Your Sunday Hymn: Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake

This week’s hymn: Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake exquisitely  sung by Kampen Boys Choir, conducted by Rintje te Wies.
The recording was made in the Bovenkerk Kampen (NL) on October 18th 2012. Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake is composed by Richard Farrant (1530 – 1580).


 Lord, for Thy tender mercy’s sake 

This piece has uncertain origins. Its composition has been attributed to Richard Farrant (1530-1580, Master of the Children of St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, pictured, and later Master of the Chapel Royal), John Hilton (the elder of two composers of that name, d. 1609), and even at one time to Thomas Tallis (1505-1585). Some editions of the piece do not contain the final amen, prompting some to speculate that these final bars may have been added by one composer to a pre-existing piece by another. While the text is taken from Christian Prayers and Holy Meditations (1566) by Henry Bull (1530-75), the fact that the text is not set exactly as it appears in the prayer book has suggested to some that these English words were “found” for music that had previously been a setting of Latin words.
In any case, both the prayer and the music combine a humble sense of repentance from sin with a calm and confident trust in God’s mercy and the renewing power of his grace: 
Lord, for thy tender mercy’s sake, 
lay not our sins to our charge, 
but forgive that is past, 
and give us grace to amend our sinful lives: 
to decline from sin and incline to virtue, 
that we may walk in a perfect heart 
before thee now and evermore. 

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