Thought of the day - 15 April

Published on Wednesday 15 April 2020

What is your favourite hymn?

One of mine is 'Abide with me'.

It is a hymn written by Reverend Edward Frenkiel Lyte in 1847. Henry was born on 1st June 1793, in a small village Ednam, Scotland to an English couple of a captain in the British Army, Thomas Lyte. When he was about two years old his parents moved to Dublin, Ireland. Lyte obtained his degree at Trinity College there. During his curacy, he was called to the bedside of an elderly man who was dying. As he stood there holding the old man's hand he heard the dying mand saying: 'Abide with me, Lord, abide with me!' This experience had given him a deep impression that he wrote the prolific hymn 'Abide with Me' before he passed away. He served a local church in Lower Brixham during his final years where he got in an advanced stage of consumption and passed away on 20th November 1847. The church sent him on a holiday to Nice, France to have a break. And knowing that he might never return he wrote this hymn using the beautiful verse from St Luke chapter 24 that he dwelt on so long. This hymn has given much inspiration to many people. One of them was Queen Victoria. She requested this hymn to be sung as she lay dying at Osborne on the Isle of Wight.

Abide with Me

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

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 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
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee
In life, in death, o Lord, abide with me
Abide with me, abide with me

You can hear the hymn sung by King's College, Cambridge here on YouTube.

As we go on with lockdown for further 3 weeks we all may feel anxious and worried about the future. But I hope that this hymn may bring you some peace and comfort as it has for me.

Stay safe and well.



 Back to news page