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WONDROUS LOVE (Southern Harmony)

Composer: Anonymous

In some hymnals, the editors noted that a hymn's author is unknown to them, and so this artificial "person" entry is used to reflect that fact. Obviously, the hymns attributed to "Author Unknown" "Unknown" or "Anonymous" could have been written by many people over a span of many centuries. Go to person page >

Tune Information

Composer: Anonymous
Incipit: 11724 54211 72576
Key: d minor


WONDROUS LOVE was first set to this text in William Walker's (PsH 44) second edition of Southern Harmony (1840). Publication of the hymn in B. F. White's The Sacred Harp (1844) further promoted the combination of text and tune. The meter of "What Wondrous Love" derives from an old English ballad about the infamous pirate Captain Kidd:

My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed, when I sailed;
My name was Robert Kidd, when I sailed;
My name was Robert Kidd, God's laws I did forbid,
So wickedly I did when I sailed, when I sailed
So wickedly I did when I sailed.

Described by Erik Routley (PHH 31) as "incomparably beautiful," the tune is in ABA form and in Dorian or Aeolian mode (depending on which version is used or which "authentic" performance is heard). The setting is by Emily R. Brink (PHH 158). The Hymnal 1982 (439) includes the original three-part setting with the melody in the tenor; that setting could be useful for choirs alternating with the congregation on the hymnal setting. Sing unaccompanied, or use light accompaniment for stanzas 1 and 2, gradually becoming more forceful through stanza 3, and use full organ (or piano) for stanza 4.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1987


Baptist Hymnal 1991 #143
Text: What Wondrous Love Is This
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #106
  • Four-part harmony, full-score (PDF, NWC)
The Cyber Hymnal #7303
Text: What Wondrous Love Is This?
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #379
Text: What Wondrous Love
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #257
Text: What Wondrous Love Is This


Instances (1 - 65 of 65)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #72
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #143TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Baptist Hymnal 2008 #169TextFlexscorePage Scan
Celebrating Grace Hymnal #171TextPage Scan
Chalice Hymnal #200TextPage Scan
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #120Text
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #395TextPage Scan
Common Praise (1998) #400Text
Discipleship Ministries Collection #19
Discipleship Ministries Collection #183
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #306Text
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #666Text
Gather (3rd ed.) #52
Gather (3rd ed.) #343
Gather (3rd ed.) #642Page Scan
Gather Comprehensive #406Page Scan
Gather Comprehensive #627TextPage Scan
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #39
Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #614Page Scan
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #215Text InfoTextAudio
Hinário para o Culto Cristão #170
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #439Text
Hymnal Supplement 98 #860Text
Hymnal: A Worship Book #530
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #191
Hymns of Promise: a large print songbook #168Page Scan
Hymns of the Saints: Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints #216
Hymns to the Living God #155TextPage Scan
Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #500
Les Chants du Pèlerin #189
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #164TextFlexscoreAudio
Lutheran Service Book #543Text
Moravian Book of Worship #328TextPage Scan
Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #544Page Scan
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #22C
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #143B
Rejoice Hymns #104
Secular Hymnal: 144 hymn tunes made inclusive for all #76TextPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #162
Sing Joyfully #250TextPage Scan
Singing Our Faith: a hymnal for young Catholics #126TextPage Scan
Small Church Music #707Audio
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #314TextPage Scan
The Christian Life Hymnal #174
The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #226
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #177TextPage Scan
The New Century Hymnal #223Text
The Sacred Harp: the best collection of sacred songs, hymns, odes, and anthems ever offered the singing public for general use (1991 rev.) #159
The United Methodist Hymnal Music Supplement #347
The Worshiping Church #212TextFlexscorePage Scan
Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #147Text
Worship (3rd ed.) #600Text
Worship (4th ed.) #641
Worship and Rejoice #257TextScoreFlexscoreAudioPage Scan
Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #184
Worship Supplement 2000 #723Text
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #106ScoreAudio
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #85Text
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #379Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudio
Renew! #277Text
Sing! A New Creation #142TextAudio
Songs for Life #169Text
The United Methodist Hymnal #292TextAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #261TextFlexscorePage Scan
The Cyber Hymnal #7303TextScoreAudio
Include 16 pre-1979 instances