632

Remember Not, O God

Full Text

1 Remember not, O God,
the sins of long ago;
in tender mercy visit us,
distressed and humbled low.

2 O Lord, our Savior, help,
and glorify your name;
deliver us from all our sins
and take away our shame.

3 Then, safe within your fold,
we will exalt your name;
our thankful hearts with songs of joy
your goodness will proclaim.

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

A versification of part of Psalm 79, "Remember Not, O God" comes from the 1912 Psalter with minor alterations. In lament style, this prayer asks for deliverance from sin and then vows to praise God forever.

 

Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

God’s children are not called to come before God’s throne with a list of accomplishments, or merits or goodness; they are called, says Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 26, to come with the humility that “…offers nothing but our need for mercy.” Such a cry for mercy comes from our “dying-away of the old self” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 88) which expresses that we are “genuinely sorry for our sin and more and more…hate and run away from it” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 89).

 
The gifts of renewal and pardon come only “through true faith” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 20) and are “gifts of sheer grace, granted solely by Christ’s merits” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 7, Question and Answer 21). The very act of faith is to plead for his mercy.

632

Remember Not, O God

Additional Prayers

O God, through your Son, the Man of Sorrows, you are acquainted with our grief.
We pray for your church, especially in places of persecution and distress.
When hope grows dim, kindle within us patience in prayer
and persistence in the struggle for justice and peace.
We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)

A Prayer for Mercy and of Reassurance
Have mercy on us, O God, because we are ashamed. We have sinned our way into shame, and now cannot look each other in the eye. We feel like shunning ourselves, silencing ourselves, giving up on ourselves. But, in your mercy, you never give up on us and you keep crowning us with glory and honor. So we exalt your name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
632

Remember Not, O God

Tune Information

Name
GORTON
Key
A♭ Major
Meter
6.6.8.6

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Option for use with psalm reading: read Ps. 79:1-7; sing st. 1; read Ps. 79:8-10; sing st. 2; read Ps. 79:11-13; sing st. 3.
— Psalms for All Seasons (http://www.psalmsforallseasons.org)
632

Remember Not, O God

Hymn Story/Background

A versification of part of Psalm 79, "Remember Not, O God" comes from the 1912 Psalter with minor alterations. In lament style, this prayer asks for deliverance from sin and then vows to praise God forever.
 
The tune GORTON derives from the second movement of Ludwig van Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 23, Opus 57 (1807); however, the arranger and any significance to the tune title are unknown. GORTON was published with this versification of Psalm 79 in the 1912 Psalter. Sing this tune in parts, beginning very quietly and building to a fuller sound on each successive stanza. Try the first stanza in parts but unaccompanied after a chord or two on the organ to get the congregation started. Sing two long lines for each stanza.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

The 1912 Psalter was the first ecumenical psalter published in the United States and the most widely used metrical psalter of the twentieth century in North America.  The United Presbyterian Church invited all other Reformed and Presbyterian denominations to join them in the effort to provide a new versifications of the psalms; six Presbyterian denominations, as well as the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America joined in the effort in revising the 1887 Psalter (whose texts actually dated back to the 1871 Book of Psalms; the 1887 edition had added music to the texts.).  The 1912 Psalter included all the psalms in 413 settings, eight doxologies, and the three Lukan canticles (Song of Mary, Song of Zechariah, and Song of Simeon).
— Bert Polman and Jack Reiffer

Composer Information

A giant in the history of music, Beethoven (b. Bonn, Germany, 1770; d. Vienna, Austria, 1827) progressed from early musical promise to worldwide, lasting fame. By the age of fourteen he was an accomplished viola and organ player, but he became famous primarily because of his compositions, including nine symphonies, eleven overtures, thirty piano sonatas, sixteen string quartets, the Mass in C, and the Missa Solemnis. He wrote no music for congregational use, but various arrangers, including Gardiner, adapted some of his musical themes as hymn tunes; the most famous of these is ODE TO JOY from the Ninth Symphony. Although it would appear that the great calamity of Beethoven's life was his loss of hearing, which turned to total deafness during the last decade of his life, he composed his greatest works during this period.
— Bert Polman
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