Saturday, February 02, 2008

Obtaining a Copy of the New Hymn Sung at President Hinckley's Funeral

President Hinckley wrote a beautiful poem about the doctrine of death and the continuation of life. This poem was put to music by Janice Kapp Perry. I just received an email with a PDF of the hymn, which she wants to freely share.

If you would like a copy of this hymn, her website says to send an email to primerec at aol d't com with 'funeral hymn' in the subject line.

Or send me an email at mulling_and_musing at hotmail d't com and I will forward it to you.

What is this thing that men call death,
This quiet passing in the night?
’Tis not the end, but genesis
Of better worlds and greater light.

O God, touch Thou my aching heart,
And calm my troubled, haunting fears.
Let hope and faith, transcendent, pure,
Give strength and peace beyond my tears.

There is no death, but only change
With recompense for victory won;
The gift of Him who loved all men,
The Son of God, the Holy One.

-President Gordon B. Hinckley


Bored in Vernal said...

M&M, thank you for this service you are providing. I'm sure this hymn will quickly become part of the unofficial canon. (Please send me a copy, too!)

Bored in Vernal said...

M&M, thank you for this service you are providing. I'm sure this hymn will quickly become part of the unofficial canon. (Please send me a copy, too!)

Ardis said...

Thanks, m&m. I sent my request after seeing your post earlier today, and they sent the file within minutes.

Bored in Vernal said...

(Received this in Sister Perry's own words … hope you enjoy the additional information.)

"During President Hinckley’s funeral Tabernacle Choir will be singing a hymn text written by President Hinckley which I set to music in December. I would like to share the story of it with you:

About two months before my niece Kathy Blacker died, on January 11, 2008, she found a three-verse poem by President Hinckley among her files. Although she was resigned to dying, she had some fears about the dying process and his words greatly comforted her—especially the second verse, which described exactly what she was feeling. She wrote to Pres. Hinckley’s office to ask permission to have the poem printed on her funeral program, and she received a very nice letter from his secretary, Don H. Staheli, saying that President Hinckley gave his permission for her to do so. The letter also conveyed some very comforting words from Pres. Hinckley, which were helpful to helpful to Kathy in her final weeks, and he said he would remember Kathy in his prayers.

Then Kathy suggested that I write and ask permission to give the poem a hymn setting. I did so, and Brother Staheli conveyed President Hinckley’s permission for me to write the hymn. After offering some heartfelt prayers that I might be able to write appropriate music for his profoundly beautiful and moving text, I wrote the hymn setting and sent a copy to President Hinckley’s office for approval at the end of December. I received so immediate response.

Kathy passed away January 11 and after her funeral I sent a copy of her funeral program to President Hinckley’s office so he could see how nicely his poem was displayed along side my brother Gary Kapp’s painting of Christ.
When I heard President Hinckley had passed away last Sunday night I was feeling a little sad to think I hadn’t received a letter with his official approval. But the very next day after his passing, the hoped-for letter arrived with his approval, his permission for me to publish it in a future volume of my series Inspirational New Hymns for Choir and Home, and leaving it to my discretion as to whether to submit it to the Church Music Division. The timing was so unusual and I was extremely grateful to receive the letter as a tender mercy in my life.

Then on Monday afternoon Craig Jessop, Tabernacle Choir Director, heard about the hymn and had his office call me to obtain a copy of the hymn for consideration for President Hinckley’s funeral. On Tuesday, while travelling in California, I learned that the hymn would be performed by The Tabernacle Choir at President Hinckley’s funeral on Saturday.

Having seen the great comfort this hymn brought to my niece who died just two weeks before President Hinckley passed away, my great desire is for people throughout the world to have a free copy of these magnificent words of President Hinckley to comfort them in times of the loss of loved ones. This is just one more way his influence could be felt down through time."

M&M said...

BiV, I actually got that story, too, but didn't see its origin. Did you have anything on that?