At my wedding, the congregation sang this hymn, one of my favorites, and my husband's absolute favorite. The lyrics talk about the love of God as an ocean, "vast, unmeasured, boundless, free." I love the tune, but really music to me has always been more about the words, and when I start thinking about the music which has been important to me in my spiritual journey, I am amazed by how many hymns I can recite, sometimes several verses. Those words are in my head from years and years of repetition throughout my life.
When I went looking through my blog archives for writing about hymns, here's some of what I found:
Back in 2007, I quoted from this hymn, "New Every Morning," commenting that it gave a rather "dreary" picture of everyday life. A couple of days later, I tried to explain a bit more about what I meant. Here are those posts: the first and the second.
In 2008 I wrote this post about something we had sung in church. We were using videos with lyrics at that time, and this one had substituted "the lowest hill" for "the lowest hell," which was what the original lyrics say. I also criticized their punctuation, which caused an inadvertent change in meaning to the song.
I've written a couple of posts about the hymn "Abide with Me," which we used to sing in boarding school whenever we had evening chapel. This one was from 2009 and this one from 2012.
Did you know that Charles Wesley wrote earthquake hymns? I learned about them in 2010 after the Haiti earthquake.
And speaking of earthquakes... In 2010 I wrote a post about "Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus," the one with which I started this post, and also one about "My Faith Looks Up to Thee," one about "O Love that Wilt Not Let Me Go," and one about "My Song is Love Unknown." I was struggling so much in those months right after the earthquake, and the words of hymns helped me week after week. I wrote some more about that in this Easter post from 2011, quoting the hymn "In Heavenly Love Abiding."
In this post, I wrote about a friend who was stuck under rubble in the aftermath of the earthquake, and the hymn words that kept going through his mind.
There are more posts about hymns, but these examples give a pretty good representation of how important these words are in my spiritual life, even though it's been a long time since hymns have formed the majority of the music in the churches I've attended. There are many ways I experience this "deep, deep love," but church music is high on the list.
Today's roundup is here.