The Celebration and Blessing of a Marriage is a sacramental rite of the Church; the music should reflect the solemnity as well as the joy of the occasion. As at other rites of the Church, the canons and rubrics govern the choices available.
The organist will provide music of his choice (classical, traditional organ repertoire) for approximately 25 minutes prior to the appointed hour of the wedding. Instrumentalists or soloists (hired by the organist; additional fee for contracting may apply) may also perform at this time. Special requests will be honored when possible and appropriate; however, the couple should bear in mind that they will not be in a location where they can hear the prelude music.
Relatively soft selections (numbers are for ease in communicating choices):
1. Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring, Johann Sebastian Bach (also suitable for the seating of the mothers)
2. Canon in D, Johann Pachelbel
Note: The wedding party and the bride may enter to two different musical selections or to the same music. In either case, a fanfare may be used to announce the bride’s entrance (#3).
Many brides prefer trumpet voluntaries for the Processional. Ones commonly used at Saint Andrew’s, with or without a “live” trumpeter, include:
4. The Prince of Denmark’s March, Jeremiah Clarke
5. Trumpet Voluntary, Henry Purcell
6. Prelude to the “Te Deum,” Marc-Antoine Charpentier
7. Rondeau, Jean-Joseph Mouret
8. Overture to the Music for the Royal Fireworks, George Frideric Handel
The trumpet pieces listed under “Entrance” (nos. 4-7) are appropriate here, as well. In addition, the following are popular: 9. Trumpet Voluntary, John Stanley
10. Allegro maestoso from the Water Music Suite, Handel
11. Rigaudon, André Campra
12. Wedding March, Felix Mendelssohn
13. Hymn to Joy (from Symphony 9), Ludwig van Beethoven
There are several places during the service where a hymn or other musical selection (solo or organ) are appropriate:
• Following the Declaration of Consent (BCP page 425)
• Between readings (page 426)
If there is to be Communion:
• At the Offertory, as the altar is prepared
• During Communion—Note: This is the only place where a lengthy solo would be appropriate.
• After Communion, as the altar is cleared
You might consider including at least one hymn for the entire congregation to sing. It is a good way to make your guests feel as though they are participants in the service, and not merely spectators. The following hymns from The Hymnal 1982 are familiar and especially appropriate:
376 Joyful, joyful, we adore thee (the sung version of no. 13 above)
390 Praise to the Lord! the Almighty, the King of creation
397 Now thank we all our God
410 Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
516 Come down, O Love divine
518 Christ is made the sure foundation
645/6 The King of love my shepherd is
657 Love divine, all loves excelling
When you have made your choices, please email Haig Mardirosian at the address below with the numbers of your selections. Please email Haig if you have questions or need guidance.
Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church