Fernando Ortega, one of Christian music's most beloved singer/songwriters, returns August 4 with The Crucifixion of Jesus. His first release in six years, the thematic new work brings together 11 contemplative songs and six readings.
Co-produced by Ortega and Bernard Chadwick, and engineered and mixed by GRAMMY® Award-winner Brandon Bell, highlights of the album include "Blessed Be Our God Forever and Ever," "Prepare The Way, O Zion," and "In My Father's Kingdom," a communion hymn. In addition, "Stay With Me Here," featuring cellist Nat Smith, is an adaptation of Jesus' prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, while "Ah Holy Jesus, How Have You Offended," showcases the harmonies of Audrey Assad along with Jonathan and Amanda Noel.
"I started recording demos for the 2016 Easter season, and some of those songs just kind of hit me between the eyes, and I thought 'Man, maybe this is the record I need to make, rewriting songs about Holy Week,'" says Ortega, who also serves as a worship leader at Hope Evangelical Free Church in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Interspersed throughout the recording, Ortega offers narratives drawn from Scripture and liturgy. The readings, selected and edited by his pastor, Gary Villa, carry the listener from the Garden of Gethsemane to Golgotha. "Every aspect of our lives should be measured out by the narrative of Christ's life," Ortega adds. "Year after year, through the journey of this Holy season, Christ's ministry starts again and again."
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Meditate on Jesus’ Sacrifice for Us| Posted July 30, 2017
Fernando Ortega, one of our most loved Christian artists, returns with his first album since 2011’s Come Down O Love Divine. The Crucifixion of Jesus, which features eleven contemplative songs and six readings (which were selected and edited by his pastor), is a wonderful project about Holy Week, that will allow you to meditate on Jesus’ arrest and death and sacrifice. Ortega co-produced the album with Bernard Chadwick, and it was engineered and mixed by Brandon Bell.
Below are a few brief comments on each song:
Blessed Be Our God – This is a beautiful song that features Ortega’s vocal over piano and cello and light backing vocals.
Prepare The Way, O Zion – This song was written by Frans Mikael Franzen. It features light drums, piano and cello. It is about Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem where he will be crucified.
House of Prayer – This short song is about Jesus cleansing the temple (John 11:15-18). His house shall be called a prayer for all nations, but you have made it a den of thieves.
In My Father’s Kingdom – This song is about the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Mark 12-24). It features piano and cello.
Stay with Me Here – The song is about Jesus’ prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane (Mark 26: 26-42). Jesus’ soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. He pleads for his disciples to stay with him and keep watch with him. Features piano and cello.
Your Will Be Done – This short song is a prayer to the Father that His will be done. It features a light guitar.
O Great Love, O Love Beyond Measure – He sings about a great love beyond measure that Jesus would lay down his life for a faithless sinner. He didn’t turn away from those who struck his face. It features piano and guitar.
Ah, Holy Jesus, How Have You Offended? – The was written by Johann Heermann in 1630 about the doctrine of Christ’s atonement. We denied Christ. We crucified him. The song features piano, cello, and backing vocals from Audrey Assad, Jonathan Noel and Amanda Noel.
My Song is Love Unknown – This song previously recorded by Fernando on his 2002 album Night of Your Return. This song features a guitar solo, as well as backing vocals from Audrey Assad. The lyrics were written by Samuel Crossman and John Ireland.
This is my friend, my friend indeed, Who at my need, His life did spend.
Psalm 22 – This short song is taken from Psalm 22:1 which Jesus quoted from cross “My God why have you forsaken me?”
Stricken, Smitten and Afflicted – This song previously recorded by Fernando on his 2002 album Night of Your Return. It features piano, cello and light backing vocals.
Here we have a firm foundation Here the refuge of the lost
Christ the Rock of our Salvation
Is the name on which we boast