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", though "wedding march" refers to any piece in march tempo accompanying the entrance or exit of the bride, notably Felix Mendelssohn's "Wedding March". The 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.
Although at most weddings the chorus is usually played on an organ without singing, in Lohengrin the wedding party sings these words at the beginning of act three.
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.
Many pastors of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod oppose the "Bridal Chorus" because of both pre-First World War Lutheran opposition to the theater and the pagan elements of Wagner's operas. The Roman Catholic Church generally does not use the "Bridal Chorus"; one diocese's guidelines regarding the chorus state that the chorus is a secular piece of music, that it is not a processional to the altar in the opera, and especially that its frequent use in film and television associate it with sentimentality rather than worship.
- Pleck, Elizabeth Hafkin (2000). Celebrating the Family: Ethnicity, Consumer Culture, and Family Rituals. Harvard University Press. p. 212. Retrieved 2014-08-31.
- "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.
- "Lohengrin: Act 3, scene 1. "Treulich geführt ziehet dahin" (Chor)" at MusicBrainz (information and list of recordings)