As royal banners are unfurled

As royal banners are unfurled,
the cross displays its mystery:
the Maker of our flesh, in flesh,
impaled and hanging helplessly.

Already deeply wounded: see
his side now riven by a spear,
and all our sins are swept away
by blood and water flowing there.

See everything the prophets wrote
fulfilled in its totality,
and tell the nations of the world
our God is reigning from a tree.

This tree, ablaze with royal light
and with the blood-red robe it wears,
is hallowed and embellished
by the weight of holiness it bears.

Stretched like a balance here, his arms
have gauged the price of wickedness;
but, hanging here, his love outweighs
hell's unforgiving bitterness.

The Savior, victim, sacrifice,
is, through his dying, glorified;
his life is overcome by death
and leaps up, sweeping death aside.

We hail the cross, faith's one true hope:
God's passion set in time and space,
by which our guilt is blotted out,
engulfed in such stupendous grace.

Words: Venantius Fortunatus, sixth century;
trans: Alan Gaunt
Words © 1991 by Stainer & Bell Ltd. (admin. by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188).
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US & Canada: Hope Publishing Company,
Rest of the World: Stainer & Bell Ltd.,

Music: Gonfalon Royal

Meter: LM

Website compiled by Steve Benner, 1999-2003.