Mitchell Eithun provides a plaintive arrangement of the tune GETHSEMANE. Based on the first three stanzas of the hymn, Eithun’s portrayal of the hymn’s narrative includes phrases of the text throughout the score. This level II piece cleverly ends with an unfinished feel, adding to the anticipation of Easter dawn.
A day or two before Ash Wednesday, I remarked to my husband, “I can’t wait for Lent.” In a dreary year of isolation, anxiety, moral quandaries, political polarization, disease, and death, compounded all the more by the last few months of gloomy, wintry skies and cold weather, I am ready for spring. Lent means that spring is coming and that Easter is drawing ever nearer. It is a yearly routine that remains unchanging even in the face of a pandemic and societal disruption.
To mark the first day of Lent, we’re sharing an excerpt from Heaven on Earth in which Arthur Just describes the theological accents in the season of Lent.
Robert J. Powell has composed a well-crafted and accessible organ collection for Lent, Cross of Jesus: Six Preludes for Lent. This book offers settings that are appropriate to the season, such as “Go to Dark Gethsemane,” “Jesus, I Will Ponder Now,” and “Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow.” Each setting offers a series of key and tempo changes. The final setting, “Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me,” offers a joyful, majestic ending to an otherwise somber piece.
A set of Lenten chorale preludes based on themes of repentance, Christopher M. Wicks’s settings are composed in variation style and are inspired by Bach’s partitas and the Orgelbüchlein.
Although the purpose of Lent isn’t to make worshipers feel sad, it’s important that they understand why the Church takes time each year to remember the season. Worshipers ideally recognize that Lent is a time for focusing on their need for a Savior so they can appreciate Jesus’ sacrifice on Good Friday and His resurrection on Easter. Working aspects of Lent into members’ worship, home life, and personal reflection can help them return to the cross each day during Lent.
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).
The new choral piece “The Tree of Life” depicts the fall of Adam and redemption through Christ, framing both in imagery drawn from the Garden of Eden. The musical arrangement matches the changing tone of the text through the four stanzas—from innocence through shame to redemption and triumph, finally ending with quiet assurance.
Jacob Weber’s Lent Mosaics provides six new preludes on familiar hymns for the time of Lent. These settings ponder the Passion of our Lord through intricate and serious writing and will help set the tone for worship during this penitential season.
Holy Week is almost upon us! May God use that week to help you reflect on His great love for you, shown in the sacrifice of His Son to earn your salvation. Listen to the pieces below as part of your daily devotions during Holy Week, and encourage your members to use them in the same way. You can also use these pieces if you are still making last-minute additions to your worship music.