Continuing my series of decalog hymns, we come to one based on the Eighth Commandment: "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." You may have noticed by now that these are not so much didactic, catechetical verses as actual hymns, addressed in prayer to Christ...
Pray, Christ, whose sprinkled blood lifts up
A better voice than Abel's blood,
Make intercession our sake
Before the mercy-seat of God;
For on Your righteousness alone
We rest our case before that throne.
Upon You, Christ, men's calumny
Brought evil death, though You are good;
Now raised to God's right hand, You plead
That we are righteous through Your blood.
Though we have sinned with lips and tongue,
In mercy, cover all our wrong!
Forgive, protect, and strengthen us
From sins that touch a neighbor's name;
Close teeth and ears against each word
That would belie, betray, defame;
Things spoken harshly, out of turn,
Uncertain, none of our concern.
Rein in our tongue, that world of sin,
That poisons, burns, and makes unclean;
Purge us of hurtful words, that we
Might learn to speak with grace serene,
Confessing You as we would be
Confessed by You eternally.