Music FAQs

Sacred Heart is happy to guide and assist you with the musical elements of your wedding plans. Once you have completed your preparation processes (meetings with the priest and Pre-Cana), then it is time to begin the formal planning for the songs and instrumental music that accompanies the rituals of the wedding ceremony and celebration.

Is there music at a wedding ceremony?

Yes. Singing and instrumental music are a vital part of the celebration of your wedding. The musical elements of the celebration promote participation by you and your guests, enhance and accent portions of the celebration, and add to the aesthetic element of this special day.

Is the Sacred Heart organ used at weddings?

Yes. Sacred Heart has an organ that can be used at weddings as well as both an accomplished organist and vocalist. In addition, several other musicians from local Catholic parishes around the area also assist us from time to time. Our organist schedules them to assist at your wedding as needed.

Do you have an organist available to play for my wedding?

Yes. Our director of music, Philip Jakob, is an accomplished organist and singer, and is available for a fee of $250.

How about someone to sing during the wedding? Can they be part of the celebration?

Yes. A cantor adds a wonderful aesthetic to the ceremonies. The right cantor not only provides vocal accompaniment, but also leads your guests to participate. As mentioned above, our organist is an accomplished vocalist. In addition, other cantors from our parish and local Catholic parishes in the area also assist us from time to time. Our organist schedules them to assist at your wedding as needed. Cantors from Sacred Heart will come at a rate of $150, and should be paid separately from the organist.

How should I prepare payment for the musicians?

Music fees can be paid on the day or before the wedding commences. Please prepare separate payments for each musician or group.

What about other musicians and instrumentalists?

Occasionally, the question arises regarding additional musical or vocal accompaniment such as another cantor, string quartets, or wind players. We have worked with many of the music professionals here in the Tampa Bay area and can make opportunities to have them participate in the celebration. Our director of music, Philip Jakob, approves their participation, and can also recommend ‘tried and tested’ string and wind players if you’re unsure of where to start. We would advise that you contact Philip via email first before hiring. Please note that these professionals have their own fees outside of the fees of Sacred Heart.

Who do I contact at the parish to get more information?

Please contact Philip Jakob, our director of music, at 813-229-1595, ext. 205, or via email, only after the date of your wedding has been confirmed by our staff.

When you contact Philip, please supply the following details:

  • names of the engaged couple
  • name of the priest/deacon officiating
  • date and time of the wedding
  • whether the wedding will be within or outside of a Mass

Philip will then send you the appropriate documentation to take the selection of music to the next step.

When should I and my fiancé(e) meet with the Organist?

Typically, this occurs after your preparation meetings with the Priest and Pre-Cana, usually eight weeks prior to the wedding. Please be aware that during certain times of the year, notably Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter, Sacred Heart and outside musicians will be busier than normal. Mutually agreeable times to meet may prove a bit more challenging.

What happens when I meet with my organist?

They will review with you when and why music occurs in the ceremony and assist you in the selection of appropriate music for the celebration, sung or instrumental. 

Can I prepare for my meeting with my Organist?

Yes. The music within a wedding celebration should have appropriate characteristics in three areas:


  • The liturgy of Marriage celebrates the love between two persons and the love of God for us. Thus, the music is necessarily sacred, appropriate to this celebration of love, and appropriate in use for this occasion.
  • The text of songs must be drawn from Holy Scripture and liturgical sources, be sacred in nature, and consistent with Catholic teaching. The musical selection should reflect a basic understanding of the meaning of worship as well as the function and importance of the various parts the wedding liturgy.


  • The music must promote participation by your family and guests.
  • Some texts by their very nature should always be sung by the whole assembly, e.g., the Responsorial Psalm, Gospel Acclamation, and acclamations within the Eucharistic Prayer and reception of the Eucharist. The music should be easy for your guests and you to sing.

The music must be technically, aesthetically, and expressively good, and the musicians must be competent in their liturgical understanding.

Our organist or an organist of your choosing will guide you in the selection of music. You may also feel free to look through the texts in our hymnals of the appropriate songs suggested, or you can find audio clips on the internet of many of the processionals listed.

What are the fees for my organist and cantor?

The fees are $150 for the cantor and $250 for the organist. Please remember, if other musicians are part of the celebration, their fees are in addition to the above and should be arranged apart from the parish.