Before the Throne of God Above (SNS 1/5)

This is an odd one for the Source: New Songs – a text from the 19th century by Charitie Bancroft with a newish tune by Vikki Cook from the late twentieth century.  This version does it as a P&W slow burn and get rather noisy as it goes, which is fine but I think the tune sounds like an old Irish air and can be left in that register without going all out.  This thoughtful reformed blog posts about it here and has links to what appears to be free sheet music of the song.  I’ll leave that for you to explore. A spent a while reading the blog posts about music there and decided the lovely guy running the blog was far too patient with outright nasty comments that made me pine for the civility (?) of PrayTell. Fundamentalists who don’t like contemporary music are happy to let you know, it appears.

My objection to the obvious substitutionary atonement in the lyrics is really just saying it is a text of its time, not really a Catholic objection. That said, I can’t see it turning up in Catholic Church any day soon, but as a rejigged hymn it is interesting; Judy Bailey has done similar things.  It turns John Bell on his head as he writes new words for old tunes.

My backing is somewhat restrained and gives the tune a chance.

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Verse 1
Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea.
A great high Priest whose Name is Love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands,
My name is written on His heart.
I know that while in heaven He stands
No tongue can bid me thence depart. (rpt)Verse 2

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within,
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin.
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free.
For God the just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me. (rpt)Verse 3

Behold Him there the risen Lamb,
My perfect spotless righteousness,
The great unchangeable I AM,
King of glory and of grace,
One in Himself I cannot die.
My soul is purchased by His blood,
My life is hid with Christ on high,
With Christ my Savior and my God! (rpt)

© PDI Worship 1993.

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