We were in England briefly, for the funeral of Geri's father, Gerald Wootton. Geri traveled back earlier, and, praise God, arrived before his death.
His funeral was emotional, but splendid. The church was packed. Just before the family arrived, the congregation watched a Powerpoint presentation, with pictures from throughout Gerald's life. The opening hymn was “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”. At the end of the service, the British Legion regiment, who had formed a Guard of Honour prior to the service, presented military colours, which was a wonderful tribute – Gerald had served in the Royal Air Force.
The last hymn was my favorite English patriotic hymn – I Vow to Thee My Country.
Here is the version from last November's Festival of Remembrance.
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.