A major feast observed on Sept. 14 in honor of Christ's self-offering on the cross for our salvation. The collect for Holy Cross Day recalls that Christ "was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world unto himself," and prays that "we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow Him"
This feast is known as "The Exaltation of the Holy Cross" in the eastern church and in missals and sacramentaries of the western church, and it is known as "The Triumph of the Cross" in the Roman Catholic Church. It was one of the 12 great feasts in the Byzantine liturgy.
Historically, the feast has been associated with the dedication on Sept. 14, 335, of a complex of buildings built by the Emperor Constantine (c. 285-337) in Jerusalem on the sites of the crucifixion and Christ's tomb.
The music for this hymn was composed by the great Australian/English organ virtuoso, George Thalben-Ball (1896-1987). He was renowned as recitalist, composer and as director of music at the Temple Church in London from 1923-1982 - which is a long time to survive in ANY church setting!
This tune, which will probably be unfamiliar to most is named, "Arden," and it is decidedly "English" in character.
The words come from the Stanbrook Abbey Hymnal, which dates from 1974. Stanbrook is an ancient order of Benedictine nuns, and I was sad to discover that their magnificent buildings are now a hotel, and their splendid chapel, still replete with grand organ, are now an events hall... :-(
The score of the hymn is attached below, but you will need to see the First Comment for the text.
This modest upload is dedicated to my good friend, EdoL. He had requested an upload of the hymn, "Lift high the Cross," and I had planned to do it today, but, I'd already uploaded it:
Also attached are photos of George Thalben-Ball, the Temple Church in London, and the former chapel of Stanbrook Abbey.