Why this song?
“What Wondrous Love Is This” is a hymn that is old enough that we’re not really sure who wrote it. It’s possible that multiple authors contributed to or altered it over the years. The one thing we know for sure? It has stood the test of time.
The concept of the singer/congregation having a conversation with their own soul is an interesting one. It could certainly turn quickly to focusing too much on one’s self (in which case it would not be a great song for use in worship).
Instead, the author asks the soul to contemplate the greatness of the love of God, that your soul was deserving of a dreadful curse, but that Jesus, the Lamb of God, took that curse and set you free from death. And in having this conversation with one’s soul, we arrive at the reason for this song existing:
How can we help but sing our praises to God after contemplating the depth of what he has done for us through Christ?
Use in Worship
This hymn would not have remained as popular as it has if it were not easy for a congregation to sing. It is certainly quite easy for a congregation to pick up (many perhaps are already familiar with it). What may be more difficult is finding an arrangement for churches that would prefer to use more than just an organ or a piano.
There are certainly many great arrangements out there, and I am in no position to declare one the best, but I will instead share the one we have created for use here at Illumine.