Traditional hymns to ready your mind and spirit for the 40-day fast
Lent is coming with all the hardships, challenges and (hopefully) fruitful instruction that a season of penance and discipline should bring. However, music makes everything better, even fasting. So we’ve come up with a list of Lenten hymns so you can listen while you fast, abstain, and seek out the desert. It might help your fast go … faster.
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
An ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion, the lyrics of which were taken from Habakkuk 2:20. While it is unknown who wrote the hymn, it most likely goes back to at least the year 275. It was originally written as a Cherubic hymn, hymns which symbolically bring those present at the liturgy into the presence of the angels gathered around God’s throne.
A Mozarabic hymn from the 10th century. It is written in the Gregorian style and because of its penitent character it is primarily sung during the Lenten season. The song is not part of the regular liturgy, but it could be used during Communion in a regular Mass.
Soul of My Savior
While we know that “Anima Christi” dates back to the 14th century, the author is not certain. It has however been attributed to Jesuit priest William J. Maher. It became popular with British Roman Catholics in the latter half of the 19th century.
Forty Days and Forty Nights
“Forty Days and Forty Nights” was written in 1856 by George Hunt Smyttan. It was originally written as “Lenten Poetry,” but music was added to it.
All Glory, Laud and Honor
An English translation of the Latin hymn “Gloria, laus et honor” by John Mason Neale. Originally written by Theodulf of Orléans, the tune dates back to 820. It is traditionally sung on Palm Sunday.