No…not the grocery store…

This is the tune name with which most restoration movement churches, especially Churches of Christ have most often sung the the text “When My Love to Christ Grows Weak.”  A couple of interesting items come with this song.  One is that it is not in too many hymnals outside of our movement, even though it was first published in 1837 in the author’s (John R. Wreford) own book of Hymns for Public and Private Worship (McCann, Hymns & History,1986).  Historically, the tune has most often been attributed to Phoebe Palmer Knapp (1839-1908).  Yet even in her own collections of hymns, the tune does not exist and/or isn’t printed or published.  There is historical evidence of this text being sung with a few other tunes, although they’re rare.  Another interesting item of note is that the original title/lyric of this hymn text was “When My Love to GOD Grows Weak.”

But this is the question that baffles me…Who knows where this tune came from?  The search continues…

In the mean time, here’s the text of this old hymn…

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

There I walk amid the shades
While the lingering twilight fades
See that suffering, friendless One,
Weeping, praying there alone.

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

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

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

Leave a Reply