Lift High The Cross [Single Use]

Lift High The Cross [Single Use]


A majestic processional hymn with 21st-century flair.

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This stately processional hymn suits the organ—known as the king of instruments—extremely well. Watch this video to hear the tune with a choir processing with organ…


After a little investigating, I learned that the tune, Crucifer, was composed by Sydney Nicholson for the text written by George Kitchen. Both men hailed from England. Having just visited London, I enjoyed a Rick Steve’s audio tour that passed by the majestic facade of Westminster Abbey. Now I want to cross the pond again so I can hear the organ as Nicholson held the organist position there from 1919-1928!

Westminster Abbey


It’s fascinating how ideas and history and creativity and activities intersect. Soon after my return from London, I was thinking ahead to Holy Week and planning what to play for services.

Because I like to turn things upside and because “Lift High the Cross” is not typicallyplayed on the piano, I ventured over to the keys not knowing of the tune’s connections to my recent trip. I had a ball exploring rhythmic and harmonic possibilities on the piano. My explorations led to this setting.

Your congregation may enjoy hearing this as a prelude or postlude on Palm Sunday or Easter or any festive service. It’s brief on purpose as the service music I usually prepare needs to be around 2-4 minutes. Feel free to add repeats if necessary! It’s fairly accessible with some syncopation and just a few hand shifts and leaps to master. 

Watch a performance of the piano setting here:


This is for SINGLE USE ONLY. Please do not share copies with other teachers.

Please DO share this link with fellow teachers and pianists so they can get their own copy and enjoy the piece, too.


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