Love Divine, All Loves Excelling: The lyrics behind Charles Wesley's hymn
THE congregation sang three hymns during the Queen's funeral ceremony.
One of them is Love Divine, All Loves Excelling - but what are the lyrics and what do they mean?
What are the lyrics to Love Divine, All Loves Excelling?
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling was written by Charles Wesley, who published more than 6,500 hymns during his career.
Other works by the protestant include And Can It Be, Christ The Lord Is Risen Today, and the popular Christmas carol Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Love Divine first appeared in 1747 and is most commonly sung to the tune Blaenwern - as it was at the Queen's funeral.
Love divine, all loves excelling,
joy of heav’n, to earth come down,
fix in us thy humble dwelling,
all thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion,
pure, unbounded love thou art.
Visit us with thy salvation;
enter ev'ry trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit
into ev’ry troubled breast.
Let us all in thee inherit,
let us find the promised rest.
Take away the love of sinning;
Alpha and Omega be.
End of faith, as its beginning,
set our hearts at liberty.
Come, Almighty, to deliver,
let us all thy life receive.
Suddenly return, and never,
nevermore they temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing,
serve thee as thy hosts above,
pray, and praise thee without ceasing,
glory in thy perfect love.
Finish, then, thy new creation;
true and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee.
Changed from glory into glory,
till in heav’n we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love and praise.
What is the meaning behind Love Divine, All Loves Excelling?
Love Divine, All Love Excelling one of Charles Wesley's best known hymns - and is considered a prayer.
The lyrics ask Jesus to enter our hearts and allow us to be set free from sin.
It is written around the progression of thoughts - prayers for the Holy Spirit, praying for the return of the Lord and hope for the finalisation of his new creation.
Wesley - born on December 18, 1707 and died March 29, 1788 - was the English leader of the Methodist movement
Love Divine, All Loves Excelling is sung on numerous occasions - including both weddings and funerals.
It was sung during the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011.
It is also used by varying denominations while saying goodbye to someone.