We Remember Ken Kronberg Always
Monday, April 11 is the ninth anniversary of the death of Ken Kronberg. His wife, his son, his family, his friends all love him and miss him and will never forget him.
In remembering Ken—father, husband, teacher, poet, friend—we turn to two of the selections printed on the leaflet at Ken’s funeral, which occurred on April 19, 2007, the day after what would have been his 59th birthday.
The first piece below was chosen by Ken for his funeral, as he had told his son several years before. It is a translation/paraphrase by the great English poet John Milton of one of the Psalms of David—when King David was fleeing from his insurrectionary, but much beloved, son Absalom.
The second piece is one I selected for the funeral: It is one of several choices offered as a Hebrew Scripture/Old Testament reading towards the beginning of the office for the Burial of the Dead, Rite 1, in the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer. It comes from the apocryphal Wisdom, or Wisdom of Solomon, and it seemed to me to fit the moment perfectly.
August 9, 1653
When he fled from Absalom
Lord how many are my foes
How many those
That in arms against me rise
Many are they
That of my life distrustfully thus say,
No help for him in God there lies.
But thou Lord art my shield my glory,
Thee through my story
Th' exalter of my head I count
Aloud I cry'd
Unto Jehovah, he full soon reply'd
And heard me from his holy mount.
I lay and slept, I wak'd again,
For my sustain
Was the Lord. Of many millions
The populous rout
I fear not though incamping round about
They pitch against me their Pavillions.
Rise Lord, save me my God for thou
Hast smote ere now
On the cheek-bone all my foes,
Of men abhor'd
Hast broke the teeth. This help was from the Lord;
Thy blessing on thy people flows.
—Paraphrase by John Milton
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Wisdom of Solomon 3:1
The King James Version
But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and there shall no torment touch them.
In the sight of the unwise they seemed to die: and their departure is taken for misery,
And their going from us to be utter destruction: but they are in peace.
For though they be punished in the sight of men, yet is their hope full of immortality
And having been a little chastised, they shall be greatly rewarded: for God proved them, and found them worthy for himself.
As gold in the furnace hath he tried them, and received them as a burnt offering.
And in the time of their visitation they shall shine, and run to and fro like sparks among the stubble.
They shall judge the nations, and have dominion over the people, and their Lord shall reign for ever.
They that put their trust in him shall understand the truth: and such as be faithful in love shall abide with him: for grace and mercy is to his saints, and he hath care for his elect.
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