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Musical Countdown to Christmas #1 -- What Wondrous Love is This?

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By Deal W. Hudson
12/21/2013 (5 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)

If I have a favorite hymn this is it, and it suits perfectly the Advent mood of joyful expectation. No one has performed this hymn with more reverent beauty than the late Robert Shaw.

The melody itself dates back to the early 1600s, but camp meeting attendees during the Second Great Awakening would sing the hymns printed in these hymnals to a variety of popular melodies, including \"The Ballad of Captain Kidd\", which was well known at the time; this is likely how the text and melody came to be paired.

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By Deal W. Hudson
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
12/21/2013 (5 years ago)

Published in Music

Keywords: Advent, Christmas, Music, What Wondrous Love is This, Music, Deal W. Hudson


WASHINGTON,DC (Catholic Online) - Musical Countdown to Christmas #1 -- "What Wondrous Love is This?"

If I have a favorite hymn this is it, and it suits perfectly the Advent mood of joyful expectation. No one has performed this hymn with more reverent beauty than the late Robert Shaw.

Here he conducts the Robert Shaw Chamber Singers. "Wondrous Love" was first published in a
Methodist hymnal, "A Gen­er­al Se­lect­ion of the New­est and Most Ad­mired Hymns and Spir­it­u­al Songs Now in Use," edited by Stith Mead (Lynch­burg, VA: 1811).

The melody itself dates back to the early 1600s, but camp meeting attendees during the Second Great Awakening would sing the hymns printed in these hymnals to a variety of popular melodies, including "The Ballad of Captain Kidd", which was well known at the time; this is likely how the text and melody came to be paired.

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Deal W. Hudson, Ph.D, is president of the Pennsylvania Catholics Network and former publisher and editor of Crisis Magazine. He is the Senior Correspondent for Church and Culture and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. 

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