Not Worthy, Lord, by Edward Henry Bickersteth   2 comments

Ceiling of the Church of St. Peter, also known as Exeter Cathedral, in England

Image Source = Official Website of the Cathedral (

Hymn Source = Service Book and Hymnal (1958), of predecessor bodies of the American Lutheran Church (1960) and the Lutheran Church in America (1962)

Edward Henry Bickersteth (1825-1905) was a poet and hymn writer, as well as a priest and bishop of the Church of England.  He was Bishop of Exeter from 1885 to 1900.



1.  Not worthy, Lord, to gather up the crumbs

With trembling hand, that from thy table fall,

A weary, heavy-laden sinner comes

To plead thy promise and obey thy call.

2.  I am not worthy to be thought thy child,

Nor sit the last and lowest at thy board;

Too long a wanderer, and too oft beguiled,

I only ask one reconciling word.

3.  I hear thy voice; thou bidd’st me come and rest;

I come, I kneel, I clasp thy pierced feet;

Thou bidd’st me take my place, a welcome guest

Among thy saints, and of thy banquet eat.

4.  My praise can only breathe itself in prayer,

My prayer can only lose itself in thee;

Dwell thou forever in my heart, and there,

Lord, let me sup with thee; sup thou with me.


Below:  The High Altar at Exeter Cathedral

2 responses to “Not Worthy, Lord, by Edward Henry Bickersteth

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  1. Pingback: Feast of Edward Henry Bickersteth (May 14) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

  2. Pingback: Edward Henry Bickersteth | GATHERED PRAYERS

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