Music for a Quiet Lent – 2020

Normally, I would be singing every weekend in Lent – sometimes more than once! – and all the way through Holy Week. By the end of Good Friday, I am absolutely exhausted, and I conclude my penitential celebrations (?) with fish and chips and a viewing of Jesus Christ Superstar.

But this year, all the churches I sing at have closed down, to help protect communities from the spread of the virus. It’s the right decision, but it makes me sad nonetheless. I find it hard to even conceptualise Lent and Easter without music. Singing is so intrinsically linked to my experience of faith, and Lent has always been the easiest part of the church year to connect to, for me. It is the time when we are reminded what it meant for God to become fully human, experiencing the world as we experience it, in solidarity with us. I find it comforting to know that God felt hunger, sickness, sadness, grief, betrayal, and death – but also generosity, community, faithfulness, joy, good food, the satisfaction of using one’s body in work or exercise or singing – the things that make life worth living. And right now, it feels particularly important to know that God is with us.

Sorry, that got very preachy.

Anyway, I can’t do without Lent, and I can’t do Lent without music. So each day from now until Easter, I’m going to post some music for the day. Where possible, I’ll match the Sunday music to the Revised Common Lectionary. On weekdays, I might use the Anglican lectionary, but honestly, I’ll probably just try to sneak in my favourite bits of Lenten music that I am missing this year regardless of what the lectionary is up to. In other words, expect much gratuitous Baroque and early music, because that’s how I roll. For the Sundays and the big services in Holy Week, I will also add a hymn or two that you might want to sing along to.

I hope you enjoy the music here, and that wherever you are, you are staying safe and well.

The prayer Cross at Thomaskirche in Leipzig

Print Friendly, PDF & Email