December 8, 2012

Take Up Your Cross

If You Would Be My Disciple 

Take Up Your Cross is an adaption by Anthony G. Petti (1932-1985) of the 1833 hymn by the American Episcopal Clergyman, Charles William Everest (1814-1877). It was written when he was just 19 years old and published in his first volume of poetry, Vision of Death. It is set to the tune, Breslau from the As Hymnodus Sacer (1625) with later harmonies added by Felix Mendelssohn (1807-1847). It is also the same tune used for We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died (see 1st video). An alternative tune that can also be used is Bourbon (see 2nd video). In the Liturgy of the Hours, Take Up Your Cross the Savior Said is used during Lent and Holy Week.

Tune: Breslau (We Sing the Praise of Him Who Died)

TAKE UP THY CROSS by Charles William Everest, 1833 (Public Domain)

1. “Take up thy cross,” the Savior said,
“If thou wouldst My disciple be;
Deny thyself, the world forsake,
And humbly follow after Me.”

 2. Take up thy cross, let not its weight
Fill thy weak spirit with alarm;
His strength shall bear thy spirit up,
And brace thy heart and nerve thine arm.

 3. Take up thy cross, nor heed the shame,
Nor let thy foolish pride rebel;
Thy Lord for thee the cross endured,
And saved thy soul from death and hell.

 4. Take up thy cross then in His strength,
And calmly sin’s wild deluge brave,
’Twill guide thee to a better home,
It points to glory o’er the grave.

 5. Take up thy cross and follow Christ,
Nor think til death to lay it down;
For only those who bear the cross
May hope to wear the glorious crown.

 6. To Thee, great Lord, the One in Three,
All praise forevermore ascend:
O grant us in our home to see
The heavenly life that knows no end.

Tune: Bourbon

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