At HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral on 17th April 2021, the Dean of Windsor read out these verses below. They were chosen by the Duke for his funeral as an expression of his life at sea as well as his faith in God.
The verses are taken from the book of Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus) in 'The Apochrypha.'
Look upon the rainbow, and praise him that made it;
Exceeding beautiful in the brightness thereof.
It encircles the heaven round about with a circle of glory;
The hands of the Most High have stretched it.
By his commandment he makes the snow to fall apace,
And sends swiftly the lightnings of his judgement.
By reason thereof the treasure-houses are opened;
And clouds fly forth as fowls.
By his mighty power he makes strong the clouds,
And the hailstones are broken small:
And at his appearing the mountains will be shaken,
And at his will the south wind will blow.
The voice of his thunder makes the earth to travail;
So does the northern storm and the whirlwind:
As birds flying down he sprinkles the snow;
And as the lighting of the locust is the falling down thereof:
The eye will marvel at the beauty of its whiteness,
And the heart will be astonished at the raining of it.
The hoar frost also he pours on the earth as salt;
And when it is congealed, it is as points of thorns.
The cold north wind shall blow,
And the ice shall be congealed on the water:
It shall lodge upon every gathering together of water,
And the water shall put on as it were a breastplate.
It shall devour the mountains, and burn up the wilderness,
And consume the green herb as fire.
A mist coming speedily is the healing of all things;
A dew coming after heat shall bring cheerfulness.
By his counsel he has stilled the deep,
And planted islands therein.
They that sail on the sea tell of the danger thereof;
And when we hear it with our ears, we marvel.
Therein be also those strange and wondrous works,
Variety of all that has life, the race of sea-monsters.
By reason of him his end has success,
And by his word all things consist.
[Ecclesiasticus (Sirach) 43:11-26 WEB]
Undaunted radiance is not built on anything passing, but on the love of God that nothing can alter. The experiences of life, terrible or monotonous, are impotent to touch “the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
GEORGE and GILL STEWART