Hymns as Anthems for Holy Week

Have you found that you may be missing some singers for Holy Week but want a choir presence for these services?  Here are some suggestions for using hymns as anthems.

SUNDAY OF THE PASSION: PALM SUNDAY

H82 #164                   Alone thou goest forth, O Lord

  • For those with four parts, sing unison on Stanzas 1 and 4 and part on Stanzas 2 and 3
  • Sopranos can sing the tenor line an octave higher on Stanza 4
  • Alternate high and low voices on the inner stanzas.

H82  #439      What wondrous love is this

  • Use a guitar for accompaniment
  • Sing one stanza in a canon
  • Use the harmony with the melody in the tenor
  • Have the tenors and basses drone on D and A while sopranos and altos sing the melody on Stanzas 1 and 3 and a soloist on Stanza 2
  • Use handbells on a low D and A

WLP #735      O sacred head sore wounded (WLP)

  • Have the choir sing on Stanzas 1 and 3 and a soloist on Stanza 2

VF    #42        Would you share Christ’s passion (VF)

*          If four parts are available sing Stanzas 1 and 3 in part and sopranos on the melody and other parts humming or oohs on the parts.

MAUNDY THURSDAY

H82  #439                  What wondrous love is this (see Palm Sunday)

H82  #329                  Now, my tongue, the mystery telling

  • Alternate high and low verses and sing one stanza a capella with soft bells
  • For the last two stanzas use an alternate tune such as St. Thomas, a capella if possible

H82  #322                  When Jesus died to save us

  • If four parts are available sing the whole hymn in parts
  • If only two parts are available have the high voices sing the melody and the low voices sing the tenor line.  Reverse on Stanza 2

H82  #606                  Where charity and love prevail

  • All on the antiphon and alternate high and low voices for the stanzas
  • Sing one stanza a capella with some soft random bells (F5, G5, B5, D6)
  • If a C instrument is available, use some of the notes in the alto and tenor lines of the accompaniment one octave higher

GOOD FRIDAY

LEVAS #33                 He never said a mumbalin’ word

  • Sopranos or soloist on “They crucified my Lord” each time and four parts on the remainder
  • Tenors or soloist on alternate stanzas

WLP  #735                 O sacred head (see Palm Sunday)

H82  #164                  Alone thou goest forth, O Lord (see Palm Sunday)

H82  #159                  At the cross her vigil keeping

  • Alternate high and low voices unaccompanied
  • Add a bell at each half note to keep pitch refreshed
  • Make one stanza accompanied in 4/4 time

VF     #43                   At the foot of the cross (VF)

  • Piano and C instrument on the melody
  • Alternate between high and low voices

WLP  #737                 Faithful cross, above all other

  • If four parts are available sing them on Stanzas 1,2,4
  • For Stanza 2 us Jesu dulce memoria

H82  #585                  Morning glory, starlit sky

  • Alternate between high and low voices
  • Use a C instrument on the melody.  On one stanza have the instrumentalist play the tenor line of the alternative accompaniment one octave higher
  • If four parts are available have them sing the notes of the alternative accompanment

H82  #442                  In the cross of Christ I glory

  • Alternate high and low voices.  Or divide at the key change
  • Use a C instrument on the melody and on one stanza play the alto line of the accompanment one octave higher
  • Use one of the suggested alternate tunes – Charlestown

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