“Abide with Me” was written in 1847 by a Scottish pastor named Henry Francis Lyte. Lyte was spoken of as unusually handsome, a flute player, and a lover of language, literature and wildflowers (kinda dreamy, right?). Though he was vocationally a pastor and overseer of the church, it wasn’t till later that Lyte came to saving faith in Christ. After this grace-filled awakening and taking up the Scriptures to truly know his God, he wrote several beautiful hymns, including this well known hymn that we are privileged to study this month. I say well-known (it’s sung world-wide before sporting events, it was a favorite of kings, and on the lips of Edith Cavell as she faced a firing squad during WWI), but can I tell you a secret? Until Audrey Assad included this on her hymn album “Inheritance,” I’d never even heard this song, and this will be our first time singing it as a family.
We’ll talk more about the content of this hymn throughout the month via our Instagram profile, but just from a glance, it’s obvious that its focus is on death, suffering, and a prayer asking the Lord to take us through. You might be asking, is this really a suitable hymn for my children to spend the month memorizing? I would suggest, absolutely yes. Scripture is very clear about suffering. Those who love and follow Jesus will suffer. Giving our children tools and language to utilize in the midst of pain and difficulty is invaluable and will be a blessing to have stored in their hearts. Will you join us this month as we daily gather in song, worshiping the Helper of the helpless? We hope you will.
Many of you may know this hymn already. If this is an unfamiliar song for your family, please use our resources here to hear it so you can sing it with confidence. We’ve added several versions of the hymn to the top of our YouTube playlist for you to choose from. You’ll see both the original tune, as well as a retuned option that we thought you might enjoy. And don’t forget your free printable lyrics and music to help you along.
We encourage you all to gather up your families, for just a few minutes each day, to sing, discuss and memorize this hymn, whether it is during family worship, your morning basket or before bedtime – whatever works best for your family. By the end of October, you are encouraged to post either a photo or video inspired by the song on Instagram. Every time you post, you will be entered into a drawing for a little something special. Just tag your post with #hymnofthemonth and/or #happyhymnody. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! Let us know if you’ll be joining in!