When was the hymn ‘Abide with Me’ written and composed?
It is thought that Anglican minister Henry Francis Lyte wrote the hymn in 1820, after a visiting a dying friend, who repeatedly said ‘abide with me’. The hymn was sung for the first time at Lyte’s funeral 27 years later, in 1847. today it is most commonly sung to the tune ‘Eventide’, which was composed by William Henry Monk in 1861.
The hymn asks God to remain with them throughout life and death and is often sung at funerals and remembrance ceremonies.
Why is ‘Abide with Me’ always sung at the FA Cup final?
The hymn has been sung at FA Cup finals since 1927, when it replaced ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band‘. The decision was taken by the then secretary of the FA Sir Alfred Wall and apparently it had the approval of King George V and Queen Mary, who both loved the hymn.
What are the lyrics to ‘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, 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 terror, 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, thus 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, Lord, 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
You can find the lyrics to more famous hymns here