The Playlist: Seven Inspirational Worship Songs for Holy Week
March 31, 2023
It’s that time of the year again when palm leaves, biblical sculptures, and Easter eggs take center stage. Celebrated by millions of devotees from various parts of the globe, Holy Week (Semana Santa) honors the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. Although Catholics predominantly observe this period, individuals of all faiths may commemorate the week-long religious event to reflect on life. Whether you’re jetting off to a nearby island for some R&R with your family, visiting a church for repentance and spiritual meditation, or simply searching for inspirational tunes to uplift your weary soul, these heartwarming worship songs will bring you closer to the higher being and motivate you to carry on even in the most difficult times.
1. ‘Ku Berdoa’ (I Pray) by Malaysian Worship Collective
If there is one hymn that can instantly set the tone for the last week of Lent, it’s “Ku Berdoa” (I Pray) by the Malaysian Worship Collective. Produced by Juwita Suwito and Gina Yap Lai Yoong of Four Forty Records, this song boasts an ethereal production and gratitude-filled lyrics that will influence you to deepen your connection with the divine: “Ku berdoa dan bersyukur / Bagi keluarga-mu / Biarpun kesukaran bertalu-talu / Ku percaya Yesus kan bantu.” (I pray and thank you / For your family / Despite the hardships / I believe Jesus will help) Boost your spirit by playing this sweet-sounding track on your car speakers on your way to the church.
Release date: Nov. 11, 2022
2. ‘Song of Deliverance’ by JPCC Worship Choir
While some things in life are beyond our control, we remain the masters of our destiny and can take charge of what matters to us. By placing our trust in God, we gain the strength and confidence to pursue our most daring ambitions. These lessons are precisely what the JPCC Worship Choir’s soul-stirring “Song of Deliverance” aims to instill in us: “Even in the silence / With shadows over me / Still I trust in you / You are my guiding light / Always here by my side.”
Release date: Nov. 20, 2022
3. ‘Sa’yo Lang’ by Jex de Castro and Joselle Feliciano
If you choose to take it, your challenge is to listen to this song without sobbing like a baby. Composed by Lucas Miguel and performed by Jex de Castro and Joselle Feliciano, “Sa’yo Lang” is a powerful worship anthem infused with immaculate lyrics and music arrangements that will drag your feet from the depths of despair: “Walang masandalan / Dapat pa bang lumaban? / Pero sa’yo ko lang nararamdaman ang pahinga at pagmamahal.” (No one to lean on / Should I still fight? / But I only feel rested and loved with you)
Release date: Dec. 2, 2022
4. ‘Living Water’ by Anne Wilson
“This goes out to every outcast,” Anne Wilson sings in the first few seconds of the record. Featured in the 2023 Christian movie “Jesus Revolution,” “Living Water” celebrates misfits, wallflowers, and those who may feel excluded from society. While the first part of the track may induce tears, the second half will inspire you to persevere through life’s challenges: “So when you’re tired of all your running / You don’t have to run no more / You can leave it all behind / Come and join the Jesus people / This is where your heart belongs.” The song’s key message is crystal-clear: when feeling lost and rejected, one can always turn to the almighty creator.
Release date: Feb. 3, 2023
Country: United States of America
5. ‘You Are My Sheperd’ by Gloria Fanchiang
Heavily based on Psalm 23, Asian-American Gloria Fanchiang’s “You Are My Sheperd” is a moving ballad about having unwavering faith in God: “You lead me forward / Providing for me / You are with me / Offering comfort.” The heartwarming lyricism, the songstress’ angelic voice, and the heavenly instrumentation will make anyone’s worries evaporate into thin air. Released to generate financial support for the mental health needs of senior Chinese immigrants in America, this stripped-down, biblical track is an ideal kickstarter for your visit to any sacred monument.
Release date: Feb. 10, 2023
Country: Taiwan, United States of America
6. ‘Kapalaran’ by Gary Valenciano
When you’re helpless and don’t want to divulge your personal struggles to anyone, worship songs come in handy. OPM icon Gary Valenciano’s re-recording of the late Rico J. Puno’s “Kapalaran” digs in the unpredictable nature of love and life: “Sa pag-ibig, may bigo at tagumpay.” (In love, there is failure and success) Launched in February as the official theme song of ABS-CBN‘s Coco Martin-starrer “Batang Quiapo,” this emotional piece of work urges listeners to stay hopeful and embrace life in its full glory, no matter how cruel the world could be.
Release date: Feb. 17
7. ‘dad song’ by Abbie Gamboa
Abbie Gamboa’s soothing vocals never fail to stir up emotions effortlessly, and her latest single “dad song” is yet another testament to her ability to tug at heartstrings: “Before the world began / You were on my mind / I wanted you here / It was by design / See, you have my voice, and you have my eyes / You were made to be loved by me.” This mellow anthem, written from the perspective of God as a paternal figure, serves as an ideal music accompaniment during moments of spiritual reflection and introspection.
Release date: March 3, 2023
Country: United States of America
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