I was at a wedding recently and was introduced to this hymn (which also works well as a poem) written by John Berridge. Berridge was a preacher, a revivalist and a hymnwriter who wrote several hundred songs. Indelible Grace has a helpful biography of the man. I quite enjoyed his hymn “Since Jesus Freely Did Appear” and thought I’d share it with you.
Since Jesus freely did appear
To grace a marriage feast,
O Lord, we ask thy presence here
To make a wedding guest.
Upon the bridal pair look down,
Who now have plighted hands,
Their union with thy favor crown,
And bless the nuptial bands.
With gifts of grace their hearts endow,
Of all rich dowries best!
Their substance bless, and peace bestow,
To sweeten all the rest.
In purest love their souls unite,
That they with christian care,
May make domestic burdens light,
But taking each their share.
True helpers may they prove indeed,
In pray’r, and faith, and hope;
And see with joy a Godly seed
To build their household up.
An Isaac and Rebecca, give
A pattern chaste and kind;
So may this married couple live
And die in friendship joined.
On every soul assembled here,
O make thy face to shine,
Thy goodness more our hearts can cheer,
Than richest food or wine.