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  • Writer's pictureAlan and Jean McKinnell

Highland Cathedral. Psalm 139.

The Psalm in today's reading was Psalm 139. I turned to Jean and said 'I hope Gordon sings it.' From time to time Gordon one of our congregation sings the 'gradual hymn' as a solo, instead of we the congregation singing. Today Gordon did indeed sing Psalm 139, to the tune of Highland Cathedral. The tune Highland Cathedral has become one of those iconic bagpipe tunes, one of the best versions on you tube is by an Australian youth pipe band and it was actually written by two Germans, but the tune is as Scottish as Haggis.

Hymn number 68 in the Scottish Hymnal third edition is a rendition of Psalm 139 and is best sung to this tune. We sang it at my dad's funeral, when I say we, there were four of us at his funeral, it was one week into the full lock down of April 2020. My dad had told me some years earlier that he wanted this at his funeral and I was glad he did. It gave me a glimmer of hope that in his later years his faith had become something real to him and not just something he did on a Sunday morning to be part of the 'respectable' people in our village.

He liked the tune but he knew the words also and could quite them to me 'Thou art before me Lord, thou art behind' God is everywhere.

I've told Jean I want this at my funeral, maybe my dad and I weren't so far apart at the end, I hope not.

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