Almighty God, we come to make confession (StF 419)

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Almighty God, we come to make confession 

Source: Singing the Faith: 419
Words: Christopher J. Ellis
Music: “Finlandia” by Jean Sibelius
Verses: 4

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Correction to music: Correct metre to “11 10 11 10″

Ideas for use

Hymns can work well as sung prayers in their own right. This is a good example.

Alternatively, as a spoken prayer: have a worship leader read verses 1 and 4 (on behalf of “we” in the first line of each verse) while the members of the congregation read the second and third verses with their more personal “I” first lines.

More information

When sung to the set tune “Finlandia”, the last two lines of each verse should be repeated. Alternatively, omit the music from bars 9 – 17.

Categories: (, Confession, Ellis, Christopher, Finlandia, Repentance and Forgiveness, Sibelius, Jean.

5 Responses to Almighty God, we come to make confession (StF 419)

  1. Andrew Hill says:

    Alternative to repeating last 2 lines of each verse is to repeat 1st and last line,
    i.e. each verse sing lines 1,2,3,4,1,4.
    Singers need brains in gear, but it makes more sense.

  2. Anne Peat says:

    We used David’s suggestion of omitting the repeated lines this morning, and it worked much better for verses 2 & 3. But having done it both ways, I felt we could have done with the repeat in verse 4. I’m not sure how a congregation would cope with singing a different pattern for the last verse, though.

  3. Sheila Wright says:

    We looked at this, and decided that the metre wasn’t quite right, and actually the hymn works fairly effectively to the tune Londonderry Air, which also reflects the mood really well. Vicar thinks, if you want to miss out all the high notes, just use the first half of the tune for each verse.

  4. David Fanshawe says:

    Repeating the last 2 lines gives a very unfortunate result in verse 2: “…forgive me, Lord, and make me like your Son of bitter words and many selfish actions…”

    Repeating the last 2 lines in verse 3 is equally unfortunate: “…forgive me, Lord, and lead me in your way of help withheld, concern and love restricted…”

    I think the best solution is to trim ‘Finlandia’ to a 4-line version (as written by Sibelius near the beginning of the tone poem). I have marked up my music copy to miss out bars13-20.

    • Editor says:

      That’s a very helpful solution, David – thanks. I’ll pass that around. That said, I think that the repetition of the last two lines in vv.2&3 does work grammatically, if slightly archaicly! The commas make the subclauses very clear, so that you could turn these words round to read “forgive me, Lord, of bitter words and many selflish actions, and make me like your Son” – and likewise in v.3. I agree this is a little awkward, but poets get away with far worse in the interests of rhyme!

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