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The Crucifixion


Sir. John Stainer

SATB Choir TB Soloist and organ

Libretto by Revd. W. J. Sparrow Simpson


1. And They Came To A Place Named Gethsemane
2. The Agony
3. Processional To Calvary
4. And When They Were Come
5. The Mystery Of The Divine Humiliation
6. He Made Himself Of No Reputation
7. The Majesty Of The Divine Humiliation
8. And As Moses Lifted Up The Serpent
9. God So Loved The World
10. Litany Of The Passion
11. Jesus Said, 'Father, Forgive Them'
12. So Thou Liftest Thy Divine Petition
13. The Mystery Of The Intercession
14. And One Of The Malefactors
15. The Adoration Of The Crucified
16. When Jesus Therefore Saw His Mother
17. Is It Nothing To You?
18. The Appeal Of The Crucified
19. After This, Jesus Knowing That All Things Were Now Accomplished
20. For The Love Of Jesus


The Crucifixion - Stainer

Created 01-Nov-08 Revised 06-Jul-13

Hong Kong Methodist Church

And they came to a place named Gethsemane

Processional to Calvary (Fling wide the gates)

When Jesus therefore saw His Mother

He made Himself no Reputation

The Appeal of the Crucified

Complete Work

1 Recitative
And they came to a place named Gethsemane: and Jesus saithe to His disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.
     St. Mark 14:32

2 The Agony

Could ye not watch with me one brief hour?
   Could ye not pity my sorest need?
Ah! if ye sleep while the tempests lower,
   Surely, my friends, I am lone indeed!

Jesu, Lord Jesu, bowed in bitter anguish,
   And bearing all the evil we have done,
Oh, teach us how to love Thee for Thy love;
   Help us to pray, and watch, and mourn with Thee.

Could ye not watch with me one brief hour?
   Did ye not say upon Kedron’s slope,
Ye would not fall into the Tempter’s power?
   Did ye not murmur great worlds of hope?
Could ye not watch with me? even so:
   Willing in heart, but the flesh is vain.
Back to mine agony I must go,
   Lonely to pray in bitterest pain.

And they laid their hands on Him, and to Him, and led Him away to the high priest. And the high priest asked Him, and said unto Him, “Art Thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Jesus said, “I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saithe, “What need we any further witnesses? Ye have heard the blasphemy.” And they all condemned Him to be guilty of death. And they bound Jesus, and carried Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. And Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged Him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away.
     St. Mark 14:46, 53, 61-64; 15:1, 15

3 Processional to Calvary

Fling wide the gates, for the Saviour waits
   To tread in His royal way;
He has come from above, in His power and love,
   To die on the Passion Day.

His Cross is the sign of a love divine,
   His Crown is the thorn-wreath of woe,
He bears His load on the sorrowful road,
   And bends ‘neath the burden low.

How sweet is the grace of His sacred face,
   And lovely beyond compare,
Tho’ weary and worn with the merciless scorn
   Of a world He has come to spare.

The burden of wrong that earth bears along,
   Past evil, and evil to be, -
All sins of man since the world began,
   They are laid, dear Lord, on Thee.

Then on to the end, my God and my Friend,
   With Thy banner lifted high!
Thou art come from above in Thy power and love,
   To endure and suffer and die.
St. Luke 23:33


4 Recitative
And when they were come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the malefactors, one on the right, and the other on the left.
5 The Mystery of the Divine Humiliation

Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow,
   Where the blood of Christ was shed,
Perfect man on thee was tortured,
   Perfect God on thee has bled.

Here the King of all the ages,
   Throned in light ere worlds could be,
Robed in mortal flesh is dying,
   Crucified by sin for me.

O mysterious condescending!
   O abandonment sublime!
Very God Himself is bearing
   All the sufferings of time!

Evermore for human failure
   By His Passion we can plead;
God has borne all mortal anguish,
   Surely He will know our need.

This - all human thought surpassing -
   This is earth’s most awful hour,
God has taken mortal weakness!
   God has laid aside His Power!

Once the Lord of brilliant seraphs,
   Winged with Love to do His Will,
Now the scorn of all His creatures,
   And the aim of every ill.

Up in Heaven, sublimest glory
   Circled round Him from the first;
But the earth finds none to serve Him,
   None to quench His raging thirst.

Who shall fathom that descending?
   From the rainbow-circled throne,
Down to earth’s most base profaning,
   Dying desolate alone.

From the “Holy, Holy, Holy,
   We adore Thee, O most High,”
Down to earth’s blaspheming voices
   And the shout of “Crucify!”

Cross of Jesus, Cross of Sorrow,
   Where the blood of Christ was shed,
Perfect man on thee was tortured,
   Perfect God on thee has bled!

6 Recitative
He made himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Philippians 2:7, 8

7 The Majesty of the Divine Humiliation

      King ever glorious!
The dews of death are gathering round Thee,
Upon the Cross Thy foes have bound Thee,
      Thy strength is gone.

      Not in Thy Majesty,
Robed in Heaven’s supremest splendour,
But in weakness and surrender,
      Thou hangest here.

      Who can be like Thee?
Pilate high in Zion dwelling?
Rome with arms the world compelling?
      Proud tho’ they be!

      Thou art sublime;
Far more awful in Thy weakness,
More than kingly in Thy meekness,
      Thou Son of God.

      Glory and honour:
Let the world divide and take them,
Crown its monarchs and unmake them;
But Thou wilt reign.

      Here in abasement,
Crownless, poor, disrobed and bleeding;
There, in glory interceding,
      Thou art the King!

8 Recitative
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
St. John 3:14, 15

9 Chorus
God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whoso believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.
     St. John 3:14, 15

10 Litany of the Passion

Holy Jesu, by Thy Passion,
   By the woes which none can share,
Borne in more than kingly fashion,
   By Thy love beyond compare:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

By the treachery and trial,
   By the blows and sore distress,
By desertion and denial,
   By Thine awful loneliness:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

By Thy look so sweet and lowly,
   While they smote Thee on the Face,
By Thy patience, calm and holy,
   In the midst of keen disgrace:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

By the hour of condemnation,
   By the blood which trickled down,
When, for us and our salvation,
   Thou didst wear the robe and crown:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

By the path of sorrows dreary,
   By the Cross, Thy dreadful load,
By the pain, when faint and weary,
   Thou didst sink upon the road:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

By the Spirit which could render
   Love for hate and good for ill,
By the mercy, sweet and tender,
   Poured upon Thy murderers still:
      Crucified, I turn to Thee,
      Son of Mary, plead for me.

11 Recitative
Jesus said: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
     St. John 3:14, 15

12 Duet
So Thou liftest Thy divine petition,
   Pierced with cruel anguish through and through;
So Thou grievest o’er our lost condition,
   Pleading, “Ah, they know not what they do.”

Oh! ‘twas love, in love’s divinest feature,
   Passing o’er that dark and murderous blot;
Finding, e’en for each low-fallen creature,
   Tho’ they slay Thee, one redeeming spot.

Yes! and still Thy patient heart is yearning
   With a love that mortal scarce can bear;
Thou in pity, deep, divine, and burning,
   Liftest e’en for me Thy mighty prayer.

So Thou pleadest, e’en for my transgression,
   Bidding me look up, and trust, and live;
So Thou murmurest Thine intercession,
   Yea, he knew not; for my sake, forgive.
13 The Mystery of Intercession

Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me,
   While He is nailed to the shameful tree,
Scorned and forsaken, derided and curst,
   See how His enemies do their worst!
Yet, in the midst of the torture and shame,
   Jesus, the Crucified, breathes my name!
      Wonder of wonders, oh! how can it be?
      Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

Lord, I have left Thee, I have denied,
   Followed the world in my selfish pride;
Lord, I have joined in the hateful cry,
   Slay Him, away with Him, crucify!
Lord, I have done it, oh! ask me not how,
   Woven the thorns for Thy tortured Brow;
      Yet in His pity so boundless and free,
      Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

Though thou hast left me and wandered away,
   Chosen the darkness instead of the day,
Though thou art covered with many a stain,
   Though thou hast wounded me oft and again,
Though thou hast followed thy wayward will:
   Yet, in my pity, I love thee still.
      Wonder of wonders it ever must be!
      Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

Jesus is dying, in agony sore,
   Jesus is suffering more and more,
Jesus is bowed with the weight of His woe,
   Jesus is faint with each bitter throe.
Jesus is bearing it all in my stead,
   Pity Incarnate for me has bled;
      Wonder of wonders it ever must be!
      Jesus, the Crucified, pleads for me!

14 Recitative
And one of the malefactors which were hanged, railed on Him, saying, “If thou be the Christ, save thyself and us.” But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss." And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” And Jesus said unto him, “Verily I say unto thee, today shalt thou be with me in Paradise.”
     St. Luke 23:39-43

15 The Adoration of the Crucified

I adore Thee, I adore Thee!
   Glorious ere the world began;
Yet more wonderful Thou shinest,
Though divine, yet still divinest
   In Thy dying love for man.

I adore Thee, I adore Thee!
   Thankful at Thy feet to be;
I have heard Thy accent thrilling,

Lo! I come, for Thou art willing
   Me to pardon, even me.

I adore Thee, I adore Thee!
   Born of woman, yet divine;
Stained with sins I kneel before Thee
Sweetest Jesu, I implore Thee,
   Make me ever only Thine.

16 Recitative
When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple standing by, whom He loved , He saithe unto His mother, “Woman, behold thy son!” Then saithe He to the disciple, “Behold thy mother!” There was darkness over all the land. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?”
     St. John 29:26, 27; St. Matthew 27:45; St. Mark 25:34


17 Recitative
Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of His fierce anger.
     Lamentations 1:22
18 The Appeal of the Crucified

From the Throne of His Cross, the King of grief
   Cries out to a world of unbelief:
Oh! men and women, afar and nigh,
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

I laid my eternal power aside,
   I came from the home of the glorified,
A babe, in the lowly cave to lie;
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

I wept for the sorrows and pains of men,
   I healed them, and helped them, and loved them;
but then They shouted against me, Crucify!
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Behold me and see: pierced through and through
   With countless sorrows - and all is for you;
For you I suffer, for you I die;
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Oh! men and women, your deeds of shame,
   Your sins without reason and number and name,
I bear them all on this Cross on high;
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Is it nothing to you that I bow my head?
   And nothing to you that my blood is shed?
Oh, perishing souls, to you I cry;
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Oh come unto me! by the woes I have borne,
   By the dreadful scourge, and the crown of thorn,
By these I implore you to hear my cry;
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

Oh come unto me! this awful price,
   Redemption’s tremendous sacrifice,
Is paid for you. - Oh, why will ye die?
   Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?

19 Recitative
After this, Jesus knowing all things were now accomplished, saithe, “I thirst.” When Jesus had received the vinegar, He saithe, “It is finished. Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit.” And he bowed His head, and gave up the ghost.
     St. John 29:28-30; St. Luke 23:46

20 For the love of Jesus

All for Jesus - all for Jesus,
   This our song shall ever be;
For we have no hope, nor Saviour,
   If we have not hope in Thee.

All for Jesus - Thou wilt give us
   Strength to serve Thee, hour by hour,
None can move us from Thy presence,
   While we trust Thy love and power.

All for Jesus - at Thine altar
   Thou wilt give us sweet content;
There, dear Lord, we shall receive
   Thee In the solemn sacrament.

All for Jesus - Thou hast loved us;
   All for Jesus - Thou hast died;
All for Jesus - Thou art with us;
   All for Jesus Crucified.

All for Jesus - all for Jesus,
   This the Church’s song must be,
Till, at last, her sons are gathered
   One in love, and one in Thee.


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