David Ashley White
Text Frederick W. Faber, 1854
Voicing SATB, organ
Topics Christian Life, Forgiveness, Mercy, Grace
Price $1.95 (U.S.)
Length 1' 45" Released 1/96
Catalog no. 420-243
Difficulty Mod. easy
Order PDF download!
This anthem's text is appropriate almost any time there's worship, and White's sensitive and lyrical setting is the most appropriate way to incorporate those words into our hearts.
There's a wideness in God's mercy
like the wideness of the sea;
there's a kindness in God's justice,
which is more than liberty.
There is a welcome for the sinner,
and more graces for the good!
There is mercy with the Savior;
there is healing in his blood.
For the love of God is broader
than the measure of our mind;
and the heart of the Eternal
is most wonderfully kind.
If our love were but more simple,
we should rest upon God's word;
and our lives would be illumined
by the presence of our Lord.
Text: Frederick W. Faber, 1854.
"David Ashley White's 'There's a wideness' uses Frederick Faber's familiar words to one of those quintessential White tunes which quickly works its way into my psyche, making me think I've alwasy known it. In addition to White's genius for the beauty of simplicity, this gem has the additional joy of exquisite text alteration; in place of "And our lives would be all sunshine in the sweetness of the Lord," White has substituted, "And our lives would be illumined by the presence of our lord." Nice." -AAM Journal, April 1998
"David Ashley White uses an attractive original melody for 'There's a wideness in God's mercy"-Bulletin of The Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, April, 1996
"David Ashley White has provided a refreshing setting of a familiar hymn text. Scored for SATB choir and organ, this piece is lovely and gracious. What is most striking is his division of text. White has set two verses but has divided them creatively, and the result is not your average hymn anthem. Most of the choral writing is unison; there are only three measures of four-part singing. The melodies are unencumbered. The rhythmic structure is elementary, with a recurring pattern throughout. All of these elements combine to provide directors with a very accessible anthem that will probably not take much time or effort to prepare. Also, given the theme of the text, choirs will be able to sing this numerous times throughout the year." -Pastoral Music, Oct. 2009.