Have Mercy – Psalm 51

For the season of lent and in anticipation of holy week, Mixed Multitude Music is proud to release a setting of Psalm 51 (click here). This text is used in the lectionary for Ash Wednesday each year, and is a lament psalm of penitence, an acute cry to God for mercy in the face of sin.

The words of the psalm are words that David writes after being rebuked by Nathan for his sin in taking Bathsheba (and killing Uriah). It is a psalm that speaks to that particular situation and also to all of us in the places where we require mercy. It is a beautiful and fitting companion psalm for the journey of lent.

The psalm is also a pslam of hope and good news. The psalm articulates the wonder that God, the creator of the universe, rather than demanding gifts, desires more our own broken and contrite hearts. As we cry for mercy, we are also told in this psalm what God desires, and it is in our power to offer this to God.

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