Planning Your Wedding Celebration
This website is designed to assist you in the preparation of your wedding liturgy. The planning of your wedding liturgy will take place with your priest and the Director of Music and Liturgy at the parish your wedding will take place.
You will meet with the Director of Music and Liturgy to choose your music. We encourage you to get fully involved in planning the wedding celebration. It is good to get your friends and relatives involved in the roles of readers and ushers, (with a Mass; Gift Bearers, and if you have friends or family that are trained as Extra-ordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) provided you can be assured that they will do a good job. Selection of these roles should be based upon individual talent and ability in these areas and their familiarity with the guidelines of Catholic ritual.
- Readings can be found on this website under Readings & Petitions. Here you will find recommended Scripture readings for the liturgy. You will need to make one choice from each section: an Old Testament Reading (section B), a New Testament Reading (section D), a Gospel Reading (section F) and a set of Prayers of the Faithful (section J). The Responsorial Psalm is sung and you will select a musical arrangement when you choose your music.
- You will receive from the priest at your first meeting a handout with all the current dates and locations for the Engaged Enrichment Conference sponsored by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. Follow the directions in this handout to sign up for only one date.
- The Liturgy Preparation Form is an interactive tool that will allow you to communicate all of your wedding preferences to your Parish's Director of Music and Liturgy. The form can be found under the Things to Know menu and on the homepage. One form is for the marriage celebration within Mass (Holy Communion) and one is for the marriage celebration outside of Mass. You need to determine which celebration you will have with your presiding priest.
The musicians for the wedding are customarily the parish Director of Music and Liturgy and a parish cantor. If you choose to involve other musicians, through personal or family relationship - or desire additional instrumentalists, all arrangements are to be made through the Director of Music and Liturgy before any commitments are made with other musicians at least six months in advance. All musicians must be competent, know their music and demonstrate a professional and prayerful approach ministry of a Sacred Musician.
The Order of Worship
The celebration of the Rite of Marriage in the church is celebrated by the entire gathered assembly. Every attempt must be made to engage the prayerful participation of those who have gathered for your wedding celebration. In 2011, the translation of the church’s liturgy was revised. The parts of the liturgy that perhaps we had previously been able the recite from memory may now be unfamiliar. The Director of Music and Liturgy will be able to assist you with the creation of the Order of Worship that will enable you and your guests with feeling comfortable to enthusiastically participate in the celebration of your marriage, and to pray with you and for you.
The body of the liturgy will be provided for your Order of Worship. It will contain all of the people’s responses and the music that you have selected. You may add your own cover and the names of your Wedding Party etc. Once you feel you are ready to have it printed you are required to send a copy to the Director of Music and Liturgy at your parish for final approval. Below is an example of a page from a wedding Order of Worship as it would be provided to you.
The Wedding Liturgy is the focal point of your wedding day and so it should be the center of preparations for the day. We encourage you to tailor your ceremony so that it reflects the Christian commitment you make to each other and the God-centeredness of the sacrament.
- Contact the Director of Music and Liturgy at your parish to plan your wedding music. The Director of Music and Liturgy will plan the music with you and be the principal musician at the wedding. Your initial contact with the Director should be at least 3 - 4 months ahead of your wedding date, 6 months if you plan to invite or include other musicians.
- A parish cantor will be assigned to sing at your wedding; that fee is included in the parish fee of $550. We often use other instruments such as flute, violin or trumpets. The Director of Music and Liturgy can help you choose the instruments that would most enhance the music you have selected. We have musicians that we work with often and we are familiar with the quality of their performance and their reliability. If you are interested in using these instrumentalists, please contact the Director of Music and Liturgy at least 6 months in advance.
- The Instrumentalist’s fee is separate from the director and cantor. If you would like a family friend or family member to sing, they are welcome to do so during the prelude, the unity candle and/or at the presentation of flowers at the Blessed Mother Shrine. The parish cantor will lead the assembly in the Responsorial Psalm and the Service Acclamations.
- On this website you can listen to some musical selections that would be appropriate for your wedding ceremony. These selections can be used as a starting point in selecting music that will help you celebrate this most important day! After you have had a chance to listen to the music, make arrangements to meet with the Director of Music and Liturgy to finalize your selections. You may choose appropriate music other than what is listed. If you wish to have something other than what is on this website, please talk with your Director of Music and Liturgy at your parish.
- All music during the marriage ceremony is a form of prayer. It should reflect the religious dimension and Christ-centeredness of the Sacrament of Marriage and the sacredness of the rites. Secular music is inappropriate during the wedding liturgy, including prelude or candle ceremony songs.
- The people you have invited should be given the opportunity to join in song since their prayer is essential to the celebration. All Mass parts are sung. This includes the Responsorial Psalm, the Gospel Acclamation, and the Eucharistic Acclamations.