Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me

SATB div, unaccompanied

With the Psalter Hymnal tune “Tender Thought” paired with Psalm 139, this setting is suitable for church or concert settings. Score sample and recording of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers, Justin Raffa, Artistic Director, Michael Blackwood, conducting, below.

Reginald Unterseher ยท Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me, Reginald Unterseher, SATB unaccompanied

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The hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 139-1-12, and continues to be a staple of hymnals across many Christian denominations. Here, it is paired with the Southern Harmony tune “Tender Thought,” a sturdy and evocative melody. This arrangement employsclassic ways of portraying each verse: unison, drone underneath, canon, and word painting.


Pay particular attention to color of sound. Each verse should have a distinct characteristic to the tone.

Especially in the last verse, you have the opportunity to portray the words “Darkness shineth as the light.”


Lord, thou hast searched me and dost know
wherever I rest, wherever I go.
Thou knowest all that I have planned,
and all my ways are in thy hand.

My words from thee I cannot hide;
I feel thy power on every side –
oh, wondrous knowledge, awful might,
unfathomed depths, unmeasured height!

Where can I go apart from thee,
or whither from thy presence flee?
In heaven? it is thy dwelling fair.
In death’s abode? lo, thou art there.

If I the wings of morning take,
and far away my dwelling make,
the hand that leadeth me is thine,
and my support thy power divine.

If deepest darkness cover me,
the darkness hideth not from thee.
To thee both night and day are bright;
the darkness shineth as the light.