Monthly with Hymn, March
As he came near his death, Henry Francis Lyte – a Scottish Anglican minister – wrote this hymn as a prayer. At his funeral, gatherers sang it for the first time.
Lyte was preparing to deliver a final communion service at his church of 24 years before leaving for Italy due to declining health. The writing of this hymn was a time of sadness as he left his life work. He made it only as far as Nice, France, where he died in 1847.
This hymn, sung as a deeply personal prayer, asks the Lord to remain with us, help and comfort us (stanzas one and two), keep the cross before us, and shine through the gloom in life and death (stanza three).
Abide With Me is sung to the tune of Eventide, composed by organist William Henry Monk in 1861. The hymn has such popularity across Christian denominations that it appears in nearly every hymn book.
Join me here for a short devotional on this hymn.