Hymns for the 4th Sunday of Lent, Year A (19 March 2023) - Catholic lectionary

A selection of hymns and song suggestions, based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the fourth Sunday of Lent, Year A.

Most are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing - sometimes in a limited setting. Many of these hymns are old / traditional - but where possible a variety of styles and genres are included.

A small selection of copyright hymns may also be included, where they are particularly relevant.

Suggestions about hymns that could be included are welcome: leave a comment below

Seasonal note

The fourth Sunday in Lent is commonly known as Laetare Sunday.   The word "laetare" means rejoice in Latin, and this idea is taken from the entrance-antiphon for the Mass, which starts "Rejoice, O Jerusalem...".   Falling roughly at the half-way point in the Lenten season, this is a Sunday when traditional Lenten austerity is relaxed, and we have a reminder of the joyous resurrection to come.   The day's liturgical colour is rose, instead of the usual purple of the Lenten season.

This is also Mother's Day in some countries.  

The feast of St Joseph, Husband of Mary also falls around this time.


First:  Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13 - Samuel is sent by the Lord and anoints David King of Israel.

Psalm 23 - The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want / He guides me along the right path / You have prepared a banquet for me / Surely and kindness shall follow me.

Second: Ephesians 5:8-14 - Wake up from you sleep and rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Gospel: John 9:1-41 - Jesus heals the man born blind.


Jesus shepherding us from the darkness into light:   healing and reconciliation, light.

Free-use art

See lectionary art for today for suggested pictures and art-works based on today's readings.

Free-use hymns

Amazing Grace

Dance Like David Danced

I Cannot Tell

I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say

Jesu Lover of my Soul

Love Divine all Loves Excelling

My Shepherd will Supply my Need - Watts

My Song is Love Unknown

O Splendor of God's Glory Bright

Psalm 23 - Music for Mass setting

Take up Thy Cross

The King of Love my Shepherd Is

The Lord's my Shepherd

Thou Whose Almighty Word

Hymns which may still be copyright

Awake, Awake, Fling Off the Night - Peacy

Come Down O Love Divine
(the words are copyright in most countries, but the most commonly-used tune is not)

He Healed the Darkness of My Mind - Pratt-Green and Haas

Jerusalem, My Destiny - Cooney

I Saw the Grass, I Saw the Trees - White

Praise the One Who Breaks the Darkness - Edwards

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