Below are lyrics for a hymn that my wife and I composed for the Lenten season. As with many hymns throughout Church history, this arose from a lack of hymnody that reflected our own understanding of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection. The hymn is written to the tune of HAMBURG, perhaps most well-known from it’s use in the hymn “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
We plan to use the hymn as a congregational refrain (one verse each week) following a candle liturgy adapted from the one found at Processandfaith.org.
I’v also included a PDF with lyrics and music in order to show how we imagined it being sung. I apologize that it is a bit crowded in places, I don’t have the capability of adjusting the musical notes to accommodate for a few of the longer words.
Please feel free to use this hymn as we’ve envisioned, but if you wish to set it to a different tune or sing it differently that is perfectly alright as well. We simply ask that you give credit to us, Zach and Peyton Dawes, for the lyrics. We hope that this provides you a Lenten hymn that journeys through the entire season.
Here we have gathered in penitence,
Confessing all our faults and fears.
Though we are dust and to dust shall return,
God’s steadfast love holds us evermore.
All present God we seek you now,
Help us to see you work in our world.
Heal our hearts as we work for the good,
Of a world overcome with wrong.
God we listen to you for a word.
What would you have us to do in your name?
Teach us to love and care for your world;
Share love and grace with all that we meet.
Amidst the noise of demanding lives,
We seek a place of quiet and calm.
That we may seek you in our lives,
And find you near in the tranquil dawn.
Voices cry out for a hand of help,
Will we respond with compassion and love?
So many ways we can lighten the load,
Will we embrace our calling to serve?
As we journey to the cross,
We grieve our bent toward violence and war.
We pledge ourselves to the Christ of peace,
Whose life was lived to show us the way.
Hosanna we sing, in the highest heav’n,
Knowing not what lies ahead for this man.
He enters the city and darkness descends;
Failure to love causes needless death.
Now in the garden we fall to our knees,
Crying for rescue from hands holding hate.
Yea though we walk through the valley of death,
God is our help, our hope to the end.
Holy Friday: no words, congregation stays silent as the music plays the refrain.
On the third day he rises again,
And brightness fills the darkness of death.
Jesus is ris’n, he is risen indeed!
May this bright hope hold us evermore.