Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Fourth of July at Christ’s Church in Pensacola

We usually make it to the early service at Christ’s Church, Pensacola, but this Sunday we took it easy, and headed to the second service instead. AdventureMan loves the second service for the music; I love it because sometimes our son and his family are there and we get to sit together.

Father Neil gave a thought-provoking sermon, as usual, incorporating some of the things he learned serving as a chaplain to our American troops in the desert in Kuwait. During communion, the choir sang a song known by some as the Navy Hymn and by others as the Armed Forces Hymn. The last two lines of each chorus pray for our men and women “in peril” on land or sea or in the air. While I am a stoic, that song shakes me to my core, and brings tears to my eyes.

At the end of the service, just after the recessional, our superb music director, Kenneth Keredine, with two fellow musicians on drum and cymbals, played a rousing Sousa march, a joyful and happy way to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend.

July 4, 2011 - Posted by | Community, Cultural, ExPat Life, Holiday, Spiritual |


  1. Eternal Father usually makes me cry too–two reasons–it was played at JFK’s funeral (I lived in DC at the time and it was very personal) and it was played at my father’s memorial–he was a Navy pilot. It will also be played at my memorial–after all it was originally the Navy (wo)man’s Hymn. One of the hardest things emotionally I ever did was sing that song in the choir at my OCS graduation/commissioning ceremony, but I managed it with military bearing and without crying!

    Comment by momcat | July 4, 2011 | Reply

  2. I cannot imagine how you sang it without crying. But I am guessing your Dad was still alive then. It is just a wonderful and moving hymn, isn’t it? I like the version in the Armed Forces Hymna (if it is still there) in which each verse ends with for those in peril . . . in the air . . . on the ground . . . on the sea (one verse each) I think I probably want that at my service, but not for a long long time!

    Comment by intlxpatr | July 5, 2011 | Reply

  3. […] Fourth of July at Christ’s Church in Pensacola « Here There and Everywhere […]

    Pingback by Fourth of July at Christ’s Church in Pensacola « Here There and Everywhere | a Gulf Coast Pensacola Church Ministry | August 21, 2011 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: