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Music Suggestions
The Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Liturgical Music

Official texts

Other liturgical music


  • All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name (WIII #494, ICEL #102, HH #285, PMB #99, CH #521, CHB #199, SMH #204, EH #355, VII #225)
  • At the Name of Jesus (WIII #499, ICEL #104, HPSC #116, CBW #538, HH #137, AH #602, CH #538, CHB #207, SMH #225, EH #356, VII #310)
  • Christ Is the King (WIII #500, CH #540, HH #286, CBW #546, EH #543)
  • Christ's Church Shall Glory in His Power (WIII #616, CH #487)
  • Crown Him with Many Crowns (AH #481, CBW #549, CH #525, HPSC #145, ICEL #106, PMB #96, WIII #496, CHB #141, SMH #272, EH #352, VII #214)
  • Hail, O Once Despised Jesus (HPSC #175, EH #357)
  • Hail, Redeemer, King Divine (CH #337, PMB #101, HPSC #173, HH #267, AH #482, SMH #331, CHB #142)
  • Hail the Sign, the Cross of Jesus (HPSC #177)
  • Hail Thee, Festival Day (AH #414, CBW #509, CH #274, HPSC #179, PMB #78, WIII #444, SMH #333, EH #86/102/107)
  • I Sing the Mighty Power of God (WIII #502, ICEL #228, HPSC #197, AH #616, CH #565, SMH #359, VII #218)
  • Let Us Join in the Feast from Hymns for the Liturgical Year (Kathleen Pluth)
  • Lift High the Cross (WIII #704, HPSC #207, CD #847, PMB #56, HH #268, CBW #545, CH #542, AH #606, SMH #398, VII #244)
  • O Christ, Our Hope (ICEL #107, HH #269, CH #509, SMH #435)
  • O Christ, the World's Salvation (Dennis DiPaolo)
  • O Cross of Christ (PMB #46, HH #91, CH #254, AH #361, CBW #483)
  • Sing, My Tongue, the Glorious Battle (AH #404, CBW #583, CH #364, HPSC #298, ICEL #145, WIII #437, CHB #69, EH #66, VII #274/5)
  • Take Up Your Cross (WIII #634, ICEL #51, HPSC #309, CD #927, PMB #44, HH #68, CBW #485, CH #651, SMH #544)
  • The Eternal Gifts of Christ the King (HPSC #317, ICEL #203, HH #300, CH #343, SMH #556, EH #132)
  • The Head That Once Was Crowned with Thorns (WIII #464, ICEL #105, HH #303, CH #516, CHB #90, SMH #561, EH #106, VII #253)
  • The Royal Banners Forward Go (WIII #435, HPSC #328, AH #381, CHB #70, EH #63)
  • To the Name That Brings Salvation (CHB #270, HPSC #333, EH #326)
  • What Wondrous Love Is This? (CD #822, WIII #600, HH #95, PMB #157, ICEL #164, CH #530, HH #95, SMH #607)
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (ICEL #63, WIII #433, CH #263, PMB #53, CBW #489, CHB #72, SMH #609/10, EH #337, VII #341)
AH = The Adoremus Hymnal, Ignatius Press
CBW = Catholic Book of Worship II / Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops
CD = Cantate Domino / Hymnal Supplement, GIA Publications, Inc.
CH = The Collegeville Hymnal, The Liturgical Press
CHB = The Catholic Hymn Book [London Oratory], Gracewing Publishers
EH = The Hymnal 1940 (Episcopal), used by many Anglican Use Roman Catholic parishes
HH = Hymnal of the Hours, GIA Publications, Inc.
HPSC = Hymns, Psalms & Spiritual Canticles, out of print but excellent
ICEL = ICEL Resource Collection, GIA Publications, Inc.
PMB = People's Mass Book, World Library Publications, Inc.
SMH = The Saint Michael Hymnal – 3rd Edition 2003, Saint Boniface Church, Lafayette IN
VII = Vatican II Hymnal, Corpus Christi Watershed
WIII = Worship, 3rd Edition, GIA Publications, Inc.

Choral Music

  • Adoramus te, Christe (Gregor Aichinger, Giovanni Matteo Asola, Johannes Brahms, William Byrd, Clemens non Papa, Quirino Gasparini, Orlando di Lasso, Giovanni Battista Martini, Claudio Monteverdi, G.P. da Palestrina, Giacomo Antonio Perti, Giuseppe Pitoni, Ascanio Trombetti, Ludovico da Viadana)
  • Anima Christi (Calvert Shenk)
  • As Moses Lifted up the Serpent (Edward Baristow) [Oxford]
  • At the Name of Jesus (Jean Langlais) [Hinshaw]
  • At the Name of Jesus (Ralph Vaughan Williams) [Oxford]
  • Ave verum corpus (Gabriel Fauré, W.A. Mozart)
  • By Thy Glorious Death (Antonin Dvorak)
  • Christ Hath Humbled Himself (Healey Willan) [Concordia]
  • Christus factus est (Felice Anerio, Anton Bruckner, Francesco Durante, Johann Ernst Eberlin, José Maurício Nunes Garcia , Jacob Handl, Johann Michael Haydn, G.P. da Palestrina)
  • Christus vincit (Gregorian chant) [see Catholic Hymn Book #298]
  • Crucem tuam (Jacques Berthier) Taizé Community [GIA Publications]
  • Crux fidelis (Gregorian chant) [Liber usualis p.709]
  • God So Loved the World (Hugo Distler, John Goss, John Stainer, G.P. Telemann, P. Tschesnokoff, Melchior Vulpius)
  • Heilig (Felix Mendelssohn)
  • In nomine Jesu (Jacob Handl) [GIA Publications]
  • Let This Mind Be in You (Arthur Wills) [Novello]
  • O Crux ave (Rev. David Friel)
  • O crux benedicta (Francisco Guerrero, Cipriano de Rore)
  • O crux benedicta (Monteverdi/Smedley) [GIA Publications]
  • O crux spes unica (Tomás Luis de Victoria)
  • O crux splendidior (Andrea Gabrieli, Francisco Guerrero, Peter Philips)
  • Per signum crucis (Francesco Durante, Francisco Guerrero)
  • Per tuam crucem (Cristóbal de Morales)
  • Salvator mundi, Domine (John Sheppard)
  • Salvator mundi (Tallis / Kenney)
  • Sicut Moses serpentem (Heinrich Schütz) [Associates Publ
  • Signum crucis mirabile (Cristóbal de Morales)
  • Surely He Hath Borne Our Griefs (R. Evan Copley)
  • Take Up Your Cross (Storm Knien)
  • The Royal Banners (Richard Peek)
  • Vere languores (Antonio Lotti, Tomás Luis de Victoria)
  • Vexilla regis prodeunt (Gregorian chant) from Booklet of Chant, Volume 2
  • Vexilla regis (Michael Birkley) [GIA Publications]
  • Vexilla regis (Anton Bruckner, Horatio W. Parker, Michael Praetorius, Tomás Luis de Victoria)
  • We Should Glory in the Cross (Rev. Thomas Buffer)
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Melchior Vulpius) [Concordia]
  • When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Thomas Jarman)

Organ Music

  • Chorale Prelude on Diademata (James Pethel) [The Sacred Organ Folio - Lorenz Publ Co]
  • Crown Him with Many Crowns (Robert Crane) [Parish Organist XI - Concordia]
  • Crown Him with Many Crowns (Wilbur Held) [Hymn Preludes for the Pentecost Season - Concordia 97-5517]
  • Ellacombe (Lois Hill) [Organist's Companion, March 1999]
  • Fantasy on Vexilla regis prodeunt (John Bull) [Anthologia pro organo III]
  • Festival Intrada on Ellacombe (Roger Bailey) [Consoliere V-2]
  • Festive Processionals for Brass and Organ (Calvert Shenk)
  • Fugue sur le Pange lingua (Nicolas deGrigny) [Anthologia pro organo II - Schott Frères]
  • Hymn Prelude on Diademata (Peter Pindar Stearns) [Eight Hymn Preludes for Ascension & Pentecost - Flammer]
  • Lift High the Cross (Paul Manz) [Improvisations on Great Hymns of Faith - Morning Star Music Publ 10-839]
  • Lift High the Cross (Charles Ore) [Eleven Compositions for Organ Bk 3 - Concordia 97-5702]
  • Lift High the Cross (Lani Smith) [Organist, September 1982]
  • Music for A Festive Occasion (Tim Knight)
  • Pange lingua (Nicolas deGrigny) [Anthologia pro organo IV - Schott Frères]
  • Pange lingua (Jean Titelouze) [Anthologia pro organo I - Schott Frères] [Organist's Companion, September 1996]
  • Prelude on Ellacombe (Alfred Fedak) [Organist's Companion, March 1991]
  • Prelude on King's Majesty (Graham George)
  • Prelude on King's Weston (David N. Johnson) [Augsburg]
  • Prelude on Pange lingua (Donna Robertson)
  • Prelude on the Gregorian Song Pange lingua (A.P.F. Boely) [Historical Organ Recitals III - G. Schirmer 1090 ]
  • Prelude on Vexilla regis (Flor Peeters, Ernst Pepping, Healey Willan)
  • Processional on Lift High the Cross (Donald Busarow) [Concordia 97-5442]
  • Processional on Lift High the Cross (Alice Jordan) [Organist's Companion, April 1985]
  • Sing, My Tongue, the Savior's Glory (Wilbur Held) [Organist's Companion, June 1986]
  • Sing, My Tongue, the Savior's Glory (Paul Manz) [Parish Organist XI - Concordia]
  • The Royal Banners Forward Go (Wilbur Held) from A Suite of Passion Hymn Settings [Concordia 97-4843]
  • Tiento: Pange lingua (Johannis Cabanilles) [Anthologia pro organo II - Schott Frères]
  • Variations on Ellacombe [Organist's Companion, September 1996]
  • Versets on the Hymn Chant Pange lingua (Gian Domenico Cattenacci) [Italian Organ Music of the 18th Century II]
  • Vexilla regis (Everett Titcomb) [B.F. Wood]

Liturgical Hints & Ideas

This feast outranks a Sunday in Ordinary Time. It recalls the finding of the True Cross by Saint Helena in the early fourth century. She had a church built on the site of Christ's crucifixion and burial, which was dedicated on September 14, 355. Apart from feasts overtly celebrating a church dedication (one is coming up in a few months), many feasts derive their particular calendar dates from the dedication of a church building in honor of the saint (or object) … like today's feast, as well as the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel (September 29) and the Memorial of Our Lady of the Snow (August 5).

The cross plays a central role in today's liturgy. The processional cross and sanctuary cross might be decorated, and could be honored with incense at the beginning and at Offertory time. Music can easily reinforce the theme of cross and triumph. Much like Corpus Christi can more joyfully celebrate the Eucharist than Holy Thursday (during Holy Week), so too can the Exaltation of the Holy Cross be our joyful "Good Friday" outside Holy Week.

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