John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

  • Music:

In which JHeaton admits he's a hypocrite

This morning in church, the pianist played a Chopin Nocturne -- sorry, don't remember which one -- as the offertory anthem. As I listened, it occured to me that it might make a nice wedding processional. (Eh, what can I say? Going to weddings makes me think about weddings.) Thinking about it later in the day, I realized that what I said yesterday --

I'm not sure I fully approve of using a secular song like that during a church wedding though.

-- was really quite appallingly hypocritical. Sure, "My Luve's Like a Red, Red Rose" is secular ... but so too is that Chopin Nocturne, and Wagner's "Wedding March" from Lohengrin, and Handel's "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" from Solomon, and Mouret's "Rondeau," and any number of other works that I like hearing at weddings. And if I'm willing to accept those pieces in weddings, why shouldn't I accept "Red, Red Rose?" No reason that I can think of. The point is that any church wedding is a mixture of sacred and secular. Certain parts of the wedding service are mandated by law, and it's the state that gives ministers the power to perform legal marriages. Given that, I guess the bride and groom should be allowed a certain flexibility when it comes to selecting music and readings at their wedding.

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