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

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

On Wednesday, 9th August, at 7.30pm we celebrated our annual Mass of Remembrance in St John’s Cemetery, Ballinrea. Although we had a disappointing July with a lot of rain, the weather stayed dry during the Mass and the blessing of the graves. It was a little chilly but this 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 those who needed to sit during the celebration of Mass brought their own folding chairs.

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. There were several hundred people in attendance at the cemetery.

Members of the church choir sang the Entrance Hymn Listen to my Voice. Fr Kevin, con-celebrated the Mass with Canon Teddy from Douglas parish. Fr Kevin welcomed everyone to the cemetery and prayed for all who mourn the loss of their loved ones. He asked the Lord to comfort all those who are in pain at this time. Kieran read the lesson from the Prophet Isaiah while the choir sang I Will Never Forget You My People for the responsorial psalm. Fr Kevin read from the holy gospel according to John.

For his homily, Fr Kevin spoke about the pain, heartache and tears associated with the passing of a loved one and that our prayer is for them to be at peace with God, and for us to be reunited with them in heaven. As a Christian people we believe death is not the end, but rather a passing into a new life God has prepared for us; we will share in the glory of the resurrection. We look forward to the day when our deceased loved ones will rise again and be reunited with us.

Kieran read the prayer of the faithful and the church choir sang All That We Have for the offertory hymn. Several Eucharistic Ministers helped Fr Kevin & Canon Teddy distribute Holy Communion while the choir and the mourners joined in the singing of the hymn Nearer my God to thee, and When Creation Was Begun.

At the end of Mass, and before the blessing of graves, Fr Kevin once again thanked everyone for their prayerful attendance. He thanked Canon Teddy for con-celebrating the Mass with him, and indeed everyone who helped in any way with organising and participating in the Mass, and also the cemetery staff and the sound engineer, who made it possible for the Mass to be heard around the cemetery. The choir sang How Great Thou Art as the Mass was ending.

Fr Kevin asked for the mourners to stand beside the grave of their loved ones so they could bless the grave. He pointed out that as this is a municipal cemetery, and not everyone buried in St John’s was of the Christian faith, it is important, he said, for this is be respected. He and Canon Teddy then proceeded to bless the graves of our loved ones.






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