Wedding Music


Congratulations on your upcoming wedding at St. Paul Cathedral. This page is intended to provide you with the details necessary to prepare, in conjunction with the Cathedral Musicians, the music for the sacramental celebration of your wedding.

This page contains:

  • the basic principles to which the cathedral must adhere;
  • an outline and explanation of the various musical elements of the liturgy;
  • a selection list of musical choices for the liturgy;
  • a wedding music worksheet on which you may write down your music selections;
  • musical resources that the cathedral is able to supply, and related fees;
  • an explanation of guest musicians’ policy, fees and schedule for rehearsals with guest musicians.

Several important points:

  • The services of a cathedral organist are included in the wedding fee that you have paid to the cathedral.
  • The Cathedral Music Staff is required to maintain the principles set forth in the Church’s Documents on the Liturgy, as well as those outlined in the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s “Music for the Wedding Ritual: A Guide for Planning”.
  • Music preceding and throughout the public celebration of the Sacrament must be that which befits the Church’s teachings, and must be perceived as prayer.
  • Due to their secular nature, the cathedral is prohibited from using ‘The Bridal Chorus’, and ‘The Wedding March’.
  • Please be aware that many web sites are devoted to music for weddings, however, few of these web sites are required to meet the basic needs that are set forth for music in sacramental celebrations.
  • Music composed for stage and screen would not be considered that which exhibits the traits of Sacramental Music.
  • Any questions regarding the suitability of music can be discussed with Cathedral Musicians.

The Wedding Liturgy

The following format is an outline of the musical elements of a Wedding Liturgy. These are the areas for which musical choices/selections need to be made. The compositions provided should be considered suggestions for use during your Wedding Liturgy. This list is not exhaustive, yet should serve as an example in your planning.

In the case in which your wedding is a Ceremony only (no Eucharist), the Preparation of the Gifts, Eucharistic Acclamations, and Communion are omitted.

Processional(s):

An instrumental work accompanying the procession of the Bridal Party. At times, two processionals may be selected, one accompanying the Bridesmaids, and one accompanying the Bride.

Examples:

  1. Trumpet Voluntary – Jeremiah Clarke
  2. Rigaudon – Andre Campra
  3. ‘Hornpipe’ from the Water Music Suite – George Frideric Handel
  4. ‘The Rejoicing’ from the Fireworks Suite – George Frideric Handel
  5. Psalm XIX – The Heavens Declare the Glory – Benedetto Marcello
  6. ‘Rondeau’ from the Symphony of Fanfares – Jean Joseph Mouret
  7. Trumpet Tune in D – Henry Purcell
  8. Trumpet Tune in D – John Stanley
  9. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach
  10. Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel
  11. Ode to Joy – Ludwig von Beethoven
  12. Processional Allegre – Gary Cornell
  13. Prelude to a ‘Te Deum’ – Marc Antoine Charpentier
  14. ‘Finale’ from Symphony I for Organ – Louis Vierne
  15. ‘Toccata’ from Symphony V for Organ – Charles Marie Widor
Gloria: Responsorial Psalm:

The Gloria is sung at all wedding masses (but not for a wedding ceremony).

The Psalms are the songs of the bible and are therefore sung. Please select one of the Responsorial Psalms texts which are provided.

Examples:

  1. Psalm 128: Blest Are Those Who Love You
  2. Psalm 118: This is the Day the Lord Has Made
  3. Psalm 148: Praise the Lord from the Heavens, alleluia!
  4. Psalm 103: The Lord is Kind and Merciful
  5. Psalm 34: Taste and See the Goodness of the Lord

Gospel Acclamation:

‘Alleluia’ preceding the Gospel

Examples:

  1. Gospel Acclamation – Chant Alleluia
  2. Gospel Acclamation – Celtic Alleluia

Preparation of the Gifts:

A vocal solo, congregational hymn, or an instrumental solo should be chosen here.

Examples:

  1. ‘Alleluia’ from Exsultate Jubilate – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  2. Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
  3. Be Thou With Them – Johann Sebastian Bach
  4. The Call – Ralph Vaughan Williams
  5. The Gift of Love – arr. Hal Hopson
  6. The Greatest Gift – James Marchionda
  7. Jesus, Tender Shepherd, Lead Us – Johann Sebastian Bach
  8. Laudate Dominum – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  9. Lord, May Their Lives Be Lived in You – J. Robert Carroll
  10. Love is the Sunlight – Donald Busarow
  11. My Heart Ever Faithful – Johann Sebastian Bach
  12. O Perfect Love – Joseph Barnby
  13. Panis Angelicus – Cesar Franck
  14. Prayer of St. Francis – Sebastian Temple
  15. The Wedding Hymn – George Frideric Handel
  16. Where You Go – S. Mary Callahan

Hymn singing is not required, however, you may choose to invite your guests to sing a hymn at the Preparation of the Gifts in lieu of other music. (The numbers listed are from the Worship Hymnal located in the cathedral pews.)

  1. Love Divine, All Loves Excelling – #642
  2. Joyful, Joyful, We Adore You – #611
  3. Now Thank We All Our God – #637
  4. Where Charity and Love Prevail – #700
  5. Praise to the Lord, the Almighty – #616
  6. Praise and Thanksgiving – #856
  7. For the Beauty of the Earth – #632
  8. Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow – #837
  9. All People That On Earth Do Dwell – #837
Eucharistic Acclamations:

Holy, Holy, Holy; Acclamation, Amen, & Lamb of God.

Examples:

  1. Community Mass – R. Proulx
  2. Mass of Creation – M. Haugen
  3. People’s Mass – J. Vermulst

Lamb of God:

Acclamation sung while the priest breaks the Eucharistic bread.

Examples:

  1. Latin Chant
  2. Holy Cross Mass – D. Isele

Communion:

A vocal solo, congregational hymn, or an instrumental solo should be chosen here.

Examples: (see Preparation of the Gifts above)

Recessional: An instrumental work should be chosen for this element of the Liturgy. Examples: (see Processional suggestions, above).

The following two aspects of the Wedding ritual are optional and should be discussed with your priest:


Wedding Music Worksheet

Please click here for a print version of the Wedding Music Worksheet.

  • The “Wedding Rehearsal” which you have scheduled through the Cathedral (usually the day before your wedding) is NOT a rehearsal for musicians, but rather for the members of your wedding party.
  • Please be in touch with the Cathedral Music Office approximately three months prior to your wedding in order to finalize the musical details surrounding your wedding.
  • The Cathedral maintains a staff of professional singers who are accustomed to functioning in their role in the vast acoustic of St. Paul’s. We suggest, based on your musical needs, that through us you engage the services of one of our staff cantors/vocalists. Employing a Cathedral Cantor eliminates the need for a guest musician rehearsal fee.
  • Wedding couples sometimes desire the use of other instruments, such as trumpet, violin, etc. Again, we are fortunate to have the services of many fine instrumentalists who are experienced in their role during the sacramental celebration. We are ready to advise you, and to be responsible for contracting with, communication to, and rehearsing with all of our musicians.
  • Trumpet Player, Violinist, or flute – approximately $200.00. Professional instrumentalists fees vary depending upon the individual involved. Several of our instrumentalists are regular performers with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Carnegie Brass, and the Pittsburgh CLO. If desired, larger musical ensembles can be provided by the cathedral; i.e. String Quartet, Brass Quartet, Trio, etc. Fees for these ensembles vary depending on the musical requirements. Details may be arranged with your organist.

Guest Vocalists/Musicians

  • Guest vocalists are welcome to sing for your wedding at St. Paul Cathedral.
  • After you have consulted with your organist, we will communicate with your guest musician to ascertain their musical needs.
  • Your guest singer is welcome to sing from the choir loft, or from the front of the cathedral (depending on their comfort level).
  • Rehearsals with guest musicians are scheduled one hour prior to your wedding.
  • The guest musician rehearsal fee of $125.00 is paid directly to the organist.

Musicians Provided by the Cathedral and Fees

  • Cathedral Cantor/Vocalist – $140.00
  • Trumpet Player, Violinist, or flute – approximately $200.00.  Professional instrumentalists fees vary depending upon the individual involved. For example, trumpet players from the Pittsburgh Symphony or Carnegie Brass maintain the standard fee of $200.00.
  • If desired, larger musical ensembles can be provided by the cathedral; i.e. String Quartet, Brass Quartet, Trio, etc. Fees for these ensembles vary depending on the musical requirements. Details may be arranged with your organist.
  • Guest Musician Rehearsal Fee – This fee is required if you are bringing in a GUEST vocalist or instrumentalist – $125.00 per rehearsal which takes place the day of your wedding.
  • Any music fees are due two weeks prior to your wedding.