"Immortal Love, Forever Full" and 15 More Anthems for Holy Week

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Holy Week is the week in between Palm Sunday and Easter. It’s the time in the church year when we remember the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, the betrayal, the denial, the crucifixion.

Some churches have several Holy Week services: Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Vigil. Others alternate between having a Maundy Thursday service one year and a Good Friday service the next. Still others have one combined Holy Week service that touches on all the events of the week: the Last Supper, Jesus praying in the Garden, and the Crucifixion.

Last year, I shared my service outline for a combined Holy Week service that incorporated music, art, and poetry. I used symbols to guide us through the events of the week: Light, Water, Table, Garden, Courtyard, Cross, Darkness. Download a copy for free here.

Looking for a few anthem ideas for your Holy Week service(s)? Here are a few to consider:


16 Anthems for Holy Week

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Immortal Love, Forever Full
SATB Choir with Piano
Dan Kreider

Beautiful text, rich with meaning. The melodic writing is a little challenging, at times (a few large leaps), but the piece is well-crafted overall, featuring warm harmonies and beautiful piano accompaniment that supports the text.

God So Loved the World
SATB Choir, a cappella
John Stainer

A Lenten classic, this anthem highlights text from John 3:16-17. Very effective for Good Friday.

God So Loved the World
Unison/2-Part or SATB Choir with Piano and opt. C Instrument
John Horman

A lovely setting of this great Scriptural text - perfect for Good Friday. Use both the unison/2-part and SATB versions for a meaningful intergenerational experience.

Come to the Cross (from Colors of Grace)
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Orchestration
Joseph Martin

An invitation to come to the cross and experience God’s love, grace, and salvation, including emotional swells of “Kyrie eleison” and the poignant words of Jesus from the cross, “Father, forgive them.”

Cleft for Me
SATB Choir, a cappella
Daniel Greig

A moving anthem quoting the traditional hymn, “Rock of Ages.”

O Sacred, Wondrous Love
SSA or SAB Choir with Piano and opt. Cello
Heather Sorenson

A stunning medley for a women’s trio/choir or SAB choir, this anthem features both “O Sacred Head, Now Wounded” and “What Wondrous Love Is This.” Exquisite piano accompaniment.

Pie Jesu
2-Part, 3-Part Mixed, or SATB Choir with Piano
Mary Lynn Lightfoot

Great for youth choir! This accessible anthem comes in a variety of different voicings and includes a few simple phrases of Latin text.

I Saw the Cross of Jesus
SATB Choir with Piano
Victor Johnson

A new melody paired with the traditional hymn text, also incorporating a stanza of “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.” Great part-writing and beautiful piano accompaniment.

“I saw the cross of Jesus, when burdened with my sin; I sought the cross of Jesus, to give me peace within. I brought my soul to Jesus, He cleansed it in His blood; And in the cross of Jesus I found my peace with God.”

Lamb of God
SATB Choir, a cappella
F. Melius Christiansen

A simple, beloved setting of this traditional German Chorale. Listen to it sung by the St. Olaf Choir here.

A Lenten Love Song
Unison Choir with Piano
Helen Kemp

A simple Lenten anthem for your children’s choir, based on descending scale patterns. The text tells the story of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.

Jesus Walked This Lonesome Valley
SATB Choir with Piano
Victor Johnson

A traditional and accessible setting of this spiritual with flowing accompaniment and rich part-writing.

Come Just As You Are
SATB Choir with Piano
Benjamin Harlan

A beautiful invitation to come to the table, just as you are. Great for Maundy Thursday or paired with communion during another Holy Week service.

Set Me As a Seal Upon Your Heart
SATB Choir with Piano and opt. Trombone
David Childs

A lovely setting of this old, familiar text (based on Song of Solomon 8:6).

Mercy
SATB Choir with Piano
Craig Courtney

A reflective, heartfelt prayer for mercy, incorporating the familiar phrase, "Kyrie eleison" (Lord, have mercy).

Ah, Holy Jesus
SATB Choir with Oboe
John Ferguson

A simple and effective setting of this traditional Lenten text, featuring a recurring bass ostinato and expressive oboe lines throughout.

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross
SATB Choir with Organ
Gilbert Martin

A stirring setting of this familiar hymn with accessible part-writing and powerful dynamic swells.

Looking for more Lenten anthems? See Ten Church Choir Anthems for Lent.


What are your favorite anthems for Holy Week?