A sombre melody that I love to hear - which is also played by military bands in England and India - is Abide with me. Written by Henry Lyte, of England, in 1847, it is inspired by Luke 24:29, where the disciples who were traveling to Emmaus asked Jesus to "abide with us, for it is evening and day is almost spent."
Click on the image above to read the lyrics / music.
Hear / download Abide with me here.
Abide with me is an evening hymn. Its word pictures are taken from the experience of the passing day: falling eventide, deepening darkness, growing dimness, and fading glories. In that, it can also be an introspective of the end of life.
But this is also a prayer for living life now. This hymn reminds us to plead with our Lord to abide with us. Stay with us. Be there unchanging when all around us changes. Through cloud and sunshine, abide. "In life and death, O Lord, abide with me."
Mahatma Gandhi loved to hear Abide with me.
Here's another rendition, by gospel singer Val Godsack.
Here is Hayley Westenra singing Abide With Me.
Image: Abide with me, by Pio Ximenes (1919).