Religious ceremony. What are the times when music is provided?

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?

Table of Contents

When we first meet with wedding couples and begin, during the specialized consultation, to analyze their tastes and expectations for the music service, we always like to understand if they have an idea of how many and what are the moments in a religious ceremony when musical accompaniment is provided.
The most common answer is 4/5/6 musical moments but actually there is nor a few more since there are 14 moments when background music is provided by liturgy.
Find listed below the highlights dedicated to the celebration of the religious rite:

1.The wait – Approximately 5 minutes before the bride’s scheduled arrival time, the formation begins to spread a light, exclusively instrumental background music in the church to let those present know that the celebration will soon begin and at the same time to dampen the background buzz that is often generated among the people who have decided to wait inside the church for the bride and groom to arrive. This elegant and understated background will help those present to beguile the wait even if the bride is a little late.



2. Groom and Bride Entrance – Whether you choose to do it each with your parent, together or in the American style (where the groom enters the church before the bride arrives and waits for her at the altar) the entrance is a moment charged with enthusiasm and emotion. The agitation is palpable whileyou will walk down the church aisle on the arm of your parent who is in turn even more excited than you are. Choose for your entrances possibly an exclusively instrumental song to prevent your voice from becoming a distraction for your guests, who will instead have to keep their eyes on you, and when choosing, remember to opt for cadenced tunes that can help you keep a slow, short pace. Do not start walking as soon as you hear the first notes of the song you have chosen for your entrance; Allow 30 seconds to pass that will seem interminable to you and then make your entrance by walking through the entire church until you reach your banquet. Keep a slow pace and try especially to slow down your companion, who is often more excited than you are and tends to use a rather brisk pace.

3. Commencement Brane-Usuallyafter the entrance of the bride, the liturgy begins with the priest greeting the bride and groom and the assembly by inviting them to make the sign of the cross. However, some ministers request that an additional purely liturgical song be made that clearly highlights the beginning of the celebration. Obviously, each added song involves an extension of the ceremony, and this is the reason why we tend not to propose to do an additional song after the bride’s entrance, unfortunately, however, this decision is up to the priest alone.

4. Baptismal Aspersion or Renewal of Promises – This is usually a very quick moment when the bride and groom renew their promises of faith, reliving the main steps of the Rite of Baptism. At almost all times some ministrants bring the holy water before the priest, and the priest marks himself and then sprinkles the bride and groom and the assembly of the faithful. In this case, there is no need to provide a song since there would not be the material time to perform it, however, the liturgy requires that this renewal of vows be done whenever possible at the baptismal font of the church so, although rarely, it may happen that the priest invites the bride and groom to follow him to the baptistery. Only in this case to bridge the time taken by the bride and groom to get to and from their place at the baptistery is an appropriate piece of music provided for the moment.

5. Gloria-Before beginning the readings, the Gloria is recited; however, it may not infrequently happen that the priest requests the bride and groom to arrange for this song to be sung. Already in itself it is a long reading when recited, singing it would result in further dilating the timing of the ceremony; In addition, it should be considered that there are different types of Glorias but the most popular one among different priests is the Gregorian chant “Gloria in excelsis deo.” With our Team we usually recommend doing it only recited to save time.

6. Hallelujah – After the readings and as an antiphon to the Gospel that the priest will read there is a moment of exaltation in which a sung song is to be provided. This song along with the Saint are the only ones that must be forcibly sung because that is how it is stipulated in the liturgy. When the bride and groom’s choice falls on an instrumental ensemble, it will be the musician on duty who will intone the song to the priest, who together with the assembly will go to accompany the musicians with song. It goes without saying, therefore, that for these 2 particular moments, in case of an instrumental formation, you must choose 2 assembly songs, that is, 2 well-known songs that can be sung by the priest and the assembly. Therefore, Cohen’s Hallelujah is not recommended.

7. Wedding Rite – It is the highlight of the ceremony, but in one respect, the focal moment of the whole day; The long-awaited, much-dreamed-of, much-desired moment is about to materialize. You look into each other’s eyes, your voice struggling to come out, you try to hold back the emotion as much as possible, at least long enough to say your vows and to accompany you a gentle background that amplifies the moment but at the same time does not divert attention to you.


8. Dolo the blessing and the exchange of the rings – Finally you are officially husband and wife…Your bridesmaid or little page handed you the wedding ring pillow, the priest blessed them to each other you put them on, and soon after a big applause filled the church. From this moment on everything will be downhill for you, you sit down and before resuming the liturgy here is a special song you particularly care about, embellishing the moment like the precious gem of a masterpiece.

9. Gifts and Offertory – You may decide to enrich the offertory procession not only with the essentials for the Eucharistic table (Bread and Wine), but also with gifts that can make the moment even more special, from baskets containing basic necessities to be donated to a charitable parish association, or items symbolic of your newborn family such as house keys or a picture of the Holy Family to hang in your new home or anything else that represents you. You can have the groomsmen help you by making them an active part of the ceremony; A sung song can definitely enhance the moment as long as, during the delivery of the gifts you do not decide to do readings or explain what the groomsmen are bringing to the altar. In this case, an instrumental piece will still be fine

10. Holy – As mentioned for hallelujah, an exaltation of the moment through song is required by the liturgy. Whether you have chosen an instrumental formation or one with a singer we recommend that you still choose an assembly song this is to meet the approval of the priest and to be able to have the assembly participate even if only in one song. Santo Bonfitto or Santo Lanaro are usually always the best choice.

11. Peace – It is true that it is a very quick moment but not for the bride and groom who, after exchanging peace with each other, will also have to exchange it with the priest, their own and their partner’s witnesses and their respective families. Providing musical accompaniment at this juncture as well is definitely not a mistake, with our Team then we always interface with the priest who only needs a nod to help us know when to close the song.

12. Our Father – Moment in almost all times recited but which can be embellished by alternating an instrumental/sung part with the recited part. On the notes of “The Sound of Silence” alternating between the recited and sung parts will make this classic prayer into something truly unique and special.

13. Communion – Begin preparation for the moment of the Eucharist with the rites of communion. The first to approach the sacrament of the Eucharist are the bride and groom followed by the witnesses, parents and the rest of the faithful. It is important to fully experience this moment, consequently the first song can also be just instrumental since there will be some confusion between who gets up, chairs moving, who goes to the ministers. The first song will pass somewhat quietly, while the second song to be offered during the more meditative moment can also be sung to enhance the moment and also to be able to be appreciated by the bride and groom and all the ceremony participants.

14. Blessing of the bride and groom and final blessing – At this solemn moment, the priest invites the bride and groom to kneel and, placing his hands on their heads, will proceed with the wedding blessing. The religious part of the celebration ends with the final blessing addressed to all the faithful. At this point, guests are free to leave and wait for the bride and groom outside for greetings or remain in the church where, at the altar or in a dedicated corner, the signing of the deeds and registers will take place. You can safely provide for a couple of songs to accompany these moments and you can also, without overdoing it, dare a bit by choosing songs that you particularly like, that respect the sacred environment in which you find yourself, but that unfortunately are not recognized by the Holy Church always “possibly” subject to acceptance by the priest.

15. Reading of the Articles – This is the most bureaucratic part of the wedding, it involves the reading of the various codes of our constitution regarding civil unionsin the presence of the bride and groom and wedding witnesses, with the subsequent signing of the official register. This will be followed by shots in the church, before walking for the solemn exit, the one you will make hand of hand, as husband and wife, waiting for the throwing of rice,confetti and petals. It may happen that the priest decides to give the reading of the articles during the ceremony, in which case if you want you can invite the musician on duty to gladden the moment with very light background music. After the priest’s wish for a good day and a good celebration usually we as Wedding Symphony continue to play for another 15 to 20 minutes so as to make it more pleasant for the bride and groom and those present in the church

The religious ceremony is a moment extremely charged with emotion mixed with excitement and feelings; it will see the unison involvement of your heart, your soul, your looks, your words, all punctuated by gestures and rituals unrepeatable in their evocative charge. At the end of the celebration, between the good wishes, signatures, ritual photos with witnesses and families, and getting ready for the exit with the classic rice throwing and the first photo shoots, do not forget the bride’s bouquet, rather assign someone who can oversee these small details as well as the pen used for the signatures, especially if you will have to reuse it for the guestbook dedications in the hall.

That said.

I hope you have found useful hints, ideas and tips on this article, and before we conclude we leave you with a few suggestions: in the invitations, do not forget to include the time of the religious service, anticipating it by 30 minutes so that guests can precede your arrival and settle comfortably in the pews; If you print the ceremony booklets, remember to personalize them with phrases that represent you: in addition to being a valuable aid in following the natural unfolding of the religious service, they will also be a sweet keepsake to cherish over time; If you plan to involve friends and relatives, give them advance notice so that they can rehearse their readings, averting small embarrassing moments, given the excitement and clutter of the dresses chosen for the ceremony especially by the young ladies.

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!
More info awaits you on our blog.
Don’t let them pass you by.
Enjoy your reading and have a good life!

Did you like it? Share this content on