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.

Holy week

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.

Also available on this site: texts by Andrew Murphy (for Good Friday/Passiontide) and Paul Thompson (a quirky, cheerful song suitable for use with children at Easter).

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 Into All the World. It focuses on people who have made a journey: some in obedience to God’s call on their lives, and others because they had no choice. The theme has been inspired by the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower's voyage to the New World in 1620, and the 260th anniversary of Methodist mission, which led to the founding of the Methodist Church in the Caribbean and Americas.

Living Lent is part of a climate change campaign organised by the ecumenical Joint Public Issues Team. Building on last year's green Lent campaign, Living Lent 2020 challenges us with six ways to change our behaviour. The challenges are set within the Christian Lenten journey to Easter, supported by daily prayers and reflections.

Radically Changing the Story is a six-week resource produced for Lent 2020 by the Methodist aid and partnership agency, All We Can.

The resource comprises reflections, activities and prayers around questions of climate change. They offer powerful stories and opportunties to act to help lives affected by climate change.

The Radically Changing the Story booklet can be followed daily by individuals or used weekly in small groups. It is available in hard copy or electronic form, and is supported by worship materials.

Additional series of studies for the Lent period have been produced by:

    • Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI), on the theme of Opening the Scriptures. Written by Dr Clare Amos, the studies are inspired by the realsiation of the two disciples after having encountered the risen Jesus  at Emmaus: "Were not our hearts burning within us. . . " For us, the question  is: "What biblical text sets your heart on fire?" For each session, symbols, hymns and readings are suggested. These could translate very well into a worship context.
    • Alternatively, 40acts hosts the“ generosity challenge” for Lent, created by the UK Christian charity, Stewardship. It asks: “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”