The Gospel Coalition



I'm not aware of many hymns that are specifically designed for celebrating the Lord's Supper. (See the exceptions by the Gettys & Townend and R.C. Sproul.)

Another exception is a hymn written by Joseph Hart, an 18th-century Calvinist minister and hymn writer in London who was buried at Bunhill Fields near Bunyan, Watts, and Owen. (Hart is best known for his hymn "Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy.")

Zac Hicks + Cherry Creek Worship has taken that old and largely forgotten hymn and given it new life on their album Without Our Aid.

You can listen to it here:

[audio:http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/files/2011/10/Lord-I-Believe-Communion-Hymn.mp3|titles=Lord, I Believe (Communion Hymn)]

And courtesy of Zac, you can also download the MP3 for free.

Worship leaders and musicians can check out the chord chart and the lead sheet.

Here are the lyrics:
Pity a helpless sinner, Lord,
Who would believe Thy gracious Word.
But, O! my heart with shame and grief,
A sink of sin and unbelief.

Lord, in Thy house, I read there's room,
And venturing hard, behold, I come.
But can there, tell me, can there be
Amongst Thy children room for me?

I eat the bread and drink the wine,
But, O, my soul wants more than sign!
I faint unless I feed on Thee,
And drink the blood as shed for me.

Lord, I believe Thy grace is free.
O, magnify that grace in me.

For sinners, Lord, Thou cam'st to bleed,
And I'm a sinner vile, indeed.
Lord, I believe Thy grace is free.
O magnify that grace in me.

Words: Joseph Hart, ca. 1757-1759
Music: Zac Hicks, 2010
©2011 Unbudding Fig Music (ASCAP)


Comments:

[...] 10. Lord, I Believe (Communion Hymn) Words: Joseph Hart, ca. 1757-1759 It is difficult to find good communion songs for modern worship. (Justin Taylor link) [...]

[...] meets Keith Getty meets Isaac Watts). A wonderful  communion hymn is available for free download here (HT: Justin Taylor). Be sure to check out the rest of the album. I love this [...]

How to Choose Worship Songs « Superhua

October 21, 2011 at 09:50 AM

[...] Communion songs [added 10/21/2011] [...]

[...] the original post: Free MP3: Lord, I Believe (Communion Hymn) – Justin Taylor Tags: audio, browser, california, christianity, free mp3, gospel, italian, lyrics, mp3, music [...]

Zac Hicks

October 20, 2011 at 12:24 AM

Thanks so much for taking the time to point out our music. I will add that there is a mighty songwriting project underway to set bunches of old Communion hymn texts to new music, courtesy of Cardiphonia (http://www.cardiphonia.org). I'll be contributing a few songs alongside some stellar songwriters. It should be a robust project, due out in a month or so.

Laura

October 20, 2011 at 09:56 AM

@Raymond, style =/= substance.

Laura

October 20, 2011 at 09:55 AM

@Kyle, I didn't think it was unclear at all. "I'm eating the Lord's supper, but I want MORE than this sign, I want the reality it points to!"

Kyle Carlson

October 20, 2011 at 09:49 AM

A strong hymn. But I have potential reservations about one line, unless I'm misreading it.

I eat the bread and drink the wine
But O my soul wants more than sign!
I faint unless I feed on thee
And drink the blood as shed for me

This stanza, if not intended as such, has the potential to convey a Catholic understanding of communion. Is Hart saying that the elements of communion are not really sign, but actually the flesh and blood of Christ? Or is he merely saying that the sign of bread and wine make his heart long for the living Christ? At best, it needs clarification if we sing this with our congregations.


Kyle

October 2011 Laundry List | Cardiphonia

October 20, 2011 at 09:28 PM

[...] that to pick up the new album HERE.  Justin Taylor’s blog even featured the communion song Lord, I Believe in today’s post. [...]

Michael Mills

October 20, 2011 at 09:06 AM

This song blessed me so much this morning. The Holy Spirit used it to provide comfort…and to allow me to shed tears.

Yesterday, was the most difficult day I’ve experienced as a Victim Advocate. (I’m retired and volunteer with the local Police Department in that role.)

I got called out at 7:15am to the scene of a suicide. A 39 y/o woman had shot herself with a 357 magnum in the back yard of her ex-boyfriend. When I arrived, one of the officers asked me, “Are you okay with seeing a dead body?” I told him I was. As I walked into the back yard, moving toward the door of the duplex, there she was, lying on a large tree stump, mouth open, frozen forever in time, with a large hole in the back of her head — from the exit wound of the round.

I spent about an hour with the ex-boyfriend, his 10 y/o daughter, and new girlfriend. At one point I asked them if they’d like a pastor or priest. They were very adamant with their answer: NO! They didn’t believe... “that stuff.”

After the coroner completed her initial investigation, I was asked to notify the mother and father of the woman who had killed herself. There were the normal emotions of grief you might expect, coupled with intense anger. Their daughter had been adopted by them. At one point, the wife told me she never loved the girl.... I asked them if they’d like a pastor or priest. Their answer was the same as before with the ex-boyfriend...very antagonistic against faith and God.

But there was more. The woman who committed suicide had a 12 y/o daughter. We tried to find the father, but he wasn’t at his apartment. (His roommate believed he might have been at his “new girlfriend’s” place for the night, but didn’t know her name or her address...”)

So the detective and I drove to the Middle School, where Lilly — the daughter — was in class. After discussions with the principle, we decided that he would take Lilly out of class and drive her to her grandparent’s home. In the meantime, the grandparents had called two other families that were close. The child was devastated, as you might imagine.

There was one moment of saving Grace through it all. One of the women who had been called asked Lilly if she’d like her to call the youth pastor. Lilly said, “Yes.” This surprised me due to the family’s resistance to “God.” I took that opportunity to ask the woman for the name of the church. She said, “Calvary Church...at 21st and Gay.” It was a church I had attended years earlier. I said, “Ahhhh, Tom Hovestol is the senior pastor there.” Her eyes lit up. So, perhaps those from Clavary will be able, if nothing else, to give God’s comfort to Lilly.

Seeing the dead body was certainly troubling...but I’ve seen dead bodies before. It was nothing new. What hurt the most was the total antagonism toward God and Christ by everyone...everyone that is, except Lilly. Pray for her.

Then this morning, after the difficult previous day, I listened to this song...and God bathed me with joy and comfort.

Blessings to you all,

Michael

Ben K.

October 20, 2011 at 09:01 AM

Not what I'd call a hymn but Matt Maher has "Remembrance (Communion Song)."

[...] Free MP3: Lord, I Believe (Communion Hymn). [...]

Bobby Gilles

October 20, 2011 at 08:26 AM

Zac is a good brother in Christ, and zachicks.com is a key place to go for thoughts on worship, liturgy, hymns, culture and related topics. I'm glad to see this post.

Raymond: What is your definition of substance?

bruce

October 20, 2011 at 08:20 PM

thanks zac. looking forward to some great contributions for this one from some stellar worship leaders and songwriters.

donsands

October 20, 2011 at 08:07 PM

Nice. And thanks for sharing that testimony Michael. God has mercy on whom He has mercy. We all surely wish He would have mercy on everyone, because we ourselves don't deserve it, as everyone else doesn't. Yet, our Lord is full of mercy and grace for sinners. I shall pray for these people who mocked, as I once was a mocker.

Chris Larson

October 20, 2011 at 08:06 AM

Dr. Sproul wrote a Lord's Supper hymn several years ago: http://www.ligonier.org/store/come-thou-savior-spread-thy-table-sheet-music/

AndrewF

October 20, 2011 at 08:03 AM

Great song, thanks for sharing it! (just went and got the whole album on itunes after this!)

Raymond

October 20, 2011 at 06:29 AM

The same "breathy" singing; the same pounding rock. Anything of substance out there?

JackW

October 20, 2011 at 05:03 AM

+1 Behold the Lamb ... Best!

John

October 20, 2011 at 04:36 PM

Justin,

Thanks for pointing us to great music from time to time that we might otherwise not know about. Wonderful Hymn that is singable! and so exalting of Jesus

John

Robyn Hannah

October 20, 2011 at 04:30 PM

And sweet blessings on you my friend Michael, you are a blessing to many in your role as advocate.

Steve

October 20, 2011 at 03:35 PM

Simply Beautiful!

Kenneth

October 20, 2011 at 03:11 PM

Good point, Judas is gone to betray Jesus, James is in the kitchen (...with Dinah? we'll never know.), and Thaddaeus is obviously the one taking the picture.

Hope this helps Aleck.

Aleck

October 20, 2011 at 02:24 PM

I too appreciate the song, and I'm sorry to be so OCD, but why are there only 9 apostles in the picture?

Alan Wilson

October 20, 2011 at 01:26 AM

Keith Getty has a beautiful communion hymn - Behold the Lamb.

David Strunk

October 20, 2011 at 01:14 PM

@Kyle
There are more than 2 views on the Lord's supper (transubstantiation and memorialism). Hart's lyric fits perfectly well in a Reformed sacramental view of communion, in that Christ is spiritually present in the elements upon faith. A mere "sign" is Hart's longing just against the memorialist position. He doesn't want to just remember Christ, but take him in. Calvin's Institutes are a good source on this.

@Zac Hicks
He's got the best stuff I know of making hymns palatable to scores of Christians ignorant of hymns are opposed to them based on style. Zac is doing a great work uniting the church, so it's disappointing when folks in this thread use their comment to continue to divide the church unnecessarily.