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Hymn of the week: “O Love of God, So Strong and True”

J-P Mauro - published on 06/03/18

This hymn was sung at Ronald Reagan's funeral.

O love of God, how strong and true,
eternal and yet ever new,
uncomprehended and unbought,
beyond all knowledge and all thought.

This early 20th-century hymn is appropriately sung on the 9th Sunday in Ordinary Time. The lyrics began as a poem written by Horatius Bonar, a minister of the Church of Scotland who was also a prolific poet. In Great Britain and America, nearly 100 of his poems have been turned into hymns, which are still published today.

The lyrics were set to a melody called JERUSALEM, composed by C. Hubert H. Parry to accompany William Blake’s poem of the same title. JERUSALEM is Parry’s most enduring composition, alongside the coronation anthem “I was glad” and the hymn tune REPTON (the tune for “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”). Aside from his composing, he was also a the director of the Royal College of Music and a music historian.

“O Love of God, So Strong and True,” was performed at the funeral of President Ronald Reagan. Here is the video of that performance.

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Hymn
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