The gentle flowing piano accompaniment create a 3/4 ballad style for the unison women’s entrance at measure 4. This simple folk melody unfolds dear images of Christ, our ransom. Soprano and alto divide in measure 12 with men entering at measure 16 proclaiming that Christ “will never be forgotten.” Stanza 2, measure 23, moves the key from D major into G major with unison voices taking us to the crucifixion, filled with grace and love poured out from heaven. SAB division completes the stanza, adding color atop the accompaniment. Measure 40 quotes from the hymn “And Can It Be,” with rhythms elongated in regal praise to God. The anthem concludes with a restatement of earlier material and the title phrase.
The piano accompaniment floats, bringing a linear glide to the triple meter. Non-chord tones bring interest to the part and move through the simple harmonic changes. Vocal parts are appropriate, although the soprano does reach to a low A. The simplicity of the folk quality is key to the success of this anthem.
Performance options include singing the opening section, measures 4-20 as a solo. You may choose to add an alto as written in measure 12 and a single male voice at measure 16 to complete the trio. Have tutti choir enter, as written, in measure 23.
Appropriate days: Services on mercy and grace; services in Lent; and general worship.
Age Level 6-8
Difficulty of vocal parts 4
Difficulty of accompaniment 6