Award-winning band Sanctus Real gives fans an early preview of its upcoming, fifth studio album with its brand new song, “Forgiven,” which is already a Top 20 hit at radio.  While the full album is releasing on Sparrow Records March 9, 2010, “Forgiven” is available now as a digital download wherever you buy digital music, including Amazon MP3 and iTunes, where the song became a No. 6 best-seller yesterday on the Christian and Gospel chart.

“The working-out of forgiveness is so key to our growth and maturity as followers of Jesus,” says Sanctus Real’s Matt Hammitt. “The very idea that we have been forgiven for so much wrong moves, reforms, transforms and heals us.  As we were framing ‘Forgiven’ around this concept, we realized that this was such a fundamental aim for all of us – to forgive and be forgiven.”

“Sometimes, we need to be reminded of how awesome God’s forgiveness truly is and who we are in Him,” adds Joe Buchanan, New Life Media Network music director.  “Sanctus Real has done a phenomenal job doing just that with their great new song, ‘Forgiven.’  It’s already impacting our listeners in a huge way!”

That impact is also being felt on the band’s website,  Sanctus Real is streaming the song on its site and asking listeners to share their own stories of forgiveness.  Numerous responses from all around the world have already poured in as people share stories of forgiveness, hope and redemption:

“I mustered the courage to go talk to my wonderful husband of 14 years and have a very difficult conversation after which I was sure he would tell me he was leaving me,” responded a wife on Oct. 7. “I got in the car and the first word out of the radio was ‘Forgiven!’ from your song. It was the first time I had heard it and the thought flooded me that God had forgiven me as soon as I had asked. My husband ended up forgiving me as well and we’re going to make it. Thank you for this song, it’s been a blessing to me over the past several days.”

“After eight years, four married, I found out my husband was a meth addict,” writes another wife on the site Oct. 9. “It was extremely hard to forgive him and accept him back into my life. But God has helped me to forgive and now my marriage is better than ever. My husband, through his addiction and rehab, has found God and the forgiveness He has for him.”

“I have come to a point in my life where I have had to forgive and let go,” writes Sunshine, who dealt with a father that abused her.  “It wasn’t an easy life at all… I just couldn’t forgive him. God dealt with me, telling me that He had brought me from that difficult situation… I had to forgive him for everything and let him go…Hopefully one day my dad will see this and know that I forgive him!”

“I’ve been in Christian ministry (radio) for about 6 years now and can assure you I’ve talked about forgiveness or ‘preached’ it a lot,” says Ken, who shares about the healing power of forgiveness in his marriage.  “My wife of 17 years now [and I] are slowly getting back together as we about blew up our marriage because we have both failed to forgive each other properly. We said the words but we really never acted it out…don’t just say the words – live it.”

Much like Ken implores, Sanctus Real is all about living out their lives as “real” Christians, not only on the stage and as they interact with fans, but in the quieter moments of their lives as husbands, fathers and fellow believers.  The band creates compelling, authentic music that lives up to the meaning of their name: to be Holy (Latin meaning of “Sanctus”).

Taking that life attitude on the road, Sanctus Real recently played the song “Forgiven” and fan favorites spanning four acclaimed national recordings on the “Something Heavenly Tour.”  The 21-city tour launched Sept. 10 in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada and saw packed venues as it worked its way through five Ontario cities and 12 States in the U.S. before wrapping up last week.  Joining Sanctus Real on its tour in select cities were Addison Road, Jason Gray and Phil Wickham.

Sponsored by World Vision, the “Something Heavenly Tour” became the vehicle through which fans offered 402 children life-giving hope.   “For every child that is sponsored, five others in the community are directly affected, so that’s essentially 2,010 people whose lives will be changed for the better!” said Taya Gray, World Vision representative.  “We are so grateful for Sanctus Real and their heart for those around the world that need our help.”

Popularly known for its captivating recordings and live performances, Toledo, Ohio-based Sanctus Real’s breakthrough album, The Face of Love, released in April 2006, landing at No 2 on the Billboard Top Heetseekers chart and amassing a string of radio hits including the No. 1 songs “I’m Not Alright” and “Don’t Give Up.” While The Face of Love was inspired by real-life heartache and rediscovered joy, the band’s fourth studio release, We Need Each Other, marks a completion of that healing process and is a call for unity. The album’s title track became the band’s sixth No. 1 radio single.

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