FERNANDO ORTEGA, one of Christian music’s most beloved singer/songwriters, has returned 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.”