Saturday, May 3, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays

Henry F. Lyte wrote the hymn "Abide With Me" at the very end of his life. Lyte wrote it to his own tune, but today it is sung to Eventide, composed in 10 minutes by the organist William Monk, during what his widow recalled as “...a time of great sorrow. Hand in hand we were silently watching the glory of the setting sun (our daily habit) until the golden hue had faded… Then he took paper and penciled the tune which has gone all over the world.”

We often think of this song as a "funeral song", but the words bring comfort no matter the circumstance in our lives. Lyte wrote the words based on the passage in Luke where the disciples met Jesus on the road to Emmaus.

But the disciples constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.
No matter what season of life we are in, be it sorrow, pain, joy or growth, He abides with us always. In the valley and on the mountain, He is there to give us strength. In health and in sickness, He is there. On death's very threshold, He is there to comfort us. I can think of no greater joy than to die with His name on my lips in praise and joyful anticipation of being in His presence.

In my family, it's not unusual for someone to say, "I want (blank) sung at my funeral. Verses 1, 2 and 4 with a key change on the last verse." Seriously. We take our music seriously. Well, this is one of mine. All five verses. Preferably a cappella by a mixed choir. A girl can dream, can't she?

Abide with me;
Fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens;
Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers
Fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless,
O, abide with me.

Swift to its close
Ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim,
Its glories pass away;
Change and decay
In all around I see—
O Thou who changest not,
Abide with me.

I need Thy presence
Every passing hour;
What but Thy grace
Can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself,
My guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine,
Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe,
With Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight,
And tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting?
Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still,
If Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross
Before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom
And point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks,
And earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.


A Stone Gatherer said...

Beautiful! He is the only one with us all the way to Heaven! I love that old song!

Mocha with Linda said...

I love it!!! And I adore acapella singing. Beautiful, beautiful.

And regarding the funeral thing, those poor 3rd verses of the songs always get left out! I'm like you - I want ALL of 'em!

Tänia said...

I did not know this about the song! Thank you for sharing! Blessings to you!

Tänia of

Peggy said...

Thanks so much for the background info on THIS GREAT HYMN! Indeed, has words of comfort!

Glory to Him in whom we ABIDE!
Blessings and thanks, Peggy

Peggy said...

Thanks so much for the background info on THIS GREAT HYMN! Indeed, has words of comfort!

Glory to Him in whom we ABIDE!
Blessings and thanks, Peggy

luvmy4sons said...

Great song! Love it! I am glad you remembered it and posted this! And thanks for your prayers. But I wanted you to know all is well at my house. These are typical growing pains of a family as the children become will all be okay!

Dave and Lisa Swinney said...

My husband knew that tune but I did not. Great words! I hope you had fun on your trip!