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Wedding music

07.06.2021, 18:10
Music is an important element of the wedding ceremony. You can talk with the church organist about your special wishes or ask for advice on suitable wedding marches and hymns. The internet offers you the opportunity to hear a good selection of wedding music. Also the Finnish hymnal is available online.
Kuvassa Helsingin tuomiokirkon urkupillistöä, joissa kultaisia koristeluja.

Wedding marches

Most wedding ceremonies have a wedding march in the beginning and one in the end. There are a number of very well-known international wedding marches, but you can also select a Finnish piece. Many other musical pieces may suit the occasion even if they are not known as wedding music or are not even marches. When looking for your favourite music, please remember that the wedding ceremony is a worship service, and that the music must suit the religious nature of the event.

Popular wedding marches:

  • J.S. Bach: Prelude in C major
  • J.S. Bach: Prelude in F major
  • Jeremiah Clarke: A Trumpet Voluntary
  • Edward Elgar: Land of Hope and Glory (Pomp and Circumstance)
  • Toivo Kuula: Wedding March op. 3/2
  • Erkki Melartin: Festive March op. 22/30 (Sleeping Beauty)
  • Felix Mendelssohn: Wedding March op. 61/9 (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
  • Johann Pachelbel: Canon
  • Richard Wagner: Bridal Choir from the opera Lohengrin

You can listen to the wedding marches on the website haamusiikki.info.

You can also listen to the more popular wedding marches played on the organ of the Helsinki Lutheran Cathedral on YouTube. The channel Häämusiikki Soi run by the organists of the Helsinki Cathedral Parish is constantly being updated and expanded.

Wedding hymns

You can find Finnish wedding hymns and songs from the Finnish Church Hymnal: hymns 238–241 and songs 816–824. Many other hymns are suitable for the occasion, e.g. general hymns of thanksgiving and praise, and hymns about family and home, especially if you bring children into the new marriage.

I you are planning an international wedding, you may want to choose hymns that are available in Finnish and English or in the mother languages of both partners. You might also want to check with your families what hymns they know.

Here is a list of suitable songs with lyrics in Finnish and English:

135. Jumala loi auringon, kuun – God made the sun brightly to shine

240. Herra, kaiken onnen tuoja – O Lord, fount of ev’ry blessing

327. Kaikki maat, te riemuitkaatte – Praise the Lord, each tribe and nation

329. Kiitos nyt Herran! – Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

332 Herraa hyvää kiittäkää – Praise the kind and gracious Lord

342. Niin ihanaa on ylistää – How wondrous fair to praise thy name

416. Nyt on aika kiitokset – There’s a spirit in the air

462. Soi kunniaksi Luojan – Oh, sing to the Creator

464. Kun oksat vihannoivat – Like boughs that bear abundance

471. Hyvä Jumala, kiitän kodista – Good and gracious Lord

517. Herra kädelläsi – In your hand, my Saviour

571. Jo joutui armas aika (Suvivirsi) – The summer in sweet splendour

600. Hyvyyden voiman ihmeelliseen suojaan – By gracious powers so wonderfully sheltered

817. Luo näihin kahteen katseesi – These two have come, O gracious Lord

820. Loit, Luoja, meidät maailmaan – You made us for each other, God

821. Kiitos, hyvä Jumala – Thank you, good and righteous God

824. Oi rakkauden Luoja – O love-creating Power

830. Oi saavu, Herra, kotiimme – Lord, bless this home you gave to us

937. Nousta sai aamuun – Morning has broken

979. Tulkoon tie sinua vastaan – May the road rise to meet you

English hymns that are known widely around the world and that are popular in English (and many other) language weddings are, for example:

  • All things bright and beautiful
  • Amazing grace
  • Dear Lord and Father of mankind
  • How great thou art!
  • Love divine, all loves excelling
  • Lord of all hopefulness
  • Praise, my soul, the King off heaven
  • The King of love my Shepherd is
  • The Lord’s my Shepherd

Other music

It is possible to have other music than wedding marches and hymns in the service. You may have a favourite song with strong emotional value for both of you. Or perhaps a good friend would like to present a gift in music to you during the ceremony, either vocal or instrumental. If so, let the pastor and the church organist know your wishes, so they can advise you on whether the idea is appropriate to the religious character of the occasion.

Wedding music concerts

Throughout the year many Lutheran parishes in Helsinki organise wedding music concerts, where you have an opportunity to hear many popular wedding marches and hymns in the setting of a church and mostly played on the organ.