A rhythmically driven rock anthem to the risen Christ, “It Is Finished” can be summed as stanza, refrain, stanza, refrain, bridge, refrain. The biggest challenge will be following the rhythm, perhaps best felt rather than counted. A strong, heavy-handed piano introduction quickly leads into the unison women’s entrance at measure 5. Joined in measure 8 with unison men in harmony against the melody, voices continue to sing of the celestial war between good and evil. The stanza takes us to the cross where the battle is won. A victorious refrain is first seen at measure 18 to proclaim the title phrase. Set for SATB voices, the full harmony adds to the celebration. Stanza 2 is set primarily as two-part harmony with text focused on salvation offered to all by Christ. Following another refrain statement, the bridge brings us to the grace that covers our sins. An abrupt modulation propels the tonality from D major into E major for a final refrain.
The accompaniment is true rock. Driving repeated notes imitate an electric bass. Punctuated chords pop beats 1 and 3. Arpeggiated chords build energy throughout the refrain and contrast the stanza material. Vocal ranges are very similar in all parts, requiring mature voices.
Performance options include adding members of the praise band to enhance the style. Put the electric bass on the left-hand rhythms of the piano part. Add electric guitar following the chord chart in the score. A drum set playing a strong 4/4 rock pattern will set this piece in place.
Appropriate days: Good Friday or related Holy Week services and Easter.
Age Level 6-8
Difficulty of vocal parts 6
Difficulty of accompaniment 8