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You are probably familiar with this classic Lenten hymn, O Sacred Head Surrounded. Let's memorize at least the first verse so you can sing this as a meditation as you go about your day. This hymn dates back hundreds of years

Lesson Plans (Updated)


Week 1

  1. Score:  PDF download from the St. Gregory Hymnal found online. There is a melody only score from CCWatershed, but you can only view, not print.

  1. Listen & follow along.  Or here is another option with no singing.

    1. First verse only: “Repeat after me.” Speak one phrase, and have your kids repeat it back to you. This is the beginning of memorizing and getting used to the words.

    2. Sing along with the recording/Listen


Week 2

  1. Listen and follow along

  2. Begin copywork & verse illustrations.

  3. Try to memorize the first verse.


Week 3

  1. Listen and follow along (This week, enjoy this version with instrumental background and religious singing in harmony.)

  2. Memorize verse 1/Start memorizing verse 2

  3. Finish copywork & verse illustrations.

  4. Read the devotional (this page is using another translation) and the history of the hymn


Week 4

  1. Listen and follow along. (A majestic arrangement and performance this week!)

  2. Solidify memorization.

  1. Teens/Adults: Watch the next installment of On a Sacred Note: Music in Elizabethan England

Text: St. Bernard of Clairvaux (1091-1153)
Translated by Henry Williams Baker (1821-1877)
Tune Music: PASSION CHORALE by J. S. Bach (1685-1750)

1. O Sacred Head, surrounded
by crown of piercing thorn!
O bleeding Head, so wounded,
reviled and put to scorn!
Death's pallid hue comes o'er Thee,
The glow of life decays,
Yet angel hosts adore Thee,
And tremble as they gaze.

2. I see Thy strength and vigor
all fading in the strife,
and death with cruel rigor,
bereaving Thee of life;
O agony and dying!
O love to sinners free!
Jesus, all grace supplying,
O turn Thy face on me. 

3. In this Thy bitter passion,
Good Shepherd, think of me
with Thy most sweet compassion,
unworthy though I be:
beneath Thy cross abiding
for ever would I rest,
in Thy dear love confiding,
and with Thy presence blest.
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You are free to copy & print for your own use, but these lessons may not be sold in any format.
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