Fr Pat Raleigh reports on this year’s Cemetery Sunday Mass in Dalgan which took place online due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.
Sadly, due to the Covid-19 restrictions, we were not able to publicly hold our annual Cemetery Sunday celebrations in Dalgan for the relatives and friends of our deceased Columbans.
We very much missed their presence as Cemetery Sunday for us in Dalgan is one of the highlights each year in the Columban calendar. It gives us the opportunity not only to pray for Columbans who journeyed with us but also to meet the relatives and friends to express our deep gratitude for their loyalty, support and friendship.
To honour the occasion of Cemetery Sunday, a special Mass was live streamed this morning, Sunday 14th June, the feast of Corpus Christi. The celebrant was Ray Husband, Regional Director assisted by Tom O’Reilly, homilist.
Prior to the actual celebration, Cyril Lovett, from the main entrance to the College, welcomed those tuning in to the celebration especially the relatives of Columbans who have died and our generous and faithful donors to whom we are very grateful.
Homily of Tom O’Reilly – a summary
Tom O’Reilly, in his homily, said that normally on Cemetery Sunday, Dalgan would be teeming with people and this was something we greatly missed this year. He thanked the relatives for their faithfulness and support.
He said that it is a particularly difficult time for so many people especially for the relatives of those who have died during the Pandemic and who could not be with their loved ones which very much goes against our Irish tradition. In remembering our deceased Columbans he mentioned that they had spent their lives in distant lands, mainly amongst the poor and excluded who are exposed not only to poverty but to many other pandemics.
Those who journeyed with us were captivated by the vision of Jesus which is a call to live in the one family of God. Tom stressed that we commit ourselves to live for others and in doing so we become bread broken for the life of others. Through the celebration of the Eucharist we commit to live in love for others.
The present pandemic raises questions about the meaning of life itself. We discover more and more that togetherness is what really counts and how important it is to watch out for one another. Tom gave special mention to the many people, including the medical personnel who put their lives at risk.
He also thanked the many people who selflessly keep the essential services going for the good of others. The Eucharist is the sacrament of the enduring presence of Jesus with us today, which he summed up by reading St Patrick’s Breastplate, ‘Christ with me, Christ before me..’
Tom concluded by praying that the risen Lord will hold in his arms those who are suffering and to receive those who have died into eternal life. He assured those who are experiencing so many hardships and worries of our continued prayers.
Prayers of the Faithful
Relatives of Columbans who died over the past year recited Prayers of the Faithful from their homes.
In addition Ray Husband prayed for the various medical teams around the country; for people in Nursing Homes: for people in war torn countries and for all those who lost their lives in the service of the Gospel.
Blessing of Graves
Ray Husband and Tom O’Reilly concluded the Ceremony by blessing the graves in the Community Cemetery. As they blessed the graves the birds were in full song.
Ray thanked the relatives of the deceased Columbans as well as our very generous donors. As the blessing of the graves was taking place the Choir continued singing, Be Still My Soul.
The Mass can be viewed here: