There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The Catechism says that those who know Christ’s forgiveness are “to thank God for such deliverance” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 1, Question and Answer 2). As a result, “With our whole lives we may show that we are thankful to God for his benefits, so that he may be praised through us, and that we may be assured of our faith by its fruits, and so that by our godly living our neighbors may be won over to Christ” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 32, Question and Answer 86).


There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Acclamation
There’s a wideness in your mercy, O God, and a kindness in your justice. Wider than the oceans and deeper than the seas, your mercy stretches from everlasting to everlasting. There is none like you, O God. Truly, none like you. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

Tune Information

D Major



There's a Wideness in God's Mercy

Hymn Story/Background

Many hymnals today include four stanzas of Faber’s original text, adapted from earlier publications of both eight stanza and a thirteen stanza versions of this text of invitation; one version was entitled “Come to Jesus.”  The text is often set to various traditional tunes (ST. HELENA and LORD, REVIVE US), but the opening line about God’s mercy being “like the wideness of the sea” was suggestive to me of a Scottish view of the North Sea, so I composed a melody and chording with a Celtic feel to them, selecting and slightly adapting several lines from the text most often found in hymnals today.  Because of the liquid, flowing nature of this melody, a “turnaround” has been provided as a suggestion for accompanists to keep the musical momentum going without break from beginning to end. 
— Gregg DeMey

Author Information

Raised in the Church of England, Faber came from a Huguenot and strict Calvinistic family background. He was educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and ordained in the Church of England in 1839. Influenced by the teaching of John Henry Newman, Faber followed Newman into the Roman Catholic Church in 1845 and served under Newman's supervision in the Oratory of St. Philip Neri. Because he believed that Roman Catholics should sing hymns like those written by John Newton, Charles Wesley, and William Cowpe, Faber wrote 150 hymns himself. One of his best known, "Faith of Our Fathers," originally had these words in its third stanza: "Faith of Our Fathers! Mary's prayers/Shall win our country back to thee." He published his hymns in various volumes and finally collected all of them in Hymns (1862).
— Bert Polman

Author and Composer Information

Gregg DeMey (b. 1972) was born in Grand Rapids, MI, studied at Calvin College (BA Music Theory and Composition), and graduated from Calvin Theological Seminary in 1998 (MTS) and 2006 (M.Div).  He served as worship pastor at Granite Springs in Sacramento, CA; as a church planter at Lakeside Church in Ludington, MI; and is currently the Teaching Pastor at Elmhurst Christian Reformed Church in Elmhurst, IL.  
— Gregg DeMey
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