On Good Friday we commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus and his death at Calvary. This Good Friday service features a special performance by our Virtual Handbell choir performing A. Sherman’s “What Wondrous Love Is This.” Because the Cross represents the way Jesus died, we also sing these three hymns, “Jesus Keep Me Near The Cross,” “Beneath The Cross Of Jesus,” and “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross.” On this day, as we enter more deeply into the passion of Jesus, we allow Jesus’ passionate love for us to enter our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls more deeply as well. May our music inspire us to hold firm to our faith and rejoice that Jesus’ death paid the price for our sin.
Isaac Watts, a Christian minister, and hymn writer, wrote the hymn “When I Survey The Wondrous Cross” in 1707 based on the Crucifixion. Watts is credited with some 750 hymns. Sung to the tune ‘Rockingham,’ it is used for many years by the BBC to introduce its 7am broadcast on Good Friday.
Fanny Crosby wrote the hymn “Jesus Keeps Me Near The Cross, published in 1869. William Howard Doane composed the tune before Crosby wrote the lyrics. The hymn is based on Galatians 6:14. This is one of Crosby’s best-known hymns and has been translated into several languages, including Russian, German, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
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