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Be known to us in breaking bread

Representative 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

James Montgomery (b. Irvine, Ayrshire, Scotland, 1771; d. Sheffield, Yorkshire, England, 1854), the son of Moravian parents who died on a West Indies mission field while he was in boarding school, Montgomery inherited a strong religious bent, a passion for missions, and an independent mind. He was editor of the Sheffield Iris (1796-1827), a newspaper that sometimes espoused radical causes. Montgomery was imprisoned briefly when he printed a song that celebrated the fall of the Bastille and again when he described a riot in Sheffield that reflected unfavorably on a military commander. He also protested against slavery, the lot of boy chimney sweeps, and lotteries. Associated with Christians of various persuasions, Montgomery supported missio… 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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Instances (1 - 15 of 15)

Ancient and Modern #425

TextPage Scan

Chalice Hymnal #398

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #401

Page Scan

Common Praise #282

Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Glory to God #500

Hymnal Supplement II #12

Hymns and Psalms #597


Hymns for a Pilgrim People #533

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #410

Singing the Faith #573

Page Scan

The A.M.E. Zion Hymnal #333


The Cyber Hymnal #461


The New Century Hymnal #342


The Presbyterian Hymnal #505


Together in Song #514

Include 40 pre-1979 instances
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