Here is a lovely tapestry depicting the martyrdom of St Magnus.
The Cathedral was founded by Earl Rognvald in the memory of his relative St Magnus, who had been murdered by his cousin Hakon, co-ruler of the Orkneys. Hakon is depicted in a stained glass window in the north transept which dates from the 19th century. In 1980, local children contributed a whole series of paintings to show the events in his life and the brutal murder.
The following hymn is usually sung to the Tune 'St Magnus' by Jeremiah Clark (1670-1707).
The head that once was crowned with thorns
Is crowned with glory now;
A royal diadem adorns
The mighty victor’s brow.
The highest place that Heav’n affords
Belongs to Him by right;
The King of kings and Lord of lords,
And Heaven’s eternal Light.
The joy of all who dwell above,
The joy of all below,
To whom He manifests His love,
And grants His Name to know.
To them the cross with all its shame,
With all its grace, is given;
Their name an everlasting name,
Their joy the joy of Heaven.
They suffer with their Lord below;
They reign with Him above;
Their profit and their joy to know
The mystery of His love.
The cross He bore is life and health,
Though shame and death to Him,
His people’s hope, His people’s wealth,
Their everlasting theme.
T Kelly (1769-1854)