Scripture Verse

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


Supper at Emmaus
Diego Velázquez

Words: Hen­ry F. Lyte, 1847.

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

Alternate Tunes:

Henry F. Lyte

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


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!