Click here for General Assembly coverage

Mary Magdalene Was Suffering

Permission is given for free use of this hymn, including in online worship services.

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

EBENEZER (Williams)

Mary Magdalene was suffering
in her body, mind and soul—
until Jesus met her, offering
love that made the wounded whole.
God, may we like Mary meet you
and accept your healing grace.
May we be— like Mary— grateful
as we serve you in this place.

“Tower of Strength,” the people called her—
Christ’s disciple, come what may.
She with other women traveled,
funding Christ’s work on the Way.
We are also on a journey
sharing in Christ’s ministry.
Make us strong in Christ to serve you
with great generosity.

Mary was a weeping witness
as she stood there at the cross.
At the tomb, she grieved for Jesus;
love had paid a heavy cost.
Three days on, the risen Savior
gave her good news to proclaim.
She was first to preach the gospel.
May we share it, just the same!

Mary’s one that we’ve lost sight of
in our church’s history.
She’s been labeled and made light of;
she’s been called a mystery.
May we see her loving witness
in these stories we’ve been told;
And may her example help us
To be faithful, strong and bold.

Biblical References:  Luke 8:1-3, 24:1-12; Matthew 27:55-61; 28:1-8; Mark 15:40-41, 47; 16:1-8; 9-11 and John 19:25; 20:1-18

Tune: EBENEZER Thomas John Williams, 1890 (“Why Do Nations Rage Together”)  (MIDI)
Alternate tune: BEACH SPRING, The Sacred Harp, 1844; attributed to Benjamin Franklin White (“God Whose Giving Knows No Ending”)  (MIDI)
Text: Copyright © 2022 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette. All rights reserved.
Email:     New Hymns:

Thank you to the Rev. Patricia Raube, pastor of the Union Presbyterian Church in Endicott, New York, for suggesting this new hymn celebrating the faithful life of Mary Magdalene.

Helpful background reading:

“Mary Magdalene and Her Interpreters” by Brittany E. Wilson, Women’s Bible Commentary, Third Edition, Revised and Updated, edited by Carol A. Newsom, Sharon H. Ringe, Jacqueline E. Lapsley, Louisville, KY:  Westminster John Knox Press, 2012, pages 531-535

“Mary Magdalene’s Bad Reputation” by Kyndall Rae Rothaus, Sojourners, August 2022.

“Mary Magdalene” in Wikipedia article includes a comprehensive overview of biblical, historical interpretations and other religions’ views as well as images of 38 works of art inspired by Mary Magdalene.