Parish Bereavement Mass 2019

Let your light shine
Perhaps they are not the stars, but, rather openings in Heaven where the love of our departed ones pours through and shines down upon us to let us know they are happy  (Eskimo legend)

As the rain poured down and the wind howled hundreds of us gathered in our church for the annual Bereavement Mass, which this year was held on Wednesday, 13th November. This year saw a poorer attendance at the Mass than in previous years, this was due in part to the very inclement weather.

The Mass was offered for all those who departed this life in the previous twelve months in our parish, and for their families who mourned their passing and grieved their loss.. We were there primarily to support the recently bereaved but also to remember and pray for the happy repose of the souls of all our own loved ones who had died in previous years.

Fr Kevin celebrated the Mass which everyone found emotional and heartfelt. He began by thanking the congregation for coming out on such a miserable wet night and reminded us we were there to offer support to each other as a parish community.

Our church choir sang the entrance hymn ‘Be still for the presence of the Lord’. Marion read the lesson from the prophet Isaiah. The choir sang the responsorial psalm The Lord will heal the brokenhearted. This beautiful hymn brought comfort and solace to the bereaved, while more than a few tears were shed.

Fr Kevin gave a thought provoking homily by making reference to those who had died as a result of the Troubles in the North, the 1916 Rising and the War for Irish Independence;  men, women and even children lost their lives during these events. He pointed out the importance of remembering our deceased loved ones and no matter how recent or long ago their passing was they are never forgotten. As we are remembering our own deceased loved ones on this night he reminded us that we had come together as a community to show our support to the 36 families in our own parish who had lost a loved one in the past twelve months. He made reference to the Remembrance Tree with over 700 names of deceased loved ones attached – immediate family members. relatives, neighbours and friends; perhaps there were one of two people who were here last year, but who are now no longer with us.  These deceased loved ones had been prayed for at all the Masses being offered in our church in November during the Novena for the Holy Souls. Fr Kevin then went on to speak about the different stages of grief. The grieving and sense of loss which might never leave, but then acceptance comes with time and this enables a person to reach a stage where they can move on with their life again. No two people grieve alike and it’s so important for people to be allowed to grieve in their own way and in their own time. He assured all present of the support and sympathy of our community.

Maeliosa, our parish assembly secretary, read out the 36 names of our loved ones who had died in the parish over the previous twelve months. During the reading of the names, their family member was invited to place a lighted candle with their name on it on the table provided in front of the altar. Members of the congregation were then invited to place their lighted candles on the tables either side of the centre table, all the time bringing to mind their own loved one/s who have died.

Following Holy Communion. Kate, one of our parish assembly members, read the reflection Death is only a Horizon.

Before the final blessing Fr Kevin thanked everyone involved in organising the Mass and refreshments – members of the parish assembly, the Ministers of the Eucharist and Word, the parish choir, Jean Downey the organist, Tom the sacristan, Marion, parish secretary, and everyone else who helped. The congregation was invited to take home their candle and to partake of the proffered refreshments.

As their recessional hymn the choir sang Be still my soul.

After the Mass a large number of the congregation turned up for tea and sandwiches, as always kindly sponsored by SuperValu, and the lovely cakes baked by members of the parish community. 

 

 

 

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