Music FAQ

St. Veronica is happy to guide and assist you with the musical elements of your wedding plans. Once you have completed your preparation processes (meetings with the priest and Pre-Cana), then it is time to begin the formal planning for the songs and instrumental music that accompanies the rituals of the wedding ceremony and celebration.

During the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony a combination of congregational hymns, instrumental music, and Mass setting parts are to be used. Sacred music is preferred before, during, and after the liturgy; while popular and secular music should be redirected to the reception. Also, St. Veronica does not permit recorded music during liturgy. All music, including instrumental music, must be live.

At minimum, you will need to hire one cantor (vocalist) and one accompanist (piano). One musician must be hired through St. Veronica Catholic Church. You may have multiple instrumentalists, but it is requested that one instrumentalist is a pianist. Under normal circumstances, a musician may not serve as cantor and accompanist at the same time.

Suggested Music Selections for Catholic Weddings

The list of music selections below is a good guide, but does not include all possible options deemed liturgically appropriate for a Catholic wedding. If you are considering any options not found below, they will need to be approved by the Pastor and/or Director of Worship.

Prior to the beginning of the wedding liturgy, there is a prelude consisting of about 15 minutes of instrumental music as guests arrive and are seated. Music during this time is usually selected at the discretion of the Organist and encompasses a combination of pieces that mirror the festive nature of the occasion as well as the quiet dignity of prayerful reflection. Often the prelude is comprised entirely of solo organ repertoire, but the utilization of other instruments (trumpet, flute, harp, etc.) is possible as well.

  • Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)
  • Ave Maria (Schubert)
  • I Will Be Here (Steven Curtis Chapman)
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
  • Panis Angelicus (Franck)
  • The Lord’s Prayer (Malotte)
  • The Prayer (Sager/Foster)
  • When Love is Found
  • Wherever You Go


The processionals are usually played by the organ alone. You may select two: one for the procession of the wedding party and another for the bride.  You may also choose to select one piece to be used for entire procession (good for smaller or more intimate weddings).

  • Air from “Water Music” (Handel)
  • Canon in D (Pachelbel)
  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  • O God Beyond All Praising instrumental or sung
  • Panis Angelicus (Franck)
  • Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  • Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)

Responsorial Psalm
The responsorial psalm follows the first reading and is always sung.  It will be led by the cantor.  Use the “Together for Life” book as your guide in selecting a Psalm appropriate for your wedding.

Gospel Acclamation
Before the gospel reading, an Alleluia is always sung (except during Lent). This will be led by the cantor. During the season of Lent, alleluias are omitted from the Church’s liturgies, and the Lenten gospel acclamation “Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ” is sung instead, led by the cantor.

Optional Procession to Blessed Virgin Mary / Bringing flowers to parents/grandparents

  • Ave Maria (Bach/Gounod)
  • Ave Maria (Schubert)
  • Bridal Prayer (Copeland)
  • How Beautiful (Twila Paris)
  • When Love is Found
  • Wherever You Go

Offertory Hymn:

If your wedding will be celebrated within a Eucharistic celebration (Mass), the liturgy continues with music during the offertory and preparation of the altar. This usually takes very little time, so a short organ improvisation or instrumental selection is usually most effective at this point. The selection of the offertory music is usually left up to the musicians.

  • Be Thou My Vision
  • For the Beauty of the Earth
  • Here I Am, Lord
  • Lord of All Hopefulness
  • Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
  • Prayer of St. Francis
  • The Servant Song
  • When Love is Found
  • Where Charity and Love Prevail
  • Wherever You Go

Acclamations (skip if you are not celebrating within Mass)
During Mass, the Eucharistic Prayer follows next. The cantor will lead the assembly in singing the responses within the prayer. These acclamations include the Sanctus (Holy, Holy), the Mysterium Fidei (Mystery of Faith), and the Amen.

Lord’s Prayer
Sometimes couples ask to have the Lord’s Prayer (Our Father) sung. Keep in mind that your wedding guests will likely come from several different churches and faiths. Since this is the one common prayer among all Christian denominations, it is very important that everyone be able to join in praying it together.

Sign of Peace (skip if you are not celebrating within Mass)
Since the sign of peace involves speaking and movement on the part of the congregation, and since the Lamb of God follows immediately, it is not necessary to have music at this point.

Lamb of God (skip if you are not celebrating within Mass)
The Agnus Dei (Lamb of God) is sung immediately following the sign of peace, just before communion

Communion Hymn:
In selecting music to accompany the communion procession, couples will want to keep in mind the nature of the Eucharistic rite as a sign of the unity of everyone gathered, so the singing of a congregational hymn is the norm to accompany the communion procession. If you need help in selecting the hymn to accompany the communion procession, look to the Gospel reading you selected. Study the texts of the Communion Procession options and the Gospel reading to see if you can find thematic similarities. Please note that one piece of music is usually sufficient for communion.

  • Behold the Lamb
  • Bread of Life
  • Christ Before Us
  • Gift of Finest Wheat
  • Love Has Come
  • One Bread, One Body
  • Only A Shadow

Meditation to the Blessed Virgin Mary (optional)
If you plan on making a visitation to the image of Mary, it will take place after communion (or after the Lord’s Prayer if you’re not celebrating within mass). At this point in the liturgy, a meditation could be sung by the vocalist as a reflection of the personal, devotional prayer of the bride and groom and of the whole congregation. Music during this moment is usually a setting of the “Ave Maria” or other appropriate hymn to Mary. This action may also be accompanied by an instrumental by the organist.
The wedding recessional is usually the liturgy’s most festive and joyous of musical expressions. Most often played by the organ alone or with trumpet(s) or other instruments, there are many possibilities. You might notice that some of the same pieces are listed as both processionals and recessionals. That’s because they can work for either the entrance procession at the beginning of the wedding or the exit recessional at the end. The only difference is that usually they’re played a little faster if used here at the end.

  • Allegro Maestoso (Handel)
  • Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (Bach)
  • O God Beyond All Praising instrumental or sung
  • Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
  • Rondeau (Mouret)
  • Spring – from “The Four Seasons” (Vivaldi)
  • Trumpet Tune (Purcell)
  • Trumpet Voluntary (Clarke)
  • Wedding March (Mendelssohn)

"The Sacrament of [Marriage] signifies the union of Christ and the Church. It gives spouses the grace to love each other with the love with which Christ has loved His Church"

(Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1661)

Other Questions about Marriage

Yes. St. Veronica has an organ that can be used at weddings as well as both an accomplished organist and vocalist. In addition, several other musicians from local Catholic parishes around the area also assist us from time to time. Our organist schedules them to assist at your wedding as needed.

Yes. A cantor adds a wonderful aesthetic to the ceremonies. The right cantor not only provides vocal accompaniment, but also leads your guests to participate. As mentioned above, our organist is an accomplished vocalist. In addition, other cantors from our parish and local Catholic parishes in the area also assist us from time to time. Our organist schedules them to assist at your wedding as needed.

Occasionally, the question arises regarding additional musical or vocal accompaniment such as another cantor, string quartets, or wind players. We have worked with many of the music professionals here in the Bay area and can make opportunities to have them participate in the celebration. Our organist approves their participation and can also recommend string and wind players. Please note that these professionals have their own fees outside of the fees of St. Veronica.

Perhaps a better way to answer the question is to recommend that you finish the preparation process 30-45 days before the wedding date. Then you can decide to start based on other things in your life, e.g., business travel, holidays, academic semesters, and other important events in your life. In any case, the Diocese requires that preparation begin no less than 6 months prior to the date of the wedding.

The fee for all weddings is $1,500. This fee includes an hour rehearsal the previous evening, and the ceremony time on your wedding day. It also includes a coordinator who will be present at the rehearsal and during your wedding.

Yes, as mentioned above, we provide a coordinator to assist at the rehearsal and the ceremony. The coordinator works to help direct and facilitate the little details of your celebration, e.g. to work with your florists, photographers, videographers, etc. once they arrive at the church, to help with the “do’s and don’ts,” and let you enjoy the celebration without worrying about processions, seating, or other details of the wedding day. Our coordinators have worked with most Bay area wedding professionals (florist, photographers, videographers, planners, etc.).

Yes, our Director of Music is both an accomplished organist and vocalist. In addition, several other musicians from local Catholic parishes also assist us from time to time. We schedule one of them to provide musical and vocal accompaniment for your wedding. The fee for musical and cantor accompaniment is $250. This is in addition to the above wedding fees.

Yes. Please click here for information on placement of flowers, as well as the use and placement of video equipment and other photography during weddings.

It means that not only do you hold true all that the Catholic Church teaches and proclaims, but that you are active in worship and liturgical celebrations of the Church.

For more information about live streaming in Church during liturgical celebrations and other occasions, click here.