A Service in Remembrance and Thanksgiving
For the Life of Charles M. Perry
June 21, 1947 - September 26, 2017
November 25, 2017
The Wood Road
If I were to walk this way
Hand in hand with Grief,
I should mark that maple-spray
Coming into leaf.
I should note how the old burrs
Rot upon the ground.
Yes, though Grief should know me hers
While the world goes round,
It could not in truth be said
This was lost on me:
A rock-maple showing red,
Burrs beneath a tree.
Edna St. Vincent Millay
A Service in Remembrance and Thanksgiving
for the Life of Charles M. Perry
Prelude Organ Works by J.S. Bach
Opening Hymn Be Thou My Vision
Greeting and Opening Prayer The Rev. Joy K. Fallon
Readings Poem: “Say I was Glad”
by Roscoe E. Trueblood
Read by Thomas Perry
If sometime when this hour is memory
Someone makes mention chancewise, of my name
(Though I should be surprised if such time came,)
This one might ask, “What sort of man was he?”
Was he wise or wicked?” (Speaking of me!!)
Say as you will; say I was wild or tame,
Rating some praise – and quantities of blame –
But say I spent my days most gratefully.
Yes, one may keep or break the rules and signs
That line the highway where the living ride
And one may draw some punishments and fines
But still find vast rewards on every side –
So tell the world that I was good or bad –
But tell them first, I was alive – and glad!
Isaiah 43: 1-4, 18-19
Read by Margaret Ketchum Powell
* The congregation will stand; please feel free to stay seated throughout the service if this is your choice.
Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, Your Savior.
You are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you.
Do not fear, for I am with you.
Do not remember the former things,
or consider the things of old.
I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert
by Robert Frost
Read by Mark Perry
When I see birches bend to left and right
Across the lines of straighter darker trees,
I like to think some boy's been swinging them.
But swinging doesn't bend them down to stay
As ice-storms do. Often you must have seen them
Loaded with ice a sunny winter morning
After a rain. They click upon themselves
As the breeze rises, and turn many-colored
As the stir cracks and crazes their enamel.
Soon the sun's warmth makes them shed crystal shells
Shattering and avalanching on the snow-crust—
Such heaps of broken glass to sweep away
You'd think the inner dome of heaven had fallen.
They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load,
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed
So low for long, they never right themselves:
You may see their trunks arching in the woods
Years afterwards, trailing their leaves on the ground
Like girls on hands and knees that throw their hair
Before them over their heads to dry in the sun.
But I was going to say when Truth broke in
With all her matter-of-fact about the ice-storm
I should prefer to have some boy bend them
As he went out and in to fetch the cows—
Some boy too far from town to learn baseball,
Whose only play was what he found himself,
Summer or winter, and could play alone.
One by one he subdued his father's trees
By riding them down over and over again
Until he took the stiffness out of them,
And not one but hung limp, not one was left
For him to conquer. He learned all there was
To learn about not launching out too soon
And so not carrying the tree away
Clear to the ground. He always kept his poise
To the top branches, climbing carefully
With the same pains you use to fill a cup
Up to the brim, and even above the brim.
Then he flung outward, feet first, with a swish,
Kicking his way down through the air to the ground.
So was I once myself a swinger of birches.
And so I dream of going back to be.
It's when I'm weary of considerations,
And life is too much like a pathless wood
Where your face burns and tickles with the cobwebs
Broken across it, and one eye is weeping
From a twig's having lashed across it open.
I'd like to get away from earth awhile
And then come back to it and begin over.
May no fate willfully misunderstand me
And half grant what I wish and snatch me away
Not to return. Earth's the right place for love:
I don't know where it's likely to go better.
I'd like to go by climbing a birch tree,
And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk
Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more,
But dipped its top and set me down again.
That would be good both going and coming back.
One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.
*Hymn There is a Balm in Gilead
Prayer Of Thanksgiving The Rev. Dr. Carl Scovel
Senior Minister Emeritus
Prayers For The Bereaved The Rev. Fallon
The Lord’s Prayer
Said in Unison
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
*Words of Commendation
All shall stand
All: Go forth, dear Charles, in the name of God who created you,
in the name of the Eternal who steadfastly loves you,
in the name of the Almighty, in whose house you will dwell forever.
Go forth upon your journey from this world
in communion with all those who have come before you.
May you live in peace this day.
May your dwelling be in endless light,
and may you find your place in God’s kingdom.
Minister: May he rest in peace,
People: And rise in glory. Amen
*Closing Hymn Now the Green Blade Riseth
The family looks forward to greeting you
at a reception immediately following this service
at the Omni Parker House Hotel, 60 School Street
in the Rooftop Ballroom
The Rev. Joy K. Fallon
Senior Minister Emeritus
The Rev. Dr. Carl Scovel
Members of King’s Chapel
Who served as ushers with Charles for many years
Charles Mereness Perry Obituary
Charles Mereness Perry of Brookline, Massachusetts, died unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 26. Charles was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, the son of Henry and Marian Ballou Perry. He grew up in Cohasset, Massachusetts, graduating from Cohasset High School in 1965. He received a BA in history from Middlebury College and completed an M.A. in international affairs, an M.A. in international law and diplomacy, and a PhD in international politics at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He served as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserve and was a member of the International Institute of Strategic Studies.
Charles spent his entire 40-year professional career at the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he was vice president and director of studies. He wrote extensively on a wide variety of national and international security issues, especially with regard to NATO affairs, European security, security cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region, the global arms trade, and nuclear proliferation trends. He was a generous colleague and mentor and touched the lives of generations of research associates.
Charles was a devoted, long-time member of King’s Chapel in Boston and served the church in many capacities, including as Junior Warden, a Vestry Member several times, and Chair of many committees. He was known to be a wise and compassionate leader, a strategic thinker, and an unfailingly patient listener, who treated all with dignity and respect. For years, Charles served as a member of the church prayer ministry, a group that daily offers confidential prayers for those facing hard times; to be held in prayer by Charles was a great gift. Charles enjoyed life, warmly greeting people when he ushered and raising a toast at parties. When Charles led worship services, members