February Music Notes: The Music of Lent

What language shall I borrow to thank Thee, dearest Friend,
For this, Thy dying sorrow, Thy pity without end?
O make me Thine forever, and should I fainting be,
Lord, let me never, never outlive my love to Thee.

I have never listened to or sung these words to O Sacred Head, Now Wounded without tears filling my eyes. I think it’s because I struggle to find an answer to the question posed in the first two lines of this stanza . . . especially as the words are sung to the hauntingly beautiful minor strains of the Passion Chorale. The previous stanzas call us to remember the wounded and broken body of Christ as He suffered on the cross for us. This verse prompts us to ask how we can possibly thank Him enough for the agony He so lovingly endured on our behalf. It ends with a petition to God to hold us close as we live in love and devotion to our Savior forever.

Maybe our thanks comes in different forms. We trust in Him with our whole being. We pray. We sing praises. We care for those He loves. We acknowledge that His love for us will never end. Could these actions represent the language of thanks that God desires of us? There are so many more ways to show love to our Savior than we will ever even think of. Let’s look for those ways together as we journey through this sacred season.

Kathryn