ASH WEDNESDAY (A, B, C) Lectionary #219

This day and Palm Sunday of the Lord's Passion are two of the more popular Lenten celebrations. It seems that some people come to church on these days because we're giving things away: ashes and palm. This opening to the "forty days" was added to Lent after the practice of adult initiation had ceased to guide the meaning of the season. The texts focus on repentance by those already baptized rather than preparation for those to be initiated.

NOTE: The Lectionary includes this rubric: "If the blessing and distribution of ashes takes place outside Mass, it is appropriate that the Liturgy of the Word precede it, using texts assigned to the Mass of Ash Wednesday."

Joel 2:12-18. In response to a current calamity, the prophet calls for an act of communal repentance. This reading describes the ritual act itself as well as the prophet's sense, in the final verse, that the Lord will hear the people's prayer.

Psalm of the Day: Ps (50) 51. This is the great "penitential psalm" that becomes the Church's Lenten prayer. Consider not only using a memorable setting of this psalm but also encouraging the parish staff to have copies of the text (or text and music, if the copyright laws permit) available for personal prayer during Lent and for use by those preparing for sacramental reconciliation.
Be Merciful, O Lord (Alstott)   BB
Be Merciful, O Lord (Angrisano)   MI-BB
Be Merciful, O Lord (Bedford)  SO 16/PRM C17/PMB 579/WS
Be Merciful, O Lord (Craig/Gelineau)  WOR 787, 973/RS 82/LPGG 791
Be Merciful, O Lord (Guimont)    GC2 928/LPMG 220
Be Merciful, O Lord (Harbor)  LMGM 507
Be Merciful, O Lord (Haugen)   GC 56/GC2 41/RS 83/PCY1 20/SS
Be Merciful, O Lord (Hirten)  GIA 3318
Be Merciful, O Lord (Hunstiger)   SS
Be Merciful, O Lord (Janco)  CCS 3518
Be Merciful, O Lord (Joncas)  GIA 3433
Be Merciful, O Lord (Jordan)  LMGM 508
Be Merciful, O Lord (Kreutz)  PSC 14/PMB 581/PRM C17
Be Merciful, O Lord (Kreutz/Murray)  CBW 44
Be Merciful, O Lord (Marchionda)  SO 53
Be Merciful, O Lord (Mews)   IL 56
Be Merciful, O Lord (Peloquin)   SI 40
Be Merciful, O Lord (Pishner)   GC2 39/SS
Be Merciful, O Lord (Schiavone)  GIA 2845/OCP 9805/JS 902/LP 33
Be Merciful, O Lord (Smith)  CCS 3494
Be Merciful, O Lord (Sullivan)  WC 409
Be Merciful, O Lord (Walker)   JS 46
Be Merciful, O Lord (Ward)  WC 411/WS
Be Merciful, O Lord (Willcock)  PFS 14/JS 46/SS
Create in Me/Oh Dios, Crea en Mí (Alonso)   GC2 38
Create in Me (Haas)   GC 57/GC2 37/PCY3 41
Create in Me (Hurd)  MI‑BB/JS 562/GP 209
Create in Me (Kendzia) MI-BB/JS 47
Create in Me (Kogut) PCY10 24
Have Mercy, Lord (Gelineau)  WOR 41/GC 55/GC2 40/CBW 364
Have Mercy on Me, O Lord (Warner)  PST 21
Have Mercy on Us, Lord (Murray)  CBW 41
Have Mercy on Us, Lord (Petty)   WC 410
Misericordia, Señor (Florián) Cantos 64
Misericordia, Señor (Ponce Rangel) GP 211
Misericordia, Señor/Mercy, Lord (Schiavone) FYC 210
Misericordia, Señor/Show Us Your Mercy, O Lord (Hurd) FYC 209
O Dios, Crea en Mí/Create in Me (Cortés)   FYC 211/JS 48
Remember Your Love (Kreutz)   BB
We Have Sinned, Lord   PSL C-167/SS

2 Corinthians 5:20–6:2. Writing to his favorite community—and also the community that seemed to have had the most problem with internal divisions—Paul calls on the Corinthians to become Christ to one another by taking on the very mission that Jesus accomplished, becoming reconcilers for each other just as Jesus has reconciled humanity and God.

Matthew 6:1-6, 16-18. Alms, prayer, and fasting are the three traditional actions for this season of repentance. When he discusses these activities, Jesus proposes that they be undertaken seriously and with no attempt to promote one's own piety.

Music Suggestions

Choral Anthems

Songs for the Liturgy
Again We Keep This Solemn Fast (1,G)  WOR 420/WC 531/CBW 352/RS 559/WS/HG 158/PMB 233/JS 394/GC2 407/BB/SS
Ashes   GC 883/GC2 852/GP 340/BB/JS 374/RS 957
Attende Domine (1,Ps,Lat‑Eng)  WOR 414/WC 528/RS 552/GC 387/BB/WS/PMB 239/JS 378/SS
*Be Reconciled as One (2)  GP 469
Broken Cisterns Walled in Stone (1,Ps,G)   JS 385
Change Our Hearts (1,G)  GP 349/GC 394/GC2 414/MI‑BB
*Deep Within, v 3 (1) GC 399/GC2 419/RS 546
Dust and Ashes  GC 381/GC2 392/RS 539/SS
Eternal Lord of Love (1)  JS 390/CBW 360/RS 554/GC 385
Forgive Our Sins (2)  WOR 754/CBW 620/WC 684/JS 556/GC 879/GC2 848/RS 952/PMB 324/WS/SS
From Ashes to the Living Font   WC 529/RS 561/WS/PMB 236/GC 402/SS
From the Depths of Sin and Sadness (Ps)  WC 535/CBW 487
From the Depths We Cry to Thee (Ps)  JS 386/BB
*Give: Your Father Sees (G)   PSL C-211/SS
Grant to Us, O Lord (1,G)  WC 683/CBW 621/RS 558/WS/PMB 329
*Have Mercy, Lord, on Us (Ps)  WOR 753/CBW 358/PMB 328/WC 677/WS
Have Mercy on Me (E)   BFW 48/SS
Hold Us in Your Mercy (Ps)  GC 398/GC2 398/GP 350
Hosea (1)  WC 680/MI‑BB/GC 386/GC2 405/JS 559/GP 471/WS/PMB 327/SS
I Will Be Your God (1)   JS 383
In These Days of Lenten Journey (1)   BB/JS 392
It Shocked Them That the Master Did Not Fast (G)  WOR 637
Leave the Past in Ashes (1)   BB
*Led by the Spirit (1)   BB
*Let Justice Roll Like a River (1,G)  GC 716/GC2 709
*Lord Jesus Christ (Ps)   GC 409
*Mercy, O God (1,Ps,2)   GC 417/SS
O Christ, Bright Sun of Justice (G)   JS 389
*O Give Us, Lord, Your Help (C)   BFW 59/SS
*O Lord, Your Mercy (E)   IH 14/WS
O Merciful Redeemer (1,Ps)  CBW 369
*O Sun of Justice (2)  WOR 424/CBW 371/RS 544/SS
*Parce Domine (1, Lat‑Eng)  WOR 416/WC 536/BB/JS 376/GC 383/GC2 412/RS 549/WS/PMB 228/SS
Ps 130: With the Lord (1,Ps,2)
*Remember You Are Dust (1,2)   GC2 391
Remember Your Love – Dameans (1,Ps)  GC 881/GC2 851/GP 474/MI‑BB/RS 550/JS 561
Remember Your Mercy, Lord (1,Ps)   GP 476/GC 885
*Return to God (1,2)  GC 389/GC2 410/RS 555/WC 538/WS/SS
Return to Me (1)  GP 347
Return to the Lord  (1)  GP 472/GC 415
Save Your People (1,Ps)  GP 341/BB
Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us (Ps)  LMGM 47
*Signed by Ashes (Ps)   BB/JS 375
Somebody's Knocking at Your Door (1)  LMGM 34/WOR 415/GC 395/GC2 394/RS 547/GP 354/WC 728/WS/JS 388/BB
The Cross of Jesus (Ps,2)   GC2 396/SS 797
The Kingdom Calls Us to Repent (1,Ps)   BB
*This Is Our Accepted Time (2)  WC 539/PMB 231
*This Is the Time (2)  RS 556/SS
This Season Calls Us (1,2)   JS 382
Though the Mountains May Fall (1,2)  GC 602/GC2 595/CBW 665/MI‑BB/JS 715/GP 605          
Tree of Life – Thompson (1)   WS
Turn My Heart, O God (1,Ps)   GC2 561
*Turn Our Hearts (1,Ps)   BB
Turn to Me (1)  JS 377/MI-BB/GP 342
Turn to the Living God (Ps)   GC2 408
*Wash Me Clean (Ps)   BB
*Wash Me, Cleanse Me (Ps)  GC 400
We Are Called (1,G)  GC 718/GC2 710/RS 820/WC 792/WS/MI-BB/SS
What Does the Lord Require (G)  WOR 624/RS 785
When from Bondage (2)   SS
With These Ashes (Distr of Ashes)   BB
Without Seeing You (1,G)  GC 844/GC2 842
*Yes, I Shall Arise -- Deiss (Ps)  WC 679/WS/PMB 325
*You Are Rich in Mercy (E)   PSL C-209/SS
You Shall Be My People (1,Ps)   WC 759


Choral Anthems

Title of Anthem, Voicing & Instrumentation Composer/arranger/editor Publisher & edition #  
Attende Domine (SAB)
Attende Domine (SATB)
Aureole Editions/MSM AE61
Cantica Nova 5004
Be Merciful, O God (SAB, Organ)
Ferris, William Paraclete (PPM09814) (PS)
Blessed Are They (SATB, Organ, opt. Flute) Jennings, Carolyn Choristers Guild (CGA 896) (C)
Cast Me Not Away (SATB) Powell Paraclete 0708 (PS)
Clean Heart, A (SATB, Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB, Organ/Keboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (2-part mixed)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (SA, Organ/Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God (SATB, TTBB)
Create in Me, O God (SATB, Organk/Keyboard)
Create in Me, O God in “Psalms Together II” (Unison)
Create in Me (SAB, Organ)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SATB)
Create in Me a Clean Heart (SAB)

Harlan, Benjamin
Nelson, Ronald A.
Schalk, Carl
Bouman, Paul
Willan, Healy
Brahms, Johannes
Marshall, Jane
Gerike, Henry V.
Christiansen, Paul J.

GlorySound/Shawnee (A-6731)
Kjos (8808)
Concordia (98-2543
Concordia (98-1143)
Concordia (98-2238)
G. Schirmer (7504)
Choristers Guild (CGA750)
Augsburg (0800656040)
Augsburg (0800645847)
St. James Press
Belwin Mills FEC 09446
Roger Dean/Lorenz 10/2207R
Paraclete 0006
Augsburg 11-0627
Happy Are Those Who Delight
(Unison, Organ, Flute, opt. String Quartet)
Hillert, Richard GIA (G-4259) (C)
Have Mercy on Me (SATB) Tomkins, Thomas/ed. Proulx, Richard GIA (G-1899) (A, PS)
Have Mercy on Me, O God (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Have Mercy on Me, O God (SATB, Organ/Keyboard)
Schalk, Carl Concordia (98-7845)
Augsburg (0800657845), ED003877
(A, PS)
Hymn for Lent, A (Unison, Organ, opt. Brass Quartet) Wyton, Alec Paraclete (PPM08809) (1)
In Jejunio et Fletu (SAATB) Tallis CPDL 1
Lenten Proclamation, A (3 voices, 11 handbells)
Chepponis, James GIA (G-2761) (1, 2)
Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake (SATB)
Lord, For Thy Tender Mercies Sake (SAB)
Farrant, Richard or Hilton, John
GIA (G-3049)
Selah 420-239
Lord, Have Mercy (SAB, Keyboard) Bach, Johann Sebastian/arr. Hopson, Hal Somerset Press (MW 1246) (A)
Miserere Mei (SATB)
Miserere Mei (SATTB)
Miserere Mei/Mercy Grant Unto Me (SATB, Latin/English)
Byrd, William Oxford (3520532 or TCM 26),
Oxford (3520532 or TCM 26)
Miserere Mei (SATB)
Miserere Mei
diLasso, Orlando
diLasso, Orlando
GIA (G-3007)
Miserere Mei (SATB) Lotti, Antonio Boosey & Hawkes (1938), CPDL (PS)
Miserere Mei (SATB/SATB)
Miserere Mei (SSATB)
Allegri, Gregorio (Novello (29 0291)
Chester (CH55059)
Miserere Mei/Mercy Grant unto me (SATB, Latin/English) Lycan, Mary Augsburg (11-10267) (PS)
O God, Have Mercy (SATB) Pfautsch Hinshaw HMC 1875 (PS)
Parce Domine (SATB) Nowowiejski Plymouth Music Co. 3920105 1
Psalm 1 (SSATB, Piano/Organ) Carter, Nathan GIA (G-6024) (C)
Psalm 51: 1-13 (Unison or 2-part, Organ/Keyboard)
Psalm 51 - Have Mercy on Me, O God (Two Lenten Anthems) (SATB)
Rotermund, D.
Concordia 98-3037
R. Egan
Psalm of Confession, A (SATB, opt Solo) Hopson, Hal H. Augsburg (080065952X) (A, PS)
Purge Me, O Lord (SATB) Tallis, Thomas Oxford (TCM67) (A)
Restore My Soul (SATB) Powell St. James Press (PS)
Return to the Lord (TTBB, Keyboard)
Return to the Lord, Your God (SATB, Keyboard)
Gerike, Henry V. Concordia (98-3274)
Concordia (98-2742)
(1, A)
Sacrafice, The (SATB) Shephard St. James Press (PS)
Turn Thy Face from My Sins (SATB)
Turn Thy Face from My Sins (SATB)
Attwood, Thomas
Attwood, Thomas
Oxford in “The New Church Anthem Book” (0193531097)
Wash Me Thoroughly (SATB, Organ/Keyboard) Wesley, Samuel Sebastian Oxford (0193531097) (A)
Wash Me Through and Through
(SATB, opt. Unison, opt. Handbells)
Hallock Peter Ionian Arts (CH-1014) (PS, A)