Psalm 51

51A: Cámbiame, Señor/Change My Heart, O God

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1081 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: Eddie Espinosa (b. 1953) © 1982 Mercy/Vineyard Publishing, admin. in North America by Music Services o/b/o Vineyard Music USA
  • Reprint Information:

51B: Be Merciful, Be Merciful, O God

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1081 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • The following article is from the Psalter Hymnal Handbook.

Text Information:

A fervent prayer for pardon, renewal, and reconciliation with God.

Scripture References:
st. 1 = vv. 1-5
st. 2 = vv. 6-9
st. 3 = vv. 10-13
st. 4 = vv. 14-17
st. 5 = vv. 18-19

Tradition ascribes this prayer to David on the occasion "when the prophet Nathan came to him after David had committed adultery with Bathsheba." No other psalm matches the frankness and fullness with which Psalm 51 faces the problem of human sinfulness. Sin is first of all sin against God, and no animal sacrifice can effect reconciliation. Only a heart "contrite and broken" can expect God's forgiveness. Moreover, sin springs from a heart so defiled that it must be recreated, made new, to be clean.

The psalm offers an unparalleled confession of sin and a fervent plea for pardon (st. 1); a prayer for forgiveness and restoration to joy (st. 2); a prayer for a new, undefiled heart and for reconciliation with God (st. 3); and a vow to praise when God grants pardon to a "contrite and broken" heart (st. 4). Added to this is a prayer that God's mercy will extend to the whole city of Zion (st. 5)–in Christian terms, to the whole church of Christ.

Stanley Wiersma, who prepared this unrhymed versification in 1980 for the Psalter Hymnal, often spoke of this psalm sung to GENEVAN 51 as the "Calvinist Kyrie". Psalm 51 is also one of the traditional penitential psalms (along with 6, 32, 38,102,130, and 143). Other settings of Psalm 51 are at 167 and 255.

Liturgical Use:
Traditionally in the service of confession of sin; also appropriate for the liturgy of the Lord's Supper and during Lent.

Tune Information:

GENEVAN 51 first appeared in the 1551 edition of the Genevan Psalter and is attributed to Louis Bourgeois. Claude Goudimel composed the harmonization in 1564; the melody was originally in the tenor. One of the longer and more difficult Genevan tunes in the Psalter Hymnal, this Phrygian melody is one of the most hauntingly suitable tunes for a penitential psalm. Though the initial stanzas of this psalm are subdued, it should not be sung too slowly, and the final stanzas have many phrases that abound in confidence and joy. Sing harmony on stanzas 3, 4, and/ or 5.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Stanley Wiersma (1930-1986), 1980, © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Music (GENEVAN 51 |10.11.11.10.10.11.10.11): Louis Bourgeois (ca. 1510-1561), 1551; harm. Claude Goudimel (ca. 1505-1572), 1564, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.
    • Music: The Music is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint it.

51C: Give Me a Clean Heart

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1082 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.
  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Margaret J. Douroux (b. 1941) © 1970 Earl Pleasant Publishing
  • Music: Margaret J. Douroux (b. 1941) © 1970 Earl Pleasant Publishing; arr. Albert Dennis Tessier and Nolan Williams Jr. (b. 1969) © 2000 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Reprint Information:

51D: Have Mercy upon Me, O God

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Gracia Grindal © 1993 Selah Publishing Company, Inc.
  • Music: Clayton J. Schmit © 1998 Clayton J. Schmit
  • Reprint Information:

51E: Ten Piedad de mí/Lord, Have Mercy on Me

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • Buy a recording of this song from Princeton Theological Seminary's Touring Choir, on their CD "Sing Praise to the Lord!".
  • View and listen to this song in a worship service from Calvin College's Worship Symposium.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Rafael D. Grullón, 1970; tr. Mary Louise Bringle (b. 1953), 2011
  • Music (TEN PIEDAD DE MÍ): Rafael D. Grullón, 1970; arr. Raquel Mora Martínez © 1996 Abingdon Press, admin. The Copyright Company
  • Reprint Information:

51F: Create in Me a Clean Heart

Performance Notes:

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 51:10, 11
  • Music: anonymous; arr. Sharon Bradimore (b. 1954) © 2001 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words: The Words are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint them.
    • Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net or a CCLI License.

51G: A Responsorial Setting

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this setting, see page 1082 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 51
  • Music: David Isele © 1979 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Psalm Text: from Evangelical Lutheran Worship © 2006 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, admin. Augsburg Fortress Publishers
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Refrain:
    • Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • When reprinting the Psalm Text and Tone, please use the correct copyright line. Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to reprint the Tone for use in a worship setting.

 

  • Words: traditional Urdhu; trans. © 1990 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Music (KHUDAAYAA fragment): traditional Urdhu; trans. © 1990 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Alternative Refrain 1:
    • Words and Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net.
    • Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to use the Tone in a worship setting. Please use the correct copyright line.

 

  • Words: South African traditional
  • Music: © G.M. Kolisi, South Africa; US rights Walton Music; arr. Anders Nyberg © 1984 Peace of Music Publishing AB, admin. Walton Music Corporation
  • Tone: © 2011 Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information for the Alternative Refrain 2:
    • Music: permitted with a license from OneLicense.net
    • Faith Alive Christian Resources gives you permission to use the Tone in a worship setting. Please use the correct copyright line.

51H: Create in Me a Clean Heart

Other Resources:

  • Purchase a SATB choral arrangement written by John Carter and published by Hope Publishing Company.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: John Carter © 1997 Hope Publishing Company
  • Music (SARADAY): John Carter © 1997 Hope Publishing Company
  • Reprint Information:

51I: Kyrie/Lord Have Mercy

Performance Notes:

  • For more information about this song, refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words and Music: Kathleen Hart Brumm (b. 1958) © 1992 Brummhart Publishing
  • Reprint Information:

51J: Prayer of Confession 1

Performance Notes:

  • For more information about this song (Kyrie eleison—Russian Orthodox), refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Prayer: The Book of Common Prayer, rev., P.D.
  • Words: early Greek liturgy
  • Music: Russian Orthodox Liturgy
  • Reprint Information:
    • Prayer: The prayer is in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint it.

51K: Prayer of Confession 2

Performance Notes:

  • For more information about this song (Kyrie eleison—Ghana), refer to the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation.

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Prayer: Book of Worship, United Church of Christ © 1986, 2002 United Church of Christ, United Church Press
  • Words: early Greek liturgy
  • Music: Dinah Reindorf (b. 1938), Ghana © 1987 Dinah Reindorf
  • Reprint Information:

51L: Have Mercy on Me, O God

Other Resources:

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 51:3-6, 12-13, 16-17
  • Music: Jun-G Bargayo and Junjun Delmonte © 2010 Jesuit Communication Foundation, Inc; arr. Joel Navarro © 2011 Joel Navarro, admin. Faith Alive Christian Resources
  • Reprint Information:
    • Music (tune): please contact the Jesuit Communication Foundation, Inc.
    • Music (arrangement): contact Faith Alive Christian Resources

51M: Misericordia, Señor/Be Merciful, O Lord

Performance Notes:

  • For performance notes on this song, see page 1082 of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship.

Other Resources:

  • Purchase a collection or a CD recording that contains this song and is published by GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalm 51
  • Music: ref. John Schiavone; sts. Michael Guimont © 1994, 1998, 2004 GIA Publications, Inc.
  • Reprint Information:

51N: God, Be Merciful To Me

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter, 1912, alt; P.D.
  • Music (7.7.7.7.7.7): Christopher Miner © 1998 Christopher Miner Music; arr. Eelco Vos © 2011 Christopher Miner Music
  • Reprint Information:

51O: Gracious God, My Heart Renew

Performance Notes:

Tune Information:

REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as PETRA from its association with "Rock of Ages," and GETHSEMANE, which derives from the text "Go to Dark Gethsemane" (381).

Of the three long lines constituting REDHEAD 76, the last is almost identical to the first, and the middle line has an internal repeat. Well-suited to singing in parts, this music is also appropriate for unaccompanied singing.

Richard Redhead (b. Harrow, Middlesex, England, 1820; d. Hellingley, Sussex, England, 1901) was a chorister at Magdalen College, Oxford. At age nineteen he was invited to become organist at Margaret Chapel (later All Saints Church), London. Greatly influencing the musical tradition of the church, he remained in that position for twenty-five years as organist and an excellent trainer of the boys' choirs. Redhead and the church's rector, Frederick Oakeley, were strongly committed to the Oxford Movement, which favored the introduction of Roman elements into Anglican worship. Together they produced the first Anglican plainsong psalter, Laudes Diurnae (1843). Redhead spent the latter part of his career as organist at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Paddington (1864-1894).

Other Resources:

  • Visit hymnary.org for more information on this song and additional resources.
  • The following are alternative accompaniments for this tune, GETHSEMANE/PETRA/REDHEAD76/AJALON.

Alternative Harmonization for Organ and Descant Resources:

  • Archer, Malcolm. After the Last Verse. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 502 6 [1995]
  • Burkhardt, Michael. Easy Hymn Settings Lent.  Morningstar MSM-10-315 [1992]
  • Busarow, Donald. Thirty More Accompaniments for Hymns in Canon. Augsburg11-10163 [1992]
  • Fedak, Alfred V. 25 More Harmonizations. Selah 160-729 [1998]
  • Noble, T. Tertius. Fifty Free Organ Accompaniments to Well-Known Hymn Tunes. J. Fischer 8430 [1949]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. 200 Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew ISBN 0 86209 189 6 [1991]
  • Rawsthorne, Noel. More Last Verses. Kevin Mayhew [1996]

Alternative Harmonization for Piano:

  • Maynard, Lynette. Let It Rip! At the Piano. vol. 2 Augsburg ISBN 0-8006-7580-0 [2003]

Copyright Information:

  • Words: Psalter, 1912, alt., P.D.
  • Music (REDHEAD 76 |7.7.7.7.7.7): Richard Redhead, 1853, P.D.
  • Reprint Information:
    • Words and Music: both are in Public Domain. You do not need permission to reprint this song.