“On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.”
The Old Rugged Cross is an appropriate hymn any time of year, but it seems especially fitting as we approach Easter.
The song gives us a chance to reflect on the sacrifice of Christ and the promises of heaven.
*Some links in the post are affiliate links, see disclosure below*
The Old Rugged Cross Background
The Old Rugged Cross was written in 1913 by George Bennard. Bennard was born in Youngstown, OH, in 1873 but moved to Iowa as a child. He was an ordained Methodist preacher who was inspired to write the song while meditation on John 3:16.
Bennard first performed the song for a pastor and his wife at a church where he was leading a revival. He later performed the song at the revival service. The church building where that revival was held has been preserved and is owned by The Old Rugged Cross Foundation.
Old Rugged Cross Hymn Study Art Lesson
Nana over at You ARE An Artist has created a beautiful chalk pastel lesson perfect for this hymn. She has an entire Easter lessons course included with the clubhouse membership or available to purchase as a standalone course.
We used the Easter Cross lesson to accompany this hymn. I love how it portrays the cross with flowers in front, and it does a beautiful job expressing both the pain and loss of Good Friday and the joy and hope of Easter Sunday.
Hands-On Hymn Study Ideas for The Old Rugged Cross
In addition to learning about the hymn and completing the art lesson, there are several ways to add a hands-on component to your hymn study.
First and most obviously, take the time to sing the hymn as a family. There are various versions of the Old Rugged Cross included in the resources list below. Even if, like me, singing is not your gift, you can make a joyful noise unto the Lord.
Next, if you have a child that enjoys instruments, you can add that into your hymn study. My older children enjoy violin, piano, and guitar in my family, and I try to find simple sheet music for our hymns that they can learn on their instrument of choice. My daughter is enjoying the violin music for The Old Rugged Cross.
If your children do not play a particular instrument but are interested, you could start with rhythm instruments or a recorder. (And if you are looking for affordable music lessons, I always recommend Practice Monkeys.)
The Old Rugged Cross also lends itself to creating a craft as part of your study. Your children could create a cross using wood, clay, or whatever materials you have one hand.
Other Resources For Old Rugged Cross
You can find FREE copywork and a hymn information worksheet for The Old Rugged Cross in our subscriber library (see the link to join at the bottom of the post.)
Alan Jackson’s Old Rugged Cross
Fountainview Academy Old Rugged Cross (accompanied by string and brass instruments)
Delores Winans Old Rugged Cross (Gospel Version)
Bluegrass Style Old Rugged Cross
Resource Library and Affiliate Disclosure
When you sign up for the Schoolin’ Swag free resource library you will get a link and password to the library, we are adding to the library each month with new items. You will also get a bi-weekly newsletter email to keep you up to date on what we have going on.
This post may contain affiliate or referral links, including Amazon affiliate links. As always I will never recommend a product that I don’t believe in and you will never be charged more for purchasing through our links. It does help pay for the costs associated with the blog.