God of Mercy and Compassion

This is a Lenten hymn about God's mercy.

It was written by English Roman Catholic (Redemptorist) priest Edmund Vaughan (1827-1908) - who is incorrectly referred to as "Edward Vaughan" in some hymnals.  

Vaughan translated a number of hymns, as well as writing some original texts.  This hymn is usually described as one of his originals.    But there are similarities with the 19th (or earlier) century God of Mercy and Compassion Look with Pity on my Pain - which raises a question of whether both had a common source.

With meter with refrain:
  • In the earliest publications, the hymn was set to various un-named tunes. 
  • Today it is most commonly set to the tune AU SANG QU'UN DIEU:  Some sources say that this was written Italian composer Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736), while other say it is a traditional French tune which he adapted.

English writer Michael Hodgetts wrote an alternative set of words for this hymn, which has been published in some recent collections.



Professionally produced, group of female singers with very light / strings backing:

Church choir from Singapore with light piano backing

Soloist and choir, with orchestra - concert performance:

Singer with guitar - professional style recording:

Choir (and congregation?) with organ - recorded in a church:

Instrumental - piano


God of mercy and compassion,
Look with pity upon me,
Father, let me call Thee Father,
'Tis Thy child returns to Thee.

Jesus, Lord, I ask for mercy;
Let me not implore in vain;
All my sins, I now detest them,
Never will I sin again.

By my sins I have deserved
Death and endless misery,
Hell with all its pains and torments,
And for all eternity.

By my sins I have abandoned
Right and claim to heav'n above.
Where the saints rejoice forever
In a boundless sea of love.

See our Saviour, bleeding, dying,
On the cross of Calvary;
To that cross my sins have nail'd Him,
Yet He bleeds and dies for me.

ABC Notation

T:God of Mercy and Compassion
C:Words: Edward Vaughan CSsR (1837-1908)
C:Music: AU SANG QU'UN DIEU- traditional French
Z:abc-transcription www.GodSongs.net
GF | E2 G2 B B | A-G F2 G F | E2 G-F E ^D | E4 GF |
     E2 G2 B B | A-G F2 G F | E2 G-F E ^D | E4 G>A |
     B3 B c B  | B 2 A2 B A | G3 B A G    | G2-F2 G F |
     E2 G2 B B | A-G F2 G F | E2 G-F E ^D | E4 |]

Information about ABC notation

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  1. There is also a tune to this hymn by Henri F Hémy in his Crown of Jesus Hymnbook (1864) but certainly not as beautiful as the melody we now sing to this hymn

  2. A hymn for prayers and sober reflection

  3. My best hymn for praying and meditating

  4. I'm not a Catholic but I love this song

  5. This is hymn of forgiveness. I really like within my heart.

  6. God have Mercy and forgive me all my sins in Jesus name Amen

  7. A hymn of prayer and forgiveness of oneself that touches the heart and soul. I really love it

  8. i so much love this song, pls how can i get the song

  9. Say this prayer once It's 3 o'clock wether noon or mid night An our of mercy it is indeed. God bless you all.

  10. This song brings me closer to God.... Every time my spirit sing, i can't help but shed tears. Lord help me to do right. Amen!