Good Funeral Music: “O God of Loveliness”

“O God of Loveliness” is a colossal hymn of undivided love and devotion. At a funeral, it’s a knock-out when the casket’s on the move. Listen to it below, as sung by a small chorus, to perceive how it might sound in the sanctuary, and here it is, exquisitely employed, at minute 1:50 in this video of John F. Kennedy’s funeral, where it follows the presentation of the casket and a stirring version of “Hail to the Chief.”

O God of loveliness, 0 Lord of heaven above,
How worthy to possess my heart’s devoted love.
So sweet thy countenance, so gracious to behold
That one, one only glance to me were bliss untold.

Thou art blest Three in One, yet undivided still,
Thou art the One alone, whose love my heart can fill.
The heavens and earth below were fashioned by thy Word,
How amiable art Thou, my ever dearest Lord.

To think Thou art my God,–O thought forever blest!
My heart has overflowed with joy within my breast.
My soul so full of bliss, is plunged as in a sea,
Deep in the sweet abyss of holy charity.

O loveliness supreme, and Beauty infinite,
O ever flowing Stream and Ocean of delight,
O Life by which I live, My truest Life above,
To Thee alone I give my undivided love.

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