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Last-Minute Music Selections for Lent and Easter

Lent has started and Easter is quickly approaching! If you’re scrambling to find music selections for your church, don’t worry—there are tons of options available. Browse the list below to discover pieces that will work for the musicians at your church. Explore pieces for organ, handbell, choirs, and instrumentalists (with or without choral accompaniment). 

Choir

Our Savior Lives! (SATB, Congregation, Organ, Brass Quartet)

Our Savior Lives! is a majestic concertato featuring a triumphant brass quartet in the opening fanfare that continues to accompany the beautiful voices proclaiming Alleluia! again and again. 

Additional Music:

Children's Choir

Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (Two-part, organ or piano, optional tambourine)

Matthew Machemer’s new take on this classic hymn for Lent and Holy Week is set to the tune FORTUNATUS NEW. Part of the Concordia Children’s Series, the setting offers a quick, prance-like rhythm through the first and second stanzas. In stanza three, the movement slows as listeners reflect on Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. With a difficulty level of easy-medium, this piece is appropriate for children of all ages.

 

Organ

Triumphant Gladness: Five Pieces for Organ

This collection from Jeffrey Blersch features settings for five popular Easter hymns, including “Come, Ye Faithful, Raise the Strain” and “Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Alleluia.” Each hymn has been given its own flourish and flair—listen for minuet, dance, fanfare, and pastorale styles. 

Additional Music:

Handbell

Hallelujah! Jesus Lives! (3–5 octave handbells, optional 3-5 octave hand chimes, optional flute, level II+)

This enchanting arrangement is light, happy, and joyful. Flute carries the melody throughout the piece, while handbells echo using a variety of mallet and thumb-damping techniques. The middle section is slow and sorrowful, and the end finishes with a grand finale of martellatos and handbell shakes. Level II+. 

Additional Music:

Instrumentalists with Choir

Jesus Christ is Risen Today (Congregation, Organ, Opt. 3–5 Octave Handbells, Opt. Brass Quartet or Quintet, Opt. Timpani, Opt. Cymbals)

Celebrate the Easter season with a festive hymn concertato from John Behnke. Stanza three highlights the choir alone, while stanza four includes a key change and descant featuring higher voices. Parts for congregation, organ, handballs, and optional brass, timpani, and cymbals make this hymn a memorable start or finish to worship.

Additional Music:


Instrumentalists without Choir

In Christ Alone: Contemplative Hymns for Piano (Piano)

Rachel Chapin combines old and new hymns with fresh harmonies in a modern style. These engaging settings are easily accessible and are appropriate for any church.

Additional Music:

As preparations for Lent and Easter worship continue, may God continue to bless to you and the musicians you work with during this busy Church Year season!


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Written by

Mark Knickelbein

Mark Knickelbein is editor of music/worship at Concordia Publishing House and an active composer and church musician. His compositional focus is on choral, piano, and organ church music. He has a Bachelor of Science in education from Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN, and a Master of Arts in music from Concordia University Chicago. He previously served Trinity Lutheran in Kaukauna, WI, as principal, teacher, organist, and choir director.

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