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When My Love to God Grows Weak

When my love to God [Christ] grows weak

Author: John Reynell Wreford
Published in 64 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI

Representative Text

1 When my love to Christ grows weak,
When for deeper faith I seek,
Then in thought I go to thee,
Garden of Gethsemane.

2 When my love for man grows weak,
When for stronger faith I seek,
Hill of Calvary, I go
To the scenes of fear and woe.

3 There behold His agony,
Suffered on the bitter tree;
See His anguish, see His faith,
Love triumphant still in death.

4 Then to life I turn again,
Learning all the worth of pain,
Learning all the might that lies
In a full self-sacrifice.

Source: Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church #120

Author: John Reynell Wreford

Wreford, John Reynell, an English Unitarian minister, was born December 12, 1800, at Barnstaple; educated at Manchester College, and in 1826 became pastor of a Church in Birmingham. In 1831, on account of the failure of his voice, he withdrew from the active work of the ministry and, in conjunction with Rev. Hugh Hutton, established a school at Edgbaston. He wrote a History of Presbyterian Nonconformity in Birmingham, 1832, and Lays of Loyalty, 1837. He contributed fifty-five hymns to Rev. J. R. Beard's Collection, 1837. His most popular and valuable hymn is the one given in this book. The last years of his life were spent in retirement at Bristol, where he died in 1891. —Hymn Writers of the Church by Charles Nutter… Go to person page >


When my love to Christ [God] grows cold [weak]. J. B. Wreford. [Passiontide.] Contributed to J. K. Beard's Unitarian Collection of Hymns, 1837, No. 140, in 6 stanzas of 4 lines, and headed "Christ's Agony and Crucifixion." In the American Unitarian Book of Hymns, 1848, No. 144, it was given in a rewritten form of 5 stanzas. The alterations were made by S. Longfellow, one of the editors. This text has passed into several hymn-books in Great Britain, as in Thring's Collection, 1882 with a doxology. Horder's Congregational Hymns, 1884, &c.; and as "When my love to God grows weak," in Martineau's Hymns, &c, 1873.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



Orlando Gibbons (PHH 167) composed SONG 13 in soprano and bass parts. Used as a setting for a text from the Song of Songs, the tune was published in George Withers' Hymnes and Songs of the Church (1623) as hymn number 13 (hence the tune name). As in other hymnals, the melody is presented in a simpli…

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The Book of Common Praise: being the hymn book of The Church of England in Canada (revised 1938) #122
The Cyber Hymnal #7377
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)


Instances (1 - 6 of 6)

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #249

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #219

Hymns and Psalms #183

Page Scan

Sacred Selections for the Church #297

Singing the Faith #289


The Cyber Hymnal #7377

Include 58 pre-1979 instances
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