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February 28, 2005

Love Divine: The Atlanta Sacred Chorale Sings at Emory

This weekend we attended a concert of the Atlanta Sacred Chorale, with The Michael O’Neal Singers and the Atlanta Boy Choir. It was an evening of great, uplifting music in the beautiful new Schwartz Center at well-endowed Emory University. It was a joy to listen to sacred music in the liberal university setting. Classical music is one area where the expulsion of God would pretty much shut down the discipline, since so many composers are dead white male Christians.

The Atlanta Sacred Chorale (a client of my PR firm) is arguably the finest chamber chorus in the nation dedicated to a sacred repertoire. They sing almost everything a cappella, with amazing precision and beauty.

The evening ended with the combined choirs singing the great hymn by Charles Wesley, Love Divine, All Loves Excelling (Text: Charles Wesley, 1707-1788. Music: John Zundel, 1815-1882):

Love divine, all loves excelling, joy of heaven, 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 every trembling heart.
Breathe, O breathe thy loving Spirit into every troubled breast! Let us all in thee inherit; let us find that second rest. Take away our bent to 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 thy 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;
pure and spotless let us be.
Let us see thy great salvation
perfectly restored in thee;
changed from glory into glory,
till in heaven we take our place,
till we cast our crowns before thee,
lost in wonder, love, and praise.

What a sound. What a song.

Posted by Jim at February 28, 2005 01:43 PM

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I think it's worth noting that the vast majority of evangelicals have all but abandoned that sort of music, and have no desire to return to it.

I didn't say it was a good thing.

Posted by: Matt at February 28, 2005 06:32 PM

Where can I find a downloadable copy of this fantastic hymn set to the John Stainer score ?

Posted by: Navigator Freestyle at February 21, 2006 02:28 PM