Tonight I went to see John Stainer’s “The Crucifixion” from 1887 performed at Lanercost Priory in Brampton. Undoubtedly the best and most familiar piece in this oratorio is “God So Loved the World.” It was performed beautifully in an amazing venue. One thing that stood out to me in Stainer’s work were the almost hymn-like anthems of agony or worship between recitatives of scripture.
The best part of the evening, however, was the decision the director made earlier that day to end one song early with “After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished.” This song ends with the tenor singing (a cappella), “And He bowed His head and gave up the ghost.” And that was it, we were left into the night and the quiet meditation of what the Son of God has done for us.
Surely He took up our infirmities
and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered Him stricken by God,
smitten by Him, and afflicted.