The Importance of Verse 3

Image for Traditional hymns for choir: verse 3

Where would we be without verse 3? You know what I'm talking about – that stanza of our cherished hymns that we tend to skip over because … well, I'm not sure exactly why we do this. We know the opening and closing of the hymn by heart, but when we drop verse 3 from our singing, we often miss out on great theology and good teaching.

For example, what if we didn't have the following:

My sin – O the bliss of this glorious thought:
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more;
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, O my soul!


His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

And what about:

Yes, 'tis sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just from sin and self to cease;
Just from Jesus simply taking
Life and rest and joy and peace.

Then, there's:

Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always;
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

Are you going through a “verse 3” stage of life? Up till now it's been great. You've lived completely confident of every melodic twist or rhythmic turn life has thrown your way. You're even looking forward with anticipation to the conclusion of life's song with its glorious ending and heavenly reward. But you're stuck right now in unfamiliar territory and the promises of God's Word are not so easily identified. Take heart! Or better yet, listen to your heart. It's there that God often whispers His assurance in the “verse 3” stages of life. It's a little-known and often uncomfortable place to be, but it's in the middle of these stanzas of our existence that we learn to trust. We internalize the lessons and we experience God's goodness and His mercy.

And never, ever forget:

Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way;
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.

Love traditional hymns for choir? Don't miss out singing verse 3!

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--Click here for more helpful articles from writer/arranger/director Marty Parks.

Posted in: Choral, Hymns

Marty Parks

Marty Parks

Marty Parks is a composer, arranger, orchestrator and producer with over 900 songs and arrangements in print. His work is represented by major choral print publishers around the country. He is a frequent conference leader and workshop speaker whose first devotional book, Quiet Moments for Worship Leaders, came out of his own experience in reflecting on the word of God, and out of his passion to see the same developed in others. His work, as well as current projects, activities and appearances, can be found at

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