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Music and Liturgy Information

Congratulations on your engagement! As you begin to prepare the liturgy and music for your marriage celebration, we would like to take this opportunity to explain the basic principles we follow in preparing all liturgical celebrations here at Loyola.

First and foremost, the goal of all your preparation is to encourage the full and active participation of all who gather to celebrate your marriage. Singing by the assembly at a wedding expresses the joy and unity of the people gathered. It is an attractive and meaningful way of inviting guests to actually participate rather than remain spectators throughout the liturgy.

The assembly at most weddings will be a mixture: members of the local church, visitors from other churches, people of Catholic background now inactive, alienated Catholics, Christians from other denominations, persons of other faiths, agnostics, and atheists. For those who will be unfamiliar with worship in this community, we need to do everything possible to make them welcome and help them understand our prayer. We encourage all couples to prepare a printed booklet for use by your wedding guests. The University owns the reprint licenses needed for legally reprinting music for one-time occasions. And although we cannot do the actual printing of the programs, we are more than happy to assist you in whatever way possible.

Musicians are chosen because of the ministry they fill and the professional quality of their art. All weddings at Loyola MUST use the musicians who are part of Music Ministry at the University. In the wedding liturgy, the bride and groom are ministers of the sacrament of marriage. Other ministries usually at work in the Sunday assembly also function in the wedding liturgy: ministers of hospitality (ushers), ministers of the word (lectors), and ministers of music (Eucharist).

A cantor, or leader of song, is indispensable at wedding liturgies. The task of this person is to enable and motivate the song of the assembly. This is different from a soloist who usually performs for an assembly, although the roles are not mutually exclusive. If you are considering a friend to sing for the wedding, he or she would function best as a soloist (singing one or two songs before/during the liturgy).

Wedding celebrations are rooted in the expectations and experience of regular Sunday celebrations. Where Sunday worship is healthy, the goal is simple: couples preparing for marriage will draw on that Sunday experience in planning their wedding. The basic shape and outline of the wedding liturgy is precisely what the assembly does in its celebration each Sunday. Therefore, the same elements of the Mass that are sung each Sunday, are sung for weddings, namely: the Gathering Hymn; the Responsorial Psalm; the Gospel Acclamation (Alleluia before the Gospel); the Eucharistic Acclamations (Holy, Holy, Holy; Memorial Acclamation; Great Amen; Lamb of God); and the Communion Song.

Particular decisions about choice and placement of wedding music should grow out of three judgments set forth in Music in Catholic Worship, the definitive work by the United States Bishops Conference on Liturgy (1982). The liturgical judgment: Is the music's text, form, placement, and style congruent with the nature of the liturgy? The musical judgment: Is the music technically, aesthetically and expressively good, irrespective of musical idiom or style? The pastoral judgment: Will it help the assembly to pray?

All styles of music for liturgy-classical, contemporary, and folk-should conform to these principles. You are encouraged to set up a consultation/planning meeting with the Director of Liturgy and Music, George Miller. At this meeting you will be able to finalize the details of your wedding music. All proposals for wedding music selections must be submitted for approval by the director of liturgy and music.

Under the "Wedding Music Selection Demos" link below are suggested songs for your wedding.  You are not limited to the titles listed there, only by the guidelines in choosing suitable music.

Music/Liturgy Preparation Checklist

PLEASE NOTE: George Miller (Cantor) and Adric Macsisak (Organist/Pianist) will automatically receive your wedding dates from the Wedding Coordinator. They need not be notified unless there are urgent & cogent issues surrounding your wedding music until 3 months before your wedding in order to schedule a music consultation.

3 months prior: Contact George Miller to schedule a music consultation meeting.

3 months prior: Contact and secure any optional & additional musicians (see below).

2 months prior: Meet with George Miller for music selection.
(Please note: Music stipend fees are due at the time of your consultation with Mr. Miller.)

3-4 weeks prior: Send your Wedding program to Mr. Miller for proof-reading.

2 weeks prior: Mail stipend check to priest or minister.
(Please note: your stipend/gift to the priest or minister is not included in Chapel fee.)

Loyola Wedding Musicians

The organist and cantor fees are $250.00 per person (subject to change).

George P. Miller, Cantor/Piano,
7704 Windy Ridge Baltimore, MD 21236 (W) 410.617.2449 (C) 443.286.9215

Adric Macsisak, Organ/Piano,
13000-A Dulaney Valley Rd. Glen Arm, MD 21057 (H) 443.632.6452

Mary Slomba, Substitute Cantor,
11757 Camp Cone Rd. Glen Arm MD 21057 (H) 410.592.2384

Optional Wedding Musicians

Fees for additional musicians are negotiated individually.

Luis Engelke, Trumpet 410.292.0718

Melina Gadjer, Violin (& string trio) 410.340.4047
Sara Nichols, Flute 410.377.4443

Jarred Denhard, Celtic Harp/Bagpipes 410.292.6142


Planning Your Wedding (PDF)

Wedding Liturgy Music Preparation (PDF)

Wedding Music Selection Demos


Laura McCormack

Phone: 410-617-2013

Fax: 410-617-2052