Scripture Verse

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


John M. Neale (1818–1866)


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 (1685–1750)


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!