For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife…they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder. Mark 10:7–9
Words: Christopher Wordsworth, The Holy Year (London: Rivingtons, 1862), number 110, alt.
How blest are hearts, which Christ the Lord
Has joined, as with a silver cord,
In spousal unity;
And animated are with love,
And inspirations from above,
O Holy Ghost, by Thee!
When angels sang creation’s birth,
Man, fashioned from the dust of earth,
In Eden was alone;
But God made Eve from Adam’s side,
And brought her to him as a bride,
And willed them to be one.
O holy wedlock, ratified
In Heav’n; a knot for ever tied
By God in paradise;
O happiness beyond compare,
What tongues of angels to declare
Thy blessedness suffice?
Anthems angelical were heard,
When Christ, the Everlasting Word,
To wed His spouse did come,
And take His consecrated bride,
Cleansed by the life-blood from His side,
Unto His heav’nly home.
At Cana’s feast, that heav’nly Guest
Did first His Godhead manifest,
And water change to wine;
In wedlock, tears of sorrowing earth
Are changed to wine of heav’nly mirth,
By power and love divine.
Mirrored in nuptial purity
The marriage of the Church we see,
And Christ the Bridegroom’s love;
Angels look down, and anthems sing,
The Holy Dove, with golden wing,
Sheds blessings from above.
Bless, ever bless, Thy servants, Lord,
Whom Thou dost join in sweet accord.
The bridegroom and the bride;
In sorrow, sickness, and in health,
In tribulation and in wealth,
Be Thou their help and guide.
Be with them, Lord, as day by day
They with one heart together pray,
Thy Word together read,
Together at Thine altar kneel,
And with Thy blood their union seal,
On Thee together feed.
May they for ever have Thee near,
Making them to Thyself more dear,
And each to each in Thee;
So, when from earthly cares released,
May they at Thine own marriage feast
Be blest eternally.
To Father, whose paternal love
Sends benedictions from above,
Eternal praises be;
And God the Son, Incarnate Word,
With Holy Spirit, be adored;
One God and Persons Three.