Before Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer was chosen for the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the hymn was a selection during the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales.
Many people will be thinking of Diana as her youngest son marries the American actress on May 19, 2018. How utterly tragic that Diana was not sitting in St. George’s Chapel, beaming with pride. Many people were also wondering how Harry would choose to honor his mother during his wedding; there was no question that he would do so. The inclusion of the hymn – as well as a reading by Diana’s sister, Jane Fellowes, are ways that the couple is keeping Diana present in the service. Meghan Markle also wore Diana’s aquamarine ring to the evening reception. Harry picked Diana’s favorite flowers from her garden to incorporate them in Meghan’s bouquet.
Here are some videos of Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer at Princess Diana’s funeral:
Here’s the BBC recording:
Here’s the view of the choir boys:
Here’s the song in 2007 at a Memorial Service for the Princess:
The hymn was also chosen as a tribute to Diana at the wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton:
Here are the lyrics for the hymn:
“GUIDE me, O thou great Redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand:
Bread of heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.
Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Be thou still my strength and shield.
When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell’s Destruction
Land me safe on Canaan’s side:
Songs of praises
I will ever give to thee.”
You can read the order of service for Princess Diana’s funeral here. The hymn came toward the end. Diana died in a car crash in Paris.
The full order of service for Harry and Meghan’s wedding can be found on the website of Kensington Palace. “The Official Order of Service for the Wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle has been made available for the public to download for free from 0001hrs Saturday 19th May,” the palace wrote.
“The Order of Service includes full details about the processions, music, hymns, prayers and readings. The Service is from Common Worship. Like any couple getting married, Prince Harry and Ms. Markle have taken a great deal of care in selecting all elements for their service. This has been a collaborative effort led by Prince Harry and Ms. Markle. They have also sought the advice of The Prince of Wales for the orchestral music before the Service begins.”
The palace added, “Copies of the Order of Service will be given to all those attending Windsor Castle.”
Both Harry and Meghan will have a parent missing from their wedding; her father, Tom Markle, was supposed to walk her down the aisle but he bowed out because of heart surgery after he was caught up in a photo staging controversy.