I have no particular feelings either way about the Royal family here. I had not intended to watch Prince Philip’s funeral on Saturday afternoon, as had plans to do some tasks in the garden. However I ended up sitting watching the funeral from Windsor Castle.
I certainly didn’t expect myself to be to ‘drawn in’ to the funeral and the emotions the Queen must have been going through, losing her life partner of 73 years – My heart went out to her sitting alone in the choir stalls, looking onto the coffin of Prince Philip in front of her. How I felt for her, having to sit herself, with the rest of her family sitting separately in their household groups.
The death of a loved one is always hardest on those who are left behind. However I guess for me watching Prince Philip’s funeral and the Queen sitting alone, brought home to me how awful it must be for all who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, as they all will have had that feeling of loneliness even more than usual because of the current pandemic.
What I wanted to share today, was the words and music of one of the melodies the military band played in the castle grounds prior to Prince Philip’s final journey to St George’s Chapel. It was a beautiful melody, but one I didn’t recall hearing before. I have since discovered more about the tune and the associated words – The tune was written by Charles Harris, the Supreme Sacrifice – How fitting is that tune given the devotion and sacrifice that Prince Philip served the Queen, the country and our Lord, for so many years.
I found a YouTube video with the melody – here’s some of the notes that are shared there along with the video.
The hymn of our grandfathers & fathers following World War One, presented with the shadows of war amid the cemeteries & cenotaphs that hallow their sacrifice. A haunting reminder of the legacy of the generations whose ‘name liveth forever’ even as, in this generation, so many more ‘valiant hearts’ go to war. Three different renderings of the hymn, highlighted by the singing of the Chapel Choir of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea.piddflicks (YouTube)
O valiant hearts who to your glory came Through dust of conflict and through battle flame; Tranquil you lie, your knightly virtue proved, Your memory hallowed in the land you loved. Proudly you gathered, rank on rank, to war As who had heard Gods message from afar; All you had hoped for, all you had, you gave, To save mankind—yourselves you scorned to save. Splendid you passed, the great surrender made; Into the light that nevermore shall fade; Deep your contentment in that blest abode, Who wait the last clear trumpet call of God. Long years ago, as earth lay dark and still, Rose a loud cry upon a lonely hill, While in the frailty of our human clay, Christ, our Redeemer, passed the self same way. Still stands His Cross from that dread hour to this, Like some bright star above the dark abyss; Still, through the veil, the Victors pitying eyes Look down to bless our lesser Calvaries. These were His servants, in His steps they trod, Following through death the martyred Son of God: Victor, He rose; victorious too shall rise They who have drunk His cup of sacrifice. O risen Lord, O Shepherd of our dead, Whose cross has bought them and Whose staff has led, In glorious hope their proud and sorrowing land Commits her children to Thy gracious hand.
Rest in peace Prince Philip.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Queen and all her family as the mourn the death of their family member.
I also pray for all who have lost loved ones, particularly during this pandemic.