As we hurtle toward June and the perennial Why Shouldn't We Have Carole King/Mendelssohn/West Side Story/the Lakers' Fight Song at Our Wedding conversations, a memory is stirred by a movie on in the next room, and with that memory a question about my own integrity in this regard.
I loved The Mission when it came out, enjoyed every performance immensely (what a treasure Ray McAnally was, what a powerful presence!), was thrilled by the story and the cinematography... and absolutely adored the score.
I had no liturgical music responsibilities at that point, (or really any involvement in it other than to critique, mea culpa, the music "performed" at the Mass of whatever parish I found myself that week,) having just finished the short-lived job immediately out of college, where my brief had been basically to look over the readings for the week and pick out 3 songs that kinda "went with" them....
But I was at the point in my life where I "planned" all sorts of things, what I would do with a fortune, how I'd pose on the back cover of my bestseller, what I'd say in an Oscar acceptance speeches -- and I fully intended to have that exquisite oboe melody, (called Gabriel's Theme, perhaps?) played at my funeral. (Funny I envisioned a funeral, but never a wedding...)
And I wonder, now, what would I do if that were an actual request from the family of the deceased for an actual funeral?
(It has an appropriate provenance, obviously an embroidery on Veni Creator... ;o))
It is very difficult, gently explaining why favorite music might be inappropriate, (easier at weddings, of course, than funerals,) and although I try very hard to be consistent, and to follow principles, I would be lying if I said I never bend or make exceptions.
I do wonder, has the great Ennio Morricone written any liturgical or even sacred music?
I'll have to do a search.