Scripture Verse

A man had two sons. The younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the share of the estate that falls to me. So he divided his wealth between them. And not many days later, the younger son gathered everything together and went on a journey into a distant country, and there he squandered his estate with loose living. Luke 15:11–13


Isaac Watts (1674–1748)

Words: Is­aac Watts, Hymns and Spi­ri­tu­al Songs, Book 1, 1707, num­ber 123. The re­pent­ing pro­dig­al.

Music: Waits’ Song Eng­lish tra­di­tion­al (🔊 pdf nwc).


Return of the Prodigal Son
Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (1591–1666)

Behold the wretch whose lust and wine
Had wast­ed his es­tate,
He begs a share among the swine,
To taste the husks they eat!

I die with hun­ger here, he cries,
“I starve in fo­reign lands;
My fa­ther’s house has large sup­plies,
And boun­te­ous are his hands.

I’ll go, and with a mourn­ful tongue
Fall down be­fore his face—
Father, I’ve done thy jus­tice wrong,
Nor can de­serve thy grace.

He said, and haste­ned to his home,
To seek his fa­ther’s love;
The fa­ther saw the re­bel come,
And all his bow­els move.

He ran, and fell up­on his neck,
Embraced and kissed his son;
The re­bel’s heart with sor­row brake
For fol­lies he had done.

Take off his clothes of shame and sin,
The fa­ther gives com­mand,
“Dress him in gar­ments white and clean,
With rings adorn his hand.

A day of feast­ing I or­dain,
Let mirth and joy abound;
My son was dead, and lives again,
Was lost, and now is found.