Lent is a wonderful season for singing and praying the Psalms. They are so rich in the language of mercy.
On Ash Wednesday and the first Sunday of Lent, the psalm texts seem to speak more of our need for God’s mercy. The remaining Sunday’s of Year C, as we hear Luke’s account of the Transfiguration and other texts from Luke about conversion, the psalms invite us to “see the goodness of the Lord.”
From Ash Wednesday through to the fifth Sunday of Lent the responsorial psalms serve to:
- Remind us of our own sinfulness – “Have Mercy On Us, O Lord, for We Have Sinned” (Psalm 50)
- Point us to God for mercy – “The Lord is My Light and My Help” (Psalm 26)
- Proclaim God’s unending love – “The Lord is Compassion and Love” (Psalm 102)
If you aren’t already singing the Psalms regularly in your school or parish, the season of Lent is a great time to start. Here are the links to accessible, contemporary settings that have been tried and tested.
- Ash Wednesday
“Have Mercy On Us, O Lord, for We Have Sinned” (Psalm 50)
- 1st Sunday of Lent, Year C
“Be With Me, O Lord in My Distress” (Psalm 90)
- 2nd Sunday of Lent, Year C
“The Lord is My Light and My Help” (Psalm 26)
- 3rd Sunday of Lent, Year C
“The Lord is Compassion and Love” (Psalm 102)
- 4th Sunday of Lent, Year C
“Taste and See that the Lord is Good” (Psalm 33)
- 5th Sunday of Lent, Year C
“What Marvels the Lord worked for us!” (Psalm 125)
Of course, the Psalms can be prayed and sung outside of Mass too. Sing them during morning prayer and assembly; in the classroom or staffroom, during Children’s Liturgy of the Word. And make the most of them during your Lenten Reconciliation Services.
How do you plan to use the Psalms during Lent? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below…