O God beyond all praising

This hymn has been resounding in my head since we sang it at church this morning.

O God beyond all praising is sung to Thaxted, a stirring adaptation of the main theme of the Jupiter movement of Gustav Holst‘s The Planets, which is one of my all-time favourite orchestral compositions.  (You’ll also recognise the tune from the British patriotic hymn I vow to thee, my country and, more recently, from the World in union theme song of Rugby World Cups since 1991.)

But while the tune is stirring, it is the words which speak loudest: “O God beyond all praising” – for how can our words ever repay Him for the great salvation He bought by His own blood, for the infinite riches of Christ?  We sing of “love amazing that songs cannot repay”; He bids us “make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise.”

Through Him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge His Name.  (Hebrews 13v15, ESV)

Lyrics

O God beyond all praising,
we worship You today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift You send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before You
and wait upon Your Word,
we honour and adore You,
our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Saviour,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know Your favour
may serve You as our King;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we’ll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless You still:
to marvel at Your beauty
and glory in Your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.

(Copyright Michael Perry/Jubilate Hymns)

Christopher Schroeder has an arrangement of O God beyond all praising; follow the link below.

“O God beyond all praising” Music: Gustav Holst; Words: Michael Perry; Arrangement: Christopher Schroeder

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