Poems for Lent; and Links to Some Good Websites for Lent, Holy Week and Good Friday poems

April 2, 2014

During Lent we have had many many visitors coming to our site looking for poems for Lent, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Week…  I confess that posting poetry has not been my strong suit, particularly as I find that somehow poetry and the internet don’t always go together well.  Poetry is something to savor and reflect on slowly.  Blogging and the internet is often rushed.  Glance quickly, click and move on…  But since so many are eager for good poems, and since I love it when we can point people to good resources, I thought I’d try to at least round up a list of some poems we’ve posted over the years and also provide links to some other good poetry resouces.

The poems linked below mostly focus on Lenten themes.   The links listed in the second section, however, will contain many good poems for Holy week and Good Friday and Easter as well.


Here is a compilation of poems for Holy Week, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday & Holy Saturday.

Here is a compilation of poems for Good Friday.


***A brand new resource for 2015 ***43 Poems for Lent – a complete index of Patrick Comerford’s 2012 blog series


1. Poems we’ve posted here at Lent & Beyond

“The Lenten Call” – a poem by Teresa Roberts Johnson

John Donne: An excerpt from Good Friday. 1613. Riding Westward.

Bitter Herbs – A poem for Maundy Thursday

A Poem for Palm Sunday: GK Chesterton’s “The Donkey”

Miserere mei, Deus: Music and poetry for a Lenten Friday

Several Lent Poems by George Herbert

The Agony and the Sinner: Two Lenten Poems by George Herbert

The Poetry of George Herbert set to music…

First Things: two Ash Wednesday meditations on the poetry of T.S. Eliot and Christina Rossetti

George Herbert: Confession

George Herbert: On Repentance

Eden & Maundy Thursday – from the Confessing Reader blog [reflection on a section of Milton’s Paradise Lost]

Encouagement for Lent: John Donne’s Wilt Thou Forgive?

George Herbert – Lord instruct us to improve our fast

William Cowper: Jehovah Our Righteousness

Charles Wesley – Make My Heart a House of Prayer


 2. Other sites and links to find excellent poems linked to the liturgical season

The Rev. Patrick Comerford’s 2012 Lenten Poems series (He posted a poem a day throughout Lent & Holy Week.  Browse the series and you’ll find excellent poems, as well as background information and reflections on the poems.).  Here also is his general Poetry category.

A few of my favorites:

UPDATE:  We’ve now compiled an index of all 43 poems posted by Patrick Comerford in 2012 – 43 Poems for Lent – a complete index of Patrick Comerford’s 2012 blog series


=> Emily Polis Gibson’s website Barnstorming. Emily writes lots of orginial poetry and frequently quotes poems as well.  All accompanied by stunning photographs and soul-nourishing reflections.   A few favorites:


=> Teresa Robert Johnson’s website:  Angliverse

Teresa has written some excellent poems on the themes of the Liturgical year.  I’ve posted several here at L&B in past years, and expect to be posting several more in Holy Week.    Check out her categories for Lent and Holy Week


A few other links:

  • And finally, there’s always Poets.org, a very well-designed site.  You can search by Poet, by Poem, or using Advanced Search, you can search by theme or key word.  Note however that there are NO options to search for poems on the themes related to Holy Week, Good Friday, the Cross, etc.   The religious poetry at this site is quite limited.

Resources for Holy Week: Palm Sunday,Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday

April 2, 2014

Updated April 14

Christine Sine of Mustard Seed Associates who blogs at Godspace is a woman after my own heart with all the wonderful compilations of Lent & Holy Week resources she has been posting this year!

Other great compilation posts at Godspace include:


As far as the resources for Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Good Friday here at Lent & Beyond, I’ve just updated several of our own indexes of Palm Sunday and Good Friday devotionals and prayers.  I’ve also put together several compilations of Poems and links to sites with good Christian poetry.  Here are our several of our Holy Week compilations or featured entries:

Recent Compilations or Featured Posts:

And looking ahead to Easter, here’s one useful link (I’ll add more soon):

A compilation of Easter Prayers


Also, here are several category links:

our Holy Week category

our Palm Sunday category,

our Maundy Thursday category,

our Good Friday category

You can browse those to find all the latest Holy Week related entries here at Lent & Beyond.

We love to hear from our readers!  Please post a comment to share any links to good Palm Sunday, Holy Week and Good Friday resources which you recommend!  Thanks!!

Music for Lent: Not What My Hands Have Done

April 2, 2014

Today I’m posting a very powerful song, which though it’s an old hymn, is new to me.  I just discovered this last week, but it is quickly becoming a favorite, and these are words I need to keep listening to and remembering this Lent.  The version I’ve posted is an adaptation of a hymn originally written by Horatius Bonar in 1861.  How I love that so many musicians and churches are breathing life into wonderful old hymns for a new generation!

This version is by Brian Moss, from the 2006 album Not What My Hands Have Done, available at iTunes.

Here are the lyrics:

Not what my hands have done can save my guilty soul;
Not what my toiling flesh has borne can make my spirit whole.
Not what I feel or do can give me peace with God;
Not all my prayers and sighs and tears can bear my awful load.

Your voice alone, O Lord, can speak to me of grace;
Your power alone, O Son of God, can all my sin erase.
No other work but Yours, no other blood will do;
No strength but that which is divine can bear me safely through.

Thy work alone, O Christ, can ease this weight of sin;
Thy blood alone, O Lamb of God, can give me peace within.
Thy love to me, O God, not mine, O Lord, to Thee,
Can rid me of this dark unrest, and set my spirit free.

I bless the Christ of God; I rest on love divine;
And with unfaltering lip and heart I call this Savior mine.
His cross dispels each doubt; I bury in His tomb
Each thought of unbelief and fear, each lingering shade of gloom.

I praise the God of grace; I trust His truth and might;
He calls me His, I call Him mine, My God, my joy and light.
’Tis He who saveth me, and freely pardon gives;
I love because He loveth me, I live because He lives.


Some interesting background to the hymn can be found here.  Here’s an excerpt:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Tit. 3:5
st. 2 = Eph. 1:7, Eph. 2:8-9, Heb. 9:11-12
st. 3 = John 14:19, 1 John 4:10,

The famous Scottish preacher and hymn author Horatius Bonar (b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 1808; d. Edinburgh, 1889) wrote this text in twelve four-line stanzas, each beginning with the line “Not what these hands have done.” He first published the text in his Hymns of Faith and Hope (2nd series, 1861). The Psalter Hymnal collates the most popular stanzas and includes minor textual changes.

Bonar subtitled the text “Salvation through Christ alone,” and that is surely its theme: my salvation is entirely due to the grace of God, my own works have no merit at all, and nothing but the blood of Christ will do (st. 1-2); my natural response, then, is praise, for “my Lord has saved my life” (st. 3)!

=> The original full twelve stanza version of the hymn may be found here.  (Hymn 175)


Worship leader Aaron Keyes also has an excellent worship song based on this hymn, however it’s a much looser adaptation, not following the original lyrics as closely as the version posted above.

This is from Aaron Keye’s great 2010 album Not Guilty Anymore, which I highly recommend.


For a traditional arrangement of this hymn, you can find it on the album “What a Friend We Have in Jesus, 50 Acappella Hymns” by the London Fox Singers.

A Holy Week Worship Musical – Max Lucado He Chose the Nails

April 2, 2014

He_Chose_Nails_CDYesterday I posted about the Amazon special offer on Max Lucado’s excellent devotional book He Chose the Nails, and mentioned that when the book was first released in 2000, there was also an accompanying music CD released.  The CD is out of print and I cannot find many online versions of the songs, so I am uploading my original CD here for our readers enjoyment.

While I enjoy the whole CD, I most HIGHLY recommend tracks 10 – 15.  They are just OUTSTANDING, especially Track #12 Thread of Scarlet.  Don’t miss a chance to hear this truly wonderful worship song.


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