Use: Lent, General
Required Resources: SATB choir, organ
We have here a refreshing combination of a traditional Isaac Watts text with an early American tune.
Watts was an 18th century British clergyman who wrote about 100 hymn texts, including "O God, Our Help in Ages Past," "I Sing the Mighty Power of God," and "Jesus Shall Reign."
Here is the text chosen for the Knapicius arrangement:
Create my nature pure within,
And form my soul averse to sin;
Let Thy good Spirit ne'er depart,
Nor hide Thy presence from my heart.
Then will I teach the world Thy ways;
Sinners shall learn Thy sov'reign grace;
I'll lead them to my Savior's blood,
And they shall praise a pard'ninig God.
A concisely-written four-part harmony is introduced and concluded with organ.
The organ also supplies short figuration between verses, and solidly supports the choral parts.
The plaintive key of g minor, superbly attuned to the penitent text, resolves at the end with a Picardy third to G Major.