[quote="puppypatrol, post:8, topic:177395"]
Wagner's wedding march is not allowed in the church because he wrote it for his mistress and is definitely not appropriate at a wedding.
Please see my earlier post regarding the Wagner and Mendelssohn "traditional" wedding marches. I’m NOT picking on you, please know that, but I just want to make this clear because I’ve seen so many different reasons for it and most are not correct. Basically, if Wagner’s work was banned because of his moral character, then most works by almost every composer who ever wrote music, let alone specifically for liturgy, would be banned, including those who mostly composed polyphony as well as some of those religious men who created different chant modes. No one is without sin. The Church is smart enough to not follow that line of thinking.
Again, the MAIN reason why the Wagner is not permitted or should not be permitted (if some parishes still incorporate it, which I know that is the case for some) is because it is from a SECULAR piece of work - not because of anything else. As I believe everyone in this thread knows knows, the Church does not permit secular pieces to be used at mass. Sacred music is best, religious music can be used depending on the style and absolute music can also be used (such as organ works or other instrumental works which has no secular or sacred connotations).
Wagner did not compose it for a mistress – at least from anything I ever read about him by those who did study on his life. Although, even if he did, it would not have been banned just based on that conjecture or truth. The actual piece “Bridal Chorus” – AKA “Here Comes the Bride” by those who are not opera aficionados, came from his opera “Lohengrin”. Although some brides do not care if it is from a secular work even if you tell them it can’t be done in a Catholic nuptial mass, most of the time, when I explain the story of Lohengrin, that is when most of them understand and don’t want it for the wedding because the story of the opera has a very unhappy ending. In short, Elsa and Lohengrin are married, but never consummate the marriage due to Elsa breaking her promise to Lohengrin about never asking about his true identity and place of origin. He abandons her, she dies of a broken heart. Definitely not something most brides want to use once they hear that story.
If an individual person doesn’t want to use a piece of music due to the composer’s character or other reasons, that’s fine, but the Church doesn’t usually base banning of music because of those things. She usually bases it on whether or not the work is sacred-sounding or too secular-sounding in nature, if the work came from a larger secular work such as a secular cantata, secular oratorio, opera, ballet, etc. There have been other reasons, too, which I won’t go into.
This is why many of Bach’s works have been incorporated for use at mass – particularly his organ works. They are either sacred/religious in nature or absolute music. His harmonization of “O Sacred Head Surrounded” for instance, is absolutely beautiful. One of my favorites.