The big day is approaching fast and your to-do list is pretty lengthy. You still need to choose the flowers, settle on a honeymoon destination, and pick the songs for your Catholic wedding playlist!
Yet, making up your mind about the best songs to play while walking down the aisle or reciting your vows can take you hours.
This could be especially tricky since you’re having a Catholic wedding and all the songs must fit seamlessly into the religious ceremony. Plus, they must be approved by the church’s priest.
Thankfully, after taking a look at our list of the most appropriate Catholic wedding songs, you’ll have a wide range of options to consider for each part of your special day.
Let’s dive in!
Processional Catholic Wedding Songs
The first chapter of your Catholic wedding day has its unique charm. The bride walks down the aisle in anticipation to meet the person with whom she’ll spend the rest of her life; magical.
Here are the best wedding processional songs to play in the background.
“Canon in D” – Pachelbel
When it comes to wedding music, there isn’t a more recognizable tune than Pachelbel’s “Canon in D.”
A classic choice, this heartwarming masterpiece has been associated with this stage of Catholic weddings for decades, so it had to make the top of our list.
“Wedding March” – Felix Mendelssohn
The “Wedding March” is also another lovely classic that instantly comes to mind when we talk about Catholic weddings or any wedding in general!
For a wholesome experience, consider a piano or organ solo.
“Lohengrin: Treulich geführt (Bridal Chorus)” – Richard Wagner
The “Bridal Chorus” has been used for decades as a processional song, and today it’s still one of the best choices for a traditional Catholic wedding.
“This Is the Day” – Scott Wesley Brown
Lyrics you’ll love: “This is the day that the Lord hath made/And I’m so glad He made you/With each rising sun you are here by my side/You are more than a dream come true”
“Arioso” – J.S. Bach
You can’t possibly go wrong with a Bach piece, especially “Arioso.”
This piece has a soft and classical feel to it, making it a great choice for floating down the aisle.
“Gabriel’s Oboe” – by Ennio Morricone
For an unforgettable day, consider playing this memorable piece by the legend Ennio Morricone.
Its sentimental melody should be just perfect for the bride’s entrance.
“Meditation from “Thaïs”” – Jules Massenet
This is one of the most heartwarming classical pieces to ever exist, so why not use it as a processional song?
“Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” – Robert Robinson
Lyrics you’ll love: “Here’s my heart/Oh take and seal it/Seal it for thy courts above”
This hymn is a popular choice for processional songs in Catholic weddings. Written by Robert Robinson; an 18th-century pastor, it has a special place in the heart of Catholics around the world.
Beware though, it’s a classic tear-jerker!
“Air (Water Music Suite No. 1 in F major)” – Handel
This is a lively yet soothing piece that’s long been associated with weddings; definitely a great pick for a Catholic processional.
Ceremony Catholic Wedding Songs
There’s nothing better than a delicate melody echoing within the chapel walls while you recite your vows.
Here are a few mass songs that have all the right ingredients needed for this once-in-a-lifetime moment.
“Ave Maria” – Schubert
“Ave Maria” is a popular classic for Catholic weddings, especially if you like to keep all things traditional.
The soft melody speaks to the soul and works as the perfect background music to those all-important vows.
“Trumpet Tune in C Major, ZT 697″ – Peter Hurford and Michael Laird Brass Ensemble
Have this piece played by a solo organist and watch the magic unfold. Goosebumps!
“Bless Our Love This Day” – Vince Ambrosetti
This beautiful song is easily a match for your special day.
It has all the main ingredients: heartfelt lyrics, a lovely melody, and a slow, calming tempo.
“Be Thou My Vision” – Audrey Assad
Lyrics you’ll love: “Be thou my vision, O Lord of my heart/Naught be all else to me, save that thou art/Thou my best thought, by day or by night/Waking or sleeping, thy presence my light”
If you want to take a break from traditional Catholic wedding songs, “Be Thou My Vision” might be the one for you.
It’s a contemporary option and not your typical mass song, yet its words and music can appeal to any devout Catholic.
“The Prayer” – Josh Groban and Charlotte Church
Lyrics you’ll love: “I pray you’ll be our eyes/And watch us where we go/And help us to be wise/In times when we don’t know/Let this be our prayer when we lose our way”
“Hail Mary, Gentle Woman” – Carey Landry
Lyrics you’ll love: “Gentle woman, gentle woman/Quiet light, quiet light/Morning star, morning star/So strong and bright”
“Salut D’Amour” – Edward Elgar
Written for the piano and violin, “Salut D’Amour” would be a wonderful symphonic addition to your ceremony playlist.
Communion Catholic Wedding Songs
As you know, communion is a major part of a Catholic wedding, and it must be accompanied by suitable songs to match the religious setting.
Here are some of our favorite songs to use in the communion stage.
“Prayer of Saint Francis” – Sebastian Temple, Michael Ward, and Dr. Martin Neary LVO
Lyrics you’ll love: “Lord make Me an instrument of Your peace/Where there is hatred let me sow love/Where there is injury, pardon/Where there is doubt, faith/Where there is despair, hope/Where there is darkness, light/Where there is sadness, joy.”
This is a very traditional option you should consider for communion. It’s a prayer for peace, and one of the most popular wedding prayers of all time.
“Psalm 91 (On Eagle’s Wings)” – Michael Joncas
Lyrics you’ll love: “And He will raise you up on eagles’ wings/Bear you on the breath of dawn/Make you to shine like the sun/And hold you in the palm of His hand”
“On Eagle’s Wings” is a world-famous song that many people associate with the presentation of communion.
“Canticorum Iubilo” – G. F. Händel
This is ultimately one of the most suitable pieces for the communion part of your wedding.
With its verses in Latin, it’s easy to set the mood for the holy ceremony.
“A Nuptial Blessing” – Michael Joncas
Lyrics you’ll love: “May God bless you, hold, and keep you/May God’s mercy shine on you, guide your work, and guard your resting, keep your love forever new”
“Love Will Never Fail (I Corinthians 13)” – The Porter’s Gate ft. Leslie Jordan
Lyrics you’ll love: “Love is patient, love is kind/It has no arrogance or pride/It seeks the good of others first/It keeps no record of wrong or hurt”
“For the Beauty of the Earth” – John Rutter
Lyrics you’ll love: “For the beauty of the earth/For the glory of the skies/For the love which from our birth/Over and around us lies/Over and around us lies/’Lord of all, to Thee we raise/This our joyful hymn of praise”
Recessional Catholic Wedding Songs
As the ceremony comes to an end, most couples pair their exit with a song that has a more upbeat tempo than the piece used for the march down the aisle.
Thankfully, there are a bunch of traditional Catholic songs that suit this scenario perfectly.
“Ode to Joy” – Beethoven
“Ode to Joy” is a classic that people have used in many settings.
Its slightly faster rhythm and lively composition should fill you with joy as you’re stepping away from the altar.
“La Rejouissance” – Handel
Another Handel masterpiece, “La Rejouissance” is an essential song in Catholic weddings.
We especially love its celebratory music and tempo which would sound amazing played by a string quartet.
“Come and Journey With Me” – David Haas
Lyrics you’ll love: “Come to the song, come to the dance/Bring all you are, And all you can be/Come with your voice, come with your heart/Come and journey with Me/Come and journey with Me”
“Minuet in G Major, WoO 10, No.2″ – Beethoven
Everyone loves a touch of Beethoven at the end of a wedding ceremony, right?
This minuet is recognizable and joyous, not to mention it was written by one of the greatest musicians of all time!
“Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43″ – Rachmaninoff
This is another fast-paced classic that you may want to exit the church to.
It should certainly set the tone for what’s to come at the wedding reception!
Reception Catholic Wedding Songs
You’ve made your grand exit out of the church and are making your way to your reception venue.
Unlike the previous stages of your wedding, where you’ll need the priest’s approval to have the songs played, the next part allows for more flexibility.
And the possibilities are endless…
“Because You Loved Me” – Celine Dion
Lyrics you’ll love: “You were my strength when I was weak/You were my voice when I couldn’t speak/You were my eyes when I couldn’t see/You saw the best there was in me/Lifted me up when I couldn’t reach/You gave me faith ’cause you believed/I’m everything I am/Because you loved me”
The heartwarming lyrics and soothing music of this song make it a great choice for everyone’s having dinner.
It’s a beautiful background music piece that’ll make you feel as if you’re resting on a cloud!
“Can You Feel the Love Tonight” – Elton John
Lyrics you’ll love: “There’s a calm surrender/To the rush of day/When the heat of a rolling wind/Can be turned away/An enchanted moment/And it sees me through/It’s enough for this restless warrior/Just to be with you”
You don’t have to be a hardcore Lion King fan to appreciate this musical masterpiece!
Besides its lovely lyrics, “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” is pretty flexible. You can have a band or DJ play an instrumental version. Both should be just right for the reception.
“Hallelujah” – Leonard Cohen
A hugely popular option, “Hallelujah” is a firm favorite in the wedding world!
Lyrics you’ll love: “Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord/That David played, and it pleased the Lord/But you don’t really care for music, do you?/It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth/The minor falls, the major lifts/The baffled king composing Hallelujah”
“Love Will Be Our Home” – Sandi Patty
Lyrics you’ll love: “Wherever there is laughter ringing/Someone smiling, someone dreaming/We can live together there/Love will be our home”
“The Wedding Song (There Is Love)” – Noel Paul Stookey
Lyrics you’ll love: “He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts/Rest assured this troubadour is acting on His part/The union of your spirits, here, has caused Him to remain/For whenever two or more of you are gathered in His name/There is Love, there is Love”
“Over the Rainbow” – Israel Kamakawiwoʻole
Lyrics you’ll love: “Somewhere over the rainbow/Bluebirds fly/And the dreams that you dream of/Dreams really do come true-ooh-ooh”
This upbeat and joyful ukulele rendition of “Over the Rainbow” is so lighthearted and cheerful; it’s a great reception choice!
First Dance Catholic Wedding Songs
After the dinner is over, you’ll get to experience your first dance together as husband and wife.
There’s a wide selection of songs that match the overall Christian theme of your wedding. Why not consider having a live band perform for that extra special touch.
“Can’t Help Falling in Love” – Elvis Presley
Lyrics you’ll love: “Take my hand/Take my whole life too/For I can’t help falling in love with you”
Everybody loves “Can’t Help Falling in Love”. Its lovely lyrics and their elaboration on true love make it the right choice for a couple’s first dance.
It’s a classic romantic song that’s been used for this stage of a wedding for years, so why not?
“The Lovers’ Waltz Duet” – Molly Mason and Jay Ungar
Your first dance song doesn’t have to include words to give you all the chills, and this touching violin duet can promise you just that!
“Perfect Symphony” – Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli
Lyrics you’ll love: “Baby, I’m dancing in the dark with you between my arms/Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song/When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath/But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight”
A much-appreciated twist to Ed Sheeran’s original “Perfect,” Andrea Bocelli himself lends his beautiful voice.
So, if you’re not already planning to play “Perfect” in your first dance, consider surprising the wedding guests with this beautiful version instead!
“A Thousand Years” – Christina Perri
Lyrics you’ll love: “I have died every day waiting for you/Darling, don’t be afraid/I have loved you for a thousand years/I’ll love you for a thousand more”
With its deep lyrics, soothing melody, and calming music, “A Thousand Years” is a popular choice for the first dance at weddings.
“Commitment” – Sanctus Real
Lyrics you’ll love: “I wanna finish the life we started/I wanna be two old beautiful souls that stayed with it/And in those times our feelings fade I’m gonna give you the one thing/That makes all the difference/Commitment”