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Lord have mercy (Kyrie eleison)

Published in 219 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF
Playable presentation: Lyrics only, lyrics + music
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Song available on My.Hymnary

Representative Text

Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy, have mercy.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #933

Text Information

First Line: Lord have mercy (Kyrie eleison)
Title: Kyrie
Greek Title: Kyrie eleison
Meter: Irregular
Source: Translation ELLC
Language: English; Greek; Spanish; Xhosa
Refrain First Line: Lord, have mercy (Kyrie eleison)
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Use: Kyrie


Scripture References:
st. = Matt. 20:30, Ps. 51:1, Ps. 57:1

The Kyrie translates into English as follows:

Kyrie eleison; Lord, have mercy;
Christe eleison; Christ, have mercy;
Kyrie eleison. Lord, have mercy.

This ritual song dates from early Greek (Eastern) Christian liturgies and has retained its Greek text in the Latin (Western) rite. In the Eastern tradition the Kyrie is still used in its initial capacity, as a response in litanies. By the end of the eighth century in the Roman (Western) church, the Kyrie was used as a separate song, often in a nine-fold form–a three-time repetition of its three lines, in which the priest uttered the first line, the congregation or (more likely) a choir responded with the second, and the priest responded with the third. The Kyrie became part of the Ordinary (the unvarying parts) of the Roman Catholic Mass, chanted at the very beginning of the service.

Some liturgies of the Reformation continued to use the Kyrie in connection with confession of sin or with the reading of the Ten Commandments. Like other ancient biblical and liturgical expressions (such as "amen," "alleluia," "hosanna," "maranatha"), the Kvrie is a prayer that ties us to Christians from all times and places.

Liturgical Use:
As a sung prayer for mercy in the service of confession and forgiveness; as part of a litany, sung after each petition (as in the oldest traditions); as a frame around spoken prayers.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook


(No tune is used in more than 10% of hymnals for this text.)



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The United Methodist Hymnal #483
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Instances (201 - 214 of 214)

Worship (3rd ed.) #137

Worship (3rd ed.) #231


Worship (3rd ed.) #232

Worship (3rd ed.) #251

Worship (3rd ed.) #257

Worship (3rd ed.) #273

Worship (3rd ed.) #274


Worship (4th ed.) #204b


Worship (4th ed.) #266

Worship (4th ed.) #275


Worship (4th ed.) #287


Worship (4th ed.) #317

Worship and Rejoice #375

TextPage Scan

Worship and Rejoice #379


Include 5 pre-1979 instances
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