Sunday, August 10, 2014

Therefore Give Us Love

Scottish Episcopal Church, Lerwick, Scotland

Full Text

1 Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,
taught by you, we covet most,
of your gifts at Pentecost,
holy, heavenly love.
2 Faith that mountains could remove,
tongues of earth or heaven above,
knowledge, all things, empty prove
without heavenly love.
3 Though I as a martyr bleed,
give my goods the poor to feed,
all is vain, if love I need;
therefore give me love.
4 Love is kind, and suffers long,
love is meek, and thinks no wrong,
love than death itself more strong;
therefore give us love.
5 Prophecy will fade away,
melting in the light of day;
love will ever with us stay;
therefore give us love.
6 Faith and hope and love we see
joining hand in hand, agree;
but the greatest of the three,
and the best, is love.

Source: Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #627
Christopher Wordsworth, 1862
Last summer, when this hymn was sung by a small Christian congregation during a Sunday morning service, the sounds echoed in that ancient slate and rock chancel (photo above).  After the service, I photographed the words of this song by Christopher Wordsworth that he composed over 150 years ago, thinking I would track down the music later.  Not only the music, but also the words were found via our amazing internet technology.  A bit of the sound from this hymn, on mp3, can be heard here.  But it cannot compare with my remembered experience of singing it in unison with other believers, in that small cathedral.


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