Scripture Verse

He took bread, and gave thanks, and broke it, and gave unto them, saying, This is My body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of Me. Luke 22:19


Keith H. McIlwain (1970–)

Words: Keith H. Mc­Il­wain, 2003.

Music: Day of Rest James W. El­li­ott, in Church Hymns, 1874 (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pho­to of El­li­ott (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els), or a bet­ter one of Mc­Il­wain,

Origin of the Hymn

While re­view­ing the hymn pos­si­bi­li­ties for Ho­ly Thurs­day in 2003, I la­ment­ed that none in our pres­ent hym­nal real­ly gave the thrust of the tra­di­tion­al nar­ra­tive. I had al­ways want­ed to write a hymn text (in­spired by the great Me­tho­dist po­et Charles Wes­ley) and seized the op­por­tu­ni­ty.

The text at­tempts to con­vey the ev­ents of the tra­di­tion­al in­sti­tu­tion­al nar­ra­tive while re­main­ing con­nect­ed to the emo­tions in the Up­per Room. Al­though I had writ­ten songs in a pop-rock-folk style pre­vious­ly, this was my first tra­di­tion­al hymn text.

I wrote the text based on a tune [Day of Rest] that was in­clud­ed in the 1935 Me­tho­dist Hym­nal but had fall­en into dis­use.

Keith McIlwain


The Last Supper
Gustave Doré (1832–1883)

Our Lord and His dis­ci­ples
At ta­ble were as one,
And Je­sus thought of the mor­row,
His work here near­ly done.
With one last night to­ge­ther,
They knew not what would be,
But Je­sus had one fi­nal word:
Do This; Re­mem­ber Me!

Thanksgiving to the Fa­ther,
An an­cient feast made new.
Christ said, This is My bo­dy,
My bo­dy giv’n for you.

The ho­ly bread was brok­en
And shared with Je­sus’ plea
That His words not be for­got­ten:
Do This; Re­mem­ber Me!

He took the cup of bless­ing,
The blood of Je­sus shed
That all might know for­give­ness,
Received when Je­sus bled.
Salvation now avail­able
To all on bend­ed knee
Who re­pent and fol­low His com­mand:
Do This; Re­mem­ber Me!

Yes, Christ’s com­mand con­tin­ues
To all who serve His name
To go and make dis­ci­ples,
That all would sing His fame.
And ga­thered at one ta­ble
His ho­ly church shall see
Our Mas­ter is still call­ing:
Do This; Remember Me!