October 6, 2023

Choral music for Lent, Easter and general use

New and exciting choral music for Ordinary Time

Discover new music for your choir from the Choral Review Service. Highlighting songs of varying difficulty, instrumentation and style, the Choral Review Service will introduce you to inspiring, seasonal choral works from respected liturgical composers three times per year. Below are just a few examples of the music within the Fall 2023 packet with titles for Lent and Easter, plus a detailed description and insight on how to use each piece.

Un Corazón Puro/A Pure Heart
Iván Díaz

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: SAB Choir
Instrumentation: Piano, Guitar, Assembly

This composition captures the fervent desire for transformation and commitment to God’s will. The text, based on Psalm 51:1–12 and Matthew 16:24, is an appeal for healing; effective in either English or Spanish, it will seamlessly unite bilingual assemblies. The uplifting melody allows congregants to quickly familiarize themselves with the piece, making this easy to learn and incorporate into services with themes of Christian life, reconciliation, prayer/petition, and God’s love for us.

Have Mercy, Son of David
Steve Angrisano and Curtis Stephan

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: SATB Choir
Instrumentation: Piano, Guitar, Assembly

The use of modally inflected minor keys musically depicts the message of the lyrics: a longing for Christ’s transformative mercy and the comfort found in prayer. The text, based on the story of the blind man, Bartimaeus, expresses these themes with a simple, earnest refrain and verses which in turn focus on our desire for Heaven, a call to faithful humility, and the encouragement to see Christ in the people around us.

Are You Ready to Drink the Cup
Cyprian Consiglio

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: SAB Choir
Instrumentation: Keyboard, Guitar, Oboe, Cello, Assembly

This heartfelt composition with text based on the Gospels of Mark, John, and Matthew, touches on themes of sacrifice, love, and service, and seamlessly fits into any Eucharistic Liturgy. The SAB choral arrangement is accessible for choirs of varying levels and its appealing melody encourages active assembly participation.

In the Stillness of the Night
Dan Schutte

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: SAB Choir, Descant
Instrumentation: Piano, Guitar, Flute, Oboe, Cello, Assembly

Inspired by the Gospel account of Mary Magdalene’s vigil outside Christ’s tomb after his crucifixion (Matthew 27:57–61), Dan Schutte has written a sublime reflection on discipleship, love for God, and the glory of the Resurrection. He writes, “The refrain captures the voice of Mary as she waited outside the tomb, while the verses speak in the voice of the Risen Christ. In this sense, the song is a conversation between the two of them, but also between us and the Lord of our hearts.”

Faithful to the Spirit’s Prompting
Scot Crandal and Michael Joncas

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: Two-part Choir, Descant
Instrumentation: Keyboard, Guitar, Solo Instrument in C, Assembly

Text writer Michael Joncas states that this piece “seeks to tie together Noah’s transforming experience surviving the Great Flood, Jesus’ transforming experience during forty days of desert-dwelling, and our transforming experience by giving ourselves to the disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving that mark the Christian Lent.” Featuring a new hymn tune, PREVAIL, this intricate-sounding setting is scored modestly: two-part choir, descant, keyboard and/or guitar, and a solo instrument part in C. An accessible piece that can be quickly prepared by most ensembles, the third and final verse may be sung with the descant and the basses doubling the melody for a full, balanced texture.

In You, O Lord, I Take Refuge (In Te Domine Speravi)
James Grzadzinski

Difficulty level: Easy/Medium
Voicing: SATB Choir, A Cappella

A standout for the season of Lent, this SATB a cappella piece offers a wonderful platform for choirs to explore some chromaticism and modal tonality while fostering spiritual formation and conversation on the rich Catholic tradition of singing and praying the Psalms.

The Wisdom of God
Heath Morber

Difficulty level: Medium
Voicing: SATB Choir, A Cappella

Scored for a cappella SATB choir, the interplay of voices and gradual layering of harmonies provides a suitable piece for choirs looking for a brief but rewarding challenge. The unmetered, chant-like melody creates a reflective and meditative quality that invites the listener to contemplate the text, Canticle V from the Orthodox celebration of Holy Thursday Matins.

Explore more music from this season's edition


Choral Review Service

These songs can be found in Choral Packet 106 from the Choral Review Service. Offering music for traditional and contemporary choirs, children’s voices and intercultural ensembles, the Choral Review Service is the best way to find something new for your choir and community.

Learn more