Our friend's funeral was today. Too soon to write about it, but here is what my pal and I wrote 11 years ago for performance at Hugh's retiral dinner. We had such fun writing it and performing it, and were stunned to find it on an insert in the order of service.
Hugh is our gentle shepherd; therefore we want for nothing.
He maketh us to sit down and listen to the Lord: he maketh us to sit upon the pew and wait for the Lord; he maketh us to kneel upon the hassock - yea, even upon the bare wood.
He drifteth silently through the sanctuary of the Lord as a benign spirit: he calleth upon the Lord in a loud voice; he calleth upon the Lord in a quiet voice and in the silence, and the Lord cometh.
And he explaineth to his sheep with exceeding diligence that the Lord should be their refuge: he exhorteth his flock to worship the Lord in all things, to see the Lord in all things and to hold fast to the Lord always; and the Lord cometh.
He moweth the green pastures, and keepeth them short: he braveth the wild beasts of the air that bite, and the Lord rewardeth him; He giveth unto him a new mower - yea, a mower to sit upon.
He climbeth to the very roof of the Lord's house and cleaneth the gutters; he dangleth upon the ladder so that his flock may have light; even to the top of the bell-tower he climbeth and he showeth no fear: he putteth his trust in the Lord and the Lord holdeth him upon the ladder and he doth not fall.
He hath cut the very trees from the hill and hath lit many bonfires, he hath created a new view to the waters: he hath shewn the Lord's house upon the hill to the weary traveller across the sea.
Hugh is our gentle shepherd: therefore we want for nothing.
He putteth his trust in the Lord and the Lord sees that he is good: he waiteth upon the Lord in the quiet places and in the wet places and in the cold places; he leadeth his flock in the paths of righteousness through the dark moments and he rejoiceth with them in the times of plenty.
O give thanks to the Lord for his servant Hugh, for he hath a right judgement in most things: give thanks to the Lord for his good shepherd who hath led his flock with a gentle and loving hand.
Every word of this was true, and the tone (no pun intended) suited Hugh's wonderfully quirky sense of humour. The last line on the photo of the service sheet summed him up. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.