Saturday, 17 February 2018

Allan Rogers - superb Deacon, and Richard Baxter noble Puritan.

It was my sad duty this morning to attend the Funeral service for the Revd. Allan D. Rogers aged 68.

I say duty because the last thing I wanted to do was to be at the funeral of this good man.  But I was there because doing the right thing should be more important than doing simply what pleases me.

Allan was a Deacon par excellence, a faithful husband to his wife Holly through her long illness, a devoted father to their only child Sandie and her spouse Rebecca;  and a beloved Rogers family member (his parents and his two sisters yet live).

Equally important Allan was a passionate Christian, a worthy and trusty servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So many of us at St. Boniface Church in Sarasota also thought of Allan as a good friend during his fifteen years of service in the parish.

The Liturgy of the Episcopal Church served us well this morning. The familiar words of the Book of Common Prayer are an anchor in times of joy, and in times of unspeakable grief.

To my personal delight the opening hymn was "Ye Holy Angels Bright" by the godly and gracious English Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-1691).

In my opinion it is one of the finest hymns in the English tradition.  It speaks of a fabulous descending hierarchy of song

The Angels to "assist our song".

The Faithful Departed to "God's praises sound, 
as in his sight with sweet delight  ye do abound".

The Church on earth to "adore your heavenly King, and onward as ye go  some joyful anthem sing"

The individual Christian to "bear thou thy part, 
triumph in God above: and with a well-tuned heart 
sing thou the songs of love!' 

I so much like the fourth stanza.  Baxter does not bid us to have a well tuned voice, but a well tuned heart.

Utterly beloved Allan D. Rogers had that well tuned heart!    Oh such gratitude for Allan. Oh such grief that he died. His life was filled with praise,


Full text of the Baxter's great hymn.

Ye holy angels bright, 
who wait at God's right hand, 
or through the realms of light 
fly at your Lord's command, 
assist our song, 
for else the theme 
too high doth seem 
for mortal tongue.

Ye blessed souls at rest, 
who ran this earthly race 
and now, from sin released, 
behold your Savior's face, 
his praises sound, 
as in his sight 
with sweet delight 
ye do abound.

Ye saints, who toil below, 
adore your heavenly King, 
and onward as ye go 
some joyful anthem sing; 
take what he gives 
and praise him still, 
through good or ill, 
who ever lives!

My soul, bear thou thy part, 
triumph in God above: 
and with a well-tuned heart 
sing thou the songs of love! 
Let all thy days 
till life shall end, 
whate'er he send, 
be filled with praise!  

(as sung in Manchester (U.K.) Cathedral)


  1. A wonderful saint of Good who now sits at his right hand, so sadly missed by all who knew him.

  2. Michael, it was so good to see you there. Several of the hymns were special and especially this one. Thank you for posting it. Allan was truly beloved.