Hymn #198: Lift High the Cross

George William Kitchin (1827-1912) wrote the text on which this hymn is based in 1887 for the festival of the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Winchester Cathedral, England. Emperor Constantine's vision "In this sign, thou shalt conquer" may have been the author's inspiration.

Michael Robert Newbolt (1874-1956) revised George Kitchin's text in 1916, making it less militaristic. The hymn was not printed in a U.S. hymnal until 1974, when it appeared in Hymns for the Living Church.  It has since been included in numerous denominational hymnals.

Sydney Hugo Nicholson (187501947) wrote this melody for the text by Kitchin and Newbolt, and they were printed together in Hymns Ancient and Modern, the 1916 second supplement.  The tune, named CRUCIFER, literally means "cross-bearer."

Sydney Hugo Nicholson was knighted in 1938 for his contributions to English church music.  He served as organist in some of the most prestigious churches in England until 1927, when he resigned to found the School of English Church Music at St. Nicholas College.