St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale

A service in memory of

Philip Arthur Rahtz

born in Bristol in 1921

died at Harome June 2nd 2011

 in his 90th year



2pm, June 10th, 2011

Lorna, Matthew and the family are grateful to friends and colleagues who have so kindly expressed their condolences at Philip's passing, and who have gathered today at St Gregory's Minster to share the family's farewell to him. All are warmly invited to refreshments afterwards at the Kirkbymoorside Golf Club.


Order of service

Please stand for the entrance of the cortege and principal mourners, accompanied by the Aria from J S Bach's "Goldberg Variations":

Opening words

Please be seated for prayers:


Please stand for the hymn:

Hymn: "Dear Lord and Father of Mankind"

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways;
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard,
beide the Syrian sea,
gracious calling of the Lord,
us, like them, without a word,
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee,
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity,
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm.

Words: John G. Whittier
Music: Frederick C. Maker, 1887


Please be seated for the Psalm:

Psalm 103: (said)

1Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

 2Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

 3Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

 4Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

 5Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

 6The LORD executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed.

 7He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.

 8The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy.

 9He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

 10He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

 11For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.

 12As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

 13Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

 14For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

 15As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth.

 16For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.

 17But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children;

 18To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

 19The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all.

 20Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word.

 21Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure.

 22Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul.

Please stand for the 'Gloria' ending the Psalm:

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Please be seated for the Anthem and the readings:

Anthem (Choir): Thou knowest Lord the secrets of our hearts (Purcell)

Reading: Words at Wharram Percy, by Peter Didsbury, read by Gentian Rahtz

No silence here.
The place is loud with peace.
Blackcap and robin
give voice in the soft June rain,
conspire in their different octaves
with leaf and lawn and stone.
The air retains
millennia of sound. Listen.
An axe-note falls through countless autumns
down the valley’s terraced side.
A wife calls out, in Middle English,
to a man who mows in the glebe,
but his blade lisps on as though he has not heard.
Shadow crawls slowly around a mass-dial
scratched on the porch of the church,
dislodging a grain of sand
which falls ringing onto the path.
There is only utterance.
Low-skimming birds pick flies from the tensile
surface of the pond, and each touch rings
as if struck from a vanished bell.
Hillside pasture lies fizzing under the rain,
through which a partridge
hurries her brood to safety
among cowslip, oat grass, Yorkshire fog, black medick.

Peter Didsbury 26th June 2004


Reading: Extract from The Anglo-Saxon Maxims, read by Sid Bradley 

A king must rule over a kingdom. Cities are conspicuous from afar [...] the ingenious constructions of giants, ornate fortresses of dressed stone. The wind in the sky is the swiftest thing; and thunder in its season is the loudest. The powers of Christ are great; Providence is the most compelling thing ...

Truth is a very fickle thing. Treasure - gold - is the costliest thing to every mortal. The old man is the most knowing, the one grown wise through far-off years, who has already experienced much. Grief is a strangely clinging thing - but clouds will glide by...

The mast belongs on the ship, swaying there as a sailyard. The sword belongs in the lap, a lordly iron weapon. The dragon belongs in its barrow, canny and jealous of its jewels. The fish belongs in the water, spawning its species. A king belongs in his hall, sharing out rings. [...] God belongs in the heavens, the Judge of deeds...

Good shall contend with evil; youth shall contend with old age; life shall contend with death; light shall contend with darkness [...] The prudent man must always bear in mind the quarrelsomeness of this world.

The ordaining Lord alone knows to where those spirits will depart who pass into his presence after their death-day, and await judgement in the Father’s embrace. The shape of the future is obscure and unknowable: the Lord alone knows it, the redeeming Father. No one returns here below the heavens to tell people for certain what they are like, those habitations of his victorious people, where he himself abides.

London, British Library MS Cotton Tiberius Bi, fol. 115a-115b)


Please stand for the hymn:


Hymn: "The Day Thou Gavest Lord Is Ended"

The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.

We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,

While earth rolls onward into light,

Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

Words: John Ellerton, A Liturgy for Missionary Meetings, 1870.
 Music: St. Clement, Clement C. Scholefield


Please be seated for the eulogy:

Eulogy: Sebastian Rahtz and David Rahtz

Please remain seated for prayers:


Please stand for the hymn:

Hymn: "Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer"

Guide me, O thou great redeemer,
Pilgrim through this barren land;
I am weak, but thou art mighty,
Hold me with thy powerful hand;
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven
   Feed me till I want no more;
   Feed me till I want no more.

Open now the crystal fountain
Whence the healing stream doth flow;
Let the fire and cloudy pillar
Lead me all my journey through:
Strong deliverer, strong deliverer;
   Be thou still my strength and shield;
   Be thou still my strength and shield.

When I tread the verge of Jordan,
Bid my anxious fears subside;
Death of death, and hell's destruction
Land me safe on Canaan's side:
Songs of praises, songs of praises,
   I will ever give to thee;
   I will ever give to thee.

Please remain standing for the prayer of commendation:

Prayer of commendation

Please stand for the exit of the coffin and principal mourners:

Exit of the coffin to the churchyard accompanied by Frederick Delius’ Walk to the Paradise Garden.

Members of the congregation are warmly invited to follow the cortege into the churchyard for the ceremony of interment.


There will be a retiring collection in aid of St Gregory's Minster, Kirkdale, and St Catherine's Hospice, Scarborough.

Sebastian Rahtz,
Jun 25, 2011, 9:50 AM