Survey Results: Most Beloved Holy Week Hymns

holyweekmusicFrom the Nick Alexander blog

Holy Week, at this writing, is close upon us.

This is the most sacred time of the year. This is the time where we pause and reflect upon the saddest–and shortly afterwards, the most triumphant–moments in all of history. This is the basis of our belief, that the Son of God would willingly allow Himself to be taken, scourged, and crucified for our sins.

Throughout the centuries, composers of various different musical backgrounds have written thousands of musical pieces that carry through to this day. Pieces that reflect upon his entry into Jerusalem, to the Last Supper, to the way of the Cross. Some of these pieces are the most beautiful you will ever hear.

I had asked my readership as to what their favorite Lent hymns were, and you all responded in kind. Now I have asked what their favorite hymns were for Holy Week. These are the results.

1. What Wondrous Love Is This (56.52%)
2. O Sacred Head, Surrounded (O Sacred Head Now Wounded) (52.17%)
3. Pange Lingua (50.00%)
4. All Glory, Laud, And Honour (45.65%)
5. Ubi Caritas (45.65%)
6. When I Survey The Wondrous Cross (41.30%)
7. Were You There When They Crucified My Lord (36.96%)
8. Stabat Mater (32.61%)
9. At The Cross Her Station Keeping (30.43%)
10. The Old Rugged Cross (30.43%)

11. Nearer, My God, To Thee (19.57%)
12. Ah, Holy Jesus How, Hast Thou Offended (15.22%)
13. Beneath The Cross Of Jesus (15.22%)
14. Ride On, Ride On In Majesty (15.22%)
15. Go To Dark Gethsemane (13.04%)
16. Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah (13.04%)
17. Hosanna Filio David (13.04%)
18. Alas! And Did My Saviour Bleed! (10.87%)
19. O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High (10.87%)
20. Vexilla Regis Prodeunt (10.87%)
21. Behold The Lamb Of God! (8.70%)
22. There Is A Fountain Filled With Blood (8.70%)
23. When Morning Gilds The Skies (8.70%)
24. Brightest And Best Of The Sons Of The Morning (6.52%)
25. Gloria Laus Et Honor (6.52%)
26. Hail, Thou Once-Despised Jesus (6.52%)
27. Near The Cross Her Vigil Keeping (6.52%)
28. O Come And Mourn With Me Awhile (6.52%)
29. Recordare Virgo Mater Dei (6.52%)
30. Sing, My Tongue, The Saviour’s Battle (6.52%)
31. The Royal Banners Forward Go (6.52%)
32. Drop, Drop, Slow Tears (4.35%)
33. Glory Be To Jesus (4.35%)
34. Jesus, Name All Names Above (4.35%)
35. Man Of Sorrows, Wrapt In Grief (4.35%)
36. O Jesu, We Adore Thee (4.35%)
37. Of The Glorious Body Telling (4.35%)
38. Praise To The Holiest In The Height (4.35%)
39. Savior When In Dust To Thee (4.35%)
40. There Is A Green Hill Far Away (4.35%)

The majority of these hymns are easily found on sites like If you are looking for new inspiration for music this season, I would track these songs down. Run searches on YouTube, Soundcloud, or the aforementioned

Don’t be turned off if it’s in a style you’re not familiar with; this is our heritage. Entire generations have grown up on these songs. And we now have the tools to learn these songs expediently, and with full knowledge. If it’s in Latin, and you’re not into Latin, I invite you to study the translation of the song (Google Translate if you must), and listen carefully as the ages speak to you. If it’s from a religious heritage that you’re unfamiliar with, I invite you to listen in and be astonished at the wondrous variety we have in our Christian faith.

What happened for humanity through the final week of Christ’s life is too important, too vast, to remain within the boundaries of a single musical genre. These songs, written over centuries, can awaken in us new meaning for today.

What are your favorite worship songs for Holy Week? Comment below.

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how can I view sheet music?

how to download/upload sheet music to practice

Where to download sheet music for choir

Hi. Welcome to Top Catholic Songs. I have a Resources page here with links to many hymnals and liturgy planning guides:

Can you tell me what kind of sheet music you need? Are you looking for SATB arrangements? Sheet music with piano and voice?

What hymnal do you use at your church? If your church does not allow you to take home a choir edition of the hymnal, I would urge them to buy extra choir hymnals for home use. My church allows that. A choir edition has the choir parts you need for practice. Otherwise, you can buy your own choir edition.

For example:

This website does not offer sheet music for liturgical songs that are copyrighted by You could explore that site. Your church may or may not have a subscription to OneLicense. OneLicense does have sheet music that a director can download with a subscription.

What we do have here at are some songs written and recorded by independent songwriters who allow free downloads of their MP3 files. Some artists, like myself, also sometimes offer sheet music downloads as attachments to a story or blog article. It is very unlikely that your church choir would be singing any of these songs that have not been included in popular hymnals from GIA, OCP, Hope Publishing, Liturgical Press, etc.

Here is a sample of a song I uploaded with the sheet music added as a downloadable attachment:

Try finding low-resolution previews of hymns at

I hope this helps.

Richard Schletty

Richard Schletty | Schletty Design and Music |

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