Lord, You Were Rich Beyond All Splendor

Scripture References

Thematically related:

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

A sense of amazement pervades this song. Why would someone so rich become poor? It is for “love’s sake,” says stanza 1 and stanza 3 proclaims: “Lord you are love beyond all telling.” Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 5 says it is “with fierce love” that God holds this world and sent Jesus into the world.

Tune Information

D Major

Hymn Story/Background

Son of Tho­mas Hough­ton, Cur­ate of Staf­ford, Frank Houghton (b. 1894; d. 1972) at­tend­ed the University of London (BA 1913) Lon­don Col­lege of Di­vin­i­ty (now St. John’s Col­lege, Not­ting­ham, graduated 1914). He was or­dained a deacon in 1917, and priest the next year. He served as Cur­ate of St. Ben­e­dict’s, Li­ver­pool (1917-9); All Saints, Pres­ton (1919-20). In­spired by mis­sion­a­ry Hud­son Tay­lor’s ex­am­ple, he joined the Ch­ina In­land Mis­sion, serving at Liang­shan (1920-21) and Suiting (1921-24 ). In 1923, he mar­ried Dor­o­thy Cas­sels, daugh­ter of Bi­shop Cas­sels of West Chi­na. In 1924, he be­came prin­ci­pal of the The­o­lo­gi­cal Col­lege in Pao­ning, Si­chuan. He re­turned to Eng­land for me­di­cal rea­sons in 1928, ex­pect­ing to stay on­ly a short time, but he stayed to edit Chi­na’s Mil­lions. He al­so served as Ex­am­in­ing Chap­lain to the Bi­shop of West Chi­na (1928-36).
He went on to serve as Con­se­crat­ed Bi­shop of East Szech­wan at Nan­chung (1934-40); General Di­rect­or of the Chi­na In­land Mis­sion (1940-51); Vi­car of New Mil­ver­ton, Leam­ing­ton Spa (1953-60); and Rec­tor of St. Pe­ter, Dray­ton, Ox­ford (1960-63).

Author Information

Martin F. Shaw (b. 1916; d. 1999) was educated at the Royal College of Music in London and was organist and choirmaster at St. Mary's, Primrose Hill (1908-1920), St. Martin's in the Fields (1920-1924), and the Eccleston Guild House (1924-1935). From 1935 to 1945 he served as music director for the diocese of Chelmsford. He established the Purcell Operatic Society and was a founder of the Plainsong and Medieval Society and what later became the Royal Society of Church Music.
Author of The Principles of English Church Music Composition (1921), Shaw was a notable reformer of English church music. He worked with Percy Dearmer (his rector at St. Mary's in Primrose Hill); Ralph Vaughan Williams, and his brother Geoffrey Shaw in publishing hymnals such as Son of Praise (1925, 1931) and the Oxford Book of Carols (1928). A leader in the revival of English opera and folk music scholarship, Shaw composed some one hundred songs as well as anthems and service music; some of his best hymn tunes were published in his Additional Tunes in Use at St. Mary's (1915).
— Bert Polman
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