Abide with Me

lyrics by henry f. lyte, music by william h. monk

Abide with Me Lyrics

Abide with me, fast falls the even tide;

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 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.

 

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.

 

Alternate version of verse 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 abisde with me.

 

 

 

Abide with Me Guitar Chords

 

C G        Am  Em   Dm        G    C       

Abide with me, fast falls the even tide,

C   Dm  C    F   C    Dm        Am D  G      

The darkness deepens, Lord with me abide;

C    Em    Am  Em  Dm       A        Dm     

When other helpers fail and comforts flee,

G    C  G   C         Am  C   G    C          

Help of the helpless, O abide with me!

 

Scripture References

  • John 15:4 - Abide in Me, and I in you.

The Story

 

The Reverend (Henry) Francis Lyte was vicar of Lower Brixham of Devonshire, a small fishing town on the southwest tip of the English isle. Lyte ministered at All Saint's Church, the tower of which still stands over the town, starting around 1824, about 9 years after the church was built. His ministry lasted 23 more years.

 

By the time he was 54, Lyte's health had deteriorated due to tuberculosis, what at the time was a painful and incurable illness. He gave what would turn out to be his last sermon on September 4, 1847. He'd made plans to travel to the warmth of Italy for a therapeutic trip, but at the time he was so weak that chances are he knew he might not make it that far.

 

That same afternoon, he prayerfully walked along the beautiful coastline. He retired to his room a dusk. An hour later, he had written the lyrics to "Abide with Me".

 

Lyte embarked on his trip. Stopping in France, he revised the lyrics he'd written in Brixham and mailed them to his wife. He travelled on to Nice where on November 20, 1847, his lungs gave out and he passed away. Another English minister, Reverend Manning of Chichester, was at the same hotel and attended to Lyte during his last moments. Lyte's last words were "Peace! Joy!"

 

News of Lyte's death arrived at Brixham soon after the revised lyrics of Abide with Me. As the request of the fishermen whom he ministered to, the hymn was sung for the first time at Lyte's memorial service.

 

 

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