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 desert 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.
Wondering and Wandering
Lent offers another chance to make use of resources prepared for this year’s Student Sunday on the theme of Wandering and Wondering. The World Student Christian Federation has put together a challenging resource that focuses on prayer and pilgrimage, and StF+ provides suggestions for hymns to complement it.
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.
Lent – expanding our horizons
In Lent – expanding our horizons, we look beyond the Lent section of Singing the Faith to discover hymns suitable for this season.
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.
Other resources for Lent
A sequence of prayers for Lent (and Easter) can be found on the Methodist Church website.
This year’s Easter Offering dedication service, prepared by Methodist Women in Britain (MWiB) is titled Longer tables, lower fences, and features stories of shared hospitality across the world. The worship resource encourages us to consider how we might build longer tables, rather than higher fences, as we share whatever we have and connect with our neighbours.
Travel Lightly is a six-week resource produced for Lent 2019 by the Methodist aid and partnership agency, All We Can.
The resource comprises reflections, activities and prayers. It will inspire you, with others, to travel lightly as you reflect on the wilderness experience of Lent, which for many people in our world is a daily reality.
The Travel Lightly booklet can be followed daily by individuals or used weekly in small groups. There are also engaging materials for a church service and children, youth and school resources.
Additional series of studies for the Lent period have been produced by:
- Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), on the theme of The Mystery of God (“seeking to rediscover what it is that draws us so deeply in our search for God”)
- Embrace the Middle East, on the theme of Living Fruitfully
- Alternatively, 40acts is “the generosity challenge” for Lent, created by the UK Christian charity, Stewardship. They ask: “What if Lent could be about more than just giving stuff up? What if it could be a time of radical generosity as well as spiritual discipline?” You are invited to commit to the 40acts challenge and “wake up to a fresh challenge each day at 6am”