Choosing hymns for your wedding

When selecting hymns for your wedding, you will probably want to consider how the words reflect your understanding of what the day is about, and perhaps how they relate to the reading you have chosen.

It is also advisable to choose hymns that are fairly well-known. If you are having the choir, this will help the congregation to sing, but the right hymns can make all the difference.

The following hymns are some suggestions, with brief comments about each hymn.

You may choose to omit a verse or two – this is quite acceptable, but should be discussed with the minister first.

There are many other hymns you may know and like – do discuss these with the minister if you think they would be appropriate.

We advise you not to use hymn words found elsewhere on the internet, as these are often a bit random, and will need careful checking.

We can send you the most suitable words for the hymns you choose by email.

All creatures of our God and King
A joyful hymn of praise for God’s creation.

All things bright and beautiful
A well-known hymn that many people learnt at Sunday School.

All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colours, He made their tiny wings.
All things bright…

The purple headed mountain, the river running by,
The sunset, and the morning that brightens up the sky.
All things bright…

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden, He made them every one.
All things bright…

He gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell
How great is God Almighty Who has made all things well.
All things bright…

Amazing Grace
About the journey to faith and God’s generosity in accepting us as we are.

Amazing grace – how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’ve first begun.

 

BE OUR CHIEF GUEST, LORD
To the tune of ‘Morning has Broken’

Be our chief guest, Lord, Lord of all living,
Lord of all loving, this wedding day:
Bind us together in your sure keeping,
So we may never wander away.

Bless all who have brought us up from our childhood,
Caring, forgiving, through the long day:
May the same spirit shine in our home, Lord,
Lighting our pathway, we humbly pray.

Bless all our friends, Lord, happy and true friends,
Laughing or crying, always the same:
Bright with this friendship, may our own home be
Ready to welcome all in your name.

Be our chief guest, Lord, Lord of all living,
Warm with compassion showing the way:
Keep us together in loving service,
Families and friends, Lord, this wedding day.

 

And did those feet (Jerusalem)
A hymn written by William Blake, based on the suggestion that Jesus may have walked here.

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England’s mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England’s pleasant pastures seen?
And did the countenance divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among those dark satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds, unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!
I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand,
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England’s green and pleasant land.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways
A quieter hymn seeking God’s forgiveness for the past, and peace for the future.

Dear Lord and Father of mankind, forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise, in deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow thee, rise up and follow thee,

O Sabbath rest by Galilee! O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love, interpreted by love.

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of thy call:
As noiseless let thy blessing fall,
As fell thy manna down, as fell thy manna down.

Drop thy still dews of quietness till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace, the beauty of thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire,
Speak through the earthquake, wind and fire,
O still small voice of calm, O still small voice of calm.

Give me joy in my heart (Sing Hosanna!)
A joyful song seeking God’s goodness in our lives.

Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
Give me joy in my heart, I pray.
Give me joy in my heart, keep me praising,
Keep me praising till the break of day.
Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna,
Sing Hosanna to the King of Kings
Sing Hosanna, sing Hosanna,
Sing Hosanna to the King.

Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
Give me peace in my heart, I pray.
Give me peace in my heart, keep me resting,
Keep me resting till the break of day.
Sing Hosanna..

Give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
Give me love in my heart, I pray.
Give me love in my heart, keep me serving,
Keep me serving till the break of day
Sing Hosanna..

Great is Thy faithfulness
A hymn expressing God’s good ness to us, and his trustworthiness

Guide me, O Thou Great Redeemer
A Welsh hymn that asks for God’s guidance throughout life.

Guide me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty;
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
Feed me now and evermore, feed me now and evermore.

Open thou the crystal fountain,
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fiery, cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer,
Be thou still my strength and shield,
Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s destruction,
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
I will ever give to thee, I will ever give to thee.

I danced in the morning (Lord of the Dance)
A joyful song that takes us through the life of Christ.

I danced in the morning when the world was begun,
And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun,
And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth,
At Bethlehem I had my birth.
Dance, then, wherever you may be;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be,
And I’ll lead you all in the dance, said he.

I danced for the scribe and the Pharisee,
But they would not dance and they would not follow me;
I danced for the fishermen, for James and John;
They came to me and the dance went on.
Dance, then…

I danced on the sabbath when I cured the lame,
The holy people said it was a shame;
They whipped and they stripped and they hung me high;
And they left me there on a cross to die.
Dance, then…

I danced on a Friday and the sky turned black;
It’s hard to dance with the devil on your back;
They buried my body and they thought I’d gone,
But I am the dance and I still go on.
Dance, then…

They cut me down and I leapt up high,
I am the life that’ll never, never die;
I’ll live in you if you’ll live in me;
I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.
Dance, then…

Lord, the light of your love (Shine, Jesus, shine)
A modern hymn, asking that God may be seen in us and in our lives.

Lord, the light of your love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus, Light of the World, shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth you now bring us,
Shine on me, shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine,
Fill this land with the Father’s glory,
Blaze, Spirit, blaze, set our hearts on fire.
Flow, river, flow,
Flood the nations with grace and mercy,
Send forth your word, Lord, and let there be light.

Lord, I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By Your blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness.
Shine on me, shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine…

As we gaze on Your kingly brightness,
So our faces display Your likeness,
Ever changing from glory to glory,
Mirrored here, may our lives tell your story,
Shine on me, shine on me.
Shine, Jesus, shine…

Love divine, all loves excelling
A popular wedding hymn of praise for the love of God in our lives. There are two tunes to this hymn – please check..

If tune is ‘Love Divine’
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown:

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Come almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.

Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;

Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise.

If tune is ‘Blaenwern’
Love divine, all loves excelling,
Joy of heaven to earth come down,
Fix in us Thy humble dwelling,
All Thy faithful mercies crown:

Jesus, Thou art all compassion,
Pure, unbounded love Thou art;
Visit us with Thy salvation,
Enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit
Into every troubled breast;
Let us all with Thee inherit
Let us find Thy promised rest;
Take away the love of sinning,
Alpha and Omega be;
End of faith, as its beginning,
Set our hearts at liberty.

Come almighty to deliver,
Let us all Thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never,
Never more Thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
Serve Thee as Thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise Thee without ceasing,
Glory in Thy perfect love.

Finish, then, Thy new creation,
Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation
Perfectly restored in Thee;
Changed from glory into glory,
Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee,
Lost in wonder, love and praise.

Lord of all hopefulness
A hymn asking for God’s presence each day, bringing joy, love, strength and peace.

Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy
Whose trust, ever childlike no cares could destroy
Be there at our waking, and give us, we pray,
Your bliss in our hearts, Lord, at the break of the day.

Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith,
Whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe,
Be there at our labours, and give us, we pray,
Your strength in our hearts, Lord, at the noon of the day.

Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace,
Your hands swift to welcome, Your arms to embrace,
Be there at our homing, and give us, we pray,
Your love in our hearts, Lord, at the eve of the day.

Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm,
Whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm,
Be there at our sleeping, and give us, we pray,
Your peace in our hearts, Lord, at the end of the day.

Make me a channel of your peace.
A hymn asking for God’s help that we might be a source of peace, love and hope to those around us.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me bring your love,
Where there is injury, your pardon, Lord,
And where there’s doubt, true faith in You.
O master grant that I may never seek
So much to be consoled as to console,
To be understood, as to understand,
To be loved, as to love with all my soul.

Make me a channel of your peace,
Where there’s despair in life, let me bring hope,
Where there is darkness, only light,
And where there’s sadness, ever joy.
O master grant …

Morning has broken
A hymn that calls on all creation to echo God’s praise.

Morning has broken like the first morning;
Blackbird has spoken like the first bird.
Praise for the singing! Praise for the morning!
Praise for them, springing fresh from the Word.

Sweet the rain’s newfall sunlit from heaven,
Like the first dewfall on the first grass.
Praise for the sweetness of the wet garden,
Sprung in completeness where his feet pass.

Mine is the sunlight! Mine is the morning
Born of the one light Eden saw play!
Praise with elation, praise every morning,
God’s re-creation of the new day.

O Jesus, I have promised to serve thee to the end
A hymn declaring our commitment to Christ. There are several tunes to this hymn. Please discuss this with us to ensure the right one.

O Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou for ever near me, my Master and my friend.
I shall not fear the battle if Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway if Thou wilt be my guide.

O Jesus, Thou hast promised to all who follow Thee
That where Thou art in glory there shall Thy servant be;
And, Jesus, I have promised to serve Thee to the end;
O give me grace to follow my Master and my friend.

O let me see Thy footmarks and in them plant mine own;
My hope to follow duly is in Thy strength alone;
O guide me, call me, draw me, uphold me to the end;
And then in heaven receive me, my Saviour and my friend.

O Lord my God (How Great Thou art)
The most requested hymn on Songs of Praise – a hymn that expresses worship God for His creation and for His Son.

O Lord my God! when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hand hath made;
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed;
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander,
and hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
and hear the brook, and feel the gentle breeze;
Then sings my soul…

And when I think that God His Son not sparing
sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in.
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
Then sings my soul…

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home – what joy shall fill my heart!
Then shall I bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul…

One more step along the world I go
A hymn sung often in schools that seeks God’s help in the days to come.

One more step along the world I go,
One more step along the world I go,
From the old things to the new,
Keep me travelling along with you,
And it’s from the old I travel to the new,
Keep me travelling along with you.

Round the corner of the world I turn,
More and more about the world I learn,
All the new things that I see
You’ll be looking at along with me, And it’s from the old…

As I travel through the bad and good
Keep me travelling the way I should;
Where I see no way to go
You’ll be telling me the way, I know And it’s from the old…

Give me courage when the world is rough,
Keep me loving when the world is tough;
Leap and sing in all I do,
Keep me travelling along with you And it’s from the old…

You are older than the world can be,
You are younger than the life in me,
Ever old and ever new,
Keep me travelling along with you. And it’s from the old…

Praise, my soul, the King of heaven
A popular hymn of praise to God, and a prayer for the future.

Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven;
To his feet thy tribute bring.
Ransomed, healed, restored, forgiven,
Who like me his praise should sing?
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Praise the everlasting King

Praise him for his grace and favour
To our fathers in distress;
Praise him still the same forever,
Slow to chide, and swift to bless.
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Glorious in his faithfulness.

Father -like, he tends and spares us;
Well our feeble frame he knows;
In his hands he gently bears us,
Rescues us from all our foes.
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Widely as his mercy flows.

Angels, help us to adore him;
Ye behold him face to face;
Sun and moon, bow down before him;
Dwellers all in time and space.
Praise him! Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!
Praise with us the God of grace.

The King of love my shepherd is
Based on Psalm 23 and the story of the lost sheep, this hymn tells of God’s goodness through good times and bad.

The Lord’s my shepherd
Another setting of Psalm 23.

The Lord’s my shepherd, I’ll not want;
He makes me down to lie
In pastures green; he leadeth me
The quiet waters by.
My soul he doth restore again,
And me to walk doth make
Within the paths of righteousness,
E’en for his own name’s sake.

Make me a channel of your peace,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
In giving to all men that we receive,
And in dying that we’re born to eternal life.

The love we share, the love we come to celebrate
Modern words, specifically about marriage, to the tune Londonderry Air (O Danny Boy)

The love we share, the love we come to celebrate,
So rich and full, so healing and so strong,
Comes from the love of God our loving Father
Within whose care we all of us belong.
A love which breathed creation into being,
A love which hears our deepest hopes and dreams;
A love which now within this marriage making
Alights on bride and groom to bless and make them one.

Through future years, may they hold bright the memory
Of all the joys on this their wedding day.
And as their love grows stronger yet and deeper
Their rings express much more than words can say.
They speak of love that never has an ending,
Of love that shines, encircles in embrace,
Of love whose heart is always free and open;
Our human love reflects the beauty of God’s grace.

These vows of love are taken
Modern words, specifically about marriage, to the tune “Thaxted” from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, also used for “I vow to thee my country”

These vows of love are taken, as rings of love received,
We witness here among us a mystery believed:
That in God’s holy presence a marriage has begun
And these your precious children have now become as one.
For the things of earth and heaven draw closer as we pray,
And in heaven the angels celebrate with us on earth today.

For all our many blessings we offer thanks and praise,
For gifts of love and fellowship our thankful hearts we raise.
God’s hand has held us safely and brought us to this day,
God has guided and protected and taught us on the way.
For the love we learn on earth is the love we’ll find in heaven
And the human love we celebrate Is love that God has given.

We gather here, we gather now
Modern words, specifically about marriage, to the tune “Jerusalem”.

We gather here, we gather now,
Drawn by the love we know and share.
We come to celebrate in our joy
The union of this bridal pair.
To them our hearts reach out with love,
On them the light of heaven above
Shines down in grace abundant and free
To bless them both eternally.

And we who join to wish them well,
Offer them both our love and prayer
That they may walk in fullness of life
The journey they have come to share.
That they may know if storms come near
That they have friends and family here
For we commit ourselves to pray
And love and cherish them each day.