Season after Pentecost, 2023
I cannot commend enough the Episcopal Diocese of New York Liturgical Commission's document "Concerning Marriage".
It is a great source of clear thinking on the marriage liturgy.
One of the highlights for me was this explanation on why the Wagner and Mendelssohn aren't really appropriate for weddings.
Inevitably, this brings us to the matter of the wedding march from A Midsummer Night's Dream by Mendelssohn or the "Bridal Chorus" from Wagner's Lohengrin. The weight of secular custom behind these two pieces of music is so immense that we are aware our disapproving note may not be well-received. Clergy should consider, however, that neither of these pieces is, properly considered, sacred music. They are drawn from operatic contexts which are neither appropriate nor encouraging. The Mendelssohn piece occurs at the "wedding" of an ox to an ass, and the Wagner piece precedes the tragic death of the bride who has been unfaithful to her husband. If clergy decide to discourage their use, and we hope they will, it may be necessary to implement such a policy over a long time and in the face of considerable popular opposition.
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