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7 Favorite Hymns for Lent

Despite being the season for serious reflection and prayer, Lent is also a time for singing.

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We don’t necessarily think of Lent—a season of reflection, prayer and often fasting—as a time to sing. Don’t we have to wait for all those “Alleluias” of Easter? No, we don’t. There are so many hymns of Lent that can carry us through this lovely, spiritually rich season. They can show us the true meaning of Lent. Here is musical inspiration for this transformative time. Try one of these beautiful Lent hymns:

Young people at a church singing lent hymns together
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1)  “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”

What great reminder that God’s grace is there to carry us through whatever trials we face. The verse that always moves me the most:

Let thy goodness like a fetter
Bind my wandering heart to thee.

That powerful imagery of being chained to God’s own goodness pulling me back from my wanderings. May I be the Lord’s prisoner forever.

people singing lent hymn holding sheet music
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2)  “Forty Days and Forty Nights”

Just that title alone says “Lent.” We’re being called in this season to remember the Lord’s suffering and to share the journey with Jesus:

Shall not we your sorrow share
And from worldly joys abstain,
Fasting with unceasing prayer,
Strong with you to suffer pain?

Whatever fasting we undertake, whatever we decide to give up for Lent, we do it with prayer and grow stronger in the process as we face our own struggles.

Children and music teacher singing lent hymns together
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3)  “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”

The lyrics are by the great American poet John Greenleaf Whittier, a Quaker of deep faith. He understood how necessary it is to turn to God, asking for forgiveness, for God to “reclothe us in our rightful mind.” Prayer is at the heart of that process. My favorite verse:

Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease…
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

What a perfect prayer for Lent.

Lent hymn sheet music wrapped into a heart shape
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4)  “Take My Life, and Let it Be”

There’s an old saying (I remember seeing it posted in our choir room as a kid): “When you sing you pray twice.” The words of a Lent hymn, like this one, stick in your soul. If you just said the words, that’d be one thing. But singing them resonates with your heart, body and soul. Like Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). When I sing “Take my life…” the promise is rich and deep.

Man with his eyes closed listening to a podcast about how to do lent
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5)  “Be Still, My Soul”

Lent is a great time to practice contemplative prayer. Choose a time for day—first thing in the morning works best for me—when you can be quiet, be still, to listen to God. Our minds can be noisy with distractions. But when we give all those worries and concerns over to the Lord, we can be still:

Be still my soul thy best, thy heavenly friend
Through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.


Group of young people singing lent hymns with a piano and drum set
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6)  “’Take Up, Thy Cross’ The Savior Said”

These words come straight from the Lord’s mouth: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). How wonderful to have a Lent hymn to help us claim that. Often sung in community. All the more powerful to make that pledge with others. That last verse:

Nor think till death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear a golden crown.

The glory of it.

Close up on sheet music for the lent hymn amazing grace
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7)  “Amazing Grace”

Everybody’s favorite hymn. For good reason. During our Lenten journey, it feels especially appropriate, as we call on the free gift of grace that we’re all offered:

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come.
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,
And grace that will lead me home.

Those toils that Jesus endured in the wilderness, that we honor at Lent, can only be endured through God’s grace. May it be with you.


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Walking with Jesus: Devotions for Lent & Easter 2024

Experience a journey of spiritual growth this 2024 Lenten season. This remarkable book is a compilation of thought-provoking reflections from various women of faith. Prepare yourself for Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection with daily devotions that not only deepen your understanding but also strengthen your faith.

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