Saturday, May 24, 2008

O Savior, stay this night with me; behold, 'tis eventide

Pat, a blogger who lives in Arkansas, recently captured with her camera two images of a beautiful sunset. She has given me permission to post them here. When I saw them, the words of an old hymn called “Beyond the Sunset” came to mind. I remember hearing it sung at many Christian funerals where my role was to be the organist:

“Beyond the sunset, O blissful morning,
When with our Savior heav’n is begun;
Earth’s toiling ended, O glorious dawning,
Beyond the sunset when day is done.

Beyond the sunset, no clouds will gather,
No storms will threaten, no fears annoy;
O day of gladness, O day unending,
Beyond the sunset eternal joy!

Beyond the sunset, a hand will guide me
To God the Father whom I adore;
His glorious presence, His words of welcome,
Will be my portion on that fair shore.

Beyond the sunset, O glad reunion,
With our dear loved ones who’ve gone before;
In that fair homeland we’ll know no parting,
Beyond the sunset forever more!”

(Virgil P. Brock, 1936. Copyright © held by Word Music, Inc.)


Pat’s photographs were taken about 90 seconds apart. How soon the day ends! How quickly night comes on! I thought of another beautiful hymn that perhaps is less familiar, “Abide With Me, ’Tis Eventide.” It was inspired by the Scripture passage in chapter 24 of Luke's Gospel that tells of an encounter with the risen Jesus by two disciples on the road to Emmaus, and I have loved the song since the first time I heard it. It is wonderful to contemplate the words of this hymn while watching a day come to its close. “O, Savior, stay this night with me; behold, ’tis eventide.”

It is an LDS hymn. But don’t tune out just yet; the words are pure New Testament and any Christian can appreciate them.

There is much about the LDS (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints; that is, Mormonism) with which I do not and cannot agree, but I can agree that theirs is one of the finest choirs in the world. Here is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in Salt Lake City singing “Abide With Me, ’Tis Eventide”.

[Note. If you should get the dreaded “The blog you were looking for cannot be found” message, simply go up to the address line at the top of that page and carefully delete www.rhymeswithplague.blogspot.com/ from the address. Then you should be able to click on the arrow and hear the song. A second note to my regular readers: Look at the blue on the walls of the Tabernacle and the dresses of the women in the choir! Royal? Cobalt? Yves Klein? They might even be wearing lapis lazuli necklaces!]

Listen to this beautiful hymn, and then go watch a sunset.

4 comments:

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

You've created a wonderful post around my photos, Mr. B. Thank you. "Beyond the Sunset" was my maternal grandmother's favorite hymn. It was sung at her funeral and I have asked that it be sung at mine.

Pat - An Arkansas Stamper said...

P.S. I followed your link to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir; that song is a perfect and very calming closure to my day. Thanks, Mr. B.

Mormon Soprano said...

What a lovely post! Thank you for your kind words honoring the choir, and for sharing this beloved hymn with your readers. Please feel free to visit my site where you can listen to more of our music, and keep in touch. - God Bless!

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

Lovely post. Thank you.