Abide With Me

An arrangement of a popular hymn. Original words and music by Henry F. Lyle and William H Monk, respectively.

In September 2022, my dear sister Gwenn lost her year-long battle with stage 4 cancer. For her, that year was filled with pain and suffering, uncounted medical procedures, many trips to the emergency room, accompanied by deep feelings of depression and frustration. When I learned she had passed away, I must confess a sigificant part of me felt relief, because I knew her suffering had ended. I believe she is now happier than she has been in years.

After the initial shock of the news had worn off, my thoughts turned to doing honor to her struggle by writing or arranging some piece of music that I could dedicate to her memory. And that's when it hit me. I realized that mourning, funerals, and song dedications are really meant for the living. We use these ceremonies and gestures to help us deal with their passing.

I wanted to choose a hymn to arrange that would deliver a message of hope, focus and perspective to the living. Almost as soon as I made that determination, my thoughts were captured by the hymn loved by many faiths, Abide With Me. With respect to the original authors, this hymn can easily attract a spirit of melacholy if presented with the wrong attitude, and this was the opposite of what I wanted to achieve.

So, as is my custom, I re-shaped the beautiful words and music of this hymn to highlight certain words and phrases to help draw out the message of hope I was seeking. I wanted to leave the listener with a feeling of joy, an eternal perspective, and the determintation seek the hand of the Lord to sustain them every day, even until their last. I hope that as you listen to this, that intent is made clear.

In loving memory of my sister, Gwenn (1970-2022).

Written for treble solo with piano accompaniment.

All works on this site are Copyright 2020, Loren Erickson. Except where noted otherwise, they are freely licensed for use at home, in church services, or any non-commercial setting. They may not be redistributed, included in compilations, or sold for any purpose without explicit written permission from me.

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