Dan Sharp: Recommended Choral Anthems for Lent and Easter

Jump to LentHoly WeekPalm/Passion SundayEastertide


Pie Jesu (from Requiem), Andrew Lloyd Webber
SATB—Hal Leonard HL 08603519
Need exceptional soprano I and II (youth) for duet. Choir part is easy.
I have also orchestrated it per the recording with Sarah Brightman.

Holy Week

Beneath the Cross of Jesus, arr. David McIntyre
SATB—Thomas House Publications 1C298508
Variation on the gospel tune. Need medium to large choir. Two piano. Need skilled pianists! Very nice piano writing. Divisi (to six parts). Creative piece.

Bach (Again) Come Sweet Death, arr. Rhonda Sandberg
SATB—Aberdeen Music #1064
Very unique setting. Choir signs as they sing. Then all sing their parts at different speeds as they sign individually. I have used this piece several times and it has been spell-binding each time and well worth the time it takes to teach it. Choir sings 4-part Bach chorale. Works with any size choir but need solid four part singing.

Cross Cry, Gilbert Martin
SATB—Hinshaw HMC-471
Powerful text in a very dramatic setting. An excellent piece for Good Friday or Tenebrae service. Not hard but need solid four part singing. Will work with any size choir, though a larger choir will help the dramatic impact. I like it best with piano accompaniment.
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Crucifixus (from B Minor Mass), J. S. Bach
Tough, for medium to larger choir. Very sustained singing required.

Lamb of God, arr. F Melius Christiansen
SATB—Augsburg 0-8006-5259-2
Will work with any size choir. This is classic St. Olaf choral literature.
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Lamentations of Jeremiah, Z. Randall Stroope
SATB with piano—Alliance Music Publications AMP 0356.
O vos omnes text, “O you people who pass this way”). Very dramatic, powerful setting. Need larger choir. Men and women divisi (sop & bass). This is a composer you should notice.

O Sacrum Convivium, Olivier Messiaen
A marvelous piece for Maundy Thursday. Difficult. Free rhythm.
Medium or large choir. Chant based. I love this piece.

Peace, Evermore!, Jackson Berkey
SATB—Walton Music W3411
Composer is keyboard player for Mannheim Steamroller. Some divisi at the end.
Quiet, builds to climax then quiet ending.

Thy Will Be Done, Craig Courtney
SATB and piano—Beckenhorst Press BP 1263
Dramatic piece. Lends itself to interpretive dance if you have a very good dancer!
Any size choir.

Ubi Caritas, Rene Clausen
SATB divisi a cappella—Mark Foster Music MF 2156
Need large, good choir; not easy.
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Ubi Caritas et Amo, Morten Lauridsen
SATB, a cappella—Peermusic 0060733
Recorded by LA Master Chorale (RCM 19705) “Lauridsen: Lux Aeterna.”
Great album which also has O Magnum Mysterium.

Ubi Caritas, Maurice Durufle
SATB a cappella divisi—Durand
Need good choir (my favorite chant setting of this text).
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Palm/Passion Sunday

Christ’s Entry, Gilbert Martin
SATB with organ—Galaxy Music Corp 1.2446.1
For smaller and medium choirs. Dramatic, creative, has a “distant processional” quality, not difficult, effective.

Draw Nigh to Jerusalem, David H. Williams
SATB with organ—H. W. Gray No.2410
A classic Palm Sunday anthem suitable for smaller and medium choirs.
You could write a timpani part. Has a processional quality

Hosanna, E.W. Leinbach
Double choir—Brodt Music No. 100

Hosanna, arr. Hal Hopson
3 choirs: children, SAB, and SATB, handbells and organ—Harold Flammer A-6628
Brass quartet (2 tpt, 2 tbn) also available. Not hard.

Hosanna! (From Requiem), Andrew Lloyd Webber
SATB, killer tenor solo, guitar, bass and drums, piano—Hal Leonard HL 08403801
Need EXCELLENT choir. Difficult. Worth the work.

Hosanna in the Highest, David W. Music
SATB & opt. children’s choir, percussion and keyboard—Concordia 98-2797
Accessible for smaller and medium choirs. Energetic and sprightly modal tune (mixolydian). Good range for children’s choir. Easy for children to learn.

Hosanna to the Son of David, Daniel Moe
SATB with organ—Theodore Presser 352-00212
Well written, quite interesting and different. Medium choir.
Would also work with good smaller choir.

Lift Up Your Heads, Gabrieli/James Engel
Double choir (or SATB and brass quartet)—Augsburg 11-0690
A delightful piece, medium skill. Solid 4-part singing required.

Lift Up Your Heads, Allen Pote
SATB with keyboard, flute, brass quartet (2 tpt/2 tbn)—Hinshaw HMC-344
Includes “All Glory Laud and Honor,” suitable for any size choir. Not difficult.
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Lift Up Your Heads, O Ye Gates, William Mathias
SATB with organ—Oxford 42.380 A304
Medium size choir or very good small choir. Some soprano divisi.
Need good accompanist.

The Singing Bishop, Hal Hopson
Children and adult choirs—Choristers Guild CGCA-200
This is a delightful 12 minute chancel drama on the story of “All Glory Laud and Honor”. Works well with any size choir. Short speaking parts for adults and children.
Simple costumes and sets. Background and suggestions provided.
I have done this piece on several occasions and it worked very well.


Easter Fanfare, E. E. Ferguson
SATB with brass quartet (2 tpt & 2 tbn) and organ—Harold Flammer A-5025
Marvelous for any size choir. I’ve done it with 15 singers and with 95 and arranged it for double choir with a timpani part. Excellent Easter Call to Worship or for opening of service. 21 measures long.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives, Michael Cox
SATB with keyboard—Hinshaw HMC-1221
Any size choir. American folk hymn tune setting of Shout On.
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Alleluia! Glorious Word!, Carolyn Jennings
SATB with brass quintet—Augsburg 11-2384
Any size choir. 1 minute in length.

Alleluia! In Your Resurrection, Gallus/ed. Edward Klammer
SATB—GIA Publications G-2812
For double choir and/or brass (2 tpt/2 tbn).
Medium to large choir, though good smaller choir and brass quartet would work fine.

Alleluia! For Christ the Lord is Risen, J.S. Bach
SATB—Concordia 98-2101
Brass or full orchestra setting, or winds and strings, or strings. Medium difficulty

All Shall Be Well, John Foley
SATB—Epoch Universal Publications No.5690
Congregation, organ, piano or synth, optional 2 tpts. Any size choir.

All Shall Be Well, Libby Larsen
TWO PART TREBLE—E. C. Schirmer No. 4261
Keyboard, triangle, recorder

An Easter Gloria, John Leavitt
SATB with piano and percussion—Augsburg Pub. 11-10536
Wonderful rhythmic energy and yes, you better count! (Mixed meter).

And They Drew Nigh, Leo Sowerby
SATB and organ—H. W. Gray No.2625
Need good choir and good organist. Will take some work but not too difficult.

Christ, He Is Arisen, Arnold von Bruck (1470-1554)
SATB optional keyboard—Golden Music Publishers G 38
Need a good four part choir. A wonderful renaissance setting.

Christ Is Arisen!, arr. Crawford Thoburn
SATB a cappella—Augsburg 11-10462
Based on 12th century chant. Mostly in 4/4 and 5/4.

Christ Is Now Arisen, K. Lee Scott
SATB with keyboard (organ)—Hinshaw HMC-830
Text set to Personent Hodie tune.
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Christ Is Risen, Jan Sanborn
SATB (SAB) with organ—Fred Bock Music B-G0368
For any size choir. Parts of this will also work for a Call to Worship.

Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!, Tom Mitchell
SATB divisi to 8 parts, organ and brass sextet—Augsburg 11-10118
I have also orchestrated this for full orchestra. Highly recommended. Medium to large choir. Mixed meter. Not easy but very workable. Dramatic and dynamic piece.

Christ the Lord Is Risen! Alleluia!, ed. Drummond Wolff (Johan Roman 1694-1758)
SATB— Concordia 98-2326
Also parts for 2 oboes, 2 trumpets and strings. Delightful Baroque, classy, Easter piece.

Coronation, Craig Courtney
SATB solo part—Beckenhorst BP 1273
Brass quartet plus French horn. For any size choir. Majestic setting. Not hard.

The Day of Resurrection, Thomas Matthews
SATB with 3 tpts, timp, organ— H.T. Fitzsimons (Fred Bock Music) F2178
This is the classic setting. Any size choir. A very solid Easter piece.

Entrata Festiva, Flor Peeters
SATB with organ—C.F. Peters Corp. NO. 6159
Need a good organ. Any size choir. Call to Worship

Fanfare and Hymn for Easter Morning, arr. Paul Sjolund
SATB—Fred Bock Music B-G0490
Organ, brass quintet (3 tpts/2 tbn), timp. & perc. and congregation.
Fanfare leads into “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today”). Need good brass players.

Fanfare for Easter, Jane Marshall
SATB—Carl Fischer CM 7090
Brass and timpani. Medium to large choir. Good smaller choir could do it well.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives, arr. Hal Hopson
SATB—GIA Pub. G-5862
Set to Duke Street. Any size choir plus organ and congregation.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives, arr. Ronn Huff
SATB with brass and percussion (3 tpts, 4 horns, 2 tbn, tuba, perc (2) and harp
Fred Bock B-G2105. With congregation. Need organ accompaniment.

Jesus, Our Lord, Is Risen Today, Vulpius (1560-1615)/ed. Ehret
Double choir SATB or choir and brass—
This is a classic setting that should be in every library. Not difficult.

Jesus, the Christ, is Risen Today, George Handel/ arr. Hopson
SATB with unison treble choir (children’s choir)—Hope Publishing Co. AA 1687
Very workable with any size choir. Definite SATB adult choir.

Now Christ Is Risen, J.S. Bach/arr. Doug Wagner
SATB—Harold Flammer A-5880
3 tpts and timp (LB-5038). Any size choir would work. Need very good smaller choir.
There is some wonderful polyphonic singing with melismas here!

Now Glad of Heart, K. Lee Scott
SATB with organ and brass—Hinshaw HMC-568
Delightful mixed meter. Not easy, medium to large choir.
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Lord Is Risen, Ian Pitt-Watson and Geoffrey Atkinson
SATB choir, congregation, organ, timp, tpt, children’s choir, reader, baritone solo
Hinshaw HMC-361
This is a dramatic opening to an Easter service. “He is risen” is the central text.
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They Could Not, Ron Harris and Claire Cloninger
SATB—Ron Harris Publications R-H0209
This is an old time “contemporary” Christian anthem.

Thine Be the Glory, George Handel/arr. David Hines
SATB, Brass Quintet (3 tpt3, 2 tbn and timp) with congregation
Theodore Presser 392-41971
Any size choir.

Today in Triumph Christ Arose, Dietrich Buxtehude/ed. Beverly Scheibert
SSATB, 2 tpts. and keyboard—Concordia 98-2578
Medium to large choir. Typical Baroque setting. You’ll do some polyphonic work here!
Great piece in 3 short sections.

Two Festival Hymns, John Rutter
SATB—Christ the Lord is Risen Today and Rejoice, the Lord is King. Various combinations of instrumentation are available. Choir and congregation. Need GOOD BRASS players.

Victory, John Ness Beck
SATB –Beckenhorst Press. BP 1100
Some soprano divisi. Need high soprano I. One of John’s best loved pieces.

Who Is Jesus?, Timothy Dudley-Smith text and Jeffrey Honore music
SATB opt. flute—Hope Publishing A 640
This is a marvelous Easter text that centers on Christ from the Incarnation to the exaltation.

Originally posted February 2007

About the author

DWS 703 Professor and Minister of Worship Arts at the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, FL.