A Service of prayer and reflection was held at St Mary’s on the Eve of the Funeral of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. It was an ecumenical service arranged by Aberdeen Churches Together. The service was led by Bishop Anne, with Bible readings from Rev. Gary Smith (Crown St Baptist) and Pastor Joe Ochei (Jesus House, Holburn St), and intercessions from Canon Terry and Rev Jenny Holden (St John’s, Crown Terrace).
We were blessed to be joined by a choir from Jesus House who led us in our hymns and sang the moving ‘Song of Farewell’ by Ernest Sands that includes the chorus
May the choir of angels,
Come to greet you,
May they speed you to paradise.
May the Lord enfold you
In His mercy.
May you find eternal life.
Other elements of the service included a reading of the poem ‘Lochnagar’ by Makar Kathleen Jamie.
The alder boughs hang heavy,
Red weighs the rowan-trees
That line the well-loved path which climbs
To Lochnagar from Dee
And knows at last the open hill,
Those ancient wind-honed heights
Where deer stand shy and sky-lined,
Then vanish from living sight,
Where grief is ice, and history
Is distant roiling skies,
Where weather chases weather
Across the lands she strived
To serve, and served supremely well,
Till the call came from afar:
Back to the country kept in her heart,
the Dee, and Lochnagar.
(The Makar gives permission for republishing this poem to not for profit media. For other media contact the Scottish Poetry Library for permissions.)