The Old Rugged Cross Piano Arrangements

Posted by Yoke Wong on 3/27/2013 to Christian Music

Many pianists wanted to play The Old Rugged Cross because it is a beautiful hymn. However, playing it in hymn style does not do the song justice. To create beautiful arrangements, I play the hymn in country style. I also add runs and fillers in between verses as ornaments. My left hand plays octaves to create a thicker harmony. My arrangements of the hymn can be played solo or as an accompaniment during church services.

Download and print The Old Rugged Cross Sheet Music.


In 1912, The Old Rugged Cross became popular among the Christian community. This hymn was written by George Bennard, a Methodist evangelist and song-leader.

The Old Rugged Cross spoke of George Bennard’s experience as an evangelist. The Bible verses that inspired him to write this hymn are Galatians 6:14, 2 Corinthians 1:5, 1 Corinthians 1:23, and Hebrews 13:12-13. The hymn was Bennard’s reflection on what it meant by sharing Christ’s sufferings and the cross as a symbol of suffering and shame. Though Christians experience many sufferings as the consequence of following Christ, we rejoice in the hope that Jesus Christ will return and we will be crowned in glory because of His righteousness.

  1. On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
    The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
    And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
    For a world of lost sinners was slain.
    So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
    Till my trophies at last I lay down;
    I will cling to the old rugged cross,
    And exchange it some day for a crown.
  2. Oh, that old rugged cross, so despised by the world,
    Has a wondrous attraction for me;
    For the dear Lamb of God left His glory above
    To bear it to dark Calvary.
  3. In that old rugged cross, stained with blood so divine,
    A wondrous beauty I see,
    For ’twas on that old cross Jesus suffered and died,
    To pardon and sanctify me.
  4. To the old rugged cross I will ever be true;
    Its shame and reproach gladly bear;
    Then He’ll call me some day to my home far away,
    Where His glory forever I’ll share.

Essentials of Great Hymn Arrangement

Great Hymn Arrangement Piano Course



Date: 3/28/2013
Do you have the video (DVD) of the arrangement?
Josephine Lucia CLARKE
Date: 3/28/2013
Hello, Yoke Wong, Thank You once again for this most enjoyable Easter music. Thoroughly enjoy spiritual songs and I wish you all a most Blessed and enjoyable Easter weekend. Josephine Lucia CLARKE
Date: 3/28/2013
Hi Abeilles, Yes, the Essentials of Great Hymn Arrangement course have both DVD version and downloadable version. The contents are the same. The DVD version comes with 4 DVDs and a booklet. For more information, please visit Thanks. John
Date: 3/28/2013
Hello, Yoke thank you for your wonderful site that is available to us all and for the easter music. I was wondering if you would have the music for the very old hymn "Thirty Pieces of Silver" (was the price they paid). I remember fifty years ago when I was just a little girl - my Aunty playing an old pedal organ and singing this hymn, I have never forgotten the tune, but have never been able to find the music to it. Would be so happy if You could help with this one! God bless you and yours at t
Date: 3/28/2013
Did you find the music for Thirty Pieces of Silver?
Tarla Varnum
Date: 3/28/2013
Thank you Yoke! This is amazing - I can't wait to play both tunes! Happy Easter! Tarla
Josephine Tomchek
Date: 3/28/2013
Hello Yoke,thank you for your tutorials and the piano contest. I'm just getting better after injuring my right arm. I will get back to my lessons very soon now. Thank you for the beautiful Easter music. Do you know the song "Were you there when they crucified my Lord". Have a Happy and Blessed Easter. T%hank you. Josie Tomchek
Date: 3/28/2013
Hi Yoke, THANK YOU!!!
Date: 3/28/2013
Quite lovely playing of these beloved old hymns that never go out of style because of our dear Savior and what he has done for us. And thank you for the freebies, we appreciate them. Happy Easter Yoke Tanialee
Jo Powell
Date: 3/28/2013
Thank you, Yoke. What a lovely gesture! I shall enjoy playing the Easter pieces on my digital piano. I am always interested in sheet music which has chord notation- intermediate level. A very happy Easter to you and your family. Kind regards, Jo
Date: 3/28/2013
Thank you Yoke Wong. I just enjoyed listening in to your arrangements. Especially liked 'Down at the cross'. May the Lord bless you at Easter time and always. Charmaine
John Hartle
Date: 3/29/2013
Thank you Yoke. I love Christian music. John
Date: 3/29/2013
Yaw Han
Date: 3/29/2013
Thanks for your sharing this wonderful music. Yaw Han
Date: 3/29/2013
Thank you Yoke Wong for sharing your beautiful music. God Bless U & have a wonderful Happy Easter.
Date: 3/29/2013
Thanks & happy Easter
David Odetuyi
Date: 3/29/2013
Thanks & happy Easter
Marlene Brilz
Date: 3/29/2013
Hi Yoke, Thanks for the two hymns; I especially like "The Old Rugged Cross" I can't listen to "Down At The Cross" Can I click on the MP3 download? I have your Hymn Essentials course and do so love to play it. Thanks again Yoke. ~Marlene~
Felecia 3/29/2013
Date: 3/29/2013
Thank you Yoke Wong for the beautiful arrangements of the Old rugged cross and Down at the Cross. Hope you have a Wonder Easter too.
Date: 3/29/2013
Thank you for sharing. And may the Lord hear your prayers and touch you with love this Easter
Date: 3/29/2013
Thank you very much Yoke Wong for sharing these beautiful songs. Happy Easter.
Date: 3/30/2013
Thank you Yoke for this beautiful Easter music and all the past music you have shared with us. I love your arrangements, the music sounds so "full" and always makes me feel like I am a better piano player with your arrangements Happy Easter to you and your family.
Date: 3/30/2013
Date: 3/30/2013
Date: 3/31/2013
Hi yoke Wong thank you and happy Easter you are a gem and you have been a good motivator keep up the spirit.
verda Braxton
Date: 3/31/2013
Hi Yoke Thanks for that beutiful music Verda
verda braxton
Date: 3/31/2013
Hi Yoke Thank you for the beautiful music
James Chinn
Date: 4/1/2013
Dear Yoke, Thank you for the two beautiful songs to work on for Easter. They were any answer to prayer. I have started to memorize the melodies and will soon start to improvise. I enjoy doing business with you and John and look forward to more purchasses in the future. Please keep up the music ministry. Celebrating our risen Christ, James
Date: 4/2/2013
Dear Yoke, Thank you that was so beautiful. Maria
Date: 4/4/2013
Dear Yoko, You have inspired me to learn the old Rugged cross. You are so clear in your teachings.It is one of my best nostalgic hymns , I am trying to memorise the tune and the key chords that you were playing on. Looks so easy smooth flow of tune in your fingers, I wish i could play like you some day? I take time for anything to learn,bare with me. Thank you once again With lots of love and Blessings, Gorky Happy Easter
Maggie Postlethwaite
Date: 4/5/2013
Dear Yoke, You have been such an inspirations to me for so many years. God has blessed you with His love,kindness and generosity. Thank you so much for all that you do for all of us. Peace of Christ be with you always.
Yoke Wong
Date: 4/16/2013
Thank you & God bless you all! Keep up the practice!
Date: 4/28/2013
Thank you very much... you inspire me very much! Good luck and God Bless...
Date: 4/15/2014
Beautiful! Thank you so much! I want to learn this one! I sounds much nicer with fillers, etc. than just the plain hymn. Thank you again!
Date: 4/15/2014
Dear Yoko, Thank you so much for your gift of sharing. I did hymn story painting so I may just do a painting and let everyone know the history behind the song. Again, God bless.
J. Pack
Date: 4/15/2014
It does my no good to watch someway else play. You have to break it down, and show me the sheet, with the notes, what scale. All this does is frustrate me more. My piano teacher fired me. She thinks I am beyond hope. But I keep trying. There is way for you to help, I guess. If you want to take me off your email list, go ahead. (I am 75) thanks anyway, J
Date: 4/15/2014
Date: 4/15/2014
Thanks for sharing this beautiful piece that reminds us of mankind's turning point where One died that all may live, where Jesus paid the penalty of sin that we may all have access to the grace that brings salvation. I look forward to the day I will be able to play beautifully and creatively with ease as you have demonstrated. I also want you to know that I repeatedly sang along while my grandson laughed excitedly running up and down. God bless you!
A Sham
Date: 4/15/2014
Dear Yoke, thank you very much for launching again and helping to refresh our playing during this time of the year. May God Bless you and family and Happy Easter!
Date: 4/15/2014
Hi, Yoke, I'd like to take this opportunity to show my appreciate and wish you happy the Easter. I've read through the basic lesson and make clear of some basic theories, it's quite helpful in learning music sheet and playing piano. I started learning at mt fourties, it's very difficulty. However, your demonstration video give me encouragement. I persist and follow my tutor, and also watch your web video. Now, I can play a little, I feel happy when listen to the beautiful sound I made on the piano. Thanks again.
Date: 4/17/2014
It's a pleasure to sit and listen to such beautiful music, The Oldrugged cross , thank you for sharing this music , which I like very much , and it is a blessing to me . I hope you have a Blessed Easter.....
Date: 4/19/2014
Thanks for all your suggestions and lessons. I have trouble with my downloads. They have a password on them that I did not put there and I do know how to get around it. Still working on it. I do have the music to "Thirty Pieces of Silver" and Play it almost every year.
Date: 4/19/2014
Thanks for all your suggestions and lessons. I have trouble with my downloads. They have a password on them that I did not put there and I do know how to get around it. Still working on it. I do have the music to "Thirty Pieces of Silver" and Play it almost every year.
this is very nice harmony i really enjoyed it, i hope you send more
Date: 4/20/2014

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