Historically, this feast celebrates the finding of the “true cross” of Jesus by Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, in Jerusalem in 326. It also celebrates the return of the major part of that cross to Jerusalem in 629 by the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius, after it had been stolen by Chroses II, King of Persia, in 614. More than this history, though, this feast celebrates the same mystery that we celebrate on Good Friday: In God’s hand, and by God’s design, even a cruel instrument of torture can become a source of life.

Music Suggestions

Choral Anthems

Music Suggestions

Numbers 21:4b-9. The bronze serpent that brought healing from snakebite to the people in the desert is an appropriate symbol of the cross of Jesus, as it is understood by Christians.

Psalm of the Day: Ps (77) 78
This historical psalm traces God’s dealings with Israel from the exodus to the early monarchy. In its interpretation of that history, the people’s sin is followed by divine punishment, which is followed in turn by national repentance, which is followed by God’s forgiveness and restoration.

Do Not Forget the Works (Batastini/Murray) CBW 224
Do Not Forget the Works (Batastini/Proulx) WOR 1050/WOR4 1224/RS 104
Do Not Forget the Works (Burns) OIF 1147/PRM B115
Do Not Forget the Works (Guimont) GC2 946/G3 1208
Do Not Forget the Works (Schiavone) JS 1061
Non Olviden las Acciones del Señor (Cortez) FYC 221

Philippians 2:6-11. The “kenosis” (“emptying”) hymn sings of Jesus’ self-giving for our salvation.

John 3:13-17. In conversation with Nicodemus, Jesus makes the connection between the “lifting up” of the Son of Man (on the cross) and the bronze serpents in the desert. Jesus’ mission is interpreted as one of salvation rather than condemnation.

Songs for the Liturgy

Adoramus Te, Christe (2,G) RS 542/GC 396/GC2 400/G3 476/SS 815
Adoramus Te, Domine (2,G) WOR 548
All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name (2) WOR 494, 495/RS 632/GC 484/GC2 490/G3 570/WC 744/JS 482/MI-BB 737/LMGM 88, 89/OIF 619/GP 421/SS 875/WS 629
*At the Name of Jesus (2) G3 569/JS 400, 483/WOR 499/CBW 427/JS 400, 483/MI-BB 739, 740/GP 424/WS 643
Behold the Cross (1,2) BB 149
Behold the Lamb of God SPS 275
Behold the Wood (1,C) JS 407, 411/BB 28/GC2 437/G3 514/GP 369/CBW 379
By Your Cross (2) GP 346
Calvary (G) LMGM 38/RS 568/GC 419
Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation (G) WOR 617/GC 662/GC2 642/G3 745/OIF 664/RS 778/CBW 430/WC 783/JS 780/SS 964
Crucem Tuam/O Lord, Your Cross (2,G) RS 571/GC 417/GC2 393
Crux Fidelis (2,G) OIF 675/WC 794/WS 127, 666
Down at the Cross (G) LMGM 46
*Glory in the Cross (E) G3 501/JS 523/MI-BB 724/SPS 170
*God So Loved the World (G) OIF 739/WC 846/WS 707
I Danced in the Morning (G) WOR 636/MI-BB 575/OIF 631/RS 809/GC 708/GC2 689/G3 796/WC 750/JS 764/WS 637/GP 395
*I Will Sing, I Will Sing, vss 5-6 (2) GC 543/GC2 79/G3 96
In the Cross of Christ (2) G3 515/RS 221/SS 818
Jesus Died upon the Cross (2) JS 654/GP 720
Jesus, Keep Me/Us Near the Cross (G) LMGM 45/OIF 674WC 798/WS 668
*Jesus, Lord (G) JS 701/CBW 365/MI-BB 503/GP 594
*Jesus the Lord (2) RS 574/GC 418/GC2 403/G3 491/CBW 432/JS 484/MI-BB/GP 370
Keep in Mind (G) WC 219, 841/OIF 734/MI-BB 736/RS 940/GC 674/GC2 658/G3 646/JS 589/WS 28, 711/GP 492/SS 968
Lift High the Cross (1,G) WOR 704/CBW 435/GP 444/MI-BB 725/OIF 703/WC 792/RS 884/GC 791/GC2 785/G3 881/JS 522/SS 1054/WS 699
*Make Us One, v 3 (2) OIF 686/WC 806/WS 673
My Song Is Love Unknown (G) WOR 439/RS 572/JS 415
Now We Remain (G) WC 678/MI-BB 514/RS 813/GC 694/GC2 696/G3 785/SS 983/WS 582
O Cross of Christ (G) CBW 368/OIF 676/SS 819/WC 795
Only This I Want (G) GP 575/GC 695/GC2 701/G3 782/JS 766/CBW 516/MI-BB 507
Priestly People/Pueblo de Reyes, vss 8-9 (1,G) OIF 669/WC 786/WS 659
Sing, My Tongue, the Savior's Glory (1,G) JS 414/BB 152/GP 366
Sing, My Tongue, the Song of Triumph (1,G) WOR 437/RS 573/CBW 69
Take Up Our Cross SPS 354
Take Up Your Cross (2,G) WOR 634/CBW 353/LMGM 50/MI-BB 723/OIF 679/RS 808/GC 698/GC2 688, 690/G3 787, 801/WC 793/JS 524/SS 985/WS 667/GP 586
The Lord Is Now Exalted (1,2,G) CBW 377
The Lord Jesus Christ (G) CBW 436
The Love of the Lord (G) RS 814/GC 702/GC2 680/G3 792
*Though in the Form of God (2) CBW 687
Tree of Life (G) RS 541/GC 397/G3 475CBW 373/OIF 434/WC 578/WS 504
We Acclaim the Cross of Jesus (1,G) OIF 677/WC 797/WS 664
We Should Glory in the Cross- Alonso (E) OIF 443/WC 573/WS 499
*We Should Glory in the Cross - Janco (E) G3 501
*We Should Glory in the Cross - Manalo (E) JS 521/MI-BB/SS 686

Choral Anthems

Title of Anthem, Voicing & Instrumentation Composer/arranger/editor Publisher & edition #
All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name, Diadem  (2 part Mixed Voices, Organ, opt. Trumpet)  Johnson, Dennis R.  GIA (G-5887)  2
At the Name of Jesus (SA, Organ)  Willan, Healey  Concordia (97-7160)  2
At the Name of Jesus (SATB, Organ)  Langlais, Jean  Hinshaw (HMC 423)  2
Christ Became Obedient (SATB, opt. Keyboard/Organ, Latin only)  Anerio, Felice  Alexander Broude (ABC 32) 2
Christ Became Obedient (SATB, opt. Keyboard/Organ, Latin/English)  Anerio, Felice  GIA (G-1967)  2
Christ Humbled Himself in “We Praise Thee, Vol. 1 (2 part, Organ)  Willan, Healey  Concordia  2
Christ Jesus Lord, Thy Name Adored in “Three German Motets”  (SATB, English/German)  Praetorius, M/arr. Guentner, Francis  Augsburg (11-10089)  2
Christus factus est (SAB)  Durante, Francesko  Arista (AE 275)  2
Christus factus est (SATB)  Zingarelli, Miccolo/ed. Kaplan, A.  Lawson-Gould (51428)  2
Christus factus est (SATB, Latin only)  Bruckner, Anton   Arista (AE-157)  2
Christus factus est (SATB, opt. Keyboard/Organ, Latin only)  ed. by Barlow, Stephen   Walton (2161)  2
Christus factus est (SATB, opt. Keyboard/Organ, Latin.English)  ed. by Klein, Maynard  G. Schirmer  2
Christus factus est (SATB, opt. Keyboard/Organ, Latin.English)  Bruckner, Anton  Summy Birchard (5249)  2
Christus factus est in “Geistlich Gesang Für Männerchor” (TTBB)  Palestrina, G. P.  Oratoriumsverlag (#na)  2
Come, Follow Me (SATB, Keyboard, opt. Flute)  Thompson, R. Paul  Hinshaw Music (HMC 1391)  E
Crucifixus  Bach, J. S./ ed. Churchill  Bourne Co. (750)  2
Crucifixus from “Mass in B Minor” (SATB, Keyboard/Organ)  Bach, J. S.  Bourne Co. (750)  2
For Our Sake (SATB, Keyboard)  Hughes, S. M., Howard L.  World Library (8525)  2
Glory in the Cross (SATB, Keyboard, opt. Guitar)  Soper, Scott  GIA (G-4617)  E
Glory of Christ, The (SATB, Organ, Handbells, Brass)  Scott, K. Lee  Concordia (CPH 98-2982)  E
In nomine Jesu (SATB, Latin/English)  Handl, Jacob/Herter, J.  GIA (G-1860)  2
In nomine Jesu (TTBB) Gallus, Jacob/ed. Collins, W.  Lawson-Gould (51203)  2
In nominee Jesu (SATB)  Gallus, Jacob  Concordia (98-1051)  2
Jesus Christ Is the Lord (SATB)  Gouzes, OP, André  GIA (G4981)  2
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, Picardy (SATB, Handbells)  Ferguson, John  Augsburg (0800646681) 2
Let This Mind Be in You (SATB, Organ)  Butler, Eugene  Carl Fischer (CM 8258)  2
Lift High the Cross, CRUCIFER   (2 part mixed or SATB, Organ, opt. Trumpet)  arr. Busarow, Donald  Augsburg (0800645898)  E
Lift High the Cross, CRUCIFER   (SATB, Organ, Brass, Timpani, opt Handbells)  arr. Burkhardt, Michael  MorningStar (MSM 60-6001) E
Lift High the Cross, CRUCIFER  (SATB, Organ, Brass Sextet, Timpani)  arr. Hillert, Richard  GIA (G-2630)  E
Lift High the Cross, CRUCIFER (SAB, Organ, opt. Brass)  arr. Schalk, Carl  Concordia (98-2468)  E
Lord Jesus Christ Humbled Himself (SATB)  Messaus, Guilleimus/ed. Proulx, R.  GIA (G-3791)  2
May We Never Boast (SATB, Piano, 2 Flutes, opt. Guitar) Connolly, Michael  GIA (G-4032) E
One with God before Creation (SATB, Keyboard)  Sensmeier, Randall  GIA (G-4897)  2
Vexllia Regis Bruckner CPDL G
We Adore You, O Christ (SATB)  Proulx, Richard  Paraclete (PPM 9836)  2