Monday, February 05, 2018

My funeral instructions

Some years ago one of our church members died. She had said I was to take her funeral and she had left instructions at home. We could not find them when the time came. So 'action this day' as Churchill would write. I may well alter these instructions as one does with a will; but here goes.

I am prepared to go whenever the Lord decides. My father the longest lived in my direct line went at 75. 17 males I have recorded with death ages 0 to 90 and average 50 so I am above average. Only two others died older than my father. This is from the family tree back into the 18th century. 

I was not allowed to go to my grandfather's funeral in 1953. Five year olds were  a protected species at the time. All my grandchildren are to attend and the next generation too if I am blessed to see it. Christian children should learn to mourn their loss and rejoice in sure and certain hope of resurrection.

So Paul Levy to take the service and preach on resurrection from the text Malcolm Peters preached at 

my father's funeral. Psalm 17:15 - As for me, I shall behold your face In rIrighteousness; when I awakeI shall be satisfied wIth your likeness.

Start with a poem of triumph

"Holy Sonnet X"
Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think'st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and souls deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better than thy stroake; why swell'st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more, Death, thou shalt die.
John Donne

"Blessed Be Your Name" - Matt Redman 

In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name
Memories from family and friends. David if he can do it and any others    Do from family first, sing then, from friends in the middle of the hymn.
Next my favourite; singing as many verses as you are able. To be kind to you I have chopped it in two and will miss out my third original choice of hymn.  Anwoth is where Samuel Rutherford ministered and from which he was exiled to Aberdeen from where he wrote most of his letters.


The sands of time are sinking, the dawn of Heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for—the fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark hath been the midnight, but dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

O Christ, He is the fountain, the deep, sweet well of love!
The streams of earth I’ve tasted more deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Oh! Well it is forever, Oh! well forevermore,
My nest hung in no forest of all this death doomed shore:
Yea, let the vain world vanish, as from the ship the strand,
While glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

There the Red Rose of Sharon unfolds its heartsome bloom
And fills the air of heaven with ravishing perfume:
Oh! To behold it blossom, while by its fragrance fanned
Where glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

The King there in His beauty, without a veil is seen:
It were a well spent journey, though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with His fair army, doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Oft in yon sea beat prison My Lord and I held tryst,
For Anwoth was not heaven, and preaching was not Christ:
And aye, my murkiest storm cloud was by a rainbow spanned,
Caught from the glory dwelling in Immanuel’s land.

But that He built a Heaven of His surpassing love,
A little new Jerusalem, like to the one above,
“Lord take me over the water” hath been my loud demand,
Take me to my love’s own country, unto Immanuel’s land.

But flowers need nights cool darkness, the moonlight and the dew;
So Christ, from one who loved it, His shining oft withdrew:
And then, for cause of absence my troubled soul I scanned
But glory shadeless shineth in Immanuel’s land.

The little birds of Anwoth, I used to count them blessed,
Now, beside happier altars I go to build my nest:
Over these there broods no silence, no graves around them stand,
For glory, deathless, dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Fair Anwoth by the Solway, to me thou still art dear,
Even from the verge of heaven, I drop for thee a tear.
Oh! If one soul from Anwoth meet me at God’s right hand,
My heaven will be two heavens, In Immanuel’s land.

Tributes from friends - including an IPC elder and an also a female too. I never object to women speaking as long as they are not leading or  teaching the gathered church. 

I’ve wrestled on towards Heaven, against storm and wind and tide,
Now, like a weary traveller that leaneth on his guide,
Amid the shades of evening, while sinks life’s lingering sand,
I hail the glory dawning from Immanuel’s land.

Deep waters crossed life’s pathway, the hedge of thorns was sharp;
Now, these lie all behind me Oh! for a well tuned harp!
Oh! To join hallelujah with yon triumphant band,
Who sing where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

With mercy and with judgement my web of time He wove,
And aye, the dews of sorrow were lustered with His love;
I’ll bless the hand that guided, I’ll bless the heart that planned
When throned where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Soon shall the cup of glory wash down earth’s bitterest woes,
Soon shall the desert briar break into Eden’s rose;
The curse shall change to blessing the name on earth that’s banned
Be graven on the white stone in Immanuel’s land.

O I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved’s mine!
He brings a poor vile sinner into His “house of wine.”
I stand upon His merit—I know no other stand,
Not even where glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

I shall sleep sound in Jesus, filled with His likeness rise,
To love and to adore Him, to see Him with these eyes:
’Tween me and resurrection but Paradise doth stand;
Then—then for glory dwelling in Immanuel’s land.

The Bride eyes not her garment, but her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory but on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth but on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory of Immanuel’s land.

I have borne scorn and hatred, I have borne wrong and shame,
Earth’s proud ones have reproached me for Christ’s thrice blessed Name:
Where God His seal set fairest they’ve stamped the foulest brand,
But judgement shines like noonday in Immanuel’s land.

They’ve summoned me before them, but there I may not come,
My Lord says “Come up hither,” My Lord says “Welcome home!”
My King, at His white throne, my presence doth command
Where glory—glory dwelleth in Immanuel’s land.

Reading. 1Coir 15:48 As was the man of dustso also are thosewho are of the dustand as is the man of heavennso also are those whoare of heaven. 49 Just oas we have borne the image of the man of dust,pwe shall6 also bear the image of the man of heaven.

50 I tell you thisbrothersqflesh and blood rcannot inherit thekingdom of Godnor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.51 BeholdI tell you a mysterysWe shall not all sleeptbut we shall allbe changed, 52 in a momentin the twinkling of an eyeat the lasttrumpetFor uthe trumpet will soundand vthe dead will be raisedimperishableand we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body mustput on the imperishableand wthis mortal body must put onimmortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishableand themortal puts on immortalitythen shall come to pass the saying that iswritten:
xDeath is swallowed up in victory.”
55  yO deathwhere is your victory?
O deathwhere is your sting?”
56 The sting of death is sinand zthe power of sin is the law. 57 Butthanks be to Godawho gives us the victory through our Lord JesusChrist.
58 bThereforemy beloved brothersbe steadfastimmovablealwaysabounding in cthe work of the Lordknowing that in the Lord dyourlabor is not in vain.

Sermon. Paul Levy - Psalm 17:15 - As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.

I have asked Carol Gray to sing Handel 'I know that me redeemer liveth' and Mozart's,'Allelujah'.


The final hymn was sung at my grandfather, Geoge Graham's funeral in 1953. He was only 60 and died of colon cancer for which I was operated on  in 2017. My operation was a success. Grandfather's in 1951 was not.


Words: Christ­ian F. Gel­lert, 1751 (Je­sus lebt, mit ihm auch ich); trans­lat­ed from Ger­man to Eng­lish by Fran­ces E. Cox

Jesus lives! no longer now
Can thy terrors, death, appal us;
Jesus lives! by this we know
Thou, O grave, canst not enthral us.

Jesus lives! henceforth is death
But the gate of life immortal;
This shall calm our trembling breath,
When we pass its gloomy portal.

Jesus lives! for us He died;
Then, alone to Jesus living
Pure in heart may abide,
Glory to our Savior giving.

Jesus lives! our hearts know well
Naught from us His love shall sever;
Life, nor death, nor powers of hell
Tear us from His keeping ever.

Jesus lives! to Him the throne
Over all the world is given;
May we go where He is gone,
Rest and reign with Him in heaven.


At the graveside sing Thine Be the Glory

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o'er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict'ry, thou o'er death hast won.

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