266. Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive

Text Information
First Line: Forgive our sins as we forgive
Title: Forgive Our Sins As We Forgive
Author: Rosamond E. Herklots (1969)
Publication Date: 1987
Meter: CM
Scripture: Matthew 6:12; Matthew 18:21-35; Matthew 18:35; Matthew 6:15
Topic: Confession and Forgiveness
Language: English
Copyright: By permission of Oxford University Press
Tune Information
Name: DUNFERMLINE
Meter: CM
Key: E♭ Major


Text Information:

Scripture References:
all st. = Matt. 18:21-35
st.1 = Matt. 6:12

Rosamond E. Herklots (b. Masuri, India, 1905; d. Bromley, Kent, England, 1987) wrote these words in 1966 after digging out weeds in her garden and thinking how bitterness, hatred, and resentment are like poisonous weeds growing in the Christian garden of life. "Forgive Our Sins" is a hymn about being ready to forgive others again and again-as Jesus said, seventy-times-seven times! We have many hymns about God's forgiveness of our sins, but this one adds a most helpful guide in forgiving others' sins.

Herklots revised her own text into the second-person singular ("you") in 1967. That text was first published in 1969 in the British supplementary hymnal 100 Hymns for Today with the subhead “The Unforgiving Heart.” It quickly became her best-known hymn, included in most recent hymnals.

Trained as a teacher at Leeds University, Herklots taught school briefly but from 1930 to 1980 worked as a medical secretary for a London neurologist. She had written poetry since childhood, and after encouragement by members of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland and by Oxford University Press she wrote about a hundred hymns. Some were published initially in various British hymnals and supplements, and some were contest-winners sung on BBC- TV.

Liturgical Use:
Early in the service of confession and forgiveness; as a call to forgiving each other¬especially prior to the Lord's Supper or to the offering of gifts.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

DUNFERMLINE is one of the "common" tunes from Andro Hart's psalter The CL Psalms of David, Edinburgh (l615)–a "common" tune was one that was not matched with a specific text in a songbook. Millar Patrick, author of Four Centuries of Scottish Psalmody (London, 1949) and The Story of the Church's Song (1927, rev. 1962), attributes this tune to John Angus, one-time precentor at the Dunfermline Abbey (Scotland) during the Reformation. The tune takes its name from that abbey.

Sing DUNFERMLINE in unison or in harmony with the sense of two long lines for each stanza.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


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