Merciful to Me

Merciful to Me by Reformed Praise, Released September 2010


1. Merciful to Me – A guitar-driven ballad featuring ac. guitar, piano (very light), kit on brushes, some percussion, soprano sax, and fretless bass
2. There Is No Greater Portrait – A piano and orchestra driven arrangement by Bob Parsons
3. Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken – A guitar-driven ballad with kit on brushes, piano, fiddle
4. O Jesus – Energetic pop arrangement with a drum loop and tasty electric guitars
5. O God the Holy Spirit – Another piano and orchestra driven arrangement by Bob Parsons
6. So I Will Come – A guitar driven ballad featuring Shannon Harris on vocals with acoustic bass, piano, and a string trio
7. Jesus, Lover of My Soul – A Dave Matthews inspired setting with layered acoustic guitars and saxes
8. The River – A driving rock arrangement led by acoustic guitar, then handed off to an electric guitar
9. Glory Is Certain – A pseudo-Celtic flavor: live guitar, djembe, acoustic bass, and vocals with added mandolin and Irish whistle
10. There Is No Sin that I Have Done – A very sparse, guitar driven ballad with upright bass and pedal steel guitar
11. O Weary Saint – Another sparse setting, piano-driven with Irish flute and cello
12. Begone, Unbelief – A foot-stompin’ bluegrass setting with live guitar, vocal, drums, and upright bass with added dobro, mandolin, and fiddle
13. Majestic Sweetness – A classic jazz ballad arrangement inspired by Bill Evans’ work on the Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”

“God, be merciful to me, a sinner!” These words, from the gospel of Luke, represent the disposition of the heart and the confession of the lips shared among all true followers of Jesus. When planted in the hearts of poets and musicians, this cry for mercy gives birth to songs of gratitude for the promise that God will answer it in Jesus. Though the lyricists and musicians behind these songs span the centuries, they are united in their desire to magnify the mercy of God shown to them in Jesus, the one who both satisfied the requirements of the law and bore the penalty for its transgression, in order that God might justly show mercy for all those who put their trust in Him.

“Merciful to Me” is a collection of songs whose texts and tunes are both old and new. While all of these songs are intended for congregational singing, they have been cast into many different styles of music. This reflects our conviction that worship music should be as stylistically diverse as the cultures of humanity. Our goal in singing our faith is that we might engage with the lyrics in our songs emotionally. This is why Reformed Praise so often writes fresh melodies for hymns even though they may already have a commonly used tune – the tune was usually written centuries ago and, in the opinion of many, does not fit the pathos of the lyrics. It is our hope by writing and recording worship songs that continue the legacy of centuries of Protestant hymnody, that we might reform the praise of the church by injecting heart-stirring melodies into theologically rich and gospel-saturated lyrics.