What hymns to use?
As well as the hymns already available in Singing the Faith, take a look at Carolyn Gillette’s reflection on words of the prophet Joel (“Return to me with all your heart”) in her hymn, “Ash Wednesday comes, and Lord, we hear”. And for some contextual thoughts around Ash Wednesday, see Beginning Lent – some thoughts about Ash Wednesday.
On our own New Hymns page David Lee offers a paraphrase of Psalm 130, Out of the depths I cry to you, suitable for Ash Wednesday and throughout Lent. In its final verse, we may perceive the glimmering light of Easter drawing near:
May we, your people, joined in one accord,
out from the depths renew our hope, O Lord.
May we in you find redemption and mercy:
Lord, hear our cry, our deepest song.
A number of hymns published here on Singing the Faith Plus explore the imagery and symbolism of deser places: Lord save us from the desert (Rachel Parkinson); You call us to the wilderness (Paul Wood and Ian Worsfold); and Joy Dine’s popular God who sets us on a journey. Together, they convey the challenges and opportunities of the inward (and outward) journeying we associate with the season of Lent.
For use later in the season, there is a thoughtful and memorable hymn based on the events of Maundy Thursday by Sue McCoan and Matthew Prevett, Dusty-footed, heavy-hearted. Likewise, Domnic Grant’s O watcher in the wilderness (StF 667) draws on images from the Last Supper as well, again, from desert experiences.
In Lent in other places, we look beyond the Lent section of Singing the Faith to discover hymns suitable for this season.
Other resources for Lent
Methodist Women in Britian (MWiB) have produced a free series of reflections and Bible studies for Lent, this year around the theme Seek Peace and Pursue It, which is also the title of this year’s Easter Offering Service.
A sequence of prayers for Lent (and Easter) can be found on the Methodist Church website.
Thoughtful ideas from Valerie Ruddle
On the website of our friends at ArtServe, composer Valerie Ruddle has produced an easy-to-use introduction to Singing the Faith especially suitable for this time of year. She has selected a range of hymns for Passiontide and Easter and offers suggestions of how to make varied use of the texts. Explore Valerie’s suggestions here.
All We Can has developed worship materials around the theme: Keep it Simple. The authors invite us to “explore the pleasure of living simply while joining in solidarity with our global neighbours”. The worship materials include a broad selction of hymns from Singing the Faith from which to choose.
All We Can has also compiled a six-week (40 day) booklet of reflections, prayers and activities for your congregation to follow either as individuals or to use in groups.
This year, Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) has teamed up with Hope for its Lent Course, which is based on the book 40 Stories of Hope:
“The stories within the course and book give a unique insight into prison life and point to the hope we can find as followers of Jesus. The group studies provide the whole Church – inside and outside prison – with the opportunity to walk with Jesus through Lent, learning from Mark’s Gospel and from the lessons prisoners, ex-prisoners and chaplains have learned.”
As well as the book itself, there are weekly downloads for individual reflection and group discussion.
40 Stories of Hope is available from CWR for £7.99 individually and for Church groups a box of 20 books can be bought for just £40.