Confession Song

We have sinned against You God
Done evil in Your sight.
We’re sorry and seek mercy Lord
According to Your love.

Wash away our sin O Lord
And make our spirits right.
Restore salvation’s joy to us
Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Have mercy O Lord
According to Your love.
Have mercy O Lord
According to Your great love

© 2022 JG Songs
CCLI Song # 7190920

In the run up to Lent 2022, I was compiling the song list for our future musical worship and felt that this would be a good opportunity to have a sung confession. I found this liturgical confession on the Forms of Penitence page of the Church of England website

Lord God,
we have sinned against you;
we have done evil in your sight.
We are sorry and repent.
Have mercy on us according to your love.
Wash away our wrongdoing and cleanse us from our sin.
Renew a right spirit within us
and restore us to the joy of your salvation,
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

I then attempted to set it to music, moulding the words where necessary.

My first attempt to write a confession song was far too upbeat.

But what it did give me was the lyric “renew a right spirit in us” and this reminded me of Psalm 51. I then found the liturgical confession prayer based on that Psalm that I reference in the About tab above. This didn’t really help me go further though because the liturgy and the music I’d come up with so far simply didn’t complement each other.

At that point, and very unusually for me, I started writing a melody on the guitar.

Melodic experimentation

My first attempt to put the prayer to music was quite slow, and I wasn’t entirely sure that the higher melody on the second phrase worked. The soaring vocal seemed to clash with the depravity in the phrase “done evil in Your sight”.

First attempt

I eventually changed the melody on that line to the one in the finished song, but somehow it still didn’t seem complete though. I considered adding a final prayer for mercy from the centre words of the liturgical prayer and that’s when I came up with the idea for the final part. I now think that this is the strongest part of the song, although I can’t really tell you why.

When I came to the production, I wanted the entire verse melody to be played instrumentally at the start to mirror the period of reflection that often takes place in gathered worship before the prayer of confession is spoken.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *