Daily Lent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Good Friday, April 7, 2023 — Evening

By Ann Reego

O Sacred Head Now Wounded

Read: John 19:2

Imagine a hymn so powerful that it has been a favorite and beloved Passion Hymn for 900 years! That is the story behind O Sacred Head, Now Wounded. Written by Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153), it was based on John 19:2. I fell in love with J.S. Bach’s harmonization in college when my first theory assignment was to copy it from the Episcopal hymnal. Later we sang it and studied the flow of each line and how it emphasized Christ’s death and anguish through dissonance and moving parts. This hymn makes me feel as if I am at the feet of the cross.


God, bring us to the cross this Lent with aching hearts and broken spirits so that when we awake on Easter Sunday, our hearts and healed and our spirits are lifted and ready to follow the risen Lord. Amen.

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