A liturgical resource of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne
Contact Us

Music overview

Lent, Year C

6 March 2022


  • As One Voice 12, and The Next Generation—AOV1, AOV2, AOVNG
  • Catholic Worship Book and Catholic Worship Book II—CWB, CWBII
  • Gather (3rd edition)—G
  • Gather Australia—GA
  • Psalms for Feasts and Seasons—PFS
  • Digital download—DD
  • Selected collection—SC

Lenten Mass settings 

A change in Mass setting from whatever is usually used in Ordinary Time serves to highlight the change of liturgical season. In keeping with the more introspective and reflective character of the season of Lent, a Mass setting that is simpler and more contemplative would be appropriate. This deepens the character of the season. Use the Lenten acclamations, remembering that the Gospel acclamation also changes to reflect the season. See the ‘Mass Settings’ section in CWBII, as well as the ‘Service Music’ section in CWBII for the seasonal responses. There is no Gloria sung and no Alleluia Gospel acclamation used in Lent. Lent is a time for returning to God in all aspects of our lives; the music chosen should reflect and support this purpose. The General Instruction of the Roman Missal says that ‘In Lent the playing of the organ and musical instruments is allowed only in order to support the singing. Exceptions, however, are Laetare Sunday (fourth Sunday of Lent), Solemnities, and Feasts’ (GIRM, §313).

Some suggested settings are:

  • Mass Shalom (Smith, rev. Mason)—AOV1 195 (revised 3rd edn only), CWBII 27a, e, f, g, k, DD (Liturgical Song)
  • Mass of St Francis (Taylor)—CWBII 22a, c, e, g, h
  • Chant Mass—CWBII 4a or b, 11a, 12a, 17a or b; or G 169, 179, 180A, 185

Rite of sprinkling

  • Cleanse us, Lord (Willcock)—GA 136

The Scrutinies 

Some suggestions for the third, fourth and fifth Sunday of Lent (as a gathering song, a song after the homily or after the exorcism) are:

  • God to enfold you—CWBII 96
  • I heard the voice of Jesus say—AOV1 54, CWBII 512, G 724, GA 468

Dismissal of the elect

  • Dismissal of the Elect—GA 167
  • Go in peace—CWBII 89
  • Go now and listen to the Word of God—CWBII 90
  • In the peace of Christ—CWBII 91
  • This is our faith—CWBII 109

Lenten psalms

Suggested psalm collections

  • Catholic Worship Book
  • Gather Australia 
  • Gather (3rd Edition)
  • Praise the Lord My Soul (Richard Connolly)—SC (Willow Publishing, Sydney)
  • Psallite: Sacred Song for Liturgy and Life—DD (Liturgical Press, Collegeville)
  • Psalms for All Time (Paul Mason)—DD (Liturgical Song, Wollongong, NSW )
  • Psalms for Feasts and Seasons (Willcock)—SC (Collins Dove, Melbourne)
  • Psalms for the Sundays of Year C (O’Brien)—SC (self-published in Brighton, SA)
  • Responsorial Psalms Yr A (Herry)— DD (Marist Music, free)
  • Responsorial Psalms: Year C (Smith)—DD (Willow Publishing, Sydney)
  • The Lyric Psalter: Year C (Alonso/Haugen)—SC (Willow Publishing, Sydney)

Seasonal responsorial psalms for Lent

  • Seasonal Psalm 50 (51): Be merciful, O Lord (Mews)—CWB 202
  • Seasonal Psalm 50 (51): Be merciful, O Lord (O’Brien)—CWBII 92
  • Seasonal Psalm 50 (51): Be merciful, O Lord (Willcock)—GA 41, PFS 14
  • Seasonal Psalm 90 (91): Be with me, Lord (Haugen)—CWB 627, CWBII 286, G 65, GA 53
  • Seasonal Psalm 90 (91): Be with me, Lord (Willcock)—PFS 16

Seasonal psalms can be used at any liturgy during Lent.

Notes on seasonal psalms, common responsorial psalms and common responses

Seasonal psalms, common responsorial psalms and common responses are a resource for communities who wish to sing the responsorial psalm but find they cannot learn new music each week. These settings can be sung over some weeks: seasonal and common responsorial psalms are sung as they are written, and common responses allow for the use of a common antiphon and the psalm verses set for each week. Over time, by using the psalms suggested, a community can gradually build its repertoire and ensure that the sung responsorial psalm stays a regular part of the Liturgy of the Word.

Suggested gospel acclamations

  • Glory and praise (Deiss)—CWBII 54, GA 148
  • Glory and praise (Willcock)—CWBII 55
  • Praise and honour (Jones)—CWBII 58
  • Praise and honour, from Mass Shalom—CWBII 27e
  • Praise and honour, from Orbis factor—CWBII 59

It is preferable to use one acclamation throughout the whole season. See also CWBII 43–53.

Solo singing or instrumentals

The procession of the gifts or offertory is an suitable time for an appropriate piece from a solo singer, or the choir. This piece may replace a communal hymn or song at this time.

After Communion

The GIRM (§88) instructs that when the distribution of Communion is finished, there is a time of silence and prayer. This period of silence may then be followed by a thanksgiving hymn, psalm or canticle that is to be sung by all.

This is a block of text. Double-click this text to edit it.
magnifiercrosschevron-downmenu-circlecross-circle linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram