For SAB Choir, soloists. Edited by Raymond Clark. Ten (Yes ten!) verses of the ancient hymn Crux Fidelis, plainsong interspersed with a wonderful SAB polyphonic refrain and perfect for Holy Week. Use them all (14 minutes...) or some, depending on your needs - communion, footwashing - you get the picture.
Refrain: Faithful Cross, above all other,
One and only noble Tree:
None in foliage, none in blossom,
none in fruit thy peer may be.
Sweetest wood, and sweetest iron,
Sweetest weight is hung on thee,
1. Sing, my tongue, the glorious battle,
Sing the ending of the fray;
Now above the Cross, the trophy,
Sound the loud triumphant lay:
Tell how Christ, the world's Redeemer,
As a Victim won the day.
2. God in pity saw man fallen,
Shamed and sunk in misery,
When he fell on death by tasting
Fruit of the forbidden tree:
Then another Tree was chosen
Which the world from death should free.
3. Thus the scheme of our salvation
Was of old in order laid:
That the manifold deceiver's
Art by art might be outweighed:
And the lure the foe put forward
Into means of healing made.
4. Therefore when the appointed fullness
Of the holy time was come,
He was sent, who maketh all things,
Forth from God's eternal home:
Thus he came to earth, incarnate,
Offspring of a maiden's womb.
5. Lo! he lies an infant weeping,
Where the narrow manger stands:
While the Mothermaid his members
Wraps in mean and lowly bands:
And the swaddling clothes is winding
Round his helpless feet and hands.
6. Thirty years among us dwelling,
His appointéd time fulfilled,
Born for this he meets his passion,
For that this he freely willed;
On the Cross the Lamb is lifted
Where his life-Blood shall be spilled.
7. He endured the nails, the spitting,
Vinegar, and spear, and reed;
From that holy Body broken
Blood and Water both proceed:
Earth, and stars, and sky, and ocean
By that flood from stain are freed.
8. Bend thy boughs, O Tree of glory;
Thy relaxing sinews bend;
For awhile the ancient rigour
That thy birth bestowed suspend:
And the King of heav'nly beauty
On thy bosom gently tend.
9. Thou alone wast counted worthy
This world's ransom to uphold:
For a shipwrecked race preparing
Harbour, like the Ark of old:
With the sacred Blood anointed
From the smitten Lamb that rolled.
10. To the Trinity be glory
Everlasting, as is meet:
Equal to the Father,
equal To the Son and Paraclete:
Trinal Unity, whose praises
All created things repeat. Amen.