Lent is a reflective and beautiful time in the Church Year. As we prepare to enter this season, you may notice some children are more familiar with this time as one to “take a break” from something they enjoy. Many choose things such as limiting their phone time. Or, for young adults, less dependency on caffeine. But Lent holds so much more meaning than simply a time of withdrawal from something we desire. It’s filled with rich history, ceremony, and faithful hymns. For a deeper understanding of what this season holds for believers, let’s look to the hymns in One and All Rejoice.
“O Lord, throughout These Forty Days”
Each year, Lent is observed over a forty-day period. Help children make the connection between the time of Lent and the forty days Jesus withdrew to the wilderness with “O Lord, throughout These Forty Days” (OAR 196). The text is based on Luke 4:1–13, the account of Jesus’ temptation. During this time, He experienced temptation from the devil and did not stray from God’s teachings, something we as sinful people can never do. With this simple tune, children can discover what this is about and be reminded of what Christ has already accomplished for them on the cross.
Be with us through this season, Lord,
And all our earthly days,
That when the final Easter dawns,
We join in heaven’s praise. (Stanza 4)
Canons are beneficial teaching tools due to their simplicity and repetition. The text in “Lent Canon” (OAR 197) is from John 3:16. While many adults know this verse by heart, this canon is a fantastic tool for students who are new to the Bible. In one short verse, this passage gives children a great summary of God’s love for us. Using the canon, students can easily recite this verse through song and once again learn what Lent is about.
Do you want to expand your use of this hymn? Try playing it in a round with your students. Start by having everyone sing the canon in unison, then try breaking students into groups and singing it in a round to teach not only the hymn text but also harmonies and rhythm. To hear what this sounds like, listen to the video below and practice it in your classroom!
“A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth”
It’s common to see the symbol of a lamb during the time of Lent, especially when speaking about Christ. Teach about why Jesus is seen as the Lamb and what sacrifice He made for all of creation through “A Lamb Goes Uncomplaining Forth” (OAR 199). The stanzas reflect perfectly for students the Lenten season, its motifs, and Christ’s words in Scripture.
This Lamb is Christ, the soul’s great friend,
The Lamb of God, our Savior,
Whom God the Father chose to send
To gain for us His favor. (Stanza 2)
Students who are new to playing the flute can play this hymn with the children’s choir. Chords for guitar are also included for a worship leader to potentially play alongside the choir and instrumentalists. Practice all four stanzas of this hymn to teach how magnificent Christ is and how we can all put our trust in Him.
“Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord!”
While Lent is a time of reflection and generally more somber hymns, “Oh, How Good Is Christ the Lord!” (OAR 202) offers an upbeat and uplifting change of pace. With only one stanza written in both Spanish and English, you can easily end class with this hymn text in multiple ways. Try singing it in both languages during the school year, or teach how to sing the harmony lines with students interested in growing their musical skills. No matter how you use it, your students are sure to leave the classroom humming this hymn.
Glory be to Jesus!
Glory be to Jesus!
In three days He rose again.
Glory be to Jesus!
Hymn texts with the abbreviation OAR are from One and All Rejoice © 2020 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.
Discover these Lenten hymns and an entire Church Year of music in the children’s hymnal One and All Rejoice.