Abide with Me (ELW 629)
1 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, oh, abide with me.
2 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.
3 I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, oh, abide with me.
4 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!
5 Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
According to the story, the author of the music for this hymn was attending a hymnal committee meeting, was given this text, and wrote the music in ten minutes. I absolutely can believe this, as this is a very moving and beautiful piece of music. It is so wonderful to have this hymn as a reminder that God is with us always, through all life’s ups and downs, when we are right, and when we are wrong, and mostly perhaps, especially at the time of death of ourselves or a loved one.
Dearest heavenly father, help us to remember and trust that “when other helpers fail and comforts flee” you are indeed always with us through everything that life has to bring. Trusting in your great love we pray. Amen.