The opening quotation of John Newton’s “Amazing Grace” will immediately attract both singer and congregant to this anthem. A free interpretation with colorful accompanying chords offer a sweet warmth to this familiar piece. Measure 23, however, jump-starts this piece into the twenty-first century with syncopation, marked rhythms, and jazzlike accompaniment voicing. Don’t be fooled by the unison melody. This packs praise team drive in a true contemporary fashion.
The accompaniment helps define the style throughout the setting. The range is moderately low with lots of repeating material. Youth, praise teams, and adventurous choirs will enjoy learning this.
Performance options include using stanza 1 as a traditional setting of “Amazing Grace.” This may be used as a response to the assurance of pardon, a call/response to prayer, call to confession, or another worship response. You may choose to add praise band instrumentation starting in measure 23, such as bass, guitar, and drums.
Appropriate days: Service themes on grace, forgiveness, salvation; and general worship.