Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
What Should I Sing?
My cousin's husband died early yesterday morning. Junior (my mom was the only one who got away with calling him "Wayne"!) was big and strong and loud and jovial and wonderful. When he and my cousin, Amy wanted to marry, they eloped to Elkton, Maryland, where they didn't need a blood test. I suppose such a beginning doesn't generally portend much good, but I never once doubted that they had a good marriage. They carried on the sort of perpetual happy arguing that assured you they were, underneath it, in perfect agreement. Their daughter, Sarah, is closer to my age (I'm the youngest grandchild of 15 on that side, and Amy's one of the oldest, and Junior a few years older than her), so I grew up playing with her and other cousins in her generation when I was in New Hampshire on summer vacations. They used to get a Fresh Air kid in the summers, so Vivi was a part of my vacation for several years. One summer I went with Amy and Junior and Sarah to Maine for a few days. I have a photo somewhere of Junior caught reading one of my comic books on that trip. It was X-Men, so I must have been in high school by then. I remember learning to play canasta with them on that trip, though I've long since forgotten.
I hate cancer. I hate death.
Amy and Sarah have asked me to sing at the funeral...and to suggest a few possible songs. A hymn seems the likely choice (though I sang a folk song at my grandfather's funeral) I can't handle something as emotional as "Abide with Me" again. But then again, whatever I sing will probably leave me a basket case. A friend mentioned a couple weeks ago that she's told her family that if any of them dies before she does, "For All the Saints" is the only hymn to be allowed at the funeral, since it already makes her cry, and she doesn't want to start a whole collection of tear-inducing hymns! Here are some of the options I've thought of so far:
I sang a version of Psalm 23 at Nana's funeral, and I don't think I want to do that again, unless I pick a different version. (I think I sang Crimond last time. There's another tune I like -- I thought it was called St. James's Air, but I can't find it. Ah...there it is: Brother James' Air. I think I could pull that off without being maudlin. Actually, now that I think about it, I may have used that version at Nana's funeral.)
Perhaps "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." Bob Bennett recorded a version of that, I think with guitar, that I really like. Of course I can't play that well, but perhaps I could figure out some simplified version. (Aha...the red Trinity Hymnal has guitar chords for Duke Street, and I think they're all ones I can play.)
I love "Be Still, My Soul," but I think I'd better not risk it.
"Amazing Grace"? I may be crazy to even consider it.
Any other suggestions? I think a reasonably familiar hymn would be best. Or maybe a Psalm with a tune that would be familiar to those unused to singing Psalms. Or maybe something I haven't thought of yet. I just need to give them a couple options soon to choose from. Ideas are welcome. But I want to have long since forgotten them all before the next time somebody asks me to sing at a funeral.
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 9:23 PM
On June 16, 2008 6:27 PMBillwrote... Actually, you might surprise yourself in using a hymn that is so thoroughly "your own," a real favorite. You can concentrate on the text and melody and lose yourself in it as you worship and lead the saints in turn. I sang at both of my parents' funerals and I'm often asked, "How could you do that?" My reply has always been, "This is what I do, and have been doing, for a living for 25 years. It's what God called me to do. And doing it, and doing it well, puts me at total peace."
On June 21, 2008 4:42 PMMargaret in VAwrote... "Praise to the Lord" Blue Trinity #50 and New Trinity #53. "Hast thou not seen how thy desires e'er have been granted in what He ordaineth?" and "How oft in grief hath not He brought thee relief, spreading His wings to o'er shade thee!" Always chokes me up! Though I know that's not what you are looking for.