Wedding Music at St Patrick's

Please read the Wedding Music policy of the cathedral carefully. It is important that you understand the requirements before engaging musicians or making music selections. The music policy is strictly applied and exceptions will not be permitted.


The Cathedral Music Department will help make the liturgical celebration of your marriage a beautiful, prayerful, and joyful event.  Our Director of Music will be pleased to assist you as far as possible in planning and providing the musicians who will lead the singing and play instruments at your wedding.

Music Selections

The selection of music must be appropriate to the sacramental nature of the liturgical celebration of marriage.  In the case of vocal music, the texts must also conform with the catholic faith, and should be drawn from christian scripture, psalms or sacred poetry.  Commercial “Pop” music and “love songs” are not in keeping with these elements and will not be permitted in the service. We recommend that music in this genre should be played at your wedding reception.


St. Patrick’s Cathedral has a highly qualified team of professional church musicians who are able to help with choices and performance of suitable music for your wedding.  The Director of Music will assist you in choosing the musicians you wish to have play at your wedding service.


The Cathedral Organist or his delegated assistant must be engaged to play for all weddings.  The cathedral organists are professional musicians who are familiar with the cathedral organs and who are trained in the art of liturgical music and service playing. This ensures that the music for your wedding will be of the highest quality and will be tailored to the liturgical ceremonial of your service.

At St. Patrick’s, the organ is considered the principal accompaniment for catholic wedding services and nuptial masses.  Other keyboard instruments such as synthesizers or accordians will not be permitted as substitutes for the cathedral organs.

To assist you in making selections for your wedding ceremony or nuptial mass, a sampler CD of suitable organ music for preludes, processions, and signing of the register is provided.   Please use the accompanying liturgical music planning form to help make your selections.

If you wish to have a particular piece of music which is not in the repertoire list, the Director of Music will attempt to accommodate your request.    In this case, the sheet music should be provided for the organist, or if the organist purchases the music to accommodate your request, the cost will be added to the organist fee.

Vocalist / Cantors

If you choose to have a vocalist or cantor sing at your wedding, our Director of Music can secure the services of one of the cathedral cantors or singers who can lead congregational singing as well as provide vocal solos for parts of the service such as the signing of the register.   In addition to choices made for hymns and/or signing of the register, the singer should also sing important parts of the catholic liturgy, especially the Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and in the case of a Nuptial Mass, the Holy, Holy.


Additional instrumentalists (trumpet & violin soloists,  string quartets & ensembles etc.) are often desired as part of the wedding music.  The Music Director can engage the services of professional instrumentalists who are superbly skilled and experienced in working in the Cathedral.

It is Cathedral policy that instrumentalists must be arranged through the Music Director.


The presence of a choir can be a very effective way of enhancing your wedding service with beautiful sacred music A quartet, octet, large choir or any other combination of Cathedral singers may be contracted for your wedding. To discuss the arrangements and fees for engaging a choir, please contact the Director of Music.

Non-Cathedral Musicians

The professional musicians in the cathedral music ministry team support the cathedral parish by providing their musical services as required for the diverse range of Sunday liturgies and feasts which are conducted at St. Patrick’s.  In return, the cathedral supports these musicians by way of engagement in weddings, funerals and special liturgies.  Use of non-Cathedral musicians for weddings is therefore strongly discouraged.  In the event, however, that you wish to employ a non-Cathedral musician at your wedding, the following information applies:

  • An audio recording of the musician must be submitted to the Music Director at least 2 months prior to your wedding service.  The Music Director will use the recording to determine the musician’s ability to competently fulfill their musical role in the liturgy.  This is done to ensure the quality of musical and liturgical prayer at your wedding.  Most qualified musicians will have a suitable tape/CD available.
  • In the case of qualified non-Cathedral singers, they will be permitted to sing one or two solos by agreement with the Music Director.  Please note that even in cases where a non-Cathedral singer is permitted, the minimum liturgical parts of the service should be sung.
  • Rehearsal time with the non-Cathedral musician and the Music Director must be arranged. Please note that this rehearsal will require an extra fee.


The fees for the payment of Cathedral musicians are payable to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and should be paid to the cathedral office once the final music selections have been determined.


Cancellations of contracted musicians made with less than one month’s notice of the wedding date, will incur a cancellation fee amounting to 50% of the fee payable for professional services.

Wedding Rehersals

It is not usual for wedding musicians to attend the wedding service rehearsal.  If, for particular reasons, an arrangement is made with the Director of Music for a cathedral musician to attend the wedding rehearsal an additional fee will be payable.

Pre-Recorded Music

All music in the cathedral liturgies must be performed by live musicians.  The use of pre-recorded music such as CDs and/or Cassette tapes is not permitted before, during or after the cathedral liturgies.

Videography and Recording of Cathedral Music

If you intend to video or audio record the wedding service in the cathedral, you must notify the Director of Music. Except in the case of the cathedral organist and cantor, some restrictions may apply to the recording of particular musical elements.

Consultations with the Director of Music

If you need to arrange a consultation with the cathedral Music Director to discuss music selections or the engagement of musicians please telephone the cathedral music office on  8839 8433  or email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Before your meeting please be sure to give consideration to the ideas or requests which you may wish to discuss.

Before meeting with the Music Director it is suggested that you should consider the readings for the service, psalm and gospel acclamation texts you would like.   You should bring these details to the meeting.

In following this guide, to Music in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, we are confident that the musical experience of your wedding will be a joyous and memorable one for you, the bride and groom and for your wedding guests.

With every best wish for your Wedding Day,


Bernard Kirkpatrick

Director of Music

Download the Wedding Music Selection Form HERE


Music Policy of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Parramatta.  Applicable from 1st July 2006.

©2006 St. Patrick’s Cathedral Parramatta.

Issued with approval of the Dean, Very Rev. Peter G. Williams.  July 2006