Come, You Disconsolate

Full Text

1 Come, you disconsolate, where'er you languish;
come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.
Here bring your wounded hearts, here tell your anguish;
earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.

2 Joy of the desolate, light of the straying,
hope of the penitent, fadeless and pure!
Here speaks the Comforter, in mercy saying,
"Earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot cure."

3 Here see the bread of life; see waters flowing
forth from the throne of God, pure from above.
Come to the feast prepared; come, ever knowing
earth has no sorrows but heaven can remove.

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Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Like the previous four hymns, "Come, You Disconsolate" is an invitation, a call for sinners to come to Christ with their sorrows and find healing (st. 1), experience hope and comfort (st. 2), and participate in the feast of the Lamb (st. 3). The text empha­sizes the consolation that Christ offers to those who turn to him in faith.


Bert Polman, Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

The gospel calls sinners to forsake their sin and turn to Jesus Christ in repentance that they may be forgiven. Our Song of Hope, stanza 16 says, “The Holy Spirit sends the church to call sinners to repentance, to proclaim the good news that Jesus is personal Savior and Lord.” The Canons of Dort, III-IV, 8 assures: “All who are called by the gospel are called earnestly. For urgently and most genuinely God makes known in the Word what is pleasuring to him: that those who are called should come to God.”


Come, You Disconsolate


For a brief moment I abandoned you,
but with great compassion I will gather you.
In overflowing wrath for a moment
I hid my face from you,
but with everlasting love I will have compassion on you,
says the Lord, your Redeemer.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Isaiah 54:7-8, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

The proof of God’s amazing love is this:
While we were sinners, Christ died for us.
Because we have faith in him,
we dare to approach God with confidence,
trusting that God will forgive our sin
and cleanse us from every kind of wrong.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Romans 5:8; Hebrews 4:16; 1 John 1:8
[BCW, p 52[2],alt.,PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Remember that our Lord Jesus Christ is able
to sympathize with us in our weaknesses.
In every respect he was tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness,
so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Let us confess our sins to almighty God.
—based on Hebrews 4:15-16, NRSV
[BCW, p 53[3],alt.,PD]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two


Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or show no compassion for the child of her womb?
Even these may forget,
yet I will not forget you.
As a mother comforts her child,
so will I comfort you, says the Lord.
—from Isaiah 49:15; 66:12-13, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Confession and Assurance
Compassionate God, full of mercy for the wounded, we speak to you from hearts that should be full of sorrow.  We have sins that everybody knows, and they should be our sorrow.  We have sins that nobody knows, and they should be our sorrow.  Old sins, new sins, sins upon sins, sins of our youth, sins of our age, always more sins that we count or want to confess.  Now, for this moment at least, they are our sorrow.  But our assurance, compassionate God, is that earth has no sorrows that heaven cannot heal.  We pray in Jesus name.  Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Come, You Disconsolate

Tune Information

C Major



Come, You Disconsolate

Hymn Story/Background

"Come, You Disconsolate" is an invitation, a call for sinners to come to Christ with their sorrows and find healing (st. 1), experience hope and comfort (st. 2), and participate in the feast of the Lamb (st. 3). The text emphasizes the consolation that Christ offers to those who turn to him in faith.
Entitled "Relief in Prayer," this text by Thomas Moore was first published in three stanzas in Moore's Sacred Songs, Duets and Trios (1816), one of his thirty-two hymn texts in that collection. Minor changes were made for the 1824 edition.
The American composer Thomas Hastings revised Moore's stanzas 1 and 2 and substituted his own third stanza when he published the hymn in Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1831), compiled by Hastings and Lowell Mason. 
CONSOLATION was originally set for solo voice to "Alma redemptoris mater" by Samuel Webbe, Sr., in his Collection of Motetts and Antiphons (1792). Thomas Hastings adapted the tune for use with Moore's text in Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (1831). CONSOLATION is also known as ALMA and CONSOLATOR.
With lyric sweetness and urgent rhythms, this tune has the character to support the solace offered in this text. Sing in parts or in unison (reminiscent of its vocal solo origins). Accompany with enough rhythmic firmness to offset any inherent sentimentality.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Although born and educated in Ireland, Thomas Moore (b. Dublin, Ireland, 1779; d. Devizes, Wiltshire, England, 1852) spent much of his adult life in England. In 1804 he began a civil service appointment in Bermuda but delegated it to a deputy, who embezzled money that Moore had to pay back! He traveled throughout the eastern United States and Canada in 1840 but then returned to London. Moore became known for two achievement—playing and singing Irish folk songs in aristocratic homes and writing poetry. His publications include a biography of Lord Byron and A Selection of Irish Melodies (1807-1834).
— Bert Polman

Like Lowell Mason, Hastings was a tireless writer, composer, and promoter of church music in the European style (he thought the shape-note tradition "unscientific"). He wrote some six hundred hymn texts and composed about a thousand tunes, most of which have been forgotten. From 1823 to 1832 he lived in Utica, New York, where he directed the Oneida County Choir and was editor of a religious magazine, The Western Recorder. In 1832 Hastings was invited by twelve churches to come to New York City to improve their psalm singing. He stayed there the rest of his life, composing, writing, teaching, and directing. He published some fifty volumes, including his Utica Collection (1816, later expanded as Musica Sacra), Spiritual Songs for Social Worship (with Mason, 1833), and Church Melodies (1858).
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Webbe's father died soon after Samuel Webbe (the elder, b. 1740; d. 1816) was born without providing financial security for the family. Thus Webbe received little education and was apprenticed to a cabinet maker at the age of eleven. However, he was determined to study and taught himself Latin, Greek, Hebrew, French, German, and Italian while working on his apprenticeship. He also worked as a music copyist and received musical training from Carl Barbant, organist at the Bavarian Embassy. Restricted at this time in England, Roman Catholic worship was freely permitted in the foreign embassies. Because Webbe was Roman Catholic, he became organist at the Portuguese Chapel and later at the Sardinian and Spanish chapels in their respective embassies. He wrote much music for Roman Catholic services and composed hymn tunes, motets, and madrigals.
Webbe is considered an outstanding composer of glees and catches, as is evident in his nine published collections of these smaller choral works. He also published A Collection of Sacred Music (c. 1790), A Collection of Masses for Small Choirs (1792), and, with his son Samuel (the younger), Antiphons in Six Books of Anthems (1818).
— Bert Polman
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