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Source: (consider it) Thread: Lent Hymns
Og, King of Bashan

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A friend posted the following question on Facebook:

quote:
What is the best contemporary song written in the last 25 years or so that is appropriate for lent? I can think of very few.
Further discussion has created the following requirements to meet the friend's request: the song must be something that a regular congregation familiar with praise-type music could sing, and the song must be particularly appropriate for Lent (i.e., lots of folks have suggested "In Christ Alone," but it gets sung all the time in some places, so it doesn't work as a seasonal-appropriate hymn.)

Although I am not the person to answer the question as posed, it got me thinking about Lent hymns. TEC's Hymnal 1982 has a Lent section, consisting of 12 Lenten chestnuts. At my place, we hit it hard on Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday in Lent, but beyond that, we rarely sing those hymns.

I can think of a few reasons. First, we tend to have liberal theology, and don't talk about personal sin much. So that probably steers us away from these hymns.

Second, we tend to sing hymns that go with the lectionary readings, and after that first Sunday, sin, temptation, and fasting aren't necessarily hot topics of the lectionary.

Or maybe third, we have already sung most of the hymns in those first few days, and we don't like repeats. Maybe there is an actual shortage?

So to discuss: Is there a shortage of great Lent hymns or congregational songs? Is a Lent-specific hymn only really appropriate for the first five days of Lent, and if so, is that why there are so few of them? Are there churches that use the Lent hymns more than mine? And maybe to address the original question, are liturgical churches with a more broad degree of churchmanship than TEC putting out great new contemporary Lent hymns?

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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stonespring
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Am I right in thinking that most "praise" music is more about "thank you, God, for forgiving me" than it is about "please forgive my sins, God?"

Also, are there still corners of the Christian world where, if there is fire and brimstone being preached all year, the music is also a call to repentance and/or a pleading for forgiveness most of the year?

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Og, King of Bashan

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All I mean by "praise" music is something meant to be accompanied by guitar, piano, and drums, or something intended to sound like popular or folk music from the last 50 years.

But I do think that you raise a point that might underlie one of the challenges of finding Lent-specific music of this genre. A lot of this music comes out of non-liturgical environments, where (a) Lent isn't recognized as an official church season, and (b) sin and forgiveness is a more constant theme.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Jengie jon

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Doing a search I came across this list for last Sunday alone. A surprising number of which are in the last thirty years.

Jengie

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Og, King of Bashan

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While all of those songs are appropriate for the readings for last Sunday, I don't know how many would be considered "Lent" hymns, in the way that, say, Forty Days and Forty Nights or Lord Who Throughout these Forty Days would.

We sang "Thine Arm O Lord in Days of Old," which was appropriate for the gospel, and indeed gets programmed just about any time the reading is about Jesus healing someone, Lent or not.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Jengie jon

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Yes but those are not really Lent hymns either they are very much hymns for perhaps the first two weeks of Lent and I certainly would not want to be singing them once we reach Passion Sunday.

If you want those then try this page from the same website.

Jengie

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"To violate a persons ability to distinguish fact from fantasy is the epistemological equivalent of rape." Noretta Koertge

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Pigwidgeon

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Many years ago my Rector gave up music for Lent one year -- which, of course, meant the congregation gave up music for Lent.

Problem solved.

[Razz]

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Kitten
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quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Many years ago my Rector gave up music for Lent one year -- which, of course, meant the congregation gave up music for Lent.

Problem solved.

[Razz]

I like that idea

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Jengie jon:
Yes but those are not really Lent hymns either they are very much hymns for perhaps the first two weeks of Lent and I certainly would not want to be singing them once we reach Passion Sunday.

This is where this thread is revealed to be just me looking for confirmation of my own "brilliance". [Biased] This is sort of my point about the "Lent" section of the Hymnbook and the idea of "Lent" music in general- aside from Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday, the themes of fasting and temptation don't really come up in the lectionary readings, so the "Lent" section is really only appropriate for use at the beginning of the season. There isn't a Lenten equivalent to "Songs of Thankfulness and Praise," which neatly packages the entire season after the Epiphany into four verses. And unlike Epiphany or Advent, where there are certain hymns that are clearly applicable to one Sunday or another, many of the hymns that we always sing on the second through fifth Sundays of Lent are of more general applicability.

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Kitten:
quote:
Originally posted by Pigwidgeon:
Many years ago my Rector gave up music for Lent one year -- which, of course, meant the congregation gave up music for Lent.

Problem solved.

[Razz]

I like that idea
I hate this idea, for selfish reasons. Holy Week has the best music all year, and skipping it would be a sacrifice too far in my book. Although it would solve the problem that sappy and overly-sentimental Easter music is always anti-climactic after the glories of Good Friday. (The only music that comes close to touching Holy Week music in the entire Easter season is Ascension music, IMHO.)

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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Pigwidgeon

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I hated the idea too (I was about 10 at the time). Just because he chose to give up music, I didn't see why everyone else had to.

I do love much of the music of Holy Week.

[ 28. March 2017, 17:36: Message edited by: Pigwidgeon ]

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Pangolin Guerre
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Does "To mock your reign, o dearest Lord" qualify? I have a very strong preference for the Tallis Tune in the Third Mode. I find Kingslove/County Down somehow inappropriate to the sentiment.
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Roman Cataholic
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These are some worship songs we are doing for Lent in my parish
I hope this helps.

Matt Maher - 40 Days

Matt Redman - When the Music Fades

Matt Redman - I will offer up my life

David Crowder - Come as you are

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BabyWombat
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Not truly Lent hymns, but last Sunday my congregation responded well (in one case tearfully) to both ‘Jesu, Jesu, Fill us with your Love’ and “When Christ was Lifted from the Earth” written by Brian Wren in 1980 I believe. Both in the TEC hymnal.

Both, admittedly, more along the lines of serving others and seeing others through Christ’s eyes, vs. pondering sin and/or forgiveness. But then they also tied into the Gospel of the healing of the man born blind.

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Og, King of Bashan

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quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
These are some worship songs we are doing for Lent in my parish
I hope this helps.

Matt Maher - 40 Days

Matt Redman - When the Music Fades

Matt Redman - I will offer up my life

David Crowder - Come as you are

Not my style, but I think they fit the original question's requirements well. Thanks!

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"I like to eat crawfish and drink beer. That's despair?" ― Walker Percy

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
These are some worship songs we are doing for Lent in my parish
I hope this helps.

Matt Maher - 40 Days

Matt Redman - When the Music Fades

Matt Redman - I will offer up my life

David Crowder - Come as you are

Very appropriate as a foretaste of Purgatory.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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David Goode
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I always say that you know where you are with The English Hymnal.
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gog
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You may want to look at some of the stuff from Wild Goose/Iona Community - mainly written by John Bell et al.
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L'organist
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posted by Leo
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Roman Cataholic:
These are some worship songs we are doing for Lent in my parish
I hope this helps.

Matt Maher - 40 Days

Matt Redman - When the Music Fades

Matt Redman - I will offer up my life

David Crowder - Come as you are

Very appropriate as a foretaste of Purgatory.

[Overused]

posted by David Goode
quote:
I always say that you know where you are with The English Hymnal.
I'll drink to that.

Seriously, the EH, or its newer cousin, provides a good selection of seasonal hymns and even a helpful guide to their use, plus they list at the end of most sections other, more general, hymns which are suitable to the feast or season.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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leo
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The Lenten office hymnns e.g. Servant of God, remember; O kind creator bow thine ear etc. have lasting relevance throughout the season until we get to Passiontide.

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My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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betjemaniac
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quote:
Originally posted by David Goode:
I always say that you know where you are with The English Hymnal.

Amen
[Overused]

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And is it true? For if it is....

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sonata3
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I think one should note the very changed emphasis in the lectionary readings (the Catholic lectionary post-Vatican II, or its various RCL spin-offs). Compared to the older lectionaries, there is a strong emphasis on baptismal preparation, and on salvation history in the readings from Hebrew scripture. The earliest adaptations of the three-year lectionary in TEC and Lutheranism did not follow the Catholic readings very closely in Lent; the RCL, at least in North America, now does.

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Gramps49
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When there are thousands of contemporary hymns not in the hymnal, it is hard to select any one in particular. We use a lot of new hymns from G.I.A. Publications. I find you cannot go wrong with music from

David Haas

Marty Haugen

Susan Bruehl

or Tony Alanso (all from GIA)

One liturgy our congregation likes is Holden Evening Prayer. Just thought I would throw this in for your review

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Bishops Finger
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Agreed re Holden Evening Prayer, though I doubt if it is found often, or at all, in the UK. I have some music copies, and ideas for next year's Lent programme...

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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Albertus
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quote:
Originally posted by betjemaniac:
quote:
Originally posted by David Goode:
I always say that you know where you are with The English Hymnal.

Amen
[Overused]

Of course you'd be one for the 'pale green of the English Hymnal'!
But same from me too. Never really understood why, if you've even the very vaguest inclination towards A-C, you'd bother with anything else. A&M's OK, but EH/NEH takes it every time, I think.

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Gramps49
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Bishop's Finger For a little background on Holden Evening Prayer, it was developed at Holden Villiage, which is a Lutheran Retreat Center in north central Washinton State, on lake Chelan. It used to be a mining village, but when the mine played out, the owners donated it to the Lutheran Church.

We almost lost the whole village a couple of years ago due to a Forest Fire that completely surrounded the village. However, Holden Village had installed some special firefighting equipment that saved the buildings.

It is a beautiful place for a retreat. Come on over some time.

Holden Villiage Webpage

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Bishops Finger
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Thanks - I'd love to! (When I'm a bit more mobile, perhaps.....).

IJ

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Our words are giants when they do us an injury, and dwarfs when they do us a service. (Wilkie Collins)

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stonespring
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What annoys me is the idea that some people have that music for Lent should as often as possible be in a minor key (not just hymns, but service music, mass settings, psalms, etc.). By extension, some people seem to think that music in a minor key is less desirable during the rest of the year because it sounds too much like what they think Lenten music should sound.
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