Friday, July 29, 2011

Sacramental songs: part two

Now that you have the details of the first half of our ceremony's music, here's the other half!

Offertory Hymn: Blest Are They by Haas
Video via YouTube
For the actual hymns, I really wanted ones that were kind of common in typical liturgies so that the Catholics in the group would hopefully feel comfortable enough joining in the singing.  I really like this hymn; plus, it's based on the Beatitudes which is such a meaningful message for life in general.

Our Father: Lord's Prayer by Warner
Video via YouTube
This is the musical part of the ceremony that makes me most excited and most nervous.  My undergraduate college had a slightly different version of the Our Father.  Hearing this version automatically takes me back to that overwhelming sense of community and togetherness that permeated the campus environment.  I would be over the moon to hear it at the wedding.  My nerves stem from the fact that it's not a very widely known version; I'm a little scared it will fall flat at the ceremony, resulting in a paltry showing at best.  My game plan is to have it introduced and rehearsed a few times at the rehearsal so that, between my college friends and everyone who attended the rehearsal, there's a decent-sized group to lead the charge.

Sign of Peace: Let There Be Peace on Earth by Jackson and Miller
Video via YouTube
I'm firmly of the opinion that you can't hear this song without getting warm and fuzzy all over.  We're having this selection performed as a solo piece while we exchange the sign of peace with some of our guests.  I figure that regardless of a guest's religious affiliation or comfort with doing the sign of peace, this song is familiar enough to everyone to be appropriate. 

Communion Hymn: You Are Mine by Haas
 Video via YouTube
Along the same lines as the offertory hymn, I really wanted something that was very familiar to our Catholic guests to hopefully encourage extra-loud singing.  I think this hymn also does a great job of evoking themes of support, love, loyalty, and protection, which are right in line with a marriage ceremony regardless of your religious convictions.
Presentation to the Blessed Mother: Ave Maria by Schubert
Video via YouTube
Even in Latin, it's powerful and beautiful.  Not a bad way to prepare our guests for the grand finale, to be sure.

Recessional: Ode to Joy by Beethoven
Video via YouTube
I'm going to be honest with you - by the time I tracked down all the other parts of our ceremony music, I was spent.  So when our organist said he had a cool version of Ode to Joy to use as a recessional, I was sold.  He's definitely got some solid music chops, so a piece that he specifically suggested is pretty highly regarded in my book.  Given that I don't know the exact arrangement, I'm just going to assume it's the one in the video above. :)

Postlude: Organist's choice.  I figured that he would have a better handle on what to play than I would.  Plus, I'll be a newlywed and out of the church by the time these songs make an appearance; I figure if it's fun for him to play, then it'll automatically be fun for the guests, too.  Decision made.

(Phew!)  There you have it.  All of our ceremony's music, start to finish.  Figuring out what we wanted took a good bit longer than I expected, but in the end, I think we have a solid line-up that's a good blend of familiar favorites and exciting new introductions.  Seeing it all together makes it seem very real, to say the least!

What's the best song you've ever heard at a wedding ceremony?

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