381. Go to Dark Gethsemane

1 Go to dark Gethsemane,
all who feel the tempter's power;
your Redeemer's conflict see,
watch with him one bitter hour:
turn not from his griefs away
teach us, Lord, how we should pray.

2 Follow to the judgment hall,
view the Lord of life arraigned.
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs his soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss
help us, Lord, to bear our cross.

3 Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
there, adoring at his feet,
mark the miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete:
"It is finished!" hear him cry
save us, Lord, when death draws nigh.

Text Information
First Line: Go to dark Gethsemane
Title: Go to Dark Gethsemane
Author: James Montgomery (1825, alt.)
Meter: 77 77 77
Language: English
Publication Date: 1987
Scripture: ; ; ; ; ;
Topic: Biblical Names & Places: Calvary; Biblical Names & Places: Gethsemane; Cross of Christ (4 more...)
Tune Information
Name: REDHEAD 76
Composer: Richard Redhead (1853)
Meter: 77 77 77
Key: D Major

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. 1 = Mark 14:32-42
st. 2 = John 18:28, John 19:16, 1 Pet. 2:21
st. 3 = John 19:17-30

James Montgomery (PHH 72) wrote two versions of "Go to Dark Gethsemane," the first of which appeared in Thomas Cotterill's Selection of Psalms and Hymns in 1820. The second version, originally published in his Christian Psalmist (1825), is the more common one found in hymnals today. Small alterations have been made in the text, most notably the change from a command ("learn of Jesus Christ to pray") to a prayer of petition in the final phrase in each stanza. Many hymnals delete his original fourth stanza, which focused on Christ's resurrection.

The text exhorts us to follow Christ as we meditate on his sorrow in the Garden of Gethsemane (st. 1), on his suffering on the cross (st. 2), and on his sacrificial death (st. 3); each stanza ends with a corresponding petition.

Liturgical Use:
Holy Week, especially on Good Friday.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

For commentary on Richard Redhead and REDHEAD 76, see PHH 255 (there the tune is in E-flat rather than in D). Sing the stanzas in parts, but sing in unison on the petition phrases that conclude each stanza.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

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