Marriage at Christ Church


You have chosen to have your wedding in the traditional Christian setting of Christ Church Claremont. At all weddings in Christ Church the pipe organ provides the basis for the music. If you wish you may have other musicians in addition to the Organist, such as our professional choir Schola Aedis Christi, a soloist, string quartet, other instrumentalist(s) etc. All aspects of music associated with the occasion should be discussed with the Organist  well in advance of your wedding.

We want the music at your wedding to be bright, enjoyable and appropriate, so that it adds to the joy and dignity of the celebration. Music chosen, whether played on the organ or performed by a singer or instrumentalist, also needs to be suitable for a religious setting. Specifically, the music must be in harmony with the Christian view of marriage and worship. Who determines suitability? The Parish Priest is ultimately responsible for all the worship offered in the church, including marriages. In practice, however, the Parish Priest works closely with the Organist in these matters, so you need to discuss your plans fully with him. We try to be generous in determining what is 'in' and what is 'out', but nevertheless, our standard is high, as you would expect. A range of musical styles may be suitable, and we have no wish to impose more restrictions than are absolutely necessary. Some popular music is quite suitable for inclusion, while some is better played at the reception rather than at the ceremony in the church. Recorded music is not allowed in the church.

Instrumentalists or singers usually need to arrange time for a rehearsal with the Organist, so it is important to let him know about any plans of this sort as early as possible.

The Organist will meet you by appointment (contact details will be given to you once you have confirmed your booking) and a convenient time for this is following the Sunday 10am Mass to discuss the music required by the marriage liturgy itself and usually demonstrate some suitable pieces so that you have a genuine choice.

See below for an explanation of music required by the Shape of the Liturgy.

Recording music at weddings (video or audio tape) may infringe stringent copyright laws, which are now being enforced. It is absolutely vital that you discuss all music choices with the Organist so that we can check copyright provisions. Should you choose only music which is in the public domain, there is no risk of prosecution. If you wish to use and record copyright music of any kind, it will be your own responsibility to seek the necessary permission from the owner well in advance and pay the licence fee.

It is always better to plan these matters together, but if you have no specific requests about music, or if you are planning your marriage from overseas or interstate, we are happy to select suitable music for your wedding.

Shape of the Liturgy

Introductory music
Played for about ten minutes before the arrival of the bridal party, during which time the bells (if requested) also ring.

Entry music
For the procession of the bridal party from Narthex (porch) to Sanctuary.

Interlude music
During the signing of the legal documents, marriage register, etc.

Recessional music
For the procession of the bridal party from Sanctuary to Narthex (porch).

Are always optional, never necessary, one is sufficient, two are possible, but they are better not attempted unless you are sure your guests will be prepared to sing; a hymn is best placed at the beginning of the service immediately before the Ministry of the Word.

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