Wedding Customary - The Parish Church of St. Paul's Cathedral
Welcome to the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Worcester. We are delighted that you have chosen this place for your wedding celebration. We are ready and eager to help you navigate the rocks and shoals of musical selection, and hope that you will find the experience fun and rewarding in equal measure.
The music of our worship - regardless of the event in progress - must by its very definition be of an elevated and “worshipful” nature. While many songs may have important and meaningful significance in our lives, not all are appropriate to the act of worship in which we find ourselves. Many of these songs work well when offered as part of receptions or post-service events.
The Church has established guidelines relating to the selection of music for worship, and what follows are the basic outlines of those tenets.
Generally, the music of our worship should not have overt secular associations that distract from the central act of the Mass. The music for your ceremony should focus on our Lord, His sacrifice, and His presence in your lives rather than more temporal issues. For examples of musical selections that are appropriate and suitable for weddings in the Church, along with hyperlinks through which you can hear them, we invite you to visit www.thetobebuiltwebpage.com.
Some additional specifics:
1. The processional should, in the eyes of the Church, be one musical and liturgical event. The bridesmaids and other attendants supporting the bride are participating in support of her and on her behalf, and should not enter the church separately from her.
2. Whenever possible, the congregation should be offered the opportunity to sing, and be encouraged to do so. They, too, are present on behalf of the wedding couple, and should be active participants rather than passive observers. The responsorial Psalm offers a wonderful opportunity for this.
3. Prelude music generally begins twenty minutes prior to the start time of the ceremony; without specific requests for this music, the Organist will play suitable material that is currently “under the fingers”. Every effort should be made to avoid unreasonable delays in the start of the ceremony; the Organist should not be expected to present an hour-long recital while awaiting the bride’s arrival.
4. In the normal course of the Nuptial Mass, there are five principal places where music can easily and naturally be placed. They are the Processional, the Psalm, the preparation of the Altar, at Communion, and the Recessional. The Processional and Recessional are frequently instrumental, with vocal or choral music used for the other three. These divisions are not requirements, however, and you should feel free to discuss your preferences with the Music Staff during your consultations. Remember, we are here to help you in this process!
5. Church musicians earn their livelihood by ministering at the liturgies of the Church. In the event that you have a friend or family member whose musical participation in your event you desire, please be advised that you are still obligated to pay the fee of the Organist and Cantor whether or not you utilize their services. Currently, the fee for Organist and Cantor is $200 each, made payable to the individuals and due before the ceremony begins. This fee covers common repertoire and normal consultation time. Additional consultations or rehearsals are billed at the rate of $75/hour.
6. The addition of instrumental music beyond organ or piano can enhance a liturgy. If you so desire, the Organist or Cantor can help you to identify the best professionals to fulfill this requirement, and will help to select the most appropriate repertoire for the event. The fee for this service is $75/hour, and does not include the professional fee for the instrumentalist. Except in the most unusual circumstances, instrumentalists must be vetted and approved by the music staff before participating in liturgies at The Cathedral.
Bride and Groom Names:______________________________________________________
Preferred contact phone:________________________
Preferred contact email:_________________________
Number of Bridesmaids:__________ Number of Groomsmen:__________
Number of Flower girls:__________ Number of Ringbearers:__________
This form should be printed, completed and returned to the Parish Office or Music Staff at your earliest convenience. Thank You!