Annual Mass of Remembrance St John’s Cemetery, Ballinrea.

St John's Cemetery

Death creates a heartache which in time will heal, love creates memories which death cannot steal.

On Wednesday, 9th August, at 7.30pm we celebrated our annual Mass of Remembrance in St John’s Cemetery, Ballinrea. This was the first time in many years when the weather actually behaved like summer weather with brilliant sunshine and blue skies. It was a little chilly but that is only to be expected as the cemetery is vast and is situated on top of a hill. The mourners came well prepared with their jackets, and folding chairs for those who needed to sit down during the celebration of Mass.  

With every passing year the number of bereaved parishioners attending the Mass increases as more of our loved ones, and those of our neighbouring parishes, are called to God. 

Fr Kevin our own parish priest and Canon Teddy O’Sullivan from Douglas parish concelebrated the Mass with Fr Ben in attendance. Fr Kevin welcomed everyone to the cemetery on this glorious God-given evening and thanked them for coming. Kieran read the lesson while members of the parish choir sang The Lord is my Shepherd for the responsorial psalm. Canon Teddy read from the Gospel of St John and Fr Kevin delivered the homily. He spoke about the pain, heartache and tears associated with the passing of a loved one and that our prayer would be for them to be at peace with God, and for us to be reunited with them in heaven. Kieran read the Prayer of the Faithful which was befitting a cemetery Mass. 

At the end of Mass and before the blessings of graves Fr Kevin once again thanked everyone for their prayful attendance; he thanked the members of the parish assembly for helping to organise the Mass, Kieran for reading the lesson, members of the parish choir for enhancing the ceremony, the Eucharistic Ministers for their help in distributing Holy Communion, Finbarr for ensuring that everyone, no matter what part of the cemetery they were in, could hear the Mass, Marion from the parish office for providing the posters advertising the Mass. He also thanked Mick, the cemetery caretaker, who went above and beyond the call of duty to assist in any way he could to facilitate the celebration of the Mass.

All three of the priests then proceeded to bless the graves of our loved ones buried in this cemetery. 

Just as the Mass was concluding the sun slipped behind a huge cloud and remained there while the priests blessed the graves. It  emerged once again when the final grave was blessed. It seemed as if the sun was honouring the pain experienced by the bereaved at the loss of their loved ones by casting some darkness during the graves’ blessing.





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