Admittedly, I did not recognize the processional song used at last Friday's Royal Wedding of William and Kate. Viewing the ceremony, I had been struck by the majestic, regal and spiritual nature of the piece. This is the type of music that I could imagine being played as one entered through the gates of Heaven. In fact, the piece is often used in coronation ceremonies. It was the perfect choice for a royal wedding!
The name of the piece is "I Was Glad" from Psalm 122 by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry. Parry is a British composer whose first major works appeared in 1880. As a composer he is best known for the choral song "Jerusalem", the coronation anthem "I Was Glad" and the hymn tune "Repton", which sets the words "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind." He was director of the Royal College of Music from 1895 until his death and was also professor of music at the University of Oxford from 1900 to 1908.
Should engaged couples use this selection for their ceremony music? I believe that most couples will find "I Was Glad" too epic for the bridal party processional or entrance of the bride. However, the song might be a welcome addition to prelude music and a refreshing surprise from the usual suspects.