Freed to live through the death of another.

Sing All the Verses!

I don’t know why, but for some reason over the past couple of decades it has become trendy to only sing parts of songs. It makes no sense. How can you follow any kind of flow of thought when you’re taking chunks out of the middle? You’re destroying an artist’s work and ripping the people off by not engaging their full minds in all the depth of the meanings of the songs. But I won’t go on and on about it, because Tim Challies blogged on this more ably already (see here) from some experiences he had before coming to our church.

All I’ll do here is show you one example that I just aboslutely don’t get. Most people know the song I Stand in Awe by Mark Altrogge. But here’s what blows my mind: Almost no one knows that there are two verses! Why don’t people sing the second verse? I have no idea! It’s awesome! Here are the words so you can see for yourself.

And if you lead services at your church, sing both verses! If you don’t, then tell your pastor that you should sing both verses… please! 🙂


You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom
Who can fathom the depths of Your love
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above

And I stand I stand in awe of You
I stand I stand in awe of You
Holy God to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

You are beautiful beyond description
Yet God crushed You for my sin
In agony and deep affliction
Cut off that I might enter in
Who can grasp such tender compassion
Who can fathom this mercy so free
You are beautiful beyond description
Lamb of God who died for me

“I Stand in Awe” by Mark Altrogge. © 1986 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From I Stand in Awe: Worship Favorites From Sovereign Grace Music. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. North American administration by Integrity Music. International administration by CopyCare International. Used by Permission.


  1. Son of Man

    mark is my homeboy…

  2. Nathan W. Tubbs

    I agree…especially churches which only sing the “first and last stanza” of a hymn. There was a church I frequented when I was a teen which had a “3rd Verse Sunday” where they would sing verses they typically left out. My question always was, “Why leave them out to begin with?”

  3. JLF

    lol, Nathan, that’s hilarious!

    It’s no wonder people have trouble sitting through a real sermon in most churches now, eh? Between junior church and this type of attitude in worship, we’ve trained people to think that church services are always about ‘me’ and instant gratification.

    It’s really quite sad…

  4. BeachLover


    Excellent comments, and I agree wholeheartedly. I think another reason for hymns/songs being abbreviated is that we live in a culture filled with people with very short attention spans. Our preoccupation with TV and “fast food” pop culture make people lose interest in anything that requires more than 3 minutes to accomplish!

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