Singing through the Year: Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

This week’s hymn praises our God, our Savior. Although it’s not part of this coming Sunday’s scripture reading, this hymn text reminds me of a passage from Exodus describing an encounter Moses had with God. As the Lord passed by Moses, He “called out, ‘The Lord God, compassionate and merciful, longsuffering, greatly-merciful, and true.'” Singing this hymn is an opportunity to praise God for all these good things!

Check out these beautiful choral settings of the hymn—I couldn’t choose a favorite between the two: St. Olaf and the Cambridge Singers.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling

Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heaven, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art;
visit us with thy salvation;
enter every trembling heart.

Breathe, oh, breathe thy loving Spirit
into every troubled breast;
let us all in thee inherit;
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be;
end of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.

Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive;
suddenly return, and never,
nevermore thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.

Finish, then, thy new creation;
pure and spotless let us be;
let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee:
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.

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Singing through the Year features a hymn related to next Sunday’s lectionary readings. Each hymn will be sung at the Presbyterian church where I am the organist.