Henry Francis Lyte wrote the hymn “Abide With Me” as he was dying of tuberculosis. He passed away within 3 weeks of finishing it.
My mother passed away early in the morning on Oct. 12. Over these last three difficult months this song has been an immense comfort to me, and I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her memory than to play it at her funeral.
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, 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 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, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless
Ills have no weight, tears lose their bitterness
Where is thy sting death? Where grave thy victory?
I triumph still, 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, Lord, abide with me.
Debra Butterworth. 1959-2010.