As we enter the season of Lent once again, the cross of ashes on our foreheads and the pangs of hunger in our bellies remind us that we are dust and unto dust we shall return, so we must learn to hunger for God alone—to rely not on our own strength or powers of self-mastery, but to beg humbly for the graces that enable us to carry our crosses daily in imitation of Jesus Christ.
While we may deprive ourselves of creature comforts during this season, there is still nourishment to be found for our journey through the desert to the empty tomb. For those who love the beauty of visual art, or for those who have chosen to incorporate more Scripture into their prayer life this Lent, our free series on The Saint John’s Bible launched on Ash Wednesday. For those who find solace and strength in music, we’ve curated a playlist of 40 songs for these 40 days. This playlist includes a little bit of everything: the first 20 songs are contemporary; some even secular, with lyrical themes of forgiveness, conversion, and a sense of journeying toward something greater. The second 20 songs are more explicitly sacred or liturgical, comprising a more classical compositional style.
For those who would like to dive yet deeper, liner notes published in four parts at Church Life Journal (The Solemn Joy of Lent, Facing Lent Discouragement, Glimpsing Eternity through Lent Melody, and Lent Intensifies) offer a glimpse into each song on the playlist. Whatever your musical leanings, whatever your Lenten resolutions, may the songs on this playlist provide you with fodder for reflection and strength for your journey.