Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

Composer: J.S. Bach
Category: Classical

Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring is one of those staples of wedding repertoire that was originally written for a different purpose - as part of a choral cantata for Bach's church choir in the 1700s. As all Bach cantatas, this was based on a German hymn that Bach arranged and harmonized for instruments and choir. The English words are not really a translation of the German, but draw some influence from the original hymn words.

Because of its popularity, you can find Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring in a variety of arrangements, which is probably why it is so useful for weddings - everything from choir to piano solo to organ to string quartet to classical guitar, and so many other versions.

Free sheet music (string quartet - score)

Sheet music (piano solo)
Sheet music (piano & C instrument, can be flute or violin)


Jesu, joy of man’s desiring,
Holy wisdom, love most bright;
Drawn by Thee, our souls aspiring
Soar to uncreated light.
Word of God, our flesh that fashioned,
With the fire of life impassioned,
Striving still to truth unknown,
Soaring, dying round Thy throne.

Through the way where hope is guiding,
Hark, what peaceful music rings;
Where the flock, in Thee confiding,
Drink of joy from deathless springs.
Theirs is beauty’s fairest pleasure;
Theirs is wisdom’s holiest treasure.
Thou dost ever lead Thine own
In the love of joys unknown.

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