In Life, in Death, O Lord, Abide with Me

February 16, 2011 — Leave a comment

Henry F. Lyte wrote the hymn “Abide With Me” in 1847 while dying from tuberculosis. It’s a prayer to the Lord to be near the believer in life and, in particular, death. The lyrics below are from the Trinity Hymnal.

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 ev’ry 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, O 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.

Over the past week I’ve really enjoyed Page CXVI’s beautiful rendition of this hymn on the album Hymns II. Make sure to check it out.

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