I was first introduced to this piece as a music major in college. The experience of this powerful music has lingered with me since. MacMillan has mastered the art of juxtaposing the sublimely beautiful with the gritty and sometimes painful. What better setting than Christ upon the cross? It is difficult to pick my favorite of all the movements, however the 3rd movement "Verily I say unto thee" is spectacular in its setting. It begins with a tenor and bass duet that is impressive in difficulty and execution. The strings then come in with a soaring melody that truly speaks to the holy inspiration of the Christ on the cross. This pattern continues with a tenor duet alternating with strings and full chorus and an alto/soprano duet, until it comes to the ultimate finale with 2 sopranos singing in the extremes of the soprano tessitura. It is absolutely awe-inspiring. The first time I heard this, it brought tears to my eyes. My other favorite movement is the 7th movement. However, to just listen to the 7th movement without hearing the jarring and painful 6th movement is, for lack of a better word, sacriligious. The 6th movement "It is finished" is set as jarring and painful stabs of strings are momentarily interrupted with a sweet choral setting of text, "my eyes are blind with weeping." It is almost as if, the transcendence of Jesus' soul is interrupted by the demands and pain of the body and vice versus as He is able to remove Himself from the pain of his body to see beyond the moment into eternity. The movement ends with this painful pulsing that could be interpreted to be his beating heart in the final moments of life. The 7th movement begins with the exclaimation of "Father." It almost feels as if all mankind with one voice cries out in shame, fear, hope, love, and surrender to the Almighty. This piece is life changing. I highly recommend listening. However, it is best recieved with an open heart and mind. The text is set in both latin and english, so the listener might enjoy this while reading the text at each start of each movement. I hope that you will enjoy this as much as I.