Crossing the Bar
‘Crossing the Bar’ is a term generally used by the military/ex-military and more specifically the Royal Navy to politely inform and advise of a person that has died. The term is taken from a poem by Lord Alfred Tennyson as meaning to cross the “sandbar” between the tide or river of life, with its outgoing “flood,” and the ocean that lies beyond death, the “boundless deep,” to which we return. The “Pilot” being God.
Sunset and evening star
And one clear call for me!
And may there be no moaning of the bar,
When I put out to sea,
But such a tide as moving seems asleep,
Too full for sound and foam,
When that which drew from out the boundless deep
Turns again home.
Twilight and evening bell,
And after that the dark!
And may there be no sadness of farewell,
When I embark;
For though from out our bourne of Time and Place
The flood may bear me far,
I hope to see my Pilot face to face
When I have crossed the bar.