It is peculiarly fitting and proper that we set aside a page in the book recording the history of Grace Church Vested Choir, and dedicate it to those former members who have finished their task and have gone to their Eternal Home.  It is especially fitting, at this particular season of the Church Year, that we should pause and pay tributes of love and respect to those former co-workers whose names are now inscribed on the membership roll of the Choir Invisible.  Many of those we mourn have done much to build up and foster the organization of which we are so proud, Through their zealous and earnest efforts we enjoy many things, but it is not for their benefit that we revere their memory; we cannot add to nor take from their happiness, but we may exalt ourselves to a higher plane of living by remembering their good deeds and emulating all that was great and good in their lives.

          Since the organization of the Vested choir in 1889, the following, whose names are listed as member, have finished their labors in this sphere, and have answered the Final Summons, but the memory of their usefulness to our Parish, and to the world, will live, and “To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.”

Clare Adams  Harry Albert Neesley
Carl Edward Anderson   Elwood E. Nelson
Elmer Herman Brandt  Carl A. Pierpont
Arthur Rayson Briggs Albert Rohwedder
Leonard Gurnee Coe  Albert Edward Rudman
Lester Arthur Davey Laurence Henry Schnedt
Wilbur Edson Doe Adolph Julius Sievers
William George Enderby William Stange
Arthur Joseph Foster Almon Alanson Taggert
Frederick Maurice Fredericksen Charles Millard Thompson
Foster Clement Getty Freeman Louis Tracy
Henry Julius Gode Charles Benjamin Water
William Carl Grohe  William Charles Werden
Frederick Mortimer Hess Lewis Edwin Westbrook
Frederick William Hopkins George Daniel White
George Lee Hurlburt La Verne Wright
Harry William Johnson  
Earl Jurgensen Electa Marian Rand
Harry Marcus Ketelsen Elizabeth Jane Wyatt
Donald Westrook Leedham  
George Emil Lund Louise D. Henningsen-Pollock
Walter Lyman MacArthur Hannah Jane Rand
Leon Lyle Harold Murphy Rev. Thomas Walker Jones
Alexander Deeds McCullough Rev. Charles Witcombe Tyler
Walter Garfield McKinley Rev. Clinton H. Weaver

          Limited space forbids that we note the many beautiful tributes that could be paid to each of the persons named, but we reverently record their names as having passed onward through that Gateway to a Finer World of which the poet sings, and as thus we keep in memory the lives of those who have ceased their earthly toil, we would not concentrate our gaze upon the grave, rather would we in vision behold the Gate, the Gate which opens at the touch of Perfect Wisdom, and of Infinite Love.  “ I would not paint Death as a Skeleton with a Scythe,” said a great character on beholding a picture representing it so, “ I would rather paint him as an Angel with a Golden Key.”  So we rejoice today as we remember those whom we have loved and who have left us for awhile, in the comforting confidence that the Golden Key of Love Divine unlocked for them the Gates of Mystery, and gave them entrance to a larger life.

          Over the three doorways to the cathedral of Milan there are three inscriptions spanning the splendid arches.  Over one are the words “All that pleases is but for a moment,” over another “All that troubles is but for a moment,” while over the central arch are these significant words, “That only is important which is eternal.”  How much we need this faith in immortality is evident because of life’s withheld conditions.  Our sphere of life and service will be made nobler, our powers larger, our loves deeper and holier, and the best that is in us will be ever in the ascendancy.  There are things back of us, friends, which have had much to do in shaping our lives and moulding our characters, and there are those who have faith enough to think that the faces we have loved and lost awhile: will be seen once more; the voices that have cheered and comforted us will be heard again; that the hands that have been unloosed for a little space will be clasped again in tender, loving pressure.  Then shall the mysteries of Providence be revealed; then shall we gain what we have lost, and more besides;--even what we crave and have not—and at last be satisfied.

          Our friends still live, live in the memory of those who loved them, and those who knew them best, loved them most.  The live in the affection of all those who knew the kindness of their hearts, and the true nobility of their minds; they live in the example their lives gave to others, who are striving as they strove, in the path of duty and right.  They are not dead, for they live in the record they mad in the community in which they moved, as upright men and women, steadfast, devoted friends, and wise counsellors, and as long as eyes can read and tongue can speak, their record will not die.  Thus we are comforted and inspired by the assurance that all that is lovable in each of us, and in our fellows is not limited to this present experience, but finds its fullest and most complete expression in life un-ending.  We would be true to our God and to the memory of our loved ones in the living of lives of courage, of faith, of helpfulness, and of hope.  Only thus can we fittingly revere their memory, and only thus can we worthily give thanks for those lives which have enriched our own.

          In the manner would we remember our friends, who, having lived and loved and labored, now are sheltered in the safety of the Morning Land, and know the peace that passeth all understanding.  They have passed from darkness to the light which for them can never be dimmed by the shadows of the earth.  It is for us to labor still upon the unfinished task.  We build our hope of immortality upon the unmeasurable Love and Wisdom of our God.  May the days which still are our be beautiful with this our faith in the reality of things unseen, and may we be so sure of the abundant love of the Father that at last we may be serenely confident that

“The Love which led us all the Golden Way nor left us when our feet had gone astray will guide us still, at dying of the day and bring us home.”

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