David Hepburn is a retired minister-of-music, choir director, band director, missionary, teacher, and school president, and a fine tenor and trumpeter. His many compositions are a testament to the works of Jesus he has seen in the lives of others and in his own life.
This piece is a unique choral piece in that is is not bound by structure, but rather fully expresses an irregular lyric that throws light on the contrasts present on Calvary on the day of crucifixion and in the garden on the morning of the resurrection.
This piece opens with a very expressive organ introduction, followed by a smooth and harmonious treatment of the opening several lines. The women's voices then take over for a few lines. The men then come back and deliver a strident interpretation of the guarding of the tomb, with the full choir carrying the rest of the piece to its conclusion.
This piece was clearly written and intended to be sung with organ, and there are no good workarounds for piano.
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Though the timbers were rugged that formed
Mount Calv'ry's cross,
Upon which the Savior painf'ly suffered and died,
The heart of the Lord remained tender, compassionate
For those who conspired to have Him crucified.
Though the skies clouded strangely and darkness prevailed,
And the earth shook and trembled in the darkness as night.
Yet the face of the Savior though scarred by a crown of thorns,
Rebuffed evil's darkness,
Revealed heaven's light!
Though the tomb sealed and guarded by
Rome's mighty army seemed to say to the people,
"It is over, death has won!"
God the Father was Victor, He showed His mighty power,
On the third day resurrecting the Messiah, God's Son!
He is risen, triumphant o'er the old rugged cross.
He is risen redeeming those captive to sin.
He is risen victorious over death as sin's penalty,
He is risen, He is risen, He is risen, Amen! Amen!