Saturday, April 07, 2007

Lift High the Cross

Listening to one of my favorite renditions of the melody of one of my favorite hymns, Lift High the Cross. The version I'm listening to is beautifully done by the Moody Bible Institute's Women's Concert Choir Bell Ensemble (yes, thereby done by "Moody Women"!) on the CD compilation called "Images of Christ." I don't know if this lovely CD is available anymore anymore; it was originally distributed with a special issue of the unfortunately-now-defunct magazine "Christianity and the Arts." I love listening to it, especially during Holy Week.

Lift high the cross,
the love of Christ proclaim
till all the world adore
his sacred Name.

Come, brethren, follow where our Captain trod,
our King victorious, Christ the Son of God. Refrain

Led on their way by this triumphant sign,
the hosts of God in conquering ranks combine. Refrain

Each newborn soldier of the Crucified
bears on the brow the seal of him who died. Refrain

This is the sign which Satan's legions fear
and angels veil their faces to rever. Refrain

Saved by this Cross whereon their Lord was slain,
the sons of Adam their lost home regain. Refrain

From north and south, from east and west they raise
in growing unison their songs of praise. Refrain

O Lord, once lifted on the glorious tree,
as thou hast promised, draw the world to thee. Refrain

Let every race and every language tell
of him who saves our souls from death and hell. Refrain

From farthest regions let their homage bring,
and on his Cross adore their Savior King. Refrain

Set up thy throne, that earth's despair may cease
beneath the shadow of its healing peace. Refrain

For thy blest Cross which doth for all atone
creation's praises rise before thy throne. Refrain

Words: George William Kitchen and Michael Robert Newbolt, 1916

Music: Crucifer

Meter: 10 10 with Refrain

My other favorite piece on the CD is the Moody Oratorio Chorus & Orchestra performing Handel's Worthy of the Lamb/Amen which I mentioned yesterday. The opening organ note alone almost makes me tremble, and when the chorus of voices comes in with the majestic and solemn "Worthy is the Lamb" I feel like trembling more. I love how Handel can move from that deep, solemn cadence, so heavy with worship that the notes almost seem to drag with gravity and weight, to quick, lilting bright brass tones and the joyful playfulness of voices, men's and women's voices, chasing one another around in breathless adoration and praise.

A blessed holy Saturday. I can't remember a colder, snowier one -- we've had snow showers off and on all day, the flakes looking lovely and petal-like as they drift down past the trees that have only begun to blossom in the past few days. Almost Easter!


Erin said...

Boy, snowy and cold is right! I remember we had freezing rain back in 1999 because I had to work outside at the zoo all afternoon on Easter, and it was not pleasant... But it definitely seems unseasonably cold. Still flowery inside though; we had not only lilies inside the church this year but also tulips and daffodils. Looked very pretty...

Beth said...

Ah, the flowers sound lovely. We only went with lilies this year, and most of them had not yet opened...S. called them "lily buds" and she was right! We brought our's home, and I'm hopeful it will open soon...