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A time to watch, a time to pray

A time to watch, a time to pray

Author: John Mason Neale
Published in 5 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF
Audio files: Recording

Full Text

1 A time to watch, a time to pray,
a day of wonders is today:
the saddest, yet the gladdest too,
that earth or heaven ever knew.

2 The saddest, for our Saviour bore
his death, that we might die no more:
the agony, the scourge, the fear,
the crown of thorns, the cross, the spear.

3 And yet the gladdest, for today
our load of sin was borne away:
and hopes of joy that never dies
hang on our Saviour's sacrifice.

4 O Saviour, how we bless your name!
Yours is the glory, ours the shame;
by all the pain your love endured
let all our many sins be cured.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #175

Author: John Mason Neale

Neale, John Mason, D.D., was born in Conduit Street, London, on Jan. 24, 1818. He inherited intellectual power on both sides: his father, the Rev. Cornelius Neale, having been Senior Wrangler, Second Chancellor's Medallist, and Fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and his mother being the daughter of John Mason Good, a man of considerable learning. Both father and mother are said to have been "very pronounced Evangelicals." The father died in 1823, and the boy's early training was entirely under the direction of his mother, his deep attachment for whom is shown by the fact that, not long before his death, he wrote of her as "a mother to whom I owe more than I can express." He was educated at Sherborne Grammar School, and was afterwards… Go to person page >


A time to watch, a time to pray. J. M. Neale. [Good Friday.] Appeared in his Hymns for Children, 1842, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, the last stanza being Bishop Ken's doxology. It is given in Mrs. Brock's Children’s Hymn Book. with the omission of the doxology, and stanza iii. line 1, "this day," for "to-day," otherwise unaltered.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Small Church Music #1471
  • PDF Score (PDF)


Instances (1 - 2 of 2)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #175Text
Small Church Music #1471Audio
Include 3 pre-1979 instances