Catholic Wedding Songs - Your Top 5

In terms of popularity, here are your top 5 Catholic wedding songs. To learn more, just click on the link.

1. Ave Maria

2. One Hand, One Heart

3. The Wedding Song

4. Bridal Chorus

5. Here I Am Lord

Ave Maria by Franz Schubert

Ave Maria is a prayer to the Virgin Mary. The lyrics include a plea that she will pray for one who dies. While that may not be a wedding theme, (how many people think about funerals at weddings?), it still has strong religious leanings and has become a standard in Catholic wedding songs.

Ave Maria (Salutatio Angelica) is a traditional Catholic and Orthodox church prayer calling for the intercession of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Rooted mainly in Biblical texts, the Ave Maria developed in the Middle Ages; in this context, Mary is known as the Blessed Virgin.

The prayer is also used by other denominations in the Catholic tradition, notably Anglo-Catholic members of the Anglican Communion. In the Eastern Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches, it is known as the "Angelic Salutation" as well as being called the Hail Mary.

Hail Mary, full of grace,
the Lord is with thee; 
blessed art thou among women,
and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
Holy Mary, Mother of God,
pray for us sinners,
now and at the hour of our death.
Amen.

Easy to see why it's at the top of your top Catholic wedding songs.

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One Hand, one Heart by Leonard Bernstein

The song's setting was a bridal shop from the popular 60s musical “West Side Story”. The story is about the rivalty between teenage gangs, and the forbidden love between a white working class gang member named Tony and a Puerto Rican girl, named Maria. In the bridal shop scene they imagine their own wedding. This is number 2 in your list of Catholic wedding songs.

TONY: (Spoken) I, Anton, take thee, Maria . . . 

MARIA: (Spoken) I, Maria, take thee, Anton . . . 

TONY: For richer, for poorer . . . 

MARIA: In sickness and in health . . . 

TONY: To love and to honor . . . 

MARIA: To hold and to keep . . . 

TONY: From each sun to each moon . . . 

MARIA: From tomorrow to tomorrow . . . 

TONY: From now to forever . . . 

MARIA: Till death do us part. 

TONY: With this ring, I thee wed. 

MARIA: With this ring, I thee wed. 

TONY (Sings) 
Make of our hands one hand, 
Make of our hearts one heart, 
Make of our vows one last vow: 
Only death will part us now. 

MARIA 
Make of our lives one life, 
Day after day, one life. 

BOTH 
Now it begins, now we start 
One hand, one heart; 
Even death won't part us now. 

Make of our lives one life, 
Day after day, one life. 
Now it begins, now we start 
One hand, one heart, 
Even death won't part us now

That way number 2 in your list of Catholic wedding songs.

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The Wedding Song by Paul Stookey

Here's number 3 in your list of Catholic wedding songs. Noel Paul Stookey became famous as “Paul” of the 60s folk singing group Peter, Paul and Mary. He wrote “The Wedding Song(There is Love)” for his friend, Peter Yarrow's wedding. Since the song was a gift he was reluctant to share it publically until Peter requested it be played at a concert he attended with his wife.

Paul believed that the "Wedding Song" was a gift from God, so he put the song into the public domain immediately, never claiming authorship for it.

Paul Stookey set up a charitable foundation called the Public Domain Foundation in order to receive and distribute the royalties from “The Wedding Song” to charity.

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. 
Well, a man shall leave his mother
and a woman leave her home
and they shall travel on to where
the two shall be as one.
As it was in the beginning
is now and til the end
Woman draws her life from man
and gives it back again.
And there is Love, there is Love. 
Well then what's to be the reason
for becoming man and wife?
Is it love that brings you here
or love that brings you life?
And if loving is the answer,
then who's the giving for?
Do you believe in something
that you've never seen before?
Oh there is Love, there is Love. 
(Short solo) 
Oh the marriage 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. 

Number 3 in your list of Catholic wedding songs.

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Bridal Chorus by Wagner

And here's number 4 in your list of Catholic wedding songs. The "Bridal Chorus" "Treulich geführt", from the opera Lohengrin, by German composer Richard Wagner, is a march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings. it is generally known as "Here Comes the Bride" or "Wedding March".

The Wedding March by Felix Mendelssohn might fit the march descripion better – a piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride.

A typical wedding ceremony includes it at the beginning. In the opera, the chorus is sung after the ceremony by the women of the wedding party, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to the bridal chamber. It's thought by many that its frequent use in film and television associate it with sentimentality rather than worship.

That's number 4 on your list of Catholic wedding songs.

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Here I Am Lord by Dan Schutte

Inspired by his grandparents and his college experience, Dan wrote music for the worship of his Jesuit community. There was a time when the liturgy of the Church was being renewed and adapted to the experience of people to a more contemporary mode as they sought God.  Many asked for more relevant musical expressions of their faith. Here I Am Lord, written in 1981, represented this view point.

G              C       D    G               C      D
I, the Lord of sea and sky, I have heard my people cry.
Em               C             Am           D
All who dwell in dark and sin, my hand will save
G              C        D      G                 C        D
I who made the stars of night, I will make their darkness bright,
Em               C               Am           D
Who will bear my light to them?  Whom shall I send?

  Chorus
  D      G               Em
  Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?
         G         Am7            D   D7
  I have heard You calling in the night.
         G               Em
  I will go Lord, if you lead me.
         G         Am7    D     G
  I will hold Your people in my heart.

I, the Lord of snow and rain, I have borne my people's pain.
I have wept for love of them, they turn away.
I will break, their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone.
I will speak my word to them.  Whom shall I send?

I, the Lord of wind and flame, I will tend the poor and lame
I will set a feast for them, my hand will save.
Finest bread I will provide, till their hearts be satisfied.
I will give my life to them.  Whom shall I send?

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