Scripture Verse

Father, I have sinned against Heaven, and before thee. Luke 15:18


John M. Neale

Words: Jo­seph of the Stu­di­um (Βυ­θος αμαρ­τημ­α­των). Trans­lat­ed from Greek to Eng­lish by John M. Neale in his Hymns of the East­ern Church. This is a por­tion from the Tri­o­di­on of the Ca­non at Lauds for the Sun­day of the Pro­di­gal Son, an­swer­ing to Sep­tu­a­ge­si­ma of the An­gli­can Church, and lat­er in use in the Greek church.

Music: Va­ter un­ser Geist­liche Lied­er (Leip­zig, Ger­ma­ny: 1539). Har­mo­ny by Jo­hann S. Bach, 1726 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Johann S. Bach


Th’abyss of many a former sin
Encloses me and bars me in;
Like billows my transgressions roll:
Be Thou the pilot of my soul,
And to salvation’s harbor bring
Thou Savior and Thou glorious King.

My Father’s heritage abused,
Wasted by lust, by sin misused;
To shame and want and misery brought,
The slave to many a fruitless thought,
I cry to Thee, who lovest men,
O pity and receive again!

In hunger now, no more possessed,
Of that my portion bright and blest,
The exile and the alien see,
Who yet would fain return to Thee,
And save me, Lord, who seek to raise
To Thy dear love the hymn of praise!

With that blest thief my prayer I make,
Remember for Thy mercy’s sake!
With that poor publican I cry,
Be merciful, O God most high!
With that lost prodigal I fain
Back to my home would turn again!

Mourn, mourn, my soul, with earnest care,
And raise to Christ the contrite prayer;
O Thou, who freely wast made poor,
My sorrows and my sins to cure,
Me, poor of all good works, embrace,
Enriching with Thy boundless grace!