O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire

Hands down, my favorite hymn is O Christ, Our Hope, Our Heart’s Desire.  Written in the 7-8th century in Latin, it was translated by John Chandler into English in 1837.  There are two different tunes, one arranged by Handel in 1751 (Bradford) and another by George Greatorex in 1851 (Manoah).  I’m familiar with the latter because it’s far easier to sing in my opinion.  Robust theology jam-packed into a simple, childlike tune makes a great combination for congregational worship.

Notice the progression of Christ’s glory: creation, cross, enthronement, our sanctification in him, the goal of salvation and our means of eternal praise of our Trinitarian God.  All of redemptive-history in six stanzas.  It’s like stained-glass for your soul.

Although in The Baptist Hymnal (#414), I’ve never heard it sung in churches except when I sneaked it in a couple of times in Texas.  Perhaps you might listen and nudge your church’s music leader(s) to sneak it in, too.  As usual, there are more original stanzas than often included in our hymnals.


O Christ, our Hope, our heart’s Desire,
Redemption’s only Spring!
Creator of the world art Thou,
Its Savior and its King.

How vast the mercy and the love
Which laid our sins on Thee,
And led Thee to a cruel death,
To set Thy people free.

But now the bands of death are burst,
The ransom has been paid,
And Thou art on Thy Father’s throne,
In glorious robes arrayed.

O may Thy mighty love prevail
Our sinful souls to spare;
O may we come before Thy throne,
And find acceptance there!

O Christ, be Thou our lasting Joy,
Our ever great Reward!
Our only glory may be it be
To glory in the Lord.

All praise to Thee, ascended Lord;
All glory ever be
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Through all eternity.

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