Tory Historian was delighted not only with the choice of music for Lady Thatcher's funeral (her choice) but the fact that the two readings were from the Authorized Version of the Bible. What a pleasure to hear those sonorous words again. It is one of the finest pieces of English writing and, as Adam Nicolson points out in his excellent history of how King James Bible was created, it was written to be read out. Sound was everything. The words, pregnant with many meanings, also had to be sonorous.
It so happens that TH is also reading one of E. C. R. Lorac's post-war detective novels, Policemen in the Precinct, the precinct being that of a cathedral, or, to be quite precise a Norman abbey in Paulborough in the Midlands. It starts with discussions of a death. The woman most feared and hated in the precinct because of the way she spread nasty rumours has been found dead of a heart attack (but we know better, do we not?).
Mrs Lilian Mayden is not exactly mourned by anyone but many turn up for her very fine funeral in the abbey, including the one woman who feels sorry for her and who has known her since schooldays, Mrs Alison Bentham. She even finds herself shedding tears but knows that it is the ceremony that invokes the emotions.
As a ceremony it was as near perfection as humanity can attain: every movement, every cadence, every phrase was right with the rightness only attainable by age-old tradition and expert direction.How else can one describe the funeral on Wednesday at St Paul's Cathedral?