51B. Be Merciful, Be Merciful, O God

Text Information
First Line: Be merciful, be merciful, O God
Title: Be Merciful, Be Merciful, O God
Author: Stanley Wiersma, 1930-1986 (1980)
Language: English
Publication Date: 2012
Topic: Biblical Names and Places: Jerusalem; Biblical Names and Places: Zion; Broken-hearted (42 more...)
Copyright: © 1987 Faith Alive Christian Resources
Tune Information
Name: GENEVAN 51
Composer: Louis Bourgeois, ca. 1510-1561 (1551)
Harmonizer: Claude Goudimel,ca. 1505-1572 (1564)
Key: C Major
Notes: This 16th-Century psalm is often accompanied on the organ, but it could be performed in many different ways. It is very close to chant and could be sung unaccompanied and in unison with a rather free, plainchant feel. This would have been how it was originally conceived for singing in the church (hence the designation a capella, Latin for “as in church”). But outside the church these psalms were often accompanied by the lute, so accompanying with guitars today may also be recommended. One might select particular stanzas as a call or response to confession. If all the stanzas are sung, consider having different voices sing in alternation.

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