(This guide was first shared in January 2017.)
Sometimes the depths of my illiteracy still astound me. I have shared of my past, of my disdain or great indifference toward all things beautiful, and the pride which wrapped itself around those beliefs. How could my heart, soul, mind, and body have made it so long with so little? My current, favorite verse comes from Acts 13:8. It simply states, speaking of God’s patience with the Israelites during the Exodus, “And for about forty years he put up with them in the wilderness.” I am about forty, I have been in the wilderness, and God has so patiently put up with me. This verse both brings me to rejoice and simultaneously drives me to weep.
The project began with simple research on O Sacred Head Now Wounded for my local Charlotte Mason learning community. I came across this statement, “The tune — those of you who love sacred choral music, you’re going to immediately recognize it as the PASSION CHORALE, as a part of a very, very famous piece of music composed by one of the greatest composers of all time, anywhere in any culture, and certainly one of the finest Christian sacred choral composers ever, Johann Sebastian Bach.”
I had no idea what they were talking about. What very, very famous piece of music? The search for the answer led to a consuming project which included listening to no less than twenty hours over five days of Bach’s Passio Domini nostri J.C. secundum Evangelistam Matthæum (The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to the Evangelist Matthew) or simply, St. Matthew Passion. The end result, inspired by Cindy Rollins’ 25 Days of Christmas with Handel’s Messiah, is A 40 Day Devotional for Worship.
The devotional spreads the listening of the St. Matthew Passion over 40 days. I highly recommend using it together with the performance by the Netherlands Bach Society. I hope and pray this devotional will be a blessing to you and your family. May God be glorified.
 Hymns of the Faith: O Sacred Head Now Wounded, A Presentation of First Presbyterian Church, Jackson, Mississippi