Scripture Verse

They urged Him strongly, Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over. Luke 24:29


Words: Hen­ry F. Lyte, 1847.

Music: Ev­en­tide Will­iam H. Monk, 1861 (🔊 pdf nwc).

Alternate Tunes:

Henry F. Lyte (1793–1847)

Origin of the Tune

Mrs. Monk des­cribed the tune’s set­ting:

This tune was writ­ten at a time of great sor­row—when to­ge­ther we watched, as we did dai­ly, the glo­ries of the set­ting sun. As the last gol­den ray faded, he took some pa­per and pen­ciled that tune which has gone all over the earth.

Origin of the Lyrics

The sum­mer was pass­ing away, and the month of Sep­tember (that month in which he was once more to quit his na­tive land), and each day seemed to have a special val­ue as be­ing one day near­er his de­part­ure.

His fa­mi­ly were sur­prised and al­most al­armed at his an­nounc­ing his in­ten­tion of preach­ing once more to his peo­ple. His weak­ness, and the pos­si­ble dan­ger at­tend­ing the ef­fort, were urged to pre­vent it, but in vain.

It was bet­ter, as he used oft­en play­ful­ly to say, when in com­pa­ra­tive health, to wear out than to rust out. He felt that he should be en­abled to ful­fill his wish, and feared not for the re­sult.

His ex­pec­ta­tion was well found­ed. He did preach, and amid the breath­less at­ten­tion of his hear­ers gave them the ser­mon on the Ho­ly Com­mu­nion…

He af­ter­wards as­sist­ed at the ad­minis­tra­tion of the Ho­ly Eu­cha­rist, and though ne­ces­sa­ri­ly much ex­haust­ed by the ex­er­tion and ex­cite­ment of this ef­fort, yet his friends had no rea­son to be­lieve that it had been hurt­ful to him.

In the ev­en­ing of the same day he placed in the hands of a near and dear re­la­tive the lit­tle hymn, Abide with Me, with an air of his own com­pos­ing, adapt­ed to the words.

Anna Ma­ria Max­well Hogg
Remains of the Late Rev. Henry Francis Lyte
Lon­don: Riv­ing­ton, 1850


The hymn be­came a fa­vou­rite of George V and George VI and was sung at the for­mer’s fu­ne­ral. The hymn al­so in­spired Field Mar­shal Her­bert Kitch­en­er and Ge­ne­ral Charles Chi­nese Gor­don, and it was said to have been on the lips of Edith Ca­vell as she faced a Ger­man fir­ing squad [in World War I].

Abide with Me has been sung at the FA Cup fi­nals since 1927 when the as­so­ci­ation sec­re­ta­ry sub­sti­tut­ed the hymn for the play­ing of Al­ex­an­der’s Rag­time Band. In Rug­by league, the hymn has been sung be­fore the Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal since 1929, the first year the match was staged at Wem­bley Sta­dium.

Abide with Me is al­so played by the com­bined bands of the In­di­an Armed Forc­es dur­ing the an­nu­al Beat­ing Re­treat ce­re­mo­ny held on 29 Jan­ua­ry at Vi­jay Chowk, New Del­hi, which of­fi­cial­ly marks the end of Re­pub­lic Day ce­le­bra­tions. The hymn is the Por­to­ra Roy­al School vic­to­ry song and is sung at its re­mem­brance service.

Swedish com­pos­er Svea Nord­blad We­lan­der al­so used the Swed­ish ver­sion of Lyte’s text for her 1949 com­po­si­tion Bliv kvar hos mig.

Wikipedia, ac­cessed 14 Nov 2020


Supper at Emmaus
Diego Velázquez (1599–1660)

Abide with me!
Fast falls the ev­en­tide;
The dark­ness thick­ens.
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!

Not a brief glance
I beg, a pass­ing word;
But as Thou dwell’st
With Thy dis­ci­ples, Lord,
Familiar, con­des­cend­ing,
Patient, free.
Come, not to so­journ,
But abide with me.

Come not in ter­rors,
As the King of kings,
But kind and good,
With heal­ing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes,
A heart for ev­ery plea,
Come, friend of sin­ners,
And abide with me.

Thou on my head
In ear­ly youth didst smile;
And though re­bel­li­ous
And per­verse mean­while,
Thou hast not left me,
Oft as I left Thee,
On to the close,
O Lord, abide with me!

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,
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!