Break Thou the Bread of Life

1
Break Thou the Bread of Life,
  Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves
  Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
  I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
  O Living Word.
  Break Thou the Bread of Life,
  Dear Lord, to me,
As Thou didst break the loaves
  Beside the sea;
Beyond the sacred page
  I seek Thee, Lord;
My spirit pants for Thee,
  O Living Word.
2
Thou art the Bread of Life,
  O Lord, to me,
Thy holy Word the truth
  That saveth me;
Give me to eat and live
  With Thee above;
Teach me to love Thy truth,
  For Thou art Love.
3
Oh, send Thy Spirit, Lord,
  Now unto me,
That He may touch my eyes,
  And make me see;
Show me the truth concealed
  Within Thy Word,
And in Thy Book revealed
  I see the Lord.
4
Bless Thou the truth, dear Lord,
  To me, to me,
As Thou didst bless the bread
  By Galilee;
Then shall all bondage cease,
  All fetters fall,
And I shall find my peace,
  My All in all.
4
Ana Lara

United States

The Chautauqua Movement was an important religious moment during the late 19C and early 20C. Its headquarters are located in Jamestown, New York, one of the most picturesque places in the world. The aim of this movement was to give religious and cultural education to its American people. The movement provided lectures and concerts throughout the country.

Mary Artemisia Lathbury was born into a prominent Methodist family in Manchester, New York, on August 10, 1841; her father and two brothers were ordained ministers. She became a professional artist and taught art in the schools of Vermont and New York. She became more involved in Christian work and in writing. She served as an editor of the Methodist Sunday School materials. Mary tells of an experience she had that prompted her to go into full-time Christian service. One day God seemed to say to her, “Remember my child, that you have to gift of weaving fancies into verse and a gift with the pencil of producing visions that come to your heart; consecrate these to Me as thoroughly as you do your inmost spirit. ”

Along with Methodist Bishop John H. Vincent, Miss Lathbury is credited with being one of the founders of the Chautauqua Movement. She became affectionately known as the “Poet Laureate and Saint of Chautauqua. ” A well known hymn she wrote titled “Day is Dying in the West” came about during the summer meeting of 1877. The leaders felt the need for an eventide hymn of their own. Miss Lathbury was asked by Dr. Vincent to write such a hymn. One afternoon as she was watching the sunset on the lake with all its magnificent colors she was inspired to write the words which became this well loved hymn. The last two stanzas were added two years later at the suggestion of a friend for a more complete text. The tune was supplied in the summer of 1877 by Professor William Fisk Sherwin, the music director of Chautauqua who was skillful in congregational leading which produced beautiful sounds from large and enthusiastic audiences.

“Day is Dying in the West” has been used as a Vesper Hymn for all evening services at Chautauqua ever since it was first written.


Anonymous

Thou art the Bread of Life,

O Lord, to me,

Thy holy Word the truth

That saveth me;

Give me to eat and live

With Thee above;

Teach me to love Thy truth,

For Thou art Love.


Anonymous

Belgium

Beyond the sacred page I seek Thee, Lord!


Steve Miller

Detroit, MI, United States

I love this song with the new tune. My wife, daughter and I visited Israel for the first time in 2017. This song brings to my mind the picturesque Sea of Galilee with the mountains and the beautiful miracles the Lord did there.