Not only is the music very stately, majestic, and beautiful (and gives me goosebumps too whenever I hear it), the text is just as breathtaking. Noble simplicity at it’s best.
O God, beyond all praising, we worship you today
and sing the love amazing that songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder at every gift you send,
at blessings without number and mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you and wait upon your word,
We honor and adore you, our great and mighty Lord.
The flower of earthly splendor in time must surely die,
Its fragile bloom surrender to you, the Lord most high;
But hidden from all nature the eternal seed is sown
Though small in mortal stature, to heaven’s garden grown:
For Christ the man from heaven from death has set us free,
And we through him are given the final victory.
Then hear, O gracious Savior, accept the love we bring,
That we who know your favor may serve you as our King;
And whether our tomorrow be filled with good or ill,
We’ll triumph through our sorrows and rise to praise you still:
To marvel at your beauty and glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty our sacrifice of praise!
Now the propers hold pride of place and all that, but there’s also many appropriate times for good hymns in addition to the propers of the Mass, or even at devotions outside of Mass. For example, hymns hold a native place in the Liturgy of the Hours (unlike at Mass, but that’s another discussion).