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 www.hymnary.org. 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 hymnary.org.

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.

LASTLY, the Easter Hymns Survey is still going on. Please venture over there and participate in your favorite Easter hymns, so I can share the results right before then.  Even if the song titles might seem foreign to you, do not be discouraged.  Your voice matters.

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

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