According to Thy Gracious Word

Full Text

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 heaven shall be;
thy cup of blessing I will take,
and thus remember thee.

3 Can I Gethsemane forget
or there thy conflict see,
thine agony and bloody sweat,
and not remember thee?

4 When to the cross I tum 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;
yea, while a breath, a pulse remains,
will I remember thee.

6 And when these failing lips grow dumb,
and mind and memory flee,
when thou shalt in thy kingdom come,
then, Lord, remember me.

Source: Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #420a

Author: James Montgomery

Montgomery, James, son of John Montgomery, a Moravian minister, was born at Irvine, Ayrshire, Nov. 4, 1771. In 1776 he removed with his parents to the Moravian Settlement at Gracehill, near Ballymena, county of Antrim. Two years after he was sent to the Fulneck Seminary, Yorkshire. He left Fulneck in 1787, and entered a retail shop at Mirfield, near Wakefield. Soon tiring of that he entered upon a similar situation at Wath, near Rotherham, only to find it quite as unsuitable to his taste as the former. A journey to London, with the hope of finding a publisher for his youthful poems ended in failure; and in 1792 he was glad to leave Wath for Shefield to join Mr. Gales, an auctioneer, bookseller, and printer of the Sheffield Register newspap… Go to person page >


Scripture References:
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).

Liturgical Use:
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)



MARTYRDOM was originally an eighteenth-century Scottish folk melody used for the ballad "Helen of Kirkconnel." Hugh Wilson (b. Fenwick, Ayrshire, Scotland, c. 1766; d. Duntocher, Scotland, 1824) adapted MARTYRDOM into a hymn tune in duple meter around 1800. A triple-meter version of the tune was fir…

Go to tune page >

DUNDEE (Ravenscroft)

DUNDEE first appeared in the 1615 edition of the Scottish Psalter published in Edinburgh by Andro Hart. Called a "French" tune (thus it also goes by the name of FRENCH), DUNDEE was one of that hymnal's twelve "common tunes"; that is, it was not associated with a specific psalm. In the Psalter Hymnal…

Go to tune page >



Baptist Hymnal 1991 #372
The Cyber Hymnal #25
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #298


Instances (1 - 23 of 23)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #278
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #420aText
Ancient and Modern: hymns and songs for refreshing worship #420bText
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #372TextScoreAudio
Chalice Hymnal #402TextAudioPage Scan
Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #396
Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #668TextPage Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #276aPage Scan
Common Praise: A new edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern #276bPage Scan
Hymns for a Pilgrim People: a congregational hymnal #520
Moravian Book of Worship #422TextPage Scan
Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #158Page Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #298Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Small Church Music #1350Audio
Small Church Music #2007Audio
Small Church Music #2495Audio
The Celebration Hymnal: songs and hymns for worship #463Text
The Cyber Hymnal #25TextScoreAudio
The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #321TextPage Scan
The New English Hymnal #270
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #515a
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #515b
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #423TextPage Scan
Include 460 pre-1979 instances