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Best Christian Wedding Processional Songs

Dec 08, 2014

Planning a wedding can be a huge time-consuming commitment. Everything from flowers to clothes to food and more - so many details to keep up with. And then there's the music. I'm certainly no wedding planner, but in this post I hope to offer a few suggestions for music that could work for the processional.

There are so many ways that a wedding could be themed: seasonal, holiday, formal, informal, and more. I’ve tried to include a number of different musical styles – some that would work better with a large traditional wedding, some that might be better for a relaxed outdoor ceremony. I’ve listed a few musical ideas here that, even if you don’t like these particular selections, could hopefully help get your creativity flowing and spark some other ideas.

In a Moment by Rebecca St. James

This is a beautiful praise song. It’s slow enough for a processional, but has all the rhythm, power, and passion that Rebecca St. James puts into every one of her songs. It celebrates the beauty of God, and at a Christian wedding, God should be the center of it all.

Beloved by Tenth Avenue North

Musically this would work best with a contemporary-style wedding rather than formal or traditional one. But it’s the lyrics that are especially powerful for a wedding. We are God’s beloved, but earthly marriage is a reflection of God’s love for us, and this song illustrates that perfectly.

Freedom (album) by Michael W Smith

The album “Freedom” is a completely instrumental one. While it has multiple tracks, it’s basically a symphony. Michael W. Smith’s talent as a composer shines on this album, and any number of tracks (or multiple ones played in sequence) would be dramatic music appropriate for any wedding procession.

Amazing Grace

This song is usually associated with funerals, but I wanted to put it on here because it’s such a beautiful and well-known song. Depending on the arrangement, it could easily be played in a more upbeat, triumphal way that would be more suited to a wedding processional rather than a dirge. It was not originally written as a funeral song, and the lyrics are full of joy.

Be Thou my Vision

This happens to be one of my favorite hymns. Many contemporary Christian artists have sung this: Alison Krauss and Jars of Clay have slow acoustic versions, and then there’s Rebecca St. James’ version if you want a more upbeat tempo. Whether a modern rock version, or sung in a more traditional style by a church choir, or simply as an instrumental piece, this classic hymn is easily recognized and easily loved. The lyrics speak of God’s guidance, which is very appropriate to a wedding.

Heyr, Himnasmiður

This is also a hymn, though probably less well-known than “Amazing Grace” or “Be Thou my Vision.” It’s a medieval Icelandic hymn (the title roughly translates to “Listen, Maker of the Heavens.”) Every version that I have heard of this is evocative, mesmerizing, and moves me to tears. If no one attending your wedding speaks Icelandic and you don’t want to have a processional song in a language no one knows, the melody of this hymn is as powerful by itself as it is sung with the words.

El Shaddai

This song features some non-English lyrics, as well (in this case, Hebrew). Amy Grant’s version is the first time I heard this song, though I know it has been done by many other artists. It’s also a lovely tune, slow and rhythmic, and would be a beautiful praise to God during a wedding.

Christmas Songs

Naturally, using a Christmas song during your wedding would be most appropriate for a late fall or winter wedding. I didn’t list specific songs here because there are so many wonderful Christmas hymns, and so many versions of each. Fast tempo or slow, words, instrumental, rock, traditional choir – the choices are as endless as there are wedding styles and themes. I am suggesting, though, a selection from Christian holiday songs, such as “Joy to the World,” rather than something like “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” (Although the latter would be fine if it happened to fit with the theme of your wedding.)

There are many other choices – both specific songs and general genres of music – that I could have added to this list. I hope that if you’re searching for wedding music ideas that this post sparks some ideas and gives you something new to consider.

Do you have any other suggestions or favorites to add to this list?

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