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Music Suggestions
The First Sunday of Lent (B)

Liturgical Music

Official texts

Other liturgical music


  • Again We Keep This Solemn Fast (WIII #420, HH #78)
  • Forty Days and Forty Nights (AH #362, CH #242, HH #73, ICEL #43, WIII #419, CHB #50, SMH #300, EH #55)
  • God of Mercy and Compassion (CHB #51, CH #449)
  • I Lift My Eyes to You, O Lord (Kathleen Pluth) from Hymns for the Liturgical Year
  • If Thou But Suffer God to Guide Thee (HPSC #191)
  • Lord, Who throughout These Forty Days (WIII #417, ICEL #47, HH #65, AH #360, CHB #54, HPSC #212, SMH #407, EH #59)
  • My Song Is Love Unknown (CH #258, HH #90, WIII #439, CHB #65, SMH #421)
  • To You, I Lift My Soul (HPSC #337)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius Press
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II / Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal), used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection, GIA Publications, Inc.
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • Agnus Dei from Missa secunda (Hans Leo Hassler)
  • Ave Regina coelorum (Gregorian chant) Proper Marian antiphon for Lent [Liber usualis, p.278]
  • Attende Domine from Chant Booklet, Volume 2 (ed. Chris Bord)
  • Attende Domine (John Osterhagen)
  • De profundis (W.A. Mozart)
  • Ductus est Jesus (Francisco Guerrero)
  • In Thee, O Lord (F.J. Haydn)
  • Invocabit me (Gregorian chant) Proper Introit for Lent I [Liber usualis, p.532]
  • Miserere mei Domine (Calvert Shenk)
  • O Hear Me When I Call On Thee (Franz Schubert)
  • Qui tollis (Antonio Caldara)
  • Refuge / Psalm 91 (John Moreton)
  • Remember Not, O Lord, Our Offences (Henry Purcell)

Organ Music

Rubrics indicate that the organ remain silent during Lent, except on Laetare Sunday or on other solemnities or festive days or at any time to accompany singing. Hence organ preludes and postludes should not be played (except on Laetare Sunday). Music for non-liturgical services might be chosen from the following:

  • Erbarm' dich mein, o Herre Gott (J.S. Bach, J.N. Hanff, J.L. Krebs & J.G. Walther) from The Church Organist's Golden Treasury, Vol.1 [Oliver Ditson Co.]
  • Erhalt uns, Herr, bei deinem Wort (J. G. Walther) from 80 Chorale Preludes [C.F. Peters #4448]
  • Hilf Gott, dass mir's gelinge (J.S. Bach) from Orgelbuchlein
  • Prelude on Saint Flavian (Healey Willan) from Ten Hymn Preludes, Set I [C.F. Peters Corp]

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

The Ceremonial of Bishops recommends a penitential procession which may occur before a Sunday Mass during Lent. Today might be a good time to schedule one:

The people gather beforehand in a chapel or other suitable place outside the church. The celebrant puts on purple Mass vestments, perhaps with cope rather than chasuble. He goes to the gathering place accompanied by song. After the singing has ended, he greets the people, giving a brief introduction. Then with outstretched hands, he says an opening prayer on the mystery of the holy cross (Sept 14, on forgiveness of sins #40), or for the local church. He puts incense in the censer. As the deacon announces, "Let us go forth in peace," the procession to the church is formed and during it the Litany of the Saints is sung. Saints special to the local church may be inserted. When the procession reaches the church all go to their appointed places. The celebrant reverences the altar and incenses it. He than goes to the chair and exchanges cope for chasuble. The introductory rites of Mass are omitted. The celebrant prays the Opening Prayer and Mass continues as usual with the Liturgy of the Word.

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