Old-Time Hymns for Senior Adults

Abide with Me

A Protestant hymnal opened to a song.
A Protestant hymnal opened to a song. | Source

Well-Known Protestant Hymns

Retirement communities, senior groups, and health facilities are called to provide spiritual support to our senior citizens. Often this is delivered in non-denominational services. Finding common prayers and rituals can be challenging. In addition, finding well-known hymns may be tricky. However, spiritual songs best serve their purpose if they are familiar, rather than an exercise in sight-reading.

If you are planning a Protestant religious service and need hymns which are commonly known by the American senior adults, these titles (or first line of lyrics) are offered. Sometimes a denomination lyric is sets a lyric to more than one melody. Therefore, for many of the categories, the name of the music composer or arranger is shown in parentheses in order for you to find the version intended.

Hymns of Praise

Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty (John Dykes, 1861)

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee (Beethoven, arr. Edward Hodges 1824)

Praise Ye the Lord, the Almighty (1668)

The Wonderful World God Made

All Things Bright and Beautiful (17th Century English melody, arr. V.E.C.)

Fairest Lord Jesus (Silesian folk tune, arr. Richard Willis 1850)

For the Beauty of the Earth (Conrad Kocher 1838, arr. W.H. Monk 1861)

How Great Thou Art (Stuart Hine, 1953)

This is My Father’s World (Franklin Sheppard 1915, arr. Edward Barnes 1926)

Rousing Camp Meeting Revival Songs

Bringing in the Sheaves (Knowles Shaw, 1874)

The Little Brown Church in the Vale (William S. Pitts 1857)

Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus (George Webb, 1837)

Standing on the Promises (R. Kelso Carter, 18??)

Sing Them Over Again to Me, Wonderful Words of Life (Philip Bliss, 18??)

Tell Me the Stories of Jesus (Frederic Challinor, 18??)

When the Roll Is Called Up Yonder (James Black, 18??)

The spine of a Methodist hymnal from the 1960's.
The spine of a Methodist hymnal from the 1960's. | Source

Requests for Heavenly Guidance

Be Thou My Vision

(Traditional Irish melody, arr. C.R.Y.)

Breathe on Me, Breath of God

(Robert Jackson, 1894)

Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

(Frederick Maker, 1887)

Spirit of God, Descend Upon My Heart

(Frederick Atkinson, 1880)

Comfort and Closeness to God

Abide with Me (W.H. Monk, 1861)

Blest Be the Tie That Binds (Nageli, arr. Lowell Mason, 1845)

Break Thou the Bread of Life (William Sherwin, 1877)

His Eye Is On the Sparrow (Charles Gabriel)

I Come to the Garden Alone (C. Austin Miles, 1913)

Jesus Loves Me (William Bradbury, 18??)

Just a Closer Walk with Thee (African-American melody)

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (Anthony Showalter, 1887)

Nearer My God, to Thee (Lowell Mason, 1856)

Shall We Gather at the River (Robert Lowry, 1864)

Sweet Hour of Prayer (William Bradbury, 18??)

What a Friend We Have in Jesus (Charles Converse, 1868)

Help for Difficult Times

A Mighty Fortress is Our God (Martin Luther, 1529)

O God, Our Help in Ages Past (William Croft, 1708)

Onward, Christian Soldiers (Arthur Sullivan, 1871)

Be Not Dismayed Whate’er Betide (W. Stillman Martin, 19??)

There Is a Balm in Gilead (American folk melody, arr. Daniel Ridout 19??)

Eternal Father, Strong to Save (John Dykes, 18??)


Amazing Grace (American folk melody, arr. Edwin Excell, 1900)

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine (Phoebe Knapp, 1873)

How Great Thou Art (Stuart Hine, 1953)

I Love to Tell the Story (William Fischer, 18??)

Just As I Am (William Bradbury, 1849)

The Old Rugged Cross (George Bernard, 1913)

Rock of Ages, Cleft for Me (Thomas Hastings, 1830)

There Is a Fountain Filled with Blood (American folk melody)

Were You There (Afro-American melody)

When I Survey the Wondrous Cross (Lowell Mason 1825)

Spirituals and Folk Hymns

All Night, All Day, Angels Watching Over Me


Do Lord, O Do Lord, O Do Remember Me

He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Lord, I Want to Be a Christian

Michael, Row the Boat Ashore

Standing in the Need of Prayer

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot

When the Saints Go Marching In

We Are Climbing Jacob’s Ladder


America the Beautiful (Samuel Ward, 1888)

Faith of Our Fathers (Hemy, arr. James Walton 1871)

My Country, ‘Tis of Thee (Thesaurus Musicus, 1740)

Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory (American camp meeting tune)


Come, Ye Thankful People, Come (George Elvey, 1858)

We Gather Together (16th century Dutch melody, arr. Edward Kremser, 1877)

Now Thank We All Our God (Cruger 1648, arr. Felix Mendelssohn)

Photos and text copyright 2014 Maren E. Morgan.

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    Maren Elizabeth Morgan (Maren Morgan M-T)263 Followers
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    Music permeates Maren's soul, whether performing (voice, piano, drum, guitar, clarinet) or acting as a crazily enthusiastic audience member.

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