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Gathering Rites


Prelude music will usually start 15 minutes before the wedding liturgy begins. Depending on the instrumentation you choose for your wedding (i.e., piano, strings, flute, harp, trumpet, etc.), this part of the liturgy can be creatively planned by the music ministers present by intertwining classical and contemporary instrumental pieces with vocal pieces suggested in the next section. Below are some specific instrumental selections that would be appropriate.  If you would like to choose specific pieces, I encourage you to “YouTube” these titles to hear them individually. 

Depending on which musicians you hire for your wedding, some of these selections may work better than others. Most of the time, couples prefer to have the musicians present select the instrumental pieces that would be most appropriate. In that case, just indicate “Musician’s Choice” on your final planning form.

 TITLE    COMPOSER * Instrumentation Required 
 Air     Bach 
 Air de Trompette Telemann Trumpet
 'Air' from Water Music Handel 
 Arioso Bach 
 Brandenburg Concerto (#2 or #3) Bach Full string quartet
 Celebrated Minuet Boccherini violin or flute
 Cinema Paradiso Morricone 
 Fanny Power O'Carolan Irish Trio
 Intermezzo Sinfonico Mascagni 
 Largo from 'Xerxes' Handel 
 London Trio Haydn flute (or violin) + violin + cello
 Meditation from Thais Massenet violin or flute
 Pastorale Vivaldi violin (or flute / oboe), cello
 Planxty Hewlet O'Carolan Irish Trio
 Serenade Haydn 
 Sonata Prima Viviani Trumpet
 Winter from The Four Seasons Vivaldi Violin
 Traditional Irish Music             Various Requires Irish Trio

* These pieces require certain instrumentation.  These particular instruments are noted.  

All others can be performed with a variety of combinations of instruments, including just solo piano.

1b. Prelude and Seating of Mothers or Parents - VOCAL SOLO SELECTIONS

Below are appropriate vocal selections that can be intertwined with instrumental selections either chosen from the list in the prior section or left to the musicians to decide. Some of these selections are also appropriate for different parts of your wedding ceremony where indicated (i.e. Communion, Preparation of Gifts, etc.). The reverse is also true: almost any song appropriate for any other part of the wedding can be used quite appropriately as a prelude, thus giving couples the opportunity to include more pieces of music than there might be places in the liturgy in which to situate them. Often a final prelude piece is chosen especially for the seating of the couple’s parents or close family.
 Title         Composer   Comments
Be Thou My Vision Catherine O'Connell, cantor
Cooney, Rory
Con Te Partiró Aimee Scozzafave, cantor
Michael Boschert, cantor
Sartori, Francesco  Appropriate for prelude only
I Have Loved You Cassie Santiago and Michael Boschert, Cantors
Megan Buckley, Cantor
 Joncas, Michael  Alternate Use: Communion
Love Is The Boat (Trad. Irish) Olivia Masini, cantor
 Callanan (Trad. Irish) Alternate Use: Prep of Gifts
The Prayer Kevin Domer and Aimee Scozzafave, cantors
Laura Higgins and William Dwyer, cantors
 Sager/Foster  Recommended as a duet but not required. Alternate Use: Communion
Wherever You Go Nicole Tuma and William Dwyer, cantors
Aimee Scozzafave, cantor
 Haas, David  Alternate Use: Unity Candle Prep of Gifts
You Raise Me Up Michael Boschert, cantor

1c. Processional Music (for Bridal Party and Bride)

Processional music expresses the festivity and the custom at weddings has been to use only instrumental music at this time. 
 You may want to choose only one piece for the entire procession, or (most commonly) you may want to choose one for the procession of the wedding party and one for the procession of the bride.
Selections for procession are always instrumental; please do not select songs not listed below.

 Title         Composer   Comments
Bridal Chorus
Wagner  from Act III of Wagner's Lohengrin
 Canon in D
 Cantata 140: Wachet Auf
 Gabriel's Oboe
 Morricone Ideal for use with another instrument (e.g. violin, oboe)
 Planxty Hewlett (Trad. Irish)
 O'Carolan for use when Irish Instrumental Trio is selected
 Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
 La Grace
 Te Deum
 Charpentier  Ideal for use with trumpet
 Trumpet Tune
 Purcell  Ideal for use with trumpet
 Trumpet Voluntary
 Clarke  Ideal for use with trumpet
A Thousand Years  The Piano Guys / Christina Perri Ideal for use with cello and/or violin

1d. Gathering Song (Optional)

Just as we do at a regular Sunday mass, you may choose to sing a Gathering Song. This is a beautiful way to unite the hearts and voices of your friends and family gathered to celebrate this important day.  It is an optional choice in your wedding ceremony and tends to work best with a well-known tune and a singing assembly!  In addition to these, there are other appropriate songs of praise, gathering, or thanksgiving that could be used.  You MUST have a worship aid with the music printed for us to do a Gathering Song.  While a beautiful way to begin liturgy, it's not required and not often used.

 Title         Composer   Comments
God in the Planning
SLANE (Trad. Irish)  Sung to the familiar Slane tune: "God, in the planning and purpose of life, hallowed the union of husband and wife: this we embody where love is displayed, rings are presented and promises made."
 Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee
HYMN OF JOY (Beethoven)  

Liturgy of the Word

The responsorial psalm and gospel acclamations are the essential musical elements of the liturgy of the word; both are fundamental moments for assembly song, enabling the congregation to participate in the proclamation of the word. With the leadership of a cantor and with music suited to this event and congregation, even the most diverse assembly will be able to join in song. Remember that psalms lend themselves well to several moments of the liturgy (i.e. they can also be sung during prelude or communion).

2a. Responsorial Psalms

Title         Composer   Comments
Ps. 33: Blessed Are We Anne Nowicki, cantor
Cotter, Jeanne  
Ps. 34: Every Morning In Your Eyes Aimee Scozzafave and Megan Buckley, cantors
Cooney, Rory  
 Ps. 96: Sing a Song To The Lord's Holy Name Michael Boschert, cantor
 Lawton, Liam  
Ps. 103: The Lord Is Kind and Merciful Quartet: Olivia, Cassie, William, and Michael
 Cotter, Jeanne
Ps. 118: This Is The Day William Dwyer, cantor
 Joncas, Michael
Ps. 128: Blest Are Those Who Love You Danielle Larson, cantor
 Haugen, Marty  
Ps. 128: Blest Are You Nicole Tuma, cantor
 Lawton, Liam  
Canticle of Mary: Holy Is Your Name Catherine O'Connell, cantor
Irish Trad, arr. Hass, David  Alternate Use: Seating of Parents, Prayer to the Blessed Mother
 Ps. 34: Taste and See Haugen, Marty Link

2b. Gospel Acclamations

Keep in mind that the Gospel Acclamations during the season of Lent do not use “Alleluia”as part of the text.
We’ll be happy to offer some suggestions for Lent.
Title         Composer   Comments
Alleluia! Give the Glory Danielle Larson, cantor
Hurd, Bob  
Celtic Alleluia Anne Nowicki, cantor
O'Carroll/Walker This is the most commonly used at Sunday liturgies and will be familiar to many
Pilgrim Alleluia Aimee Scozzafave, cantor
 Lawton, Liam  

Celebration of Marriage

3a. Unity Candle (Optional)

A recent popular addition to the marriage rite has been the lighting of a “unity candle” from two smaller candles, which are then extinguished. If the unity candle is used, the brevity of this ritual suggests that it may be best accompanied by instrumental music. If a vocal selection is desired, care should be taken to make sure it is not too long to balance well with this fairly brief ritual; the selections indicated below can all be appropriate for this short rite.  A selection of "Musician's Choice" is also very appropriate here since the moment is so short.

 Title         Composer   Comments
Simple Gifts
Trad. Shaker Tune  Instrumental Only
 Enya  Instrumental Only
Love Endures Nicole Tuma, cantor
 Moore, James  Vocal or Instrumental
So Are You To Me Danielle Larson, cantor
 Adams, Peter Bradley  Vocal or Instrumental
When Love Is Found Catherine O'Connell, cantor
 Trad. arr. Haas, Cotter  Vocal or Instrumental
Your Love, O Lord Laura Higgins and Michael Boschert, cantors
 Trad. arr. Eicker  To the tune of Danny Boy
 My Song Will Be For You Forever  Haas, David  Alternate use from earlier section
 Wherever You Go  Haas, David  Alternate use from earlier section
 Go Light Your World Rice, Chris YouTube Link

Liturgy of the Eucharist

** For those celebrating the rite of marriage OUTSIDE of Mass (no Communion), skip to “Concluding Rites.”

4a. Preparation of the Gifts

Music in Catholic Worship has this to say of the preparation of the gifts and altar: “The purpose of the rite is to prepare the bread and wine for the Eucharist. It consists very simply of bringing the gifts to the altar” (#46). Since this is a brief ritual action, if any instrumental music or song is used here, it should be brief and end when the preparation is over.

 Title         Composer   Comments
Musician Choice     TBD This would be instrumental only
 Covenant Hymn Olivia Masini, cantor
Daigle, Gary  
 My Song Will Be For You Forever Megan Buckley, cantor
 Haas, David  
 The Clouds' Veil Quartet: Nicole, Laura, William, and Michael
 Lawton, Liam
 Love Endures  Moore, James  Alternate use from other section
 Love Is The Boat  Trad. Irish, arr. Callanan  Alternate use from other section

4b. Mass Parts (Holy, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, Lamb of God)


The acclamations of the Eucharistic prayer – Holy, Memorial Acclamation, and Amen – are the assembly’s primary way of participating in this great prayer of thanksgiving. The responses should be those that allow full participation of the community present. Thus, mass parts sung primarily at Sunday celebrations should be used. The Mass of Creation (by Marty Haugen) is arguably the most recognized mass setting, not only at Old St. Patrick’s, but also across the country. Chances are that your guests will be familiar with this setting.

4c. Greeting of Peace

The General Instruction of the Roman Missal describes the sign of peace in this way: “Before they share in the same bread, the people express their love for one another and beg for peace and unity in the Church and with all humankind” (#56b). Instrumental music would best accompany the peace greeting – something that can be cut or adjusted to fit this ritual action. The musicians will make this selection, unless something specific 
is requested. 

4d. Communion

Common singing during the communion procession best supports and models this action of unity. A responsorial-style song or psalm, with a memorable refrain, facilitates the singing since it does not require people to carry a hymnal or worship aid with them in the procession. Alternatively, a vocal solo selection may be used in this moment.

 Title         Composer   Comments
Panis Angelicus Laura Higgins, cantor
Michael Boschert, cantor
William Dwyer, cantor
Franck, César  Vocal solo
How Beautiful Olivia Masini, cantor
Paris, Twila Vocal solo  Alternate Use: Preparation of Gifts, Prelude
Blest Are They Annie Nowicki and Kevin Domer, cantors
 Haas, David  Assembly song
I Myself Am The Bread Of Life Kevin Domer, Cantor
 Cooney, Rory  Assembly song
 Take and Eat Laura Higgins, cantor
 Haugen, Marty  Assembly song
 Taste and See Quartet: Nicole, Megan, Kevin, and Michael
 Moore, James  Assembly song
 Be Thou My Vision      Cooney, Rory   Alternate use from other section
 Covenant Hymn  Daigle, Gary   Alternate use from other section
 I Will Be With You  Moore, James   Alternate use from other section
 My Song Will Be For You Forever  Haas, David   Alternate use from other section
 The Clouds' Veil  Lawton, Liam   Alternate use from other section
 The Prayer  Sager/Foster   Alternate use from other section
 We Are Called Haas, David Could also be used for closing
 When Love Is Found  O WALY WALY   Alternate use from other section

Concluding Rites

5a. Prayer to the Blessed Mother (Optional)

Following communion, there is an option to offer a prayer in front of the Blessed Mother.  This can be done alone, though often the bride is accompanied by her mother, her new husband, or a friend.  If you have selected this to be part of  your ceremony, a Marian piece of music (most typically a setting of the Ave Maria) is used during this time.

Title         Composer  Comments
Ave Maria Catherine O'Connell, cantor
Schubert, Franz  This common version can be done accompanied with piano or a cappella (just voice), as in the recording sample.
Ave Maria Danielle Larson, Cantor
Aimee Scozzafave, cantor
Bach, J.S. / Gounod, Charles  
 Ave Maria Nicole Tuma and Cassie Santiago, cantors
 Kantor, Dan This contemporary setting uses both the English and Latin text and is suitable for duets (two cantors) or solo
 Hail Mary, Gentle Woman Landry, Carey  
 Holy Is Your Name   Haas, DavidAlternate use from other section

5b. Recessional and Postlude Music

You may optionally choose two here – a recessional for the bridal party and a postlude for the exiting of your guests. 
One choice would also be appropriate, where the musicians can extend the piece of music to cover the amount of time needed.
Title         Composer   Comments
Air de Trompette
Telemann Ideal for use with trumpet
'Hornpipe' from Water Music
La Rejouissance
 Handel  "The Rejoicing"
Ode To Joy
'Spring' from The Four Seasons'
 Vivaldi  A string quartet is most suitable for this
Wedding March
Canticle of the Turning
 Cooney, Rory  
Concerto (Trad. Irish)
 O'Carolan  For use when Irish Instrumental Trio is selected

The Final Step…

Once you've made all of your final music choices from the wedding music fair or from this website, please complete the OSP Wedding Music and Musicians Request Form.

When all this information is received, we will begin the process of booking your musicians for you, and a confirmation of all selections, musicians hired, and further instructions will be emailed back to you within a few weeks. 
Please do not hesitate to contact us at with any questions you may have; remember that we are here to help make this as easy a process as possible for you. 
Please include the time and date of your wedding, as well as both your names, in the subject line of all correspondence with the Music Office.