We’ve just come out of Holy Week; the most important week in the year for believers. Some may say that Christmas is their favorite holiday, with all it’s festivities and joy; however, Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday are the whole reason for the Christmas season. For without Holy Week, Christmas would be a meaningless, child’s holiday with no more significance than another birthday party.
My heart and mind is filled with music during this time of year. The music of Good Friday, often in its minor keys, helps me focus on the anguish of the cross which was borne on my behalf. While Resurrection Morning stands in stark juxtaposition with pure exhilaration as we now see the Risen King, who conquered death and the grave, giving believers the hope of eternal life.
Since I haven’t done a playlist in a while, I figured I would give a little insight into what I’m listening to these days. Some songs which I have used in our services throughout the year, and others which I have appreciated in my own private times of worship. These songs remind us of Christ and His great love demonstrated on Calvary, and more importantly, in the empty tomb. Because as believers, we don’t just celebrate the death and resurrection just one weekend each year; we live every moment of our lives here on earth and into eternity, in response to it.
J.S. Bach – O Sacred Head Now Wounded (in German)
From Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, I had to include this one. You probably know it in English as “O Sacred Head Now Wounded,” but enjoy the original German, sung by this stunning Chorale.
Matt Papa – It Is Finished
Keith & Kristyn Getty, with Graham Kendrick – My Soul Longs for the Lord
Keith & Kristyn debuted this song at the 2015 Master’s Seminary Inerrancy Summit, and I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the sheet music for this beautiful piece.
Sovereign Grace – Hail the Day
Steve Green – Christ the Lord is Risen Today.
I love Steve Green’s music, and I love this hymn. So it’s a great combination altogether.
Don Francisco – He’s Alive
I remember the first time I heard this Don Francisco classic, and it was when Dolly Parton sang it. For a long time afterwards I never heard it again, and then a few years later stumbled upon it. Now, thanks to YouTube, I can relive listening to this one, and still get chills. While it’s odd for Dolly to be singing the resurrection account of Peter from the first person, I still love it. (On a side note, don’t you miss when Music Awards shows were actually about music and musicianship?)
Enfield – Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
The cost of true discipleship is examined and followed. A stirring hymn, which is a great song for congregational use.
Aaron Keyes – Psalm 62 (My Soul Finds Rest)
I am learning more about the songbook of Aaron Keyes these days, and I am really appreciating what he has written. Our congregation at Grace Bible Church loves to sing this beautiful song. Now if only I could grow my hair out like his.
Fernando Ortega – Our Great God
I couldn’t have a playlist without Fernando, now, could I?
Cindy Morgan – Praise the King
This whole album is a stirring walk through Holy Week. It defies the standard CCM song format and paints a gripping musical portrait of what went on that week. The songs were clearly not written for radio airplay, but almost act as part of a modern day oratorio. It closes with this song, and after the agony and cacophony of everything else, this song stands out beautifully. It gets me choked up almost every time I hear it and you will often hear me belting this one at that top of my lungs in the car.
Sean Carter – Until that Day Comes
What does the resurrection inspire in the hearts of believers? It makes us long for His return, and it spurs us on to share the good news of the Gospel. Oh, how I long and pray for that Day when He comes back, but until then, we as believers have a task to take the gospel to all the nations.
There will come a day when God will be our light
and the dark of night will be sent to its grave.
And there will come a time when we will live forever
in a city that will never pass away.
Oh how my soul yearns and even faints.
But until that day comes I will go and warn the darkness
that the light of Jesus Christ has overcome.
And until that day comes I will speak to all injustice
that the moment of its ending is sure to come
Oh the day will surely come
And then, as a bonus, I always appreciate a good laugh, so I present you with the scary music & dancing styles of “The Way International”