So as I did for Advent, Christmas (in 2009, 2010, 2014 and 2015) and Easter, it seemed like a good time to provide an overview of the hymns available for Lent (including Ash Wednesday, Palm Sunday and Good Friday).
I cross-referenced hymns from these periods from The English Hymnal (COE 1906), Hymnal 1940 (ECUSA) and Hymnal 1982 (ECUSA). I also matched the hymns from these lists to two Missouri Synod (LCMS) hymnals: The Lutheran Hymnal (1941) and Lutheran Service Book (2006).
Eleven hymn texts (twelve combinations) stood out. Because there’s such a small number, I found that I previously wrote about five of these texts.
|Ah, holy Jesus, how hast thou offended||Herzleibster Jesu||70||71.1*||158||143||439||Holy Week|
|All glory, laud, and honor||St. Theodulph||622||62||154||160||442||Palm Sunday|
|Forty days and forty nights||Aus der Tiefe||73||55||150||Early Lent|
|Lord Jesus, think on me||Southwell||77||417||641||320||610|
|Lord, who throughout these forty days||St. Flavian||59||*||Early Lent|
|O sacred head, sore wounded||Passion Chorale||102||75||168||172||449*||Holy Week|
|Ride on, ride on in majesty||The King's Majesty||64.1||156||Palm Sunday|
|Ride on, ride on in majesty||Winchester New||620||64.2||162||441||Palm Sunday|
|The glory of these forty days||Erhalt uns, Herr||68.2||61||143||Early Lent|
|Were you there when they crucified my Lord?||Were You There||80||172||456||Holy Week|
|When I survey the wondrous Cross||Rockingham||107||337||474||175.2*||426*||Holy Week|
Three of the hymns (all with “forty days” in the title) are both written and commonly used for Ash Wednesday or the first Sunday in Lent. Two (“All glory, laud, and honor” and “Ride on, ride on in majesty”) are clearly written for Palm Sunday. Four are about the passion of Christ, which could be celebrated on Lent 5 (“Passiontide” in the 28 BCP) or any time in Holy Week: Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday or (when hymns are used) Good Friday. And in fact, these dates are when the these hymns are assigned by Hymnal 1940: Ash Wednesday, Lent 1, Lent 5, or Palm Sunday.
“…Ride on in majesty” has two tunes: Winchester New is preferred by the CoE hymnals (dating back to the 19th century Hymns Ancient & Modern), and (the considerably more difficult) King’s Majesty which was introduced in H40 and the only one kept by H82.
This is really a list of the top hymns: there are other hymns worth mentioning that weren’t quite as popular. I hope to publish a more complete list at some point in the future.