Father I Have Sinned (The Prodigal Son) [Song]

An ever-popular, beautiful song of reconciliation based on the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Perfect for Lent. Each verse is written from the perspective of the repentant “prodigal”, while the refrain echoes the loving response of the forgiving Father.

father i have sinned cjm music

FREE DOWNLOAD: Click here to download a FREE PDF Leadsheet for the song Father I Have Sinned.


Father I have sinned,
help me find my way.
Remember not my sins,
just let me hear you say:

I forgive you, I love you
You are mine, take my hand.
Go in peace, sin no more,
Beloved one.

Father I have turned,
my back and walked away
Depended on my strength
and lived life my own way

Father I have closed,
my heart to those in need.
Thought only of myself,
a victim of my greed.

Father I have loved,
if love’s the word to use.
I’ve played so many games,
they’ve left me so confused.

Father I’ve returned,
I’m home with you to stay.
Standing at your door,
knowing that you’ll say

Words & Music by Eugene O’Reilly
Copyright © 2001 CJM MUSIC (UK & Ireland)
CCLI & OneLicense No. 646803

Liturgical Use(s): Song (Lent); Penitential Services, Reconciliation




FREE DOWNLOAD: Click here to download a FREE PDF Leadsheet for the song Father I Have Sinned.

What’s your story? Has this song has been part of your soundtrack of faith, or have you encountered it in a liturgy or at an event recently? Please leave a comment below…

5 thoughts on “Father I Have Sinned (The Prodigal Son) [Song]

  1. Hi Jo and CJM,
    What a wonderful PowerPoint for a brilliant song. Thank you for putting it together. Will use it during Lent in School for Lent assemblies if I may.
    Take Care
    Peter Benson (Liverpool)

  2. Hello. I am a Catholic school teacher in Valleyview, Alberta, Canada. I have been singing in the choir at St. Rita’s choir for almost 17 years. Ever since I first sang it, “Father I Have Sinned” was by far, my favorite song to sing during Lent. Several years ago the music coordinator pulled the song because she said that it was not covered in the music license the Parish had purchased. Is there any way to get permission to sing this in our little church at least once during this Lent, without shelling out big money that our Parish doesn’t have? Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Len Mac Lellan

    1. Hello Leonard. Officially, we only hold and administrate the rights for “Father I Have Sinned” in the UK and Ireland. So can’t help much in terms of the copyright for it in Canada, unfortunately. Not sure who holds the rights in North America, but you could try contacting the composer, Fr. Eugene O’Reilly, C.Ss.R directly. Knowing the charism of the Redemptorists, I am certain that they would prefer you to be able to use the song, than not. Copyright licensing is important. And as a song-writer myself, whose livelihood is, in part, dependant upon it, I don’t take it lightly. But I would always rather you use the song if it will help you serve the Liturgy and proclaim the Gospel meaningfully. If we held the rights to this piece in your territory, I would happily have granted permission to use it. Every blessing. Jo Boyce.

  3. We would like to know if we could have permission to use this song for Mass – a one time use for this weekend. Would there be any copywrite issues with that. Please let me know. This is such a beautiful song and fits in so well with the 4th Week of Lent. Please advise.
    Thank you – Mary

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