1 According to thy gracious word,
in meek humility,
this will I do, my dying Lord,
I will remember thee.
2 Thy body, broken for my sake,
my bread from heav'n shall be;
thy testamental cup I take,
and thus remember thee.
3 Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there thy conflict see,
thine agony and bloody sweat,
and not remember thee?
4 When to the cross I turn mine eyes,
and rest on Calvary,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
I must remember thee.
5 Remember thee, and all thy pains,
and all thy love to me:
when thou shalt in thy kingdom come,
Jesus, remember me.
Source: Trinity Psalter Hymnal #203
|First Line:||According to thy gracious word|
|Title:||According to Thy Gracious Word|
|Author:||James Montgomery (1825)|
|Liturgical Use:||Communion Songs|
st. 1 = Luke 22:19
st. 2 = 1 Cor. 11:24-25
st. 3 = Matt. 26:36-39, Luke 22:44
st. 4 = Isa. 53:6-7, John 1:29
st. 5 = Luke 23:42
One of the best-loved hymns of James Montgomery (PHH 72), "According to Thy Gracious Word" was published in six stanzas in The Christian Psalmist (1825) under the subtitle 'This do in remembrance of me," Jesus' words from Luke 22: 19. The Psalter Hymnal omits the original stanza 5.
Reflective and meditative, the text focuses on the memorial aspect of the Lord's Supper–each stanza concludes with the word remember. Our memory of Jesus can be taken two ways, of course: in the active sense, as in ancient liturgies and in the Reformation teachings of John Calvin; or in the passive sense, as in liturgies espoused by Ulrich Zwingli. Montgomery underlined "I will remember thee" in his manuscript, possibly indicating that he intended to promote the classic, active sense of anamnesis. (This untranslatable Greek word refers to the active way in which Christ is present with us in the Lord's Supper.) The text is strong and effective because of its biblical quotations and allusions (see Scripture references).
During the Lord's Supper as a meditative hymn; Lent; Holy Week; also makes a fine Passion hymn (without st. 2).
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
According to Thy gracious word. J. Montgomery. [Holy Communion.] No copy of this hymn is preserved in the "Montgomery manuscript." Its first publication was in the author's Christian Psalmist, 1825, p. 405, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines with the motto “This do in remembrance of Me." From its first appearance it has been one of the most popular of hymns for "Holy Communion," and is found in most modern collections of a moderate type. Usually, however, st. ii. 1. 2, which reads: “Thy testamental cup I take” is altered to "The cup, Thy precious Blood, I take," as in Taring's Collection, No. 524, or, “I’ll take," as in the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857, and Kennedy, 1863, No. 650. In 1853 it was republished by Montgomery in his Original Hymns, No. 129. In common with Montgomery's hymns it has no doxology. That usually found with it, "To Thee, O Jesus, Light of Light, All praise and glory be," &c, is from the Salisbury Hymn Book, 1857. In Hedge & Huntington's Unitarian Hymns of the Church, Boston, U, S. A., 1853, No. 388, "Gethsemane, can I forget?" is composed of stanzas iii., ii., iv., v. of this hymn.
--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)