Nearer My God To Thee

The church service today concluded with “Nearer My God To Thee” being played on the organ in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of Titanic.

It is amazing to imagine that 1,500 died after the ship collided with the iceberg.  The unsinkable ship as it was called at the time did in fact sink — very quickly.

When the James Cameron movie was released in the last 1990s, I went to see it at the theater and wept.  I knew what was going to happen but seeing it played out so dramatically was hard to watch.  I can’t imagine living it.

Knowing that some people didn’t even stand a chance since they were locked in part of the ship is heartbreaking.  Many third class passengers couldn’t even try to get to a deck of the ship.  They were treated so poorly and people acted like they were not worth saving.  That is so very wrong.

It is heartbreaking that there weren’t enough lifeboats or jackets and the ones that did leave the ship weren’t full of passengers.  It was one disaster after another.  I suppose the best we can hope for is to learn from these mistakes.  And hope and pray that something like this never, ever happens again.

Another thing I want to remember is to try to treat all people as equals.  Just because you have more money to be able to stay in a better class on a ship or an airplane doesn’t make you a better person.  All people from CEOs to janitors deserve respect and to be treated as equals.

When I was a teenager, I was involved in Camp Fire, which is similar to Girl Scouts.  Anyway, I remember a few summers during day camp, we would sing a song about the Titanic.  It was a fun song about such a terrible event and was eventually banned, but it did sum up what happened so I will never forgot it.

On this anniversary, we can honor those who were so tragically lost as well as those generations of people who have direct ties to this amazing ship.

Here are the first, second and last verses of “Nearer My God To Thee” that was played by the ship’s orchestra as the ship went down.  I truly hope that it helped people with some comfort as they went to meet the Lord.

  • Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
  • E’en though it be a cross that raiseth me; 
  • Still all my song would be nearer, my God, to Thee,
  • Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
  • Though like a wanderer, the sun gone down,
  • Darkness be over me, my rest a stone;
  • Yet in my dreams I’d be nearer, my God, to Thee,
  • Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!
  • Or if on joyful wing, cleaving the sky,
  • Sun, moon, and stars forgot, upwards I fly,
  • Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,
  • Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee!