Hymns for the feast of St Mary Magdalene (22 July)

This is a selection of hymns for the feast of Saint Mary Magdalene (elevated from a memorial to a feast in 2016). They are either directly about her, or based on the themes from her life, or on the scripture readings assigned to the day.

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 such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles and genres are included.

A small selection of hymns that are still copyright may also be included, if these are particular relevant.

About St Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene stood with Mary Mother of Jesus at the foot of the cross, and had clearly known Jesus during his public ministry.   It is not clear whether she the sinful woman who anointed Jesus feet at Simon's house, or Lazarus' sister from Bethany - of perhaps both.   Regardless, she was the first to find the empty tomb and the first person to whom the resurrected Jesus appeared, according to John's gospel.


Songs 3:1-4     The Bride seeks him who her heart loves - and eventually finds him in the city.
2 Cor 5:14-17   Whoever is in Christ is a new creation

Psalm 63:    My soul is thirsting for you, O Lord my God / O God, you are my God whom I seek /Thus have I gazed toward you in the sanctuary / Thus will I bless you while I live / You are my help, and in the shadow of your wings I shout for joy.

Gospel:   John 20:    Mary Magdalene goes to the tomb and finds it empty.  She fetches the apostles.   Waiting outside she sees two angels, and then Jesus himself.  She does not recognise him at first, but when he says her name she does.  Jesus gives her a message for the others "I am going to my father and your father".

Free-use hymns

Creator Blest One Glance of Thine - Caswall

Father of Lights One Glance of Thine

From the Highest Heights of Glory - Faber

Good Joseph Had a Garden

Happy Magdalene to Whom - Wesley

Mary to her Saviour's Tomb - Newton

Purer yet and Purer - von Goethe

Take my Life and Let it Be

Resting from His Work Today - Whitehead

Saviour when in Dust to Thee  - Grant

Son of the Highest Deign to Cast

They Crucified my Saviour

When Mary Moved by Grateful Love - Williams

Hymns which may still be copyright

A Prophet Woman Broke a Jar - Wren

A Woman in a World of Men - Wren

Apostle of the Word - Benwell

For all the Faithful Women - Stuempfle - verse 9

In the Darkness of the Morning - Tice

Jesu Jesu Fill us with Your Love

Jesus Is Risen from the Grave - Bell

Lift Your Voice Rejoicing Mary - Charles

Mary Magdalene had Come - Whitney

Mary Weep not, Weep no Longer - Housman

Myrrh-Bearing Mary - Whitney

Out of the Night where Hope had Died - from the St Helena Breviary, 2006

The First One Ever - Egan

Who is There on this Easter Morning - Dudley-Smith

Woman Weeping in the Garden - Damon

More resources for church-music selection ....

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