I’ve always loved the hymn “Here is Love Vast as the Ocean“. It’s a beautiful melody, but most importantly, it’s a beautiful description of God’s great love for us in Jesus Christ.
The first two verses, written by William Rees, are probably familiar to you:
Here is love, vast as the ocean,
Lovingkindness as the flood,
When the Prince of Life, our Ransom,
Shed for us His precious blood.
Who His love will not remember?
Who can cease to sing His praise?
He can never be forgotten,
Throughout Heav’n’s eternal days.
On the mount of crucifixion,
Fountains opened deep and wide;
Through the floodgates of God’s mercy
Flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
Poured incessant from above,
Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
Kissed a guilty world in love.
The third verse is less familiar, and the fourth even less familiar than that. They were written later by William Williams.
We’ve used this song at my church for years. Either just the first two verses during our communion liturgy, or for a while we used Matt Redman’s adaptation. That version had the chorus added: “No love is higher, no love is wider, no love is deeper…”. Great version, which also added the third verse, but the chorus never really seemed to catch on very well with my congregation.
So I was really pleased to come across Kate Simmonds’ version a year or so ago. You might recognize Kate’s name as she used to lead worship at the Church of Christ the King in Brighton, England, along with Stuart Townend, Lou Fellingham and others. Kate’s version put the song into a 4/4 time signature, incorporated the third verse with more modernized language (and a different chord progression), and added a fantastic chorus.
Here are the lyrics to the chorus she added:
Grace takes my sin, calls me “friend”
Pays my debt completely
Love rescued me, seated me
With my King forevermore
I love that! So good. This really caught on with my congregation, and we recorded it on my church’s recent CD. By the way, you really should purchase the whole CD.
Kate has very kindly agreed to let me offer the mp3 and chord chart for free here.
So here is the mp3: Here Is Love (Grace Takes My Sin) MP3
And here is the chord chart: Here Is Love (Grace Takes My Sin) CHORD CHART
The vocalist on this recording is the amazing Jordan Ware. Jordan is the worship leader at Winchester Anglican Church in Winchester, Virginia. She’s a gifted worship leader and musician and it was a joy to have her sing on this project!