The Old Rugged Cross and In the Garden circled round and round in my head and finally I did a search for the verses so I could sing them in their entirety. As I sang I came across the hymn below. I have never heard it sung in church or by a choir of any kind, but the words seemed so appropriate as this year comes to an end.
It was written by Johann Steuerlein in 1588 and translated from German to English in 1863 by Catherine Winkworth. While the speech pattern is not what we would use today, the prayers and thoughts for a new year still ring true.
May we see God move in ways we never saw before and may we seek His face more in the coming year than the one we are leaving behind.
The Old Year Now Hath Passed Away
The old year now hath passed away; We thank Thee, O our God, today That Thou hast kept us through the year When danger and distress were near.
We pray Thee, O eternal Son, Who with the Father reign’st as One, To guard and rule Thy Christendom Through all the ages yet to come.
Take not Thy saving Word away, Our souls’ true comfort, staff, and stay. Abide with us and keep us free From errors, following only Thee.
Oh, help us to forsake all sin, A new and holier course begin! Mark not what once was done amiss; A happier, better year be this,
Wherein as Christians we may live Or die in peace that Thou canst give, To rise again when Thou shalt come And enter Thine eternal home.
There shall we thank Thee and adore With all the angels evermore. Lord Jesus Christ, increase our faith To praise Thy Name through life and death.
Amen and amen.