- the call
- deathYour God needs you elsewhere:I preached... in the evening to a still more serious congregation at Stoke (? Chew Stoke); where Mr Griffin is calmly waiting for the call that summons him to Abraham's bosom. (John Wesley, 1780, quoted in Bush, 1997)The past participle of the verb, called, is usually amplified by the addition of a sporting destination, such as home or away:He had been ca'ed away atween the contract an' the marriage. (J. M. Wilson, 1836 — the contract was the betrothal)Called to higher service embodies in one phrase an avoidance of a direct reference to death, an implication that the dead person was specifically summoned by a deity, the hint of meritorious deeds of a religious nature on earth, and the acknowledgement that heaven is the destination where the good work will continue:In March, 1875, Mr Empson was stricken down with paralysis, and was called to higher service on June 28th the next year. (Tyrrell, 1973)
How not to say what you mean: A dictionary of euphemisms. R. W. Holder. 2014.