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Take Time to Be Holy

About the Song

This traditional Christian hymn was written by William D. Longstaff in the 1800s, and set to an old Irish tune called “Slane.”

We use this tune for the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” as well, and I also set “Away in a Manger” to the same arrangement.  Since these are all well-loved hymns, I did separate scores for each of them. To avoid confusion, they are posted on three separate pages.

The solo is set in the alto range, and includes optional notes in verse three for the one high passage. The SSAATB is set a whole step higher, so if you need a higher version you might try using this accompaniment, as it will work just fine with a solo voice. (You can’t use the solo accompaniment with the SSAATB version though… a few of the notes will clash.)  Even up a step, the pickup notes are still fairly low, so if you need it in any other key, here are transposition instructions.

The recording with vocals and the YouTube video (both listed below) use the “Away in a Manger” lyrics. One of these days maybe I’ll have a recording using words from the other hymns as well.  🙂

Spotify, Soundcloud (inc. free downloads)

Click the Soundcloud download icon to download the free track for personal use.

Recording featuring vocals by Allyse Smith Taylor:

Note: I don’t currently have a recording using the words to “Take Time to Be Holy.” This version uses the words to “Away in a Manger.” The arrangements are identical.

Accompaniment track (Solo version):

Piano track (Solo version):

Piano track (SSAATB version):


Note: I don’t currently have a recording using the words to “Take Time to Be Holy.” This version uses the words to “Away in a Manger.” The arrangements are identical.


  (Video provided to YouTube by outside parties may contain ads that may be skipped after a few seconds.)


Take time to be holy, speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always, and feed on His Word.
Make friends of God’s children, help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy, the world rushes on;
Spend much time in secret, with Jesus alone.
By looking to Jesus, like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy, let Him be thy Guide;
And run not before Him, whatever betide.
In joy or in sorrow, still follow the Lord,
And, looking to Jesus, still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy, be calm in thy soul,
Each thought and each motive beneath His control.
Thus led by His Spirit to fountains of love,
Thou soon shalt be fitted for service above.

If you have questions, please check the FAQ
If you don't find your answer there, feel free to post your question here. 🙂


  1. Carilyn Andersen

    You need to search for away in a manger to get the sheet music for that version. I wish I could hear the actual lyrics to take time to be holy on here instead of away in a manger even though it’s very beautiful!

  2. Linda Blackhurst

    The piano track and vocal here is for a different song. I find no such tract for Take Time to be Holy

  3. Becky M

    Your music is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing! Do you have the sheet music for this version of Away in a Manger? I’d love to have our YSA ward sing this for our Christmas program.

  4. Dianne Gunnell

    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful music.

  5. Clip Holverson

    You have so much good inspiring music. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Anonymous

    Thank you so very much for sharing your marvelous talent with us. All your music that I’ve heard is magnificent! Far beyond beautiful! Thank you again.

  7. Arlinda Hansen

    What is the difference on CD’s with the Accompaniment Tracks or not?

  8. P Allred

    You spirit of sharing your love for Christ is inspiring. Thank you for all you do.

  9. C Broadbent

    Thank you for sharing your hard work with all of us. I love this arrangement. Your vocalist (on the recording) is wonderful. I often visit your site for choir music for our ward and I usually find just what I need.


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