What

Hymns
Anthems
Voluntaries

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Hymns

It is usual for up to three hymns to be sung during the wedding service. These are the ones you may not have sung since primary school, or the favourites which everyone will know and be able to join in with. Hymns are like verses of poetry set to music. Some of the most evocative hymn verses have been set to a variety of tunes over time so be careful to check precisely which music you wish to use. On this site hymn tunes are listed individually by their traditional names to avoid any confusion. Make sure you decide how many verses you want. Sometimes there are verses which are inappropriate to a wedding day, and sometimes you may just decide there are too many verses. Make sure everyone knows which verses you are including. Some versions in different hymnbooks have slight variations in the words used. This may well be the origin for the phrase "singing from the same hymn sheet".
(Note: hymn numbers refer to the following hymnbooks
NeH = New England Hymnal published by Canterbury Press, Norwich
CA = Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New published by Kevin Mayhew Publishers Ltd
CH = Celebration Hymnal published by Word Music Integrity Music)

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Anthems

Anthems are choral pieces, accompanied or unaccompanied by an organ or piano, usually sung by the choir during the signing of the register. This is the choir's chance to show off their skills. However the bride and groom may not even hear this music if they are in another room filling in forms. If there is something you particularly want to hear, make sure they wait for you to re-appear before starting.
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Voluntaries

A Voluntary is an instrumental piece of music without any words, usually played while entering or leaving the church.
We have included a number of well known pieces which were written specifically for the organ, as well as other well known pieces which have been arranged for organ.
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