In the next seven days we will experience the most theologically rich, densely packed, emotionally exhausting week of the Christian year (not to mention physically exhausting for those involved in these services). From Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday, the lectionary provides text for each day of this procession: on the road to Jerusalem with the spring lambs, washing feet and sharing a meal in the Upper Room, waiting and praying in the garden of Gethsemane, outside and in the midst of the trial, the Via Dolorosa, Calvary, the burial, the waiting, and finally … resurrection!
This week there are a multitude of musical selections to guide your personal and corporate reflection, and to refresh you as you prepare and participate in these events. May the music open your heart and bring you more deeply into the presence of the Father, Son and Spirit.
Canadian singer-songwriter Steve Bell has an album that I think is perfectly suited for Holy Week. While Devotion doesn’t directly follow the events, all of the songs are appropriate for the week. Find the full album on Spotify.
The Lorica is a poetic reworking of St. Patrick’s Breastplate. As we have just passed St. Patrick’s Day, it fits well as an introductory reflection.
Everything We Need provides a rhythm of calling on God’s strength and mercy at the opening of the day and reminding ourselves of the goodness of the day as night approaches. This could become a daily refrain during the week.
Embrace the Mystery and Jesus Feed Us are both songs for Good Friday or Maundy Thursday, reflecting on the communion meal.
One of the most significant, but often overlooked days of the week is Holy Saturday. Gone is the Light evokes the mystery of waiting and wonder at the work of Christ in his death.
Start the week with one of Steve’s songs from another of his albums: Ride On King Jesus. You might not be able to stop listening to this one, and it will stay with you all week.
Other music you might want to explore this week:
Agnus Dei by Samuel Barber
St. John Passion by J. S. Bach
Miserere by Grigorio Allegri
Part Two of the Messiah by G. F. Handel