WIllcock
Take and Eat - J. Michael Joncas


Panis Angelicus – César Franck
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach
Ave Verum Corpus – Edward Elgar
When Love Is Found – English Tune
The Call – Ralph Vaughan Williams


Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach
Sleepers, Awake – Johann Sebastian Bach
Water Music: Air – George Frideric Handel
Rhosymedre – Ralph Vaughan Williams


The wedding recessional is usually a festive and joyous musical expression. Most often played by the organ alone or with trumpet or other instruments, there are countless possibilities, including these listed here. You might notice that some of these same pieces are listed as processionals earlier on this page. That's because they can work for either the entrance procession at the beginning of the wedding or the exit recessional at the end. The only difference is that usually they're played a little faster if used here at the end. They all sound great with the addition of a trumpet, but they also sound great with just the organ. Please make one selection.

Trumpet Voluntary – John Stanley
Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke
Trumpet Tune – Jeremiah Clarke
Trumpet Tune in D – David N. Johnson
Royal Fireworks Muisc: The Rejoicing – George Frideric Handel
Rondeau – Jean-Joseph Mouret
Symphony no. 9: Ode to Joy – Ludwig van Beethoven
Toccata – Giambattista Martini (requires a trumpeter)

Meditation to the Blessed Virgin Mary

This is a cultural adaptation to the wedding ritual. If you have a devotion to the Blessed Mother and would like to show this devotion by presenting flowers to the Blessed Mother's devotional area in the church, please indicate below. It is best to discuss this with your priest or deacon before choosing to do so.

The Meditation to the Blessed Mother takes place prior to the recessional. During the meditation, music may be sung by the vocalist or choir as a reflection of the personal, devotional prayer of the bride and groom. Music during this moment is usually a setting of the "Ave Maria" or other appropriate hymn to Mary. Here are many beautiful possibilities:

Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
Ave Maria – Bach-Gounod
Ave Maria – Gabriel Fauré
Ave Maria – Jacob Arcadelt
Hail, Queen of Heaven – Henri Frédéric Hemy
O Mary of Graces – Traditional Irish

Unity Candle

The lighting of a unity candle is a secular tradition that is sometimes celebrated in church. The lighting of a unity candle discouraged since the symbol of two becoming one is inherent in the wedding ritual itself. The bride and groom essentially are the candle. For this reason, we highly discourage a unity candle. If a unity candle is added to the ceremony, no music accompanies the action since it takes no more than 30 seconds to light the candle.