Although we speak in tongues of men
Yet did we lift up angel voices!
A celebration among friends,
No tinkling cymbals in that chapel,
No sounding brass to sing the verses.
In four parts we boldly grappled
With the mystery of the music
And the history of the elders
While rehearsing for Heaven on Tuesdays at seven.
We had faith - it moved the mountains,
Rejoiced in truth, not in iniquity.
We drank deep from the Christian fountains,
We shared knowledge from the deacons
And we found in our community
Our fare of love and laughter.
And we were shined on by the beacon
who'll remind us ever after
of rehearsing for Heaven on Tuesdays at seven.
Won't you come back to that sacred space?
Won't you walk again in the light?
Though tomorrow seems like a sadder place
and today we drink from a sorrowful cup,
angels keep watch all day and all night,
and at that Table once more you'll sup.
Now follow me down to the river
Be re-baptised in our old ways
Join with this hand I give you
and we'll sing out all our yesterdays
Rehearsing for Heaven on Tuesdays at seven.
From "The Swarm is Passing Over", a farewell to Tony Backhouse, edited by Suzan Piper.