Be known to us in breaking bread

Full Text

1 Be known to us in breaking bread,
but do not then depart;
Savior, abide with us, and spread
your table in our heart.

2 Here share with us, in love divine,
your body and your blood,
that living bread, that heavenly wine
be our immortal food.

Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #500

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 >


Be known to us in breaking bread. J. Montgomery. [Holy Communion.] First published in his Christian Psalmist, 1825, No. 528, in 2 stanzaz of 4 lines, and entitled "The Family Table." It was subsequently republished in his Original Hymns, 1853, No. 207, with the same title. Its use is limited in its original form, but as a part of the cento “Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless" (q.v.), it is widely known in America.

-- John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)


BELMONT (Gardiner)

This tune has been mis-attributed to various other composers, but is clearly the work of the above-named composer.

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ST. AGNES (Dykes)

John B. Dykes (PHH 147) composed ST. AGNES for [Jesus the Very Thought of Thee]. Dykes named the tune after a young Roman Christian woman who was martyred in A.D. 304 during the reign of Diocletian. St. Agnes was sentenced to death for refusing to marry a nobleman to whom she said, "I am already eng…

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The Cyber Hymnal #461
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