Descant to the hymn tune CRUCIFER. Free score with harmonized descant.Free score.

The original version of 'Lift high the cross' was written in 1887 by George W. Kitchin (1827-1912) for the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. The hymn was intended to be used for a festival service at Winchester Cathedral, England. Four years after the author's death, a revision was done by Michael R. Newbolt (1874-1956) who set the text in 'couplets' to accommodate the unusual structure of the tune CRUCIFER, which appeared in 1916.

The iconic tune  was composed by Sydney H  Nicholson (1875-1947). He was editor of the 1916 supplement to the landmark volume, Hymns Ancient and Modern, and the tune was first published in that supplement. Appointed to the post of organist and choirmaster at Westminster Abbey, he became so alarmed at the state of choral music in the nation's parish churches, that he founded the Royal School of Church Music in 1927, and a year later left the prestigious position at Westminster Abbey and took lesser posts in order to devote his time and energy to the larger whole of the Church of England (and indirectly, the entire Anglican Communion). He was knighted in 1938.

Descant for the Choirs of St Peter's Episcopal Church, Cambridge MA.


Updated: Aug 2018

Organ score with harmonization and descant part.

v.4 (audio demo starts here)

So shall our song of triumph ever be:

praise to the Crucified for victory.


Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim

till all the world adore His sacred name.

– George W. Kitchin, 1887, adapt. Michael Newbolt, 1916

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