SATB and Organ. Almost theatrical in scope, this anthem gives us a taste of an ancient procession combined with the Vexilla regis proderunt chant melody. A great Palm/Passion Sunday anthem with all the pomp you'll need. Also use anytime during Holy Week or on Christ the King Sunday.
Legend holds that on November 19, 568, St. Radegund presented to the town of Poitiers a fragment believed to be the true Cross. Fortunatus (the author of the hymn) was the one chosen to receive the relic on its arrival at Poitiers. Imagine then, that along its journey, the relic is being carried in a grand procession that passes through cities and villages, and throngs of believers gathered along the roadside to see this mighty symbol of the Passion.
The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow;
Where he, by whom our flesh was made,
In that same flesh, our ransom paid.
Where deep for us the spear was dyed,
Life’s torrent rushing from His side,
To wash us in that precious flood,
Where flowed the water and the blood.
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old,
That God, the nation's King should be,
And reign in triumph from the tree.
O tree of beauty, tree most fair,
Ordained those holy limbs to bear:
Gone is your shame, each crimsoned bough
Proclaims the King of Glory now.
Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore,
The price of humankind to pay,
And spoil the spoiler of his prey.
To you, eternal Three in One,
Our songs shall rise in unison;
Those whom you ransom and restore,
Preserve and govern evermore. Amen.