Again & Again, Our Lenten Refrains—Music Ideas for Lent

Again & Again, Our Lenten Refrains—Music Ideas for Lent

Does it feel as though you’re singing the same Lent hymns again and again and again? Here we’ve collected hymns and songs that work well with our new Again & Again Lent theme and weekly sub-themes based on the Year B texts of the Revised Common Lectionary. We have suggested many short and simple refrains (such as those from the Taizé community) which can help us embody the practice of repetition, repeating the same few lines again & again until they lodge in our souls like muscle memory. Some suggestions could also be used week after week to build patterns into your Lenten worship. We hope these lists help you as you’re planning meaningful worship services for the Lenten season.

(Note: While we do not own the licensing rights to these songs—other than those written for this bundle by our guest contributors—we have linked to more information about the hymnals containing these songs or to other licensing options. Since U.S. law does not allow churches to “broadcast” recorded music without a particular license to do so—including music played in YouTube and Facebook live services—we encourage you to share recorded songs with your congregation by sharing a link to the video or our Spotify playlist in bulletins, emails, or social media to avoid copyright strikes in livestream worship.)


“Again & Again” – a theme song by The Many

This Lent, The Many return as our guest contributors and have created a theme song for our Again & Again bundle. The sheet music and music video are included with the full Again & Again Lent bundle of resources and can be purchased individually here. Purchase of the bundle or theme song includes permission to embed the video in online worship.

You can find more music by The Many on their website, Spotify, and Bandcamp.


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music for all season

again & again, a lenten refrain

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Again and Again” by Lion of Judah [

  • “Circles” by Digitalism []

  • “Cooks County” by The Who []

  • “Highwomen” by The Highwomen []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Again We Keep This Solemn Fast” []
    Words: St. Gregory the Great (6th cent.) Tune: ERHALT UNS, HERR (8.8.8.8)

  • “O God, My God” []
    Words and music: Iona Community (1988)

  • “Peace of God Be with You” []
    Words: Arabic greeting Tune: AS-SALAAMU LAKUM (6.6.4.6)
    * This refrain could be used during the passing of the peace each week.

  • “O Lord, Hear My Prayer” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1982)
    * This refrain could be used before or after a time of prayer each week.

  • “Pray” []
    Words and music: Stephen Nix (2006)
    * This refrain could be used before or after a time of prayer each week.

  • “God, Tender and Just” []
    Words: Sidney Fowler (2004) Music: Sonia Ivette Morales-Matos (2004)
    * This refrain could be used after the prayer of confession and words of forgiveness each week.

  • “God Is Forgiveness” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (2007)
    * This refrain could be used after the prayer of confession and words of forgiveness each week.


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ash wednesday

again & again, we’re invited in

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Return to God” by Marty Haugen []

  • “Dig a Little Deeper” from The Princess and the Frog []

  • “Stop Trying” by Sia []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Come Ye Sinners, Poor and Needy” []
    Words: Joseph Hart (1759) Tune: RESTORATION (8.7.8.7 with refrain)

  • “O Come Unto the Lord” []
    Words: Young taik Chun (1943) Tune: KOREA (Irr.)

  • “Somebody’s Knocking at Your Door” []
    African-American spiritual

  • “Ash Wednesday Comes and, Lord, We Hear” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2011) Tune: TALLIS’ CANON (8.8.8.8)

  • “Softly and Tenderly Jesus Is Calling” []
    Words and music: Will L. Thompson (1880)

  • “Just As I Am” []
    Words: Charlotte Elliott (1834) Tune: WOODWORTH (8.8.8.6)


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First sunday in lent

again & again, God meets us

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Meet Me Jesus” by The Eagle Rock Gospel Singers []

  • “Riverside” by Agnes Obel []

  • “Saved” from Nashville []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “God Who by a Mother’s Love” [↗]
    Words: George MacDonald (st. 1 & 2., alt), Anna Strickland (st. 3) Tune: DIX (7.7.7.7.7.7)

  • “O Love That Wilt Not Let Me Go” []
    Words: George Matheson (1882) Tune: ST. MARGARET (8.8.8.8.6)

  • “Shades of Purple, Shades of Blue” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (1759) Tune: DIX (7.7.7.7.7.7)

  • “God Is Here!” []
    Words: Fred Pratt Green (1979) Tune: ABBOT’S LEIGH (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “God Is Here Today” []
    Words: Raúl Galeano (1976), trans. C. Michael Hawn (1998) Tune: DIOS ESTÁ AQUÍ (Irr.)


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second sunday in lent

again & again, we are called to listen

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “I Will Listen” by Twila Paris []

  • “Swimming” by Florence + the Machine []

  • “Listen” from Dreamgirls []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “There Is a Time for Silence” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2020) Tune: ST. CHRISTOPHER (7.6.8.6.8.6.8.6)

  • “God Is Calling Through the Whisper” []
    Words: Mary Louise Bringle (2003) Tune: W ŻŁOBIE LEŻY (8.7.8.7.8.8.7.7)

  • “Be Still and Know That I Am God” []
    Words and music: John Bell (1989)

  • “Be Thou My Vision” []
    Words: 8th cent. Irish, trans. Mary Elizabeth Byrne (1905) Tune: SLANE (10.10.10.10)


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Third sunday in Lent

again & again, we are shown the way

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Bridges” by Johnnyswim []

  • “The Temple” from Jesus Christ Superstar []

  • “Turning Over Tables” by The Brilliance []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  •  “God the Sculptor of the Mountains” []
    Words: John Thornburg (1993) Tune: JENNINGS-HOUSTON (8.7.8.7.8.7)

  • “In an Age of Twisted Values” []
    Words: Martin E. Leckebusch (1995) Tune: CHURCH UNITED (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “The Lord Now Sends Us Forth (Enviado soy de Dios)” []
    Words: José Aguiar (20th cent.), trans. Gerhard M. Cartford (1998) Tune: ENVIADO (12.12.12.12.12.12)

  • “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah” []
    Words: William Williams (1745) Tune: CWM RHONDDA (8.7.8.7.8.7.7)

  • “We Look to You, O Jesus” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2006) Tune: LANCASHIRE (7.6.7.6 D)

  • “God of Grace and God of Glory” []
    Words: Harry Emerson Fosdick (1930) Tune: CWM RHONDDA (8.7.8.7.8.7.7)


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fourth sunday in Lent

again & again, god loves first

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Love Like This” by Lauren Daigle []

  • “Unconditional” by Rend Collective []

  • “I Am.” by JoJo []

  • “That I Would be Good” by Alanis Morissette []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Holy Spirit, Come to Us” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (2011)

  • “Great God, Your Love Has Called Us Here” []
    Words: Brian Wren (1973) Tune: DAS NEUGEBORNE KINDELEIN (8.8.8.8.8.8)

  • “The Love of God” []
    Words and music: Frederick M. Lehman (1917)

  • “There’s a Wideness in God’s Mercy” []
    Words: Frederick William Faber (1854) Tune: WELLESLEY (8.7.8.7)

  • “For God So Loved the World” []
    Words: Stephen M. Fearing (2019) Tune: DARWALL’S 148TH (6.6.6.6.8.8)

  • “Womb of Life” []
    Words: Ruth C. Duck (1992) Tune: LADUE CHAPEL (8.7.8.7 D)


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fifth sunday in lent

again & again, we are reformed

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Hello My Old Heart” by The Oh Hellos []

  • “A Reason” by Willow [

  • “Masterpiece” by Tori Kelly []

  • “The Other Side” by Brendan James []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “The Days are Coming, Said the Lord” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2012) Tune: WOODWORTH (8.8.8.8)

  • “Change My Heart, O God” []
    Words and music: Eddie Espinosa

  • “Unless a Grain of Wheat” []
    Words and music: Bernadette Farrell (1983)

  • “Breathe on Me, Breath of God” []
    Words: Edwin Hatch (1878) Tune: TENTHAM (6.8.6.6)

  • “Spirit, Open My Heart” []
    Words: Ruth C. Duck (1994) Tune: WILD MOUNTAIN THYME (Irr.)


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palm/passion sunday

again & again, we draw on courage

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Do It Afraid” by Bryan Sirchio []

  • “This Mountain” by Faouzia []

  • “Breathin” by Ariana Grande []

  • “Immigrants” by K’NAAN, Snow Tha Product, Riz Ahmed, and Residente []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Hosanna” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1998)

  • “Pave the Way with Justice” []
    Words and music: Bret Hesla (1999)

  • “Be Still My Soul” []
    Words: Kathrina von Schlegel, trans. Jane Borthwick (1855) Tune: FINLANDIA (10.10.10.10.10.10)

  • “We Long to Know Peace!” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2016) Tune: LYONS (10.10.11.11)

  • “Abide With Me” []
    Words: Henry Francis Lyte (1847) Tune: EVENTIDE (10.10.10.10)

  • “Strong, Righteous Man of Galilee” []
    Words: Harry Webb Farrington (1921) Tune: MELITA (8.8.8.8.8.8)


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maundy thursday

again & again, we are held together

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  •  “Fall Apart Too” by Katelyn Tarver []

  • “Give Me Your Hand” by Michael Tolcher []

  • “Beside You” by Phildel []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Where Two or Three Are Gathered” []
    Words and music: Bruce Harding (2002)

  • “Eat This Bread” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1984)

  • “The Song of the Supper” []
    Words and music: John Bell (1988)

  • “Lo, I Am With You” []
    Words and music: Iona Community (1988)

  • “Stay With Me” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1984)

  • “Draw Us in the Spirit’s Tether” []
    Words: Percy Dearmer (1931) Tune: UNION SEMINARY (8.7.8.7.4.4.7)

  • “Where Charity and Love Prevail” []
    Words: 9th cent. Latin, trans. Omer Westendorf (1961) Tune: CHRISTIAN LOVE (8.6.8.6)

  • “Blessed Be the Tie That Binds” []
    Words: John Fawcett (1782) Tune: DENNIS (6.6.8.6)


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good friday

again & again, we find ourselves here

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Golgotha” by Ladysmith Black Mambazo []

  • “Were You There?” arr. Norman Luboff [

  • “Cloud” by Sia []

  • “Amen” arr. Jester Hairston []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Stay Here and Keep Watch” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1984)

  • “Go to Dark Gethsemane” []
    Words: James Montgomery (1825) Tune: REDHEAD NO. 76 (7.7.7.7.7.7)

  • “Jesus, Remember Me” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1981)

  • “There By the Cross, the Women Stayed” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2019) Tune: ST. CATHERINE (8.8.8.8.8.8)

  • “Throned Upon the Awful Tree” []
    Words: John Ellerton (1875) Tune: ARFON (7.7.7.7.7.7)


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easter sunday

again & again, the sun rises

Songs for Listening, Preludes, or Special Music

  • “Miracle” by Labrinth [

  • “Rise Up” by Andra Day []

  • “Keep Going” by T-Pain []

  • “Skyscraper” by Demi Lovato []

  • “Just As Sure” by Tori Kelly []

Hymns and Congregational Songs

  • “Hallelujah” []
    Words and music: Trad. Muscogee (Creek) Indian
    * Many churches traditionally refrain from singing the alleluia during Lent. This short refrain could be sung to open Easter worship and can be sung as a round.

  • “With You, O Lord” []
    Words and music: Taizé Community (1998)

  • “Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers” []
    Words: John L. Bell and Graham Maule (1988) Tune: TRANSFORMATION (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “You, O Christ, Are Resurrection” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2011) Tune: BEACH SPRING (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “Morning Has Broken” []
    Words: Eleanor Farjeon (1931) Tune: BONESSAN (5.5.5.4 D)

  • “Hymn of Promise (In the Bulb There Is a Flower)” []
    Words: Natalie Sleeth (1986) Tune: PROMISE (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “When Morning Gilds the Skies” []
    Words: 19th cent. German, trans. Edward Caswall (1853) Tune: LAUDES DOMINI (6.6.6 D)

  • “At the Dawning of Salvation” []
    Words: Jock Curle (1999) Tune: NETTLETON (8.7.8.7 D)

  • “Sunset to Sunrise Changes Now” []
    Words: Clement of Alexandria (3rd cent.), trans. Howard Chandler Robbins (20th cent.) Tune: KENDRON (8.8.8.8)

  • “This Easter Celebration” []
    Words: Carolyn Winfrey Gillette (2020) Tune: AURELIA (7.6.7.6 D)
    * This hymn addresses the reality of not worshipping in person on Easter.


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Rev. Anna Strickland

Operations Support & Content Creation

Rev. Anna Strickland (she/her/hers) looks for the Divine in the everyday like treasure in clay jars and first encountered God in the integration of her spiritual self and artistic self. She is a native Austinite and graduated from the University of Texas where she now works in college ministry, especially serving LGBTQ students.

 


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