Religious ceremony. The best songs to use

If you’ve attended any weddings as a guest, have you happened to see an evening party that doesn’t take off, a desolately empty runway an evening party with very high expectations left unexpected?

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When we meet with young married couples, they are often very confused because they are not aware of which formation is the right one to accompany their wedding, they do not know at which moments music is expected within a religious rite, but above all they have no idea what songs to choose for the different moments that are both suitable and recognized by the Church. So in this article we are going to figure out which songs are best to accompany you in one of the most emotional moments of your life, that of “yes” since music has great evocative power, and it is essential to choose the right one.

The big day has arrived.

Beaming in your wedding dress, you finally make your entrance into the church. Step by step, you walk under your arm with mom or dad going through the whole church amidst the smiles and applause of your guests, doing your best to hold back tears.
Making the moment more emotional is the background music.
But what to choose to make your ceremony even more memorable?

The great classics

If you want to play it safe, there are timeless classical songs, the ones that make you think of elegant, chic, romantic and exciting weddings every time you hear them. Traditional sonobrani by great classical music composers have always been associated with religious marriage and have also often been used in famous movie scenes. They are perfect for every moment of the ceremony, especially for the entrance of the bride, the exchange of rings and the moment of communion. Among the most popular include:

  1. Wedding March – Richard Wagner
  2. Wedding March – Felix Mendelssohn
  3. Canon in D – Johann Pachelbel
  4. Aria on the Fourth String – Johann Sebastian Bach
  5. Prince of Denmark’s March – Jeremiah Clarke

The great authors

If you have happened to attend a religious ceremony or have seen some of them on TV, you will surely have heard pieces by great contemporary composers who have given humanity compositions that are unique of their kind in joy, romance and emotion. These are songs often made for great cinematic masterpieces made such, however, thanks to a soundtrack that neither was able to enhance the film. Authors such as Morricone, Zimmer, Piovani, Allevi, and Enaudi have been able to give us timeless pieces that are recognizable from the first notes and that know how to reach deep into the human soul, and among the most famous we find:

  1. Gabriel’s Oboe – Ennio Morricone (Mission)
  2. Life is beautiful – Nicola Piovani (Life is beautiful)
  3. A time for us- Nino Rota (Romeo and Juliet)
  4. Over the rainbow – Harold Arlen
  5. Love Story – Francis Lai

The parish choir

Every parish has, in its community, one or more amateur choirs that enliven the various celebrations, and it may happen that the celebrant of your wedding invites you to take advantage of this opportunity. We do not doubt that there are some realities that despite calling themselves amateurs can put professional groups to shame, but it is equally true that on the other hand there are many realities whose commitment should be praised but the result leaves something to be desired. In addition, very often, amateur choirs do not have a very large repertoire to choose from and pieces that are too complicated or more classical perhaps cannot do them;So pay close attention to who you entrust with the delicate task of accompanying your religious ceremony since the different acts will need to be punctuated by pieces that give deep solemnity to the rite, especially at the liturgical moments of communion, the saint or the offertory. In fact, these are the very songs that recall our spirituality, the ones that bring back memories of our faith and the importance of the step you are about to take. You can ask your parish if it has a choir and what the proposed repertoire is, perhaps ask to attend a rehearsal to see whether or not it may be for you, but if you don’t like it, inquire about the possibility of bringing in an outside choir. Among the most popular choral pieces for the wedding rite are:

  1. AleluiaBenedicat Vobis (G.F. Haendel) – El Santo Rosario
  2. Ave Verum, K. 618 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  3. Gloria in Excelsis Deo – Amsterdam Baroque Orchestra
  4. Hallelujah! The Heavens Will Pass – Sacred Music
  5. On Eagle Wings – Singing Service
  6. I see your light – Pier Angelo Sequeri

Outside musicians and singers


If the parish choir does not meet your standards or you simply want to entrust professionals who specialize in music for religious ceremonies with the soundtrack of your Yes Day then you can opt for musicians and singers from outside the parish who will be able to best advise you and structure with you a repertoire in line with your expectations and tastes. Songs sung by soloists are especially good for the highlights of the ceremony, as the words and music combine to create a truly magical, almost operatic atmosphere. The choice of singer in almost all cases falls on female voices who may specialize in opera singing, modern singing, or know how to modulate the voice according to the type of song thus moving from classical to modern without much difficulty. However, no one prohibits you from opting for a tenor aware, however, that the repertoire will go down considerably. Among the most popular songs are:

  1. PanisAngelicus, Op.12 – César Franck
  2. Hallelujah – Leonard Cohen
  3. Ave Maria – Franz Schubert
  4. Hallelujah, Z. S14 – Henry Purcell
  5. Brother Sun, Sister Moon -Riz Ortolani
  6. LaudateDominum – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Gospel Choir

We are often asked if it is possible to opt for a gospel choir during a religious ceremony; The answer is yes since gospel is a purely religious music, which originated in African American churches in the 18th century and whose engaging rhythms can lend an upbeat and sparkling touch to any wedding. However, the biggest obstacle often and often comes from the “host” who does not want a sacred rite like marriage to be turned into a stereotypical American musical like “Sister Act” that we all think of when we listen to gospel songs. However, if you are able to get his approval then get advice from the group you are going to hire on what may be the most suitable songs for your wedding in addition to these that we feel we can recommend:

  1. WhenGod Made You – Daywind
  2. Oh Happy Day – The Edwin HaekinsSingers
  3. I Will Follow Him -Little Peggy March
  4. JoyfulJoyful – ACM Gospel Choir
  5. My life, my love, myall – The Gospel House
  6. Hail, Holy Queen – New Sisters Gospel Choir

Beyond the organ

Despite the fact that liturgical music features the religious musical instrument par excellence: the organ, we from the height of our experience would advise against it.

The main reasons for this are related to the fact that in most cases the couples who come to us are young couples who want to offer classical pieces but rejuvenate them a bit, and this is impossible for us with the organ. Moreover, an entire celebration played with the organ is so reminiscent of those interminable Christmas or Easter masses that are light years away from the idea of ceremony that the bride and groom have in mind. However, in our Team, for example, we have keyboardists who are also organists, this allows those brides who do not want to give up the pompous wedding march during their entrance played on the majestic church organ to realize their dream, but at the same time use a keyboard for all the other musical moments so they can personalize them with a more pliable and versatile instrument.You may then decide that you want other musical ensembles since the possibilities and combinations are so many; we invite you to read this article on how to build the most suitable formation for your wedding.

Customizing the formation will make the ceremony even more lavish and unforgettable. Although all of the pieces can be adapted to different ensembles, there are some that we think are particularly suitable:

  1. Arioso, Adagio in G for 4 Cellos, BWV 156 – Johann Sebastian Bach
  2. String Quartet No. 62 in C Major – Franz Joseph Haydn
  3. Springtime – Antonio Vivaldi
  4. Méditation de Thaïs – Jules Massenet
  5. Adagio in G Minor – Tomaso Albinoni
  6. Ode to Joy – Ludwig Van Beethoven

That said.

We are aware that choosing the music for the religious ceremony is not easy, which is precisely why we are the only ones in Italy to have structured a database that, through a step-by-step guided procedure, helps newlywed couples build their set list easily, quickly and without the possibility of mistakes while sitting in the comfort of their couch at home. We have selected songs that have a spiritual value worthy of the occasion and fit with the chosen readings. However, there is no pre-packaged set list since the songs must also meet the tastes of the bride and groom as well as represent them.
It only remains for me to remind you to personalize the ceremony by taking care to follow thesetips and you will see that that personal touch will leave your guests with a pleasant, indeed, indelible memory of your wedding aware
I hope you have found useful insights, ideas and advice on this article;

I am Paolo Furlan founder of the music agencies Wedding Symphony specializing in ceremony music and Wedding Music Fun specializing in wedding music and entertainment. Follow our social channels to stay up to date with the latest news and get helpful tips on how to best plan your wedding!
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