God, Be Merciful to Me

God, be merciful to me, On Thy grace I rest my plea

Tune: REDHEAD NO. 76
Confession Songs
Published in 26 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, Sibelius
Audio files: MIDI

Full Text

1 God, be merciful to me;
on your grace I rest my plea.
My transgressions I confess;
grief and guilt my soul oppress.
Wash me, make me pure within;
cleanse, O cleanse me from my sin.

2 I have sinned against your grace
and provoked you to your face.
I confess your judgment just;
speechless, I your mercy trust.
Let my contrite heart rejoice
and in gladness hear your voice.

3 Gracious God, my heart renew,
make my spirit right and true.
Do not cast me from your sight
nor remove your Spirit's light.
Your salvation's joy restore,
make me steadfast evermore.

4 Contrite spirit, pleading cries,
you, O God, will not despise.
Sinful ways I will reprove,
and my tongue shall sing your love.
Let my righteous sacrifice
then delight your holy eyes.

Psalter Hymnal, 1987

Text Information

First Line: God, be merciful to me, On Thy grace I rest my plea
Title: God, Be Merciful to Me
Source: Psalter, 1912
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Gracious God, my heart renew
Liturgical Use: Confession Songs


Scripture References:
st.1 = Ps. 51:1-3
st.2 = Ps. 51:4,8
st.3 = Ps. 51:10-12
st.4 = Ps. 51:13-14,17,19

Based on Psalm 51, the best-known of the penitential psalms, “God, Be Merciful” is a collation from the complete versification of the psalm in the 1912 Psalter. Making various alterations, especially in stanza 3, Bert Polman (PHH 37) prepared the collation to provide a shortened version of this well-known psalm and tune for the Psalter Hymnal. Other settings of Psalm 51 are at 51 and 167.

Liturgical Use:
Service of confession and forgiveness; a sung prayer for renewal (st. 3); offering of gifts (st. 4). See also PHH 51.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



REDHEAD 76 is named for its composer, who published it as number 76 in his influential Church Hymn Tunes, Ancient and Modern (1853) as a setting for the hymn text "Rock of Ages." It has been associated with Psalm 51 since the 1912 Psalter, where the tune was named AJALON. The tune is also known as P…

Go to tune page >

[God, be merciful to me]



General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

Questions? Check out the FAQ
This is a preview of your FlexScore.
The Cyber Hymnal #1707
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #255


Instances (1 - 11 of 11)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Contemporary Songs for Worship #9
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #622TextFlexScoreAudio
Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #623TextFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Psalms for All Seasons: a complete Psalter for worship #51NText
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #255Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #104TextPage Scan
Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #297
Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #153
Small Church Music #2497Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #1707TextScoreAudio
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #486TextPage Scan
Include 15 pre-1979 instances