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O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High

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1 O love, how deep, how broad, how high,
how passing thought and fantasy,
that God, the Son of God, should take
our mortal form for mortals’ sake!

2 He sent no angel to our race,
of higher or of lower place,
but wore the robe of human frame,
and He Himself to this world came.

3 For us baptized, for us He bore
His holy fast, and hungered sore;
for us temptations sharp He knew,
for us the tempter overthrew.

4 For us to wicked men betrayed,
scourged, mocked, in crown of thorns arrayed,
He bore the shameful cross and death
for us at length gave up His breath.

5 For us He rose from death again,
for us He went on high to reign,
for us He sent His Spirit here
to guide, to strengthen, and to cheer.

6 All glory to our Lord and God
for love so deep, so high, so broad —
the Trinity whom we adore
forever and forevermore.

Source: Hymns to the Living God #141

Author (attributed to): Thomas á Kempis

Thomas of Kempen, commonly known as Thomas à Kempis, was born at Kempen, about fifteen miles northwest of Düsseldorf, in 1379 or 1380. His family name was Hammerken. His father was a peasant, whilst his mother kept a dame's school for the younger children of Kempen. When about twelve years old he became an inmate of the poor-scholars' house which was connected with a "Brother-House" of the Brethren of the Common Life at Deventer, where he was known as Thomas from Kempen, and hence his well-known name. There he remained for six years, and then, in 1398, he was received into the Brotherhood. A year later he entered the new religious house at Mount St. Agnes, near Zwolle. After due preparation he took the vows in 1407, was priested in 1413,… Go to person page >

Translator: Benjamin Webb

Webb, Benjamin, M.A., was born in London in 1820, and was educated in St. Paul's School; whence he passed to Trinity College, Cambridge, in 1838, B.A. 1842, M.A. 1845. Ordained by the Bishop [Monk] of Gloucester and Bristol he was Assistant Curate of Kemeston in Gloucestershire, 1843-44; of Christ Church, St. Pancras, 1847-49; and of Brasted, Kent, 1849-51; at which date he was presented to the P. C. of Sheen in Staffordshire, which he held until 1862, when he became Vicar of St. Andrews, Wells Street, London. In 1881 the Bishop [Jackson] of London collated him to the Prebend of Portpool in St. Paul's Cathedral. Mr. Webb was one of the Founders of the Cambridge Camden, afterwards the Ecclesiological Society; and the Editor of the Ecclesio… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: O love, how deep, how broad, how high
Title: O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High
Latin Title: O amor quam ecstaticus!
Author (attributed to): Thomas á Kempis
Translator: Benjamin Webb
Source: Latin, 15th cent.
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain


Scripture References: st. 1 = Eph. 3:18-19, Phil. 2:7 st. 2 = Matt. 3:13, Matt. 4:1-11 st. 3 = John 17:9 st. 4 = Rom 4:25, 1 Pet. 2:24 st. 5 = Rom. 8:34, John 16:7, 13 The original anonymous text in Latin ("O amor quam ecstaticus") comes from a fifteenth-century manuscript from Karlsruhe. The twenty-three-stanza text has been attributed to Thomas à Kempis because of its similarities to writings of the Moderna Devotio Movement associated with à Kempis. (that movement was an important precursor of the Reformation in the Netherlands). However, there is insufficient proof that he actually wrote this text. Benjamin Webb (b. London, England, 1819; d. Marylebone, London, 1885) translated the text in eight stanzas. It was published in The Hymnal Noted (1852), produced by his friend John Mason Neale (PHH 342). Webb received his education at Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and became a priest in the Church of England in 1843. Among the parishes he served was St. Andrews, Wells Street, London, where he worked from 1862 to 1881. Webb's years there coincided with the service of the talented choir director and organist Joseph Barnby (PHH 438), and the church became known for its excellent music program. Webb edited The Ecclesiologist, a periodical of the Cambridge Ecclesiological Society (1842-1868). A composer of anthems, Webb also wrote hymns and hymn translations and served as one of the editors of The Hymnary (1872). The text has a wide scope, taking in all of Jesus’ incarnate life: his birth (st. 1); identification with human affairs (st. 2); daily ministry (st. 3); crucifixion (st. 4); resurrection, ascension, and gift of the Spirit (st. 5); the final stanza is a doxology (st. 6). Thus the text summarizes Christ's life in the same manner as the Apostles' Creed. A striking feature is the text's emphasis on the fact that Jesus accomplished all of this "for us"; "for us" occurs at least a dozen times! The redemptive work of Christ is very personally, very corporately applied. Liturgical Use: Epiphany, especially later in the season; Lent, Holy Week, Easter, Ascension, and at many other times; the final stanza makes a good doxology for Epiphany, Lent, or the Easter season. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook



Also known as: AGINCOURT

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PUER NOBIS is a melody from a fifteenth-century manuscript from Trier. However, the tune probably dates from an earlier time and may even have folk roots. PUER NOBIS was altered in Spangenberg's Christliches GesangbUchlein (1568), in Petri's famous Piae Cantiones (1582), and again in Praetorius's (P…

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MACHS MIT MIR was first published in the collection of music Das ander Theil des andern newen Operis Geistlicher Deutscher Lieder (1605) by Bartholomäus Gesius (b. Münchenberg, near Frankfurt, Germany, c. 1555; d. Frankfurt, 1613). A prolific composer, Gesius wrote almost exclusively for the churc…

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Instances (1 - 42 of 42)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
A New Hymnal for Colleges and Schools #52
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #149Text
Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #570
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #371TextPage Scan
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #214
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #354TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #628
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #118Page Scan
Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #516TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #281TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #322Text
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #618Text InfoTextAudio
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #448Text
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #449Text
Hymnal: A Worship Book #236
Hymns Ancient & Modern, New Standard Edition #119
Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #383
Hymns to the Living God #141TextPage Scan
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #111TextAudio
Lutheran Service Book #544TextPage Scan
Lutheran Worship #275Text
Moravian Book of Worship #485Text
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #206
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #83Text
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #364Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudio
Rejoice in the Lord #342TextPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #343TextPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #148
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #204
The Cyber Hymnal #5147TextScoreAudio
The New English Hymnal #425TextPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal #267TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #82
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #83
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #84
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement II #245Text
The Worshiping Church #193TextFlexscorePage Scan
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #194Text
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #155TextFlexscorePage Scan
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #348Text
Worship and Rejoice #244TextScoreFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Worship Supplement 2000 #760Text
Include 72 pre-1979 instances
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