Ka-Blam! Got 'im. Shot down at only the first post, poor chap. I know how that feels...
Welcome to the forum, Pews2!
In your defence I'll say that my New Jerusalem Bible holds the agreed translation, and nowhere does Lk 24 mention "Abide with me" - though the intimation is there.
In the song's (and MCB's) defence it was written using an earlier Bible (trivia Q: anyone know which one?), and Verse 4 L3 still pretty much holds true to 1 Cor 15:55.
As for me, let's say it's not in my 'Top Ten'. I've never heard anyone manage to drag it out of the mire of despond, despite its steadfast lyric. Fact is, it's a funeral favourite, and probably more non-christian or non-practising people get buried to this one than we could shake a stick at. Thus, on the rare occasions when their non-practising kin also hit the pews, that's the old-time hit they'll all know and mumble along to.
Some friends of mine were recently asked to sing it at a wedding.
Choosing any church music is obviously going to be difficult for people who don't go to church, and in many lineages, this non-practise can go back two generations or more these days.
Pews2's most telling remark is:
Perhaps the criteria for a good hymn should emerge partly from the hymns that ordinary people love to sing.
- (my emphasis)
. Interesting point: How many regular church-goers can we think of that really give a monkey's about the church doctrine and documentation that is our bread and butter, as ministers, in our efforts to 'get it right'? Not many, I'll wager. No; many if not most of them, "just want to sing some nice songs". 'Liturgically correct' is not a phrase which bothers them unless it is uttered by "that horrid person wot does the music", and who refuses to do 'There is a River' every other sunday, despite requests.
Sadly, this is where things start to fall apart, and the editors are obliged to re-instate 'We are One in the Spirit' (what IS that doing in Laudate???), to the detriment of something more worthy.
With this unhappy thought I sink further into the mire of despond. Won't someone please post me a lifeline?