Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights

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Scripture References

Thematically related:

Further Reflections on Scripture References

The text, though intended for Lent and certainly introspective, doggedly points past the suffering, self-denial, and difficultly of life, toward the Resurrection. Persistently pointing to the hope of Easter, each of its stanzas begins with an allusion to where Christians are in the world and ends with a final direct reference to Jesus’ rising from death.


Sing! A New Creation

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Stanzas 5-6 speak of the hope of “resurrection morn” and “Easter Day,” alluding to hope and confidence expressed so beautifully in Our World Belongs to God, paragraphs 56-58.


Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights

Call to Worship

Brothers and sisters in Christ,
every year at Easter,
during the time of the “Christian Passover,”
we celebrate our redemption
through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Lent is a time to prepare for this celebration
and to practice with discipline daily repentance,
our daily dying and rising in union with Christ.
We begin this season
by acknowledging our need for repentance
and for the mercy and forgiveness
proclaimed in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Holy and loving God,
as we worship you today,
we long for your Spirit to both comfort and challenge us,
to help us become more holy and more loving.
In a world that does not understand repentance,
we pray for new understanding, humility, patience, and discipline
that will help us die to sin and live for Jesus. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Lord God,
in this season of Lent
we look forward to our remembrance of Jesus’ death
and our celebration of his resurrection.
We pray that your Spirit will renew in us today
our anticipation for these events
and our awareness that Jesus’ death and resurrection
are a sure source of hope and life.
In the power of Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Our congregation invites you
to observe this season of Lent
through self-examination and penitence,
prayer and fasting,
reading and meditating on the Word of God,
and works of love and witness.
Let us bow before God, our Creator and Redeemer,
and confess our sin.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Genuine repentance involves two things:
the dying-away of the old self and the coming-to-life of the new.
The dying-away of the old self is to be genuinely sorry for sin,
to hate it more and more, and to run away from it.
The coming-to-life of the new self
is wholehearted joy in God through Christ
and a delight to do every kind of good as God wants us to.
Together, as Christ’s body, we now confess our sin
and express our longing to live in joyful obedience to God.
—based on Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A’s 88-90
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Most merciful God
whose Son, Jesus Christ, was tempted in every way, yet was without sin,
we confess before you our own sinfulness;
we have hungered after that which does not satisfy;
we have compromised with evil;
we have doubted your power to protect us.
Forgive our lack of faith; have mercy on our weakness.
Restore in us such trust and love that we may walk in your ways and delight in doing
your will. Amen.
[John Paarlberg in Reformed Worship 34:6]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

God of comfort and mercy,
you sent your prophets to proclaim,
“Make straight in the wilderness a highway for our God.”
We confess we have not done as you asked;
instead, we have sinned in thoughts, words, and deeds
by what we have done and by what we have left undone.
[silent confession]
In your mercy, forgive us, O Lord;
help us to proclaim your message.
Equip us to walk more faithfully in the footsteps of Christ,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Word of God Incarnate,
you came to this world to accomplish salvation.
By your grace you call us to repent, to be crucified with you,
that we might be raised as new creations.
But we confess that often we do not live as renewed people.
We confess that often we “go with the flow”
instead of stemming sin’s tide.
Forgive us when we do not show evidence of renewal.
Forgive us when we let the fruit of the Spirit
be choked by the weeds of evil.
You have made us your children, members of your kingdom.
Help us to show evidence of that every day
as we work to bring your justice, peace, gentleness,
goodness, love, joy, and hope to all we meet.
For Jesus’ sake, Amen.
[Reformed Worship 34:18]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Righteous God, in Christ you became sin for us.
You took what we are so that we might become what you are.
But we confess that often we ignore our sin.
We confess that too often we do not confess.
We keep silent about the sin that clings to us.
But our sins are too great a burden for us.
Forgive us. In Christ take away our iniquity.
You are our stronghold, our hiding place.
May we confess our sins, that we might then rejoice
and be glad in you and in the righteousness
that flows over us as a mighty stream of grace. In Christ, Amen.
[Reformed Worship 34:19]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


May our covenant God encompass you
with the mysterious power of the Spirit of God
and transform you to become more and more like Christ.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

May the Lord of all compassion
satisfy you in the morning with his steadfast love,
so that you may rejoice and be glad all your days.
May the favor of the Lord our God be upon you,
and may the work of your hands prosper. Amen.
—from Psalm 90:13-17
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

Holy God,
you revealed to the disciples
the everlasting glory of Jesus Christ.
Grant us, who have not seen and yet believe,
the gift of your Holy Spirit,
that we may boldly live the gospel
and shine with your transforming glory
as people changed and changing
through the redeeming presence of our Savior. Amen.
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God, you will not despise. Amen.
—from Psalm 51:15-17, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

6 Faithful and loving God,
as we walk this Lenten journey,
help us to choose the path of obedience and life.
Help us to see clearly the way ahead
and to be confident that your commands
are sweeter than honey, more valuable than gold. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The following is a guide for extemporaneous prayers for services that remember Jesus’ transfiguration.
The pattern provides a suggested text for the opening and closing of each part of
the prayer and calls for extemporaneous prayers of thanksgiving, petition, and intercession.
Jesus Christ,
glorified and risen Lord,
though you could have stayed on the mountain,
you chose to descend, knowing the agony that lay ahead to bring our salvation.
We thank you for your redemption, that can be seen even now in
creation . . .
the nations of the world . . .
world leaders . . .
our nation . . .
our community . . .
the church universal . . .
our church . . .
the life of . . .
our own lives . . .
Yet knowing that many in this world
are not willing to acknowledge you as God and Savior,
or are unable to pray,
we offer these prayers on their behalf:
for creation and its care . . .
for the nations of the world . . .
for our nation and its leaders . . .
for our community and those who govern . . .
for the church universal, its mission, and those who minister . . .
for this local congregation and its ministry . . .
for persons with particular needs . . .
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ,
our glorified and risen Lord. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Covenant God of love and mercy,
we come to you at the beginning of these forty days,
remembering how Jesus fasted and prayed
for forty days in the wilderness.
We remember how he steadfastly set his face toward Jerusalem,
obedient in living and dying, even through death on a cross.
We too would walk these next forty days in humble obedience,
following our Savior, Jesus Christ,
in our everyday lives
at home, at work, and in your world.
Prepare us anew, we pray,
to keep our hearts and minds fixed on Jesus,
ready and willing from now on to live for him. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

3 God of all times and places,
as we leave this place of worship,
help us to know that there is no place we might go
that will separate us from you.
With this sure knowledge,
give us Spirit-inspired courage and imagination
to discern faithful ways of responding
to every person we will meet this week
and to every situation we will encounter.
May our Lenten vows of faithfulness
lead us to joyful obedience all week long. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Maker of heaven and earth,
you are our help; we lift our eyes to you.
As we walk this Lenten journey,
you watch over our coming and our going
both now and forevermore.
You are our shade and our protection;
you keep us from all harm.
We ask that you strengthen and guide us
as we do your work in your world.
Convict us of our disobedience,
and enable us to obey your call in our lives.
Open our ears to the cry of the poor.
Teach us to seek and to do justice,
to stay in the path of understanding,
to pursue righteousness and love
in the strong name of your Son, our Savior. Amen.
—based on Psalm 121
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights

Tune Information

G Major


Musical Suggestion

During Lent last year we sang different groups of stanzas each week, depending on what fit best with the Scripture and sermon. The first week the choir sang the first two stanzas as a call to worship; the next week the choir sang stanza 1 and the congregation joined on stanzas 2 and 3; the next week we sang 1, 2, 4, 5. The tune TALLIS CANON invites singing in harmony, so on Palm Sunday we sang the song at the end of the service as our final hymn. The choir stood in the back, singing unaccompanied on stanza 1; the congregation joined us unaccompanied on stanza 5; and then on stanza 6 the congregation began and the choir sang in canon, singing in harmony one phrase after the congregation. It was a very beautiful ending to the service, pointing to Easter Sunday.
We found that the hymn was a good way to journey “throughout these Lenten days and nights.”
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 58)
— Emily Brink

Led by organ accompaniment, a moderate tempo will serve most acoustic situations with this familiar classic tune. Keep the tempo steady and avoid slowing at the close of every stanza; simply add a measure at the end of each stanza to keep the pulse going. A steady tempo is essential when singing in canon. The canon works well in unison as well as in harmony; at one measure (as indicated) or in two measure units; for two different groups (as indicated), or three, or four.
Sing subdued for stanzas 1-4, crescendo on 5, and sing with abandon and joy on stanza 6, adding instruments and singing in canon. As an alternative to organ accompaniment, a string, woodwind, or brass quartet (especially on the final stanza) may be employed. A typical “praise band” is less stylistically appropriate for this tune. 

Throughout These Lenten Days and Nights

Hymn Story/Background

This text invites singing on the first Sunday in Lent. This song could also seve as a Lenten theme song, adding a stanza each week during Lent. Each stanza is like a small pilgrimage as we walk with Christ toward the cross and every stanza ends with hope and joy in the resurrection of Christ.
— Emily Brink

TALLIS CANON is one of nine tunes Thomas Tallis contributed to Matthew Parker's Psalter (around 1561). There it was used as a setting for Psalm 67. In the original tune the melody began in the tenor, followed by the soprano, and featured repeated phrases. Thomas Ravenscroft published the tune, with the repeat­ phrases omitted, in his Whole Book of Psalmes (1621). The Ravenscroft version is the setting that virtually all modern hymnals use for this text.
TALLIS CANON is a round most congregations can easily sing in two parts, especially when women sing the first part and men sing the second. The congregation could also sing the hymn as a four-part round (each entry at four beats). Try also to sing unaccom­panied (organists could sound the first phrase of each entry and then sing along).
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Following his graduation from Union Theological Seminary in 1972, James Gertmenian (b. South Pasedena, California, 1947) served congregations in New York, Connecticut, and Minnesota before accepting a call to Plymouth Congregational Church in Minneapolis, where he is pastor and senior staff member.

Composer Information

Thomas Tallis (b. Leicestershire [?], England, c. 1505; d. Greenwich, Kent, England 1585) was one of the few Tudor musicians who served during the reigns of Henry VIII: Edward VI, Mary, and Elizabeth I and managed to remain in the good favor of both Catholic and Protestant monarchs. He was court organist and composer from 1543 until his death, composing music for Roman Catholic masses and Anglican liturgies (depending on the monarch). With William Byrd, Tallis also enjoyed a long-term monopoly on music printing. Prior to his court connections Tallis had served at Waltham Abbey and Canterbury Cathedral. He composed mostly church music, including Latin motets, English anthems, settings of the liturgy, magnificats, and two sets of lamentations. His most extensive contrapuntal work was the choral composition, "Spem in alium," a work in forty parts for eight five-voice choirs. He also provided nine modal psalm tunes for Matthew Parker's Psalter (c. 1561).
— Bert Polman
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