You are my Beloved: A New Wedding Hymn

Author: The Rev. Diana E. Carroll“My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.” (Song of Songs 2:10)

I’ve been involved in planning quite a few weddings over the years, including my own, and I can tell you that one of the trickiest parts is choosing music. I love singing hymns, and I’m generally a big fan of our hymnal in the Episcopal Church, but it really falls short when it comes to weddings. There are precisely four hymns in the section titled “Marriage,” and I can pretty much guarantee that even if you are Episcopalian, you’ve never heard of any of them. Hymnals of other denominations, as it turns out, aren’t much better. Of course, there are plenty of other wonderful hymns out there that people can use at weddings, not to mention songs for choirs or soloists. But there are hardly any actual wedding hymns designed to be sung together by the whole gathered community.

So a few years ago, when my wife and I agreed to make each other Christmas presents instead of buying things, I decided to write her a wedding hymn. I drew on the image of the beloved in Song of Songs, which is often read from at weddings, and I set it to the tune of her favorite Christmas carol: “In the bleak midwinter.”

1. You are my beloved.

You, I’ll have and hold,

comfort, love, and cherish

as our lives unfold.