Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean"

I learned a new hymn as I prepared for our Sabbath morning worship service this week, and some new history too. A few weeks ago one of our members suggested that we do a service using Welsh hymns. We are Baptists and, consequently—almost inevitably—several members have Welsh ancestry [including me]. There are many great Welsh hymns. The most famous—or at least the best known to us—is "Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah." The new hymn I discovered was "Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean." It was unfamiliar to me and the music was not to be found in any of the hymnbooks I have collected. Eventually I found what I wanted online. The Google search indicated that it is not new to many others and, moreover, has seen several contemporary revivals as a worship song.

"Here Is Love, Vast as the Ocean," is identified many places as the "love song" of the great 1904 Welsh Revival. It is a great hymn and will be a part of our worship again - probably often. The music is good, the words are good, and they are good together. [To read the music, click on the image on the left.]

The first two verses are sung below. here is the third:

Let me all Thy love accepting,
Love Thee, ever all my days;
Let me seek Thy kingdom only
And my life be to Thy praise;
Thou alone shalt be my glory,
Nothing in the world I see.
Thou hast cleansed and sanctified me,
Thou Thyself hast set me free.

From YouTube, a performance by Huw Priday of the first two verses first in Welsh, then English:

Update: 12/1, I have significantly revised this post, primarily by removing the lyric which can be read in the score or found here at CyberHymnal.

YouTube - Here is Love vast as the Ocean, CyberHymnal: Here Is Love
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