1 If we could speak all tongues of earth and heaven
but have not love our prophecy is vain;
though every mystery to us is open
to talk of love will be an empty claim.
But love is swift to clear misunderstanding,
love is not proud, insisting on display
and love is rich in patient understanding:
grant us, oh Lord of love to seek the better way.
2 If we should give to others when we prosper
but have not love, we fail the final test:
if we should place our substance on the altar,
our sacrifice, if boastful, is not blessed.
For love is clean and clear in its intentions,
lifts up its face to face the light of day,
love is pure harmony without pretension:
grant us, oh Lord of love to find the better way.
3 If by our faith we make the mountains tremble
but have not love, then nothing do we win:
we are but noisy gongs or clanging cymbals
condemned to sink to silence in the end.
But love is always faithful in rejoicing,
lifts up a song of hope that never fails
love is a choir of perfect blended voices:
grant us, oh Lord of love to choose the better way.
4 When we were young we fought for worldly glory,
but worldly ways in time all have to die.
We see in part as in a mirror darkly
and wait in hope for love’s bright sun to rise.
Faith, hope and love, these three remain our story
but faith and hope will vanish in the day;
as we await love’s triumph in the glory
grant us, oh Lord of love to love the better way.