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Hymn focuses on Jesus’ words from the cross

Michael Schultz playing guitar
(Seated, playing guitar) Michael Schultz, author of “The Seven Words,” participated in short music videos based on hymn 436. The videos feature WELS musicians performing different arrangements of each verse of the hymn. They’ll be released weekly this Lenten season.

As part of its Lenten issue, Forward in Christ is featuring a new original Lenten hymn from Christian Worship: Hymnal. This hymn, called “The Seven Words,” highlights each of the statements Jesus spoke from the cross.

Written by Michael Schultz, director of the WELS Hymnal Project, the hymn offers an opportunity to meditate on Jesus’ final words before his death. “It’s just based on what Jesus said, so it’s pretty powerful,” says Schultz.

Each verse is self-standing and can be used independently in a devotion series, yet the stanzas are also connected in various ways. Each includes a name for Jesus (except the fourth where Jesus is not named because he was forsaken by his Father), and the last line of each stanza contains a first-person singular pronoun. “I’m following Paul Gerhardt’s example in that he always had the personal touch in his hymns as far as what it means to me,” says Schultz.

sidebarTo help familiarize members with this new hymn—as well as provide more devotional opportunities this Lenten season—Forward in Christ has teamed up with the Commission on Worship to offer short weekly videos based on each verse of the hymn. WELS members will sing different arrangements of each stanza. The videos will also include illustrations by WELS artist Corissa Nelson. The videos will be released each Wednesday in Lent on social media and online at

Click to read all the articles related to Jesus’ seven words from the cross that were published in the March 2022 issue of Forward in Christ.

Volume 109, Number 03
Issue: March 2022

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