During the Offertory Sunday at 11:15 Mass we sing a hymn instead of the usual anthem, amplifying both the Gospel reading and Sermon for today. And can it be that I should gain? is of the greatest texts of the author Charles Wesley, who wrote such other well-known hymns as Love divine, all loves excelling, Hark! The herald angels sing, Rejoice the Lord is King, and countless others. The first three stanzas of this hymn explore both the contrast between the glory of heaven that Christ came from and the suffering He endured on earth, and the mystery of the love that motivated Him to make that journey. In stanza four we are reminded how God brings us to salvation in language that reminds us of Peter's experience in Acts 12:6-11, where God sent an angel to open the prison doors and loose Peter's chains. The final stanza is a jubilant celebration of our new state in Christ and the privilege of communion with God that we enjoy.
This hymn is very popular in Anglican Churches throughout the world, but not as well-known here. If you’d like to hear to learn it before Sunday, here’s a link to a wonderful performance of it from the BBC program Songs of Praise, recorded live in London.