Parish Bereavement Mass

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)

An indroduction by Fr John: When someone we love dies, it seems that time stands still. What moves through us is a silence…..a guilt sadness….a longing for one more day… more touch. We may not understand why our loved one left us so soon, or before we could say goodbye, but, little by little, we begin to remember not just that they have died, but also that they have lived. Every year at this Mass we are reminded that death is no respecter of age or circumstance. Different faces join with those whose loved ones went to God in different years; yes faces change but the heartbreak of death is universal. And so you may have lost a loved one over the last few weeks, some months ago or wherever the loss occured; tonight the prayers of this community are offered for you.

The annual parish bereavement Mass was celebrated on Tuesday, November 13th at 7.30pm. The Mass was organised by the liturgy group of the parish assembly and was a very prayerful and moving experience. The Mass was offered for the souls of all our deceased loved ones, remembering especially those who had died within the previous twelve months in our parish, and for healing for the bereaved who grieve their passing. The  Mass was very well attended with  Fr John being the chief celebrant and Fr Colin delivering the homily. Gene Sheehan and Jean Downey supplied the music and the congregation joined Gene in singing the hymns. Rose read the lesson and Fr Colin, in his homily, spoke about the practical ways in which we can support the bereaved in their grief  by visiting them, telephoning them or sending them a letter; in these ways we show them that we are thinking of them and that they are never very far from our thoughts and prayers. However, we also need to give the bereaved hope that while they will always remember their loved ones, their pain at their passing will ease a little with each passing month and that one day they will be able to remember them without the heartache.

Directly following Fr Colin’s homily Betty and Tim read out the names of the parishioners who had died in the previous twelve months. Their families were then invited to bring up lighted candles with their loved-one’s names on them and place them on the specially designed heart-shaped remembrance table in front of the altar. The rest of the congregation was then invited to bring up their lighted candles to remember their own dead and place the candles on the tables either side of the remembrance table.

Members of bereved families read the Prayer of the Faithful, and brought up the Offertory gifts.

After Holy Communion Daragh played An Cuileann on his violin, it is one of the oldest and most beautiful of Irish airs; Fr John read a Prayer of Blessing in time of Grief and offered this prayer on a postcard to members of the congregation as they departed the church. The bereaved families and the congregation were invited to take home their candles after the ceremony.

Everyone was invited back to the parish centre where members of the community and communication group of the parish assembly provided refreshments.  Sincere thanks to all who provided food for this occasion and to our sponsors Supervalu Grange and Frankfield House who provided big platters of sandwiches.


No comments yet

Add comment