Saturday, January 31, 2009

"Here is Love, Vast as the Ocean"

click on image to enlarge
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.

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