Lent is here, and if you haven’t started planning how your congregation will be practicing Lent in your gatherings each week, consider this your wake-up call. Every year I listen to a lot of music trying to find songs that are theologically targeted and musically accessible for our congregation to sing during Lent. Here are five new (or new-ish) songs for you to consider using for worship this Lent season:
Lent is a great season to meditate on the great paradox of the crucified Lord; this song places that mystery front and center. Beautiful minor key verses lead into major key response choruses. This song also moves into the mercy giving role of the risen and ascended Lord.
The former Sixpence front-woman has offered a great album of hymns, both old and new, in her latest album. “Power of the Cross” offers an easy hymnic structure for familiarity, and the lyrics place the singer within the narrative of the passion, enabling deep reflection and response.
Every time I listen to Paul Baloche, I am shocked we don’t sing his music more often. This song centers on the great love of Christ expressed on the cross, and the emphasis on gratitude would fit any eucharistic setting quite well.
If you have a strong lead female voice in your church, this song is a must for your church (though I have led it myself a time or two). The great strength of this song is its focus on biblical remembrance: the past is brought into the present, and the present into the past, as the lyrics places us within the story of God, standing and beholding the cross afresh.
One of the strengths of this song, and one missing in a lot of contemporary music, is the challenge to take up the cross in repentance and obedience. The folks at Sojourn offer an incredible depth of musicality and theological reflection, and this song captures the tone of the season and the call to follow Christ to Calvary and offer our lives.
There are a wide variety of songs to add to this list; feel free to add suggestions in the comment section and pass this link on as a growing resource list.