O Jesus, I Have Promised (O Savior, Precious Savior)

“O Jesus, I Have Promised (O Savior, Precious Savior)” for piano – find the sheet music here.

God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another.

1 Peter 4:10

  In 1866 while Anglican clergyman John Ernest Bode was serving the parish of Castle Camps near Cambridge, England, he presided over the confirmation of his daughter and two sons. Bode, who was also a poet, penned the hymn text O Jesus, We Have Promised for the occasion telling his children that the hymn included “all the important truths I want you to remember.” The text was first published two years later in a leaflet by the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge with the title Hymn for the Newly Confirmed. It became such a wildly popular hymn to use at confirmations that, finally, Church of England Bishops discouraged its use because they were so tired of singing it.

O Jesus I Have Promised Piano Sheet Music
“O Jesus, I Have Promised (O Savior, Precious Savior)” for piano – find the sheet music here.

We don’t know what tune Bode used when the hymn was first sung at his children’s confirmation because the tune we use in modern hymnals, Angel’s Story, wasn’t written by English organist and composer Arthur Mann until 1881. Most hymnals today have also changed the text from O Jesus, We Have Promised to O Jesus, I Have Promised making it an especially appropriate hymn to use during Lent. But if, like the Church of England Bishops, you’re looking for something a bit different to sing, hymn-writer Frances Ridley Havergal wrote an equally beautiful text of praise – O Savior, Precious Savior, Whom Yet Unseen We Love – that is also sung to the tune Angel’s Story.

In my piano arrangement of O Jesus, I Have Promised, I started out simply and grew bolder toward the end to echo the journey a Christian takes throughout life growing into a stronger faith. Also, in the middle section, I gave the melody to the left hand tenor line and used an interweaving right hand soprano line to represent both genders of Bode’s children for whom this hymn was originally written – and as a reminder that we all need to continually recommit ourselves and work together equally to further God’s kingdom. Enjoy!

O Jesus, I have promised
To serve Thee to the end;
Be Thou forever near me,
My Master and my Friend;
I shall not fear the battle
If Thou art by my side,
Nor wander from the pathway
If Thou wilt be my Guide.

O Saviour, precious Saviour,
Whom yet unseen we love,
O Name of might and favor,
All other names above;
We worship Thee, we bless Thee,
To Thee, O Christ, we sing;
We praise Thee, and confess Thee
Our holy Lord and King.


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