On Wednesday 17th April The ceremonial funeral of Lady Margaret Thatcher (Baroness Thatcher) will take place in St Pauls Cathedral in London. I hope you wil be able to watch it on television or the Internet, wherever you are in the world.
Her Majesty Queen and Prince Philip will be attending.
Before the service Lady Thatchers two grandchildren will carry cushions bearing the insignia of the Order of the Garter and the Order of Merit and lay them on the Dome altar. These are two of the highest honours the Queen can bestow.
Chelsea Pensioners and serving members of the armed forces will form a guard of honour on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral.
She was a great leader. She led the country through some difficult times and her achievements were many.
One of her favourite quotes was “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” By John Wesley.
We are sad at her passing but we know she will be now safe in God’s care.
These are three of the hymns she chose to be sung at her funeral.
Love Divine All Love Excelling
Love Divine, all loves excelling, Joy of heaven, to earth come down,
Fix in us thy humble dwelling, All thy faithful mercies crown.
Jesus, thou art all compassion, Pure unbounded love thou art;
Visit us with thy salvation, Enter every trembling heart.
Come, almighty to deliver, Let us all thy grace receive;
Suddenly return, and never, Never more thy temples leave.
Thee we would be always blessing, Serve thee as thy hosts above,
Pray, and praise thee, without ceasing, Glory in thy perfect love.
Finish then thy new creation Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see thy great salvation, Perfectly restored in thee,
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heaven we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise!
By Charles Wesley
HE WHO WOULD VALIANT BE
He who would valiant be ‘gainst all disaster,
let him in constancy follow the Master.
There’s no discouragement shall make him once relent
his first avowed intent to be a pilgrim.
Who so beset him round with dismal stories
do but themselves confound his strength the more is.
No foes shall stay his might; though he with giants fight,
he will make good his right to be a pilgrim.
Since, Lord, thou dost defend us with thy Spirit,
We know we at the end, shall life inherit.
Then fancies flee away! I’ll fear not what men say,
I’ll labour night and day to be a pilgrim.
Tune Monks Gate. Words by John Bunyan, 1684 as modified by Percy Dearmer, 1906
(John Bunyan also wrote the book Pilgrims Progress. Well worth reading!)
I Vow To Thee My Country
Lyrics Cecil Spring Rice (1859-1918)
Music Gustav Holst (Jupiter from the Planets Suite)
I vow to thee, my country, all earthly things above,
Entire and whole and perfect, the service of my love:
The love that asks no question, the love that stands the test,
That lays upon the altar the dearest and the best;
The love that never falters, the love that pays the price,
The love that makes undaunted the final sacrifice.
And there’s another country, I’ve heard of long ago,
Most dear to them that love her, most great to them that know;
We may not count her armies, we may not see her King;
Her fortress is a faithful heart, her pride is suffering;
And soul by soul and silently her shining bounds increase,
And her ways are ways of gentleness and all her paths are peace.
This hymn speaks of our love for our country and the knowledge that we are looking forward to our eternal heavenly country where Jesus will be King Of Kings and there will be no more tears and sadness.
I have added a personal favourite hymn of my own for this post. I remember singing it a lot at church after my father had died and it helped me so much!
In Heavenly Love Abiding
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear.
And safe in such confiding, for nothing changes here.
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid,
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back.
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waking, His sight is never dim.
He knows the way He’s taking, and I will walk with Him
Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen.
Bright skies will soon be over me, where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure, my path to life is free.
My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.
By Anna Laetitia Waring, 1820-1910
If you feel you need God in your life and you don’t know how to find Him and you feel alone, lost, guilty and frightened, I recommend the website from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association www.PeaceWithGod.net
I also recommend that you watch The Revelation TV Channel on Sky channel number 581 or
Freesat channel 692. They also show their programmes on line on their website is http://www.revelationtv.com/ They are a Christian channel. They have live, interactive programmes, which are wonderful for people who are lonely and many programmes that help people learn about the love of God and how to live the Christian life. The presenters and guests make you feel that you are part of the Church family.
There will be music by Sir Edward Elgar, one of her favourite composers, during the service.
This psalm will be sung to the music of Johannes Brahms
Psalm 84 King James Version (KJV)
1 How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!
2 My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.
3 Yea, the sparrow hath found an house, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, even thine altars, O Lord of hosts, my King, and my God.
4 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house: they will be still praising thee. Selah.
5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.
8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob. Selah.
9 Behold, O God our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed.
10 For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.
12 O Lord of hosts, blessed is the man that trusteth in thee.
The first reading will be read by Amanda Thatcher granddaughter of Margaret Thatcher.
Ephesians Chapter 6 verses 10-18
10Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
The second reading. The present Prime Minister Of Great Britain, David Cameron will read a passage from The Holy Bible.
John 14:1-15 King James Version (KJV)
14 Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way?
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.
9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Show us the Father?
10 Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.
12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments. *(See below)
*(The Two Greatest Commandments Matthew chapter 22 verses 34-40
34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together.
35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
40 All the Law* and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.
(* The Ten Commandments)
When we fully obey these two commandments of Jesus, we will find that we are in fact, obeying the Ten Commandments.)
These two poems, by two of her favourite poets, are printed on the front and back pages of the Order of Service.
Ode: Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood
(The child is father of the man; And I could wish my days to be bound each to each by natural piety. Wordsworth, “My Heart Leaps Up”)
By William Wordsworth
Born: April 7, 1770, Died April 23, 1850.
There was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
The earth, and every common sight,
To me did seem
Apparelled in celestial light,
The glory and the freshness of a dream.
It is not now as it hath been of yore;—
Turn wheresoe’er I may,
By night or day.
The things which I have seen I now can see no more.
The Rainbow comes and goes,
And lovely is the Rose,
The Moon doth with delight
Look round her when the heavens are bare,
Waters on a starry night
Are beautiful and fair;
The sunshine is a glorious birth;
But yet I know, where’er I go,
That there hath past away a glory from the earth.
Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
And while the young lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound,
To me alone there came a thought of grief:
A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
And I again am strong:
The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
And all the earth is gay;
Land and sea
Give themselves up to jollity,
And with the heart of May
Doth every Beast keep holiday;—
Thou Child of Joy,
Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy Shepherd-boy.
Ye blessèd creatures, I have heard the call
Ye to each other make; I see
The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
My heart is at your festival,
My head hath its coronal,
The fullness of your bliss, I feel—I feel it all.
Oh evil day! if I were sullen
While Earth herself is adorning,
This sweet May-morning,
And the Children are culling
On every side,
In a thousand valleys far and wide,
Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
And the Babe leaps up on his Mother’s arm:—
I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
—But there’s a Tree, of many, one,
A single field which I have looked upon,
Both of them speak of something that is gone;
The Pansy at my feet
Doth the same tale repeat:
Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
Where is it now, the glory and the dream?
Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar:
Not in entire forgetfulness,
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come
From God, who is our home:
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
Shades of the prison-house begin to close
Upon the growing Boy,
But he beholds the light, and whence it flows,
He sees it in his joy;
The Youth, who daily farther from the east
Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
And by the vision splendid
Is on his way attended;
At length the Man perceives it die away,
And fade into the light of common day.
Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
And, even with something of a Mother’s mind,
And no unworthy aim,
The homely Nurse doth all she can
To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
Forget the glories he hath known,
And that imperial palace whence he came.
Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
A six years’ Darling of a pigmy size!
See, where ‘mid work of his own hand he lies,
Fretted by sallies of his mother’s kisses,
With light upon him from his father’s eyes!
See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
Shaped by himself with newly-learned art
A wedding or a festival,
A mourning or a funeral;
And this hath now his heart,
And unto this he frames his song:
Then will he fit his tongue
To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
But it will not be long
Ere this be thrown aside,
And with new joy and pride
The little Actor cons another part;
Filling from time to time his “humorous stage”
With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
That Life brings with her in her equipage;
As if his whole vocation were endless imitation.
Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
Thy Soul’s immensity;
Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,
That, deaf and silent, read’st the eternal deep,
Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,—
Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
On whom those truths do rest,
Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
Thou, over whom thy Immortality
Broods like the Day, a Master o’er a Slave,
A Presence which is not to be put by;
Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
Of heaven-born freedom on thy being’s height,
Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
And custom lie upon thee with a weight,
Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!
O joy! that in our embers
Is something that doth live,
That Nature yet remembers
What was so fugitive!
The thought of our past years in me doth breed
Perpetual benediction: not indeed
For that which is most worthy to be blest;
Delight and liberty, the simple creed
Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:—
Not for these I raise
The song of thanks and praise
But for those obstinate questionings
Of sense and outward things,
Fallings from us, vanishings;
Blank misgivings of a Creature
Moving about in worlds not realised,
High instincts before which our mortal Nature
Did tremble like a guilty thing surprised:
But for those first affections,
Those shadowy recollections,
Which, be they what they may
Are yet the fountain-light of all our day,
Are yet a master-light of all our seeing;
Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
Our noisy years seem moments in the being
Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
To perish never;
Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
Nor Man nor Boy,
Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
Can utterly abolish or destroy!
Hence in a season of calm weather
Though inland far we be,
Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
Which brought us hither,
Can in a moment travel thither,
And see the Children sport upon the shore,
And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.
Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
And let the young Lambs bound
As to the tabor’s sound!
We in thought will join your throng,
Ye that pipe and ye that play,
Ye that through your hearts to-day
Feel the gladness of the May!
What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now for ever taken from my sight,
Though nothing can bring back the hour
Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
We will grieve not, rather find
Strength in what remains behind;
In the primal sympathy
Which having been must ever be;
In the soothing thoughts that spring
Out of human suffering;
In the faith that looks through death,
In years that bring the philosophic mind.
And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
Forebode not any severing of our loves!
Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
I only have relinquished one delight
To live beneath your more habitual sway.
I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
Is lovely yet;
The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
Do take a sober colouring from an eye
That hath kept watch o’er man’s mortality;
Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
To me the meanest flower that blows can give
Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.
How true especially those last few lines .Sometimes our grief and sadness is too deep for tears.
There is an ache and a longing which we cannot express.
T.S. Eliot: Little Gidding From Four Quartets
Midwinter spring is its own season Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic. When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches, In windless cold that is the heart’s heat, Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon. And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire In the dark time of the year.
Between melting and freezing The soul’s sap quivers. There is no earth smell Or smell of living thing.
This is the spring time But not in time’s covenant. Now the hedgerow Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom Of snow,
a bloom more sudden Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading, Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable Zero summer?
If you came this way, Taking the route you would be likely to take From the place you would be likely to come from,
If you came this way in may time, you would find the hedges White again, in May, with voluptuary sweetness. I
t would be the same at the end of the journey, If you came at night like a broken king,
If you came by day not knowing what you came for, It would be the same, when you leave the rough road
And turn behind the pig-sty to the dull facade And the tombstone.
And what you thought you came for Is only a shell, a husk of meaning From which the purpose breaks only when it is fulfilled If at all.
Either you had no purpose Or the purpose is beyond the end you figured And is altered in fulfilment.
There are other places Which also are the world’s end, some at the sea jaws,
Or over a dark lake, in a desert or a city— But this is the nearest, in place and time, Now and in England.
If you came this way, Taking any route, starting from anywhere,
At any time or at any season, It would always be the same: you would have to put off Sense and notion.
You are not here to verify, Instruct yourself, or inform curiosity Or carry report. You are here to kneel Where prayer has been valid.
And prayer is more Than an order of words, the conscious occupation Of the praying mind, or the sound of the voice praying.
And what the dead had no speech for, when living, They can tell you, being dead:
the communication Of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living.
Here, the intersection of the timeless moment Is England and nowhere. Never and always.
Ash on and old man’s sleeve Is all the ash the burnt roses leave.
Dust in the air suspended Marks the place where a story ended. Dust inbreathed was a house— The walls, the wainscot and the mouse,
The death of hope and despair, This is the death of air. There are flood and drouth Over the eyes and in the mouth,
Dead water and dead sand Contending for the upper hand. The parched eviscerate soil Gapes at the vanity of toil,
Laughs without mirth. This is the death of earth. Water and fire succeed The town, the pasture and the weed.
Water and fire deride The sacrifice that we denied. Water and fire shall rot The marred foundations we forgot,
Of sanctuary and choir. This is the death of water and fire.
In the uncertain hour before the morning Near the ending of interminable night
At the recurrent end of the unending After the dark dove with the flickering tongue Had passed below the horizon of his homing
While the dead leaves still rattled on like tin Over the asphalt where no other sound was Between three districts whence the smoke arose
I met one walking, loitering and hurried As if blown towards me like the metal leaves Before the urban dawn wind unresisting.
And as I fixed upon the down-turned face That pointed scrutiny with which we challenge
The first-met stranger in the waning dusk I caught the sudden look of some dead master
Whom I had known, forgotten, half recalled Both one and many;
in the brown baked features The eyes of a familiar compound ghost Both intimate and unidentifiable.
So I assumed a double part, and cried And heard another’s voice cry: ‘What! are you here?’
Although we were not. I was still the same, Knowing myself yet being someone other— And he a face still forming;
yet the words sufficed To compel the recognition they preceded. And so, compliant to the common wind,
Too strange to each other for misunderstanding, In concord at this intersection time Of meeting nowhere, no before and after,
We trod the pavement in a dead patrol. I said: ‘The wonder that I feel is easy, Yet ease is cause of wonder.
Therefore speak: I may not comprehend, may not remember.’ And he: ‘I am not eager to rehearse
My thoughts and theory which you have forgotten. These things have served their purpose: let them be.
So with your own, and pray they be forgiven By others, as I pray you to forgive Both bad and good.
Last season’s fruit is eaten And the fullfed beast shall kick the empty pail.
For last year’s words belong to last year’s language And next year’s words await another voice.
But, as the passage now presents no hindrance To the spirit unappeased and peregrine
Between two worlds become much like each other, So I find words I never thought to speak In streets I never thought I should revisit
When I left my body on a distant shore. Since our concern was speech, and speech impelled us To purify the dialect of the tribe
And urge the mind to aftersight and foresight, Let me disclose the gifts reserved for age To set a crown upon your lifetime’s effort.
First, the cold friction of expiring sense Without enchantment, offering no promise But bitter tastelessness of shadow fruit
As body and soul begin to fall asunder. Second, the conscious impotence of rage At human folly, and the laceration Of laughter at what ceases to amuse.
And last, the rending pain of re-enactment Of all that you have done, and been; the shame Of motives late revealed,
and the awareness Of things ill done and done to others’ harm Which once you took for exercise of virtue. Then fools’ approval stings, and honour stains.From wrong to wrong the exasperated spirit Proceeds, unless restored by that refining fire Where you must move in measure, like a dancer.’
The day was breaking. In the disfigured street He left me, with a kind of valediction, And faded on the blowing of the horn.
There are three conditions which often look alike Yet differ completely, flourish in the same hedgerow:
Attachment to self and to things and to persons, detachment From self and from things and from persons;
and, growing between them, indifference Which resembles the others as death resembles life,
Being between two lives—unflowering, between The live and the dead nettle.
This is the use of memory: For liberation—not less of love but expanding Of love beyond desire,
and so liberation From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country Begins as attachment to our own field of action
And comes to find that action of little importance Though never indifferent. History may be servitude, History may be freedom.
See, now they vanish, The faces and places, with the self which, as it could, loved them, To become renewed, transfigured, in another pattern.
Sin is Behovely, but All shall be well, and All manner of thing shall be well.
If I think, again, of this place, And of people, not wholly commendable, Of no immediate kin or kindness,
But of some peculiar genius, All touched by a common genius, United in the strife which divided them;
If I think of a king at nightfall, Of three men, and more, on the scaffold And a few who died forgotten In other places, here and abroad,
And of one who died blind and quiet Why should we celebrate These dead men more than the dying?
It is not to ring the bell backward Nor is it an incantation To summon the spectre of a Rose.
We cannot revive old factions We cannot restore old policies Or follow an antique drum.
These men, and those who opposed them And those whom they opposed Accept the constitution of silence And are folded in a single party.
Whatever we inherit from the fortunate We have taken from the defeated What they had to leave us—a symbol:
A symbol perfected in death. And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well
By the purification of the motive In the ground of our beseeching.
The dove descending breaks the air With flame of incandescent terror Of which the tongues declare The one discharge from sin and error.
The only hope, or else despair Lies in the choice of pyre of pyre— To be redeemed from fire by fire.
Who then devised the torment? Love. Love is the unfamiliar Name Behind the hands that wove
The intolerable shirt of flame Which human power cannot remove. We only live, only suspire Consumed by either fire or fire.
What we call the beginning is often the end And to make and end is to make a beginning.
The end is where we start from. And every phrase And sentence that is right (where every word is at home, Taking its place to support the others,
The word neither diffident nor ostentatious, An easy commerce of the old and the new,
The common word exact without vulgarity, The formal word precise but not pedantic,
The complete consort dancing together) Every phrase and every sentence is an end and a beginning, Every poem an epitaph.
And any action Is a step to the block, to the fire, down the sea’s throat
Or to an illegible stone: and that is where we start. We die with the dying: See, they depart, and we go with them.
We are born with the dead: See, they return, and bring us with them.
The moment of the rose and the moment of the yew-tree Are of equal duration.
A people without history Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern Of timeless moments.
So, while the light fails On a winter’s afternoon, in a secluded chapel History is now and England.
With the drawing of this Love and the voice of this Calling
We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time.
Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning;
At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known,
because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea.
Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything)
And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well
When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one.