The "Bridal Chorus" (German: "Treulich geführt") from the 1850 opera Lohengrin by German composer Richard Wagner, who also wrote the libretto, is a march played for the bride's entrance at many formal weddings throughout the Western world. In English-speaking countries, it is generally known as "Here Comes the Bride" or "Wedding March", but "wedding march" refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March". Wagner’s piece was made popular when it was used as the processional at the wedding of Victoria the Princess Royal to Prince Frederick William of Prussia in 1858.
The chorus is sung in Lohengrin by the women of the wedding party after the ceremony, as they accompany the heroine Elsa to her bridal chamber.
Treulich geführt ziehet dahin,
Faithfully guided, draw near
Eight women then sing a blessing to a separate melody.
Wie Gott euch selig weihte,
As God hath blessedly consecrated you,
The chorus then repeats the first section, gradually proceeding offstage.
Some Christian churches disagree with the use of the "Bridal Chorus" at wedding ceremonies. In an FAQ on the website of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod it was explained that opposition to the piece dated from before the First World War, when Lutherans were opposed "to any sort of theater", and Wagner's operas were seen as "depict[ing] pagan stories and themes." A pamphlet issued in 2003 by the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego said that the "Bridal Chorus" was "not to be used", again because it is a theatrical piece, but also because it is not a processional to the altar in the opera, and because its frequent use in film and television associate it with sentimentality rather than worship.
Many Jewish couples prefer to choose other music due to the antisemitic views at times espoused by Wagner and his stated lack of respect for Jewish music.
- Pleck, Elizabeth Hafkin (2000). Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals. Harvard University Press. p. 212. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
lohengrin bridal chorus victoria.
- "Wedding March". The Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod. Archived from the original on June 7, 2008. Retrieved November 18, 2007.
- "Guidelines for Wedding Music" (PDF). Diocese of San Diego Office of Liturgy and Spirituality. 2000. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 27, 2007. Retrieved November 18, 2007.
- "Richard Wagner Controversy". www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org. Retrieved 2022-10-14.