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The Wedding Banquet Lyrics, aka. I Cannot Come

Song lyrics to The Wedding Banquet Lyrics, aka.  I Cannot Come

This hymn by American Medical Mission Sister Miriam Therese Winter is based on the parable of the wedding banquet, from Matthew 22.  It was originally published in her 1966, collection “Joy is Like the Rain“. It has subsequently been published in other books, including Songlines.

I cannot come,
I cannot come to the banquet,
Don’t trouble me now,
I have married a wife,
I have bought me a cow,
I have fields and commitments,
That cost a pretty sum,
Pray hold me excused
I cannot come.

[Verse 1]
A certain man held a feast
On his fine estate in town.
He laid a festive table,
He wore a wedding gown,
He sent out invitations
To his neighbors far and wide,
But when the meal was ready
Each of them replied:

[Verse 2]
The master rose up in anger
Called his servants by name, said
Go into town, fetch the blind and the lame
Fetch the peasant and the pauper
For this I have willed:
My banquet must be crowded,
And my table must be filled.

[Verse 3]
When all the poor had assembled
There was still room to spare,
So the master demanded:
Go search everywhere.
Search the highways and the byways,
And tell them to come in
My table must be filled
Before the banquet can begin.

[Verse 4]
Now God has written a lesson
For the rest of mankind:
If we are slow in responding
He may leave us behind.
He is preparing a banquet
For that great and glorious day,
When the Lord and Master calls
Us be certain not to say:

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