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Music Suggestions
Ash Wednesday (ABC)

Liturgical Music

Official texts

  • Introit:
    1. Misereris omnium [Graduale Romanum, p.62]
    2. Misereris omnium [Gregorian Missal, p.292]
    3. Miserere mei Domine [Graduale simplex, p.82]
    4. Miserere mei Domine (Calvert Shenk)
    5. Your mercy extends to all things, O Lord [Simple English Propers, p.55 (Adam Bartlett) CMAA]
    6. Lord, you are merciful to all [Simple Choral Gradual, p.41 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    7. You are merciful to all [Lumen Christi Missal, p.916 (Adam Bartlett) Illuminare Publications]
    8. You are merciful to all, O Lord [Saint Meinrad Antiphons for the Church Year (Columba Kelly OSB) p.16, Mode 1 / OCP]
    9. You are merciful to all, O Lord [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 4 versions, pp.132-134 / Ignatius Press]
    10. You are merciful to all, O Lord [English Proper Chants (John Ainslie) p.36, with Psalm 57[56] / Liturgical Press]
    11. You are merciful to all, O Lord [Lumen Christi Simple Gradual (Adam Bartlett) #179, with Psalm 57 / Illuminare Publications]
    12. Have mercy on me, O God [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.29, with Psalm 57 / Liturgical Press]
    13. The days have come [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.30, with Wisdom 11 / Liturgical Press]
    14. O Lord, Your Mercy Does Extend [tune: erhalt uns Herr] from Introit Hymns #14 (Christoph Tietze)
    15. You are merciful to all, O Lord [Mass Propers for Lent (Penkala) p.1, with Psalm 51]
  • Gradual (Responsorial Psalm):
    1. Miserere mei Deus [Graduale Romanum, p.63]
    2. Miserere mei Deus [Gregorian Missal, p.230]
    3. Miserere mei Deus [Graduale simplex, p.83]
    4. Adiuva nos Deus [Graduale simplex, p.84]
    5. Psalm 51: Have mercy on me, O God [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.31 / Liturgical Press]
    6. Chabanel Psalmody
    7. Parish Book of Psalms (Arlene Oost-Zinner)
    8. Common Psalms for Schools & Parishes (Thomas Cosley)
  • Tract (Gospel Acclamation):
    1. Domine non secundum [Graduale Romanum, p.64]
    2. Domine non secundum [Gregorian Missal, p.231]
    3. Adiuva nos Deus [Graduale simplex, p.85]
    4. Psalm 79: Help us, O God of our salvation [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.32 / Liturgical Press]
    5. Help us, O God of our salvation [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.33 / Liturgical Press]
  • Blessing & Distribution of Ashes:
    1. Immutemur habitu [Graduale Romanum, p.65]
    2. Immutemur habitu [Gregorian Missal, p.234]
    3. Iuxta vestibulum [Graduale Romanum, p.65]
    4. Iuxta vestibulum [Gregorian Missal, p.234]
    5. Emendemus in melius [Graduale Romanum, p.66]
    6. Emendemus in melius [Gregorian Missal, p.235]
    7. Dele Domine [Graduale simplex, p.86]
    8. Emendemus in melius (William Byrd, Baldassare Donato, Andrea Gabrieli, Cristóbal de Morales, Ascanio Trombetti)
    9. Immutemur habitu (Cristóbal de Morales, José Maurício Nunes Garcia)
    10. Come back to the Lord [Simple Choral Gradual, p.42 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    11. Let the priests and ministers of the Lord [Simple Choral Gradual, p.42 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    12. Lord, take away our wickedness [Simple Choral Gradual, p.43 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    13. Turn to us with mercy, Lord [Simple Choral Gradual, p.44 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    14. Let us change our garments [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 2 versions, p.135 / Ignatius Press]
    15. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord [Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 2 versions, p.136 / Ignatius Press]
    16. Blot out our trangressions [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 1 version, pp.137-139 / Ignatius Press]
    17. Responsory: Let us correct our faults [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 3 versions, pp.140-142 / Ignatius Press]
    18. Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord [English Proper Chants (John Ainslie) p.37, with Psalm 102[101] / Liturgical Press]
    19. Blot out my transgressions, Lord [Lumen Christi Simple Gradual (Adam Bartlett) #180, with Psalm 51 / Illuminare Publications]
    20. Take away, O God, my wickedness [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.33, with Psalm 51 / Liturgical Press]
  • Offertory:
    1. Exaltabo te [Graduale Romanum, p.313]
    2. Exaltabo te [Gregorian Missal, p.236] 
    3. Factus est adiutor [Graduale simplex, p.88]
    4. Exaltabo te (Giovanni Battista Casali, Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Alessandro Scarlatti)
    5. Psalm 30 (Stephen McManus)
    6. I will extol you, O Lord [Simple English Propers, p.56 (Adam Bartlett) CMAA]
    7. I will extol you, O Lord [Lumen Christi Missal, p.916 (Adam Bartlett) Illuminare Publications]
    8. O Lord, I cried to you for help [Simple Choral Gradual, p.44 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    9. I will extol you, O Lord [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 4 versions, pp.143-145 / Ignatius Press]
    10. I will extol you, O Lord [Lumen Christi Simple Gradual (Adam Bartlett) #181, with Psalm 30 / Illuminare Publications]
    11. The Lord has come to help me [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.35, with Psalm 30 / Liturgical Press]
    12. I will extol you, O Lord [Mass Propers for Lent (Penkala) p.3, with Psalm 91]
  • Communion:
    1. Qui meditabitur [Graduale Romanum, p.67]
    2. Qui meditabitur [Gregorian Missal, p.237]
    3. Qui meditabitur [Communio, p.216 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    4. Da nobis Domine [Graduale simplex, p.88]
    5. He who meditates day and night [Simple English Propers, p.57 (Adam Bartlett) CMAA]
    6. He who meditates day and night [Choral Communio, p.26 (Richard Rice) Hostia Laudis Co]
    7. He who ponders the law of the Lord [Lumen Christi Missal, p.916 (Adam Bartlett) Illuminare Publications]
    8. The man who meditates day and night [Simple Choral Gradual, p.45 (Richard Rice) CMAA]
    9. He who ponders the law [Laudate Dominum Communion Antiphons (Andrew Motyka)]
    10. He who ponders the law of the Lord [Saint Meinrad Antiphons for the Church Year (Columba Kelly OSB) p.16, Mode 3 / OCP]
    11. He who ponders the law of the Lord [The Proper of the Mass (Fr. Samuel F. Weber OSB) 4 versions, pp.146-148 / Ignatius Press]
    12. He who ponders the law of the Lord [English Proper Chants (John Ainslie) p.38, with Psalm 1 / Liturgical Press]
    13. He who ponders the law of the Lord [Lumen Christi Simple Gradual (Adam Bartlett) #182, with Psalm 1 / Illuminare Publications]
    14. O give us, Lord, your help [By Flowing Waters (Paul Ford) p.36, with Psalm 60 / Liturgical Press]
    15. He who ponders the law of the Lord [Mass Propers for Lent (Penkala) p.5, with Psalm 130]
  • Mass settings:
    1. Latin Chant Mass XVII (Adventus et Quadragesimæ)
    2. Mass of Saint Agnes (B. Andrew Mills)
    3. Missa Deus Genitor alme (Harry McMurray)
    4. Wondrous Love: A Mass for Lent (J. William Greene)

Other liturgical music

Hymns

  • Again We Keep This Solemn Fast (WIII #420, HH #78, LCH #46)
  • Come, Let Us to the Lord Our God (ICEL #39, CH #243)
  • Draw Near, O Lord, Our God (PMB #48)
  • Eternal Lord of Love (HH #79)
  • God of All Mercy (HPSC #168)
  • God of Mercy and Compassion (CHB #51, CH #449)
  • Grant to Us, O Lord (PMB #147, CH #465)
  • Have Mercy, Lord, on Us (ICEL #44, WIII #753, PMB #196, HH #82, CH #250, SMH #559)
  • Hear Our Entreaties, Lord (AH #366, CH #238, ICEL #254, PMB #48, WIII #414, CHB #293)
  • I Lift My Eyes to You, O Lord (Kathleen Pluth) from Hymns for the Liturgical Year
  • Lord Jesus, As We Turn from Sin (HPSC #213, HH #63, CH #241, SMH #620)
  • Lord Jesus, Think on Me (AH #364, HH #64, CHB #53, SMH #405, EH #417, LCH #42)
  • Now Is the Healing Time Decreed (CHB #56)
  • O Lord, Your Mercy Does Extend [tune: erhalt uns Herr] from Introit Hymns #14 (Christoph Tietze)
  • O Merciful Redeemer (CH #539, CBW #484, SMH #676)
  • O Mortal Men and Women (CH #245)
  • O Sun of Justice (WIII #424, HPSC #264, HH #71)
  • Out of the Depths (CD #821, HPSC #277, CBW #488, CH #246)
  • This Is Our Accepted Time (PMB #43, SMH #793)
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.
LCH = Lumen Christi Hymnal, Illuminare Publications
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal – 4th Edition 2011, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
VII = Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • A Lenten Prayer (Antonio Salieri) [GIA Publications]
  • Adoramus te (Robert Boulware)
  • Attende Domine (Matthew Koraus)
  • Attende Domine (John Osterhagen)
  • Audi benigne Conditor from Hymn Trilogy II (Harry McMurray)
  • Ave verum (Colin Brumby)
  • Blest Be the Man (Hans Leo Hassler) [Broude]
  • Canite tuba in Sion (Mark Siebert)
  • Create in Me, O Lord (Johannes Brahms)
  • Da nobis, Domine (Gregorian chant) [Graduale simplex, p.88]
  • Have Mercy upon Me (Thomas Tomkins)
  • Hear, O Lord from Christus (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • In jejunio et fleta (Thomas Tallis) [Oxford]
  • Inter vestibulum et altare (J.A. Perti)
  • Lenten Proclamation (James Chepponis) [GIA Publications]
  • Like As A Father (Luigi Cherubini)
  • Miserere mei Domine (Calvert Shenk)
  • O Kind Creator (Rogers / Clark)
  • O Lord, Thou Hast Searched Me (Carrie Nixon)
  • O My God, Bestow Thy Tender Mercy (G.B. Pergolesi) [Flammer]
  • O Merciful Redeemer, Hear (Chant) [Collegeville Hymnal #248]
  • Out of the Depths (F.J. Haydn) from Canons for the Church Year I [Morning Star Music Publishers]
  • Parce Domine (Gregorian chant) from Booklet of Chant, Volume 2
  • Psalm 1 (Thomas Tallis)
  • Psalm 30 (Stephen McManus)
  • Return to the Lord Your God (Schalk)
  • Take Up Your Cross (Storm Knien)
  • Wash Me, O Lord God (G.B. Pergolesi)
  • Wohl dem, der nicht wandelt im Rat der Gottlosen, SWV 290 (Heinrich Schütz)

Organ Music

Rubrics indicate that the organ remain silent during Lent, except on Lætare 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 Lætare Sunday). Music for non-liturgical services might be chosen from the following:
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (J.C. Bach) [Organist's Companion, February 1983]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (J.S. Bach) [Orgelwerke VI - Peters 245] [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co] [Neumeister Collection - Yale University Press]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (Georg Böhm) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co] [Organist's Companion, January 1996]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (G.F. Kauffmann) [Organist's Companion, February 1984]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (F.W. Marpurg) [Twenty-one Chorale Preludes - Augsburg] [Organist's Companion, January 1991]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (Johann Pachelbel) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (Max Reger) [Thirty Short Chorale Preludes - Peters 3980]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (Samuel Scheidt) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448] [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (J.G. Walther) [Church Organist's Golden Treasury I - Oliver Ditson Co]
  • Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (F.W. Zachau) [Eighty Chorale Preludes - Peters 4448]
  • Jesu Leiden, Pein und Tod (J.S. Bach) arr. from Saint John Passion; Church Organist's Golden Treasury, Vol.2 [Oliver Ditson Co.]
  • Jesus, I Will Ponder Now (Wilbur Held) from A Suite of Passion Hymn Settings [Concordia 97-4843]
  • Jesus, I Will Ponder Now (Paul Manz) from Improvisations for the Lenten Season, Set 1 [Morning Star Music Publishers #10-300]
  • Improvisation on Attende Domine (Robert Hebble) [For the Masses - The Sacred Music Press]
  • O Mensch, bewien' dein' Sunde gross (J.S. Bach) from Orgelbüchlein
  • Prelude on Rockingham (C. Hubert H. Parry)
  • Schaffe in mir, Gott, ein reines Herze (J.G. Walther)
  • Stanzas from Attende Domine (Robert Kreutz) [Organist's Companion, June 1987]
  • Variations on Southwell (Alfred Fedak)

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the penitential observance of Lent. There is no Penitential Act at the start of today's Mass (the imposition of ashes takes its place later). The ashes should be a stark reminder of our mortality. Simplicity is a keyword today and throughout Lent… no extraneous decorations, no organ music (except as noted above), no flowers. Let the bareness of the church and the liturgy have their effect. Prepare extra music for use during the imposition of ashes — choose from exquisite Gregorian chants or settings of the psalms (particularly Psalms 51, 90, and 130).

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