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Other Song Suggestions and Information

Introduction

Music is a vital ingredient in your church wedding service. It sets the atmosphere and enables everyone to join in the singing of your chosen hymns.

Most Christian wedding services include two or three hymns. However, there is no set rule as to how many hymns can be sung during your service although it is uncommon to have fewer than two, or more than four.



Choosing your hymns

You should be able to have any hymns of you choice sung during your service. However, you must discuss your preferences with your minister who's approval is needed.

Most churches have their own favorite hymn books which may or may not contain the hymns you would like. Therefore, when you meet with your minister, unless you know the hymns that you would like, you should ask for copies of the hymn books to take away. Alternatively, you may just wish to accept your minister's recommendations. If you are unfamiliar with any of your minister's suggested hymns, you will be able to arrange to meet with the church organist who will gladly play them for you.

When considering hymns for your service, you should always bear in mind the vocal talents of your guests. Unless they are known to be good singers, you should avoid unfamiliar hymns and hymns with high notes. This is particularly relevant if you will not be using the church choir. The last thing you want is an embarrassed silence!

To help you with your selection, we have listed below many of the most popular hymns.



When hymns are sung

The following example order of service shows when hymns are usually sung:

Order of Service

The Procession: Trumpet Voluntary - Clark

Introduction

Hymn: Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
(full text of hymn printed)

The Marriage

The Lesson and Reading

Hymn: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling
(full text of hymn printed)

The Prayers

The Blessing

The Signing of the Register

Hymn: Lead Us Heavenly Father Lead Us
(full text of hymn printed)

The Recession: Wedding March - Mendelssohn

Please note, permission from the copyright holder will be required to reprint the words to the hymns you choose.
Please read the Copyright Issues section below for further information.
You can see that the first hymn is sung at the beginning of the service, which is usually a hymn in praise of God in whose presence everyone has assembled. The second hymn, sung after the marriage ceremony, is in praise and celebration of the union. The third hymn, which is usually sung after the signing of the register, could be a hymn that speaks of the desire that God goes with you into the future to help you live out the vows that you have just made.

If communion is included in your service, a fourth hymn may be sung after the sacraments have been taken.

Music to accompany your hymns

If you require the church organ to play your hymn music, you need to arrange this with your minister, for which a fee will be payable. With your minister's approval, you may be able to have a competent friend or relative play for you. It is also usually possible to have professional musicians attend and play, although you will probably need at least a quartet to give the required strength and depth to the traditional 'orchestral' music played during a church service. It is for this reason that a church organ is so suitable.

For further general information about music for your wedding service, please refer to our separate article Music For Your Wedding
Using a choir

A group of trained voices will enhance your service tremendously, especially if the congregation size is small. As well as ensuring your hymns are sung as intended, a choir will encourage your guests to sing with more gusto!

If you plan on using your church's choir, for which an additional fee will be payable, there may be availability problems if your wedding is on a weekday, since many of the choir members may be at work. If this is the case, you may consider hiring a professional choir.
Most requested hymns

If you're stuck for ideas as to which hymns to choose for your service, take a look at our list of the most popular hymns. Click on a hymn's title to see the full text. What's more, most hymns have a MIDI file available, which is playable from the hymn's page. Please note, the quality of the sound you hear is dependent upon your media player and the quality of your sound card and speakers.

When you have decided upon the hymns you wish to include in your service, you should seek the approval of your church minister who will also advise you on the appropriate number of verses that should be sung. If you plan to print a hymn's words in your Order of Service, please show the words to your minister to ensure they are the correct ones. Please also read the section



When To Sing

Each hymn has been classified as to when it is most appropriate for it to be sung. The following key has been used:

Hymn
No. of
Verses
All Creatures Of Our God And King
7
All People That On Earth Do Dwell
5
All That I Am
2
All Things Bright And Beautiful
6
Amazing Grace
7
And Can It Be That I Should Gain
5
And Did Those Feet In Ancient Times
2
As Man And Woman We Were Made
4
At The Name Of Jesus
7
Be Our Chief Guest Lord
4
Bind Us Together
3
Colors Of Day
3
Come to a Wedding
4
Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind
5
Father Hear The Prayer We Offer
5
For The Beauty Of The Earth
5
Give Me Joy In My Heart
3
God Of All Living
4
Great Is Thy Faithfulness
4
Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer
3
How Great Thou Art
4
I Vow To Thee My Country
2
Immortal Invisible God Only Wise
4
Jerusalem
2
Jesus Stand Among Us
3
Lead Us Heavenly Father Lead Us
3
Lord Of All Hopefulness
4
Lord Of The Dance
5
Lord, For The Years
5
Love Came Down At Christmas
3
Love Divine All Love Excelling
3
Make Me A Channel Of Your Peace
3
Morning Has Broken
3/4
Now Thank We All Our God
3
O Father All Creating
4
O Jesus I Have Promised
5
O Perfect Love
3
O Worship The King
6
Peace, Perfect Peace
7
Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven
4
Praise To The Lord The Almighty
4
Take Our Bread We Ask You
2
Tell Out, My Soul
4
The Grace Of Life Is Theirs
4
The King Of Love My Shepherd Is
6
The Lord's My Shepherd I'll Not Want
5
To God Be The Glory, Great Things He Hath Done
3
Walk With Me O My Lord
5
We Plough The Fields And Scatter
3
If we have left out your favorite hymn, please let us know so we can consider adding it to our list.
Copyright issues

Copyright exists in creative works such as hymns for 70 years after the death of the writer. During that period, it is illegal to reproduce the works in any form without the permission of the copyright holder (or their appointed agent). Therefore, should you wish to reproduce the text of a hymn in your order of service, you will need the permission of the copyright holder for which a charge of between $10 and $25 is usually made.

Please note, you do not need the copyright holder's permission if you are only singing the hymns, since a wedding is a private function. It is only if you wish to print the hymn words (for example on an order of service) that permission is required.

 

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