Information for media from the Catholic Communications Office on the funeral liturgy for the removal and Requiem Mass of Michaela McAreavey

17 Jan 2011

17 January 2011

Information for media from the Catholic Communications Office on the funeral liturgy for the removal of the remains and the Requiem Mass of Michaela McAreavey – 17 January 2011

Removal of the remains
Bishop John McAreavey will say prayers in Michaela’s parents’ home. At 11.30 am the cortege will leave the home. The McAreavey and Harte families will carry the coffin part of the way to St Malachy’s Church, Ballymacilroy, Archdiocese of Armagh, a distance of one mile.

The Tyrone Senior Gaelic Football Team along with local club Errigal Kieran will provide the Guard of Honour from Michaela’s parents home to the church.

On arrival at the church the Guard of Honour will be provided by Tullylish Gaelic Football Team (John’s local club) and Michaela’s form class from St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon.

Michaela’s remains will be received by Bishop McAreavey at the front door of the Church and Mass will begin at 12:30pm.

Chief mourners
John McAreavey, husband of Michaela; Michaela’s parents Marian and Mickey, her brothers Mark and his wife Sinead, Michael and his wife Josephine and Matthew; John’s parents Brendan and Tish, his sisters Claire and Anne and brother Brian.  

Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland.

Celebrant and concelebrants
Chief Celebrant Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore; Archbishop Dermot Clifford Archbishop of Cashel and Emly, Patron of the GAA; Mgr Eoin Thynne  Head Chaplin of the Irish Defence Forces; Very Rev Michael Seery PP Errigal Kieran; Monsignor Aidan Hamill, Vicar General of the Diocese of Dromore; Very Rev Gerard McAleer, PP Donaghmore; Very Rev Gerald Powell PP Tullylish; Fr Peter McAnenly Chaplain of St Patrick’s Academy Dungannon.

In attendance
Church of Ireland: representing Archbishop of Armagh, Archbishop Alan Harper, is Right Rev Harold Miller, Bishop of Down and Dromore: Right Rev Ken Good, Bishop of Derry & Raphoe and Rev Earl Storey, Diocese of Derry.

Reception of remains
Bishop McAreavey will receive Michaela’s remains at the door of the church and Mass will begin at 12.30.

Introduction to the Mass
Bishop McAreavey will welcome all who are attending Michaela’s funeral Mass, those within and outside the church and those participating via the internet. He will acknowledge the presence of:

The chief mourners

State dignitaries, including President Mary McAleese, Uactrarán na hÉireann, and her husband, Martin

His Eminence Cardinal Seán Brady and Archbishop Dermot Clifford, Patron of the GAA

The aide-de-camp of An Taoiseach, Brian Cowen, Commandant Michael Tracey, Martin McGuinness, Deputy First Minister of the Northern Ireland Executive, and other public representatives

Senior GAA representatives

Bishop McAreavey will ask the congregation to pray for all who have died over the last week.

Presentation of Symbols
Symbols have been chosen to highlight the beauty and the witness of Michaela’s life. At the start of Mass a member of Michaela’s family will read a commentary on each of the gifts.

Love of family was the source of Michaela’s solid values of truth, integrity and devotion.  The family photograph is a symbol of her pride in the Harte, Donnelly, McAreavey and McCann families.

Prayer in the family was part of daily life from childhood.  Rosary beads symbolise Michaela’s deep faith and trust in God and her devotion to Our Lady.

From an early age, Michaela developed a great appreciation and love of the Irish language and culture, symbolised by the fáinne [an emblem worn by people who speak the Irish language].  This interest led her to study and graduate as a teacher of Irish and Religious Education and to touch young minds and hearts.

The pioneer pin reflects Michaela’s commitment to faith in action, through positive lifestyle choices and the witness of family tradition.

Michaela, our Ulster Rose in 2004, lived life to the full.  The rose is a symbol of beauty and love – long associated with St Thérèse, the Little Flower – who invites us to see all with the eyes of faith and to set our eyes on the things of heaven.

Music will be provided by local musicians and the congregation will be invited to join in the singing of the Opening and Recessional hymns.

The Psalm will be sung by soloist Noleen Neill.  During the distribution of Holy Communion Una McGirr will play organ music.

Opening hymn Christ be beside me;
Psalm: Mo ghrása, a Dhia
Alleluia verse: Seinn alleliú
Offertory: Instrumental music
At the sign of peace: Peace I leave
Communion hymns: I am the Bread of Life, Lord increase our faith, Lord we are not worthy, Southwinds instrumental piece played by Cathal, Marisa and Cathy Harte, first cousins of Michaela
After communion: Caledonia sung by Mary Black
Recessional (final) hymn: You are mine
Opening hymn: Christ be beside me (from St Patrick’s Breastplate)
First reader: Brian Dooher, Captain of the Tyrone Senior Football team
A reading from the Song of Songs (2:8-10, 14, 16a; 8:6-7a)
Set me like a seal on your heart,
Like a seal on your arm..
For love is strong as Death,
Jealousy relentless as Sheol.  
The flash of it is a flash of fire,
A flame of the Lord himself.
Love no flood can quench,
No torrents drown.

This is the word of the Lord.

Second reader: Johnnie McDermot, Chairman of Tullylish Gaelic Football Club, Co Down – John’s local club

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans (8:31-35, 37-39)

With God on our side who can be against us?  Since God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up to benefit us all, we may be certain, after such a gift, that he will not refuse anything he can give.  Could anyone accuse those that God has chosen?  When God acquits, could anyone condemn?  Could Christ Jesus?  No!  He not only died for us – he rose from the dead, and there at God’s right hand he stands and pleads for us.

Nothing therefore can come between us and the love of Christ, even if we are troubled or worried, or being persecuted, or lacking food or clothes, or being threatened or attacked.  These are the trials through which we triumph, by the power of him who loved us.

For I am certain of this: neither death nor life, no angel, no prince, nothing that exists, nothing still to come, not any power, or height or depth, nor any created thing, can ever come between us and the love of God made visible in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This is the Word of the Lord

Alleluia verse: Seinn alleliú

Gospel: Fr Michael Seery, parish priest of Errigal Kieran, Michaela’s native parish, will read the Gospel:

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 14:23-29

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me. “I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

The gospel of the Lord

Homily: Bishop McAreavey will preach the homily

Prayer of the Faithful

John Devine, teacher in St Patrick’s College Armagh, goalkeeper in the All Ireland senior Tyrone football team, a native of Errigal Kieran parish and a contemporary of Michaela (prayers 1 and 2)

Aileen O’Hare, teacher in St Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, and close friend of Michaela (prayers 3 and 4)

Susan Cullinan, Michaela’s Irish teacher in Loreto Convent Grammar School (prayers 5 and 6)

Francie Downey, Newry, groomsman at John and Michaela’s wedding and friend of John at St Colman’s, Newry, and at University (prayers 7 and 8).

1. We pray for Michaela, as we remember the joy and gentle love she brought to all those who knew her.  May she live forever in the peace and happiness of heaven.

Lord Hear us
Lord graciously hear us

2. We pray for Michaela’s family and friends – especially her husband, John, her parents, Marian and Mickey, her brothers, Mark, Michael and Matthew, John’s parents Brendan and Letitia, his brother Brian and sisters Clare and Anne, and their close family circles. In this time of sorrow and bereavement, may the emptiness of their hearts be filled with the presence of the Lord.

Lord Hear us
Lord graciously hear us

3. We pray in gratitude for the overwhelming support and prayers of the community.  We remember in particular the comfort offered to John in recent days, and to both families at their homes.  May they be blessed for their goodness in this time of anguish.

Lord Hear us
Lord graciously hear us

4. We pray in thanks for the gift of faith, which comforts and gives hope in dark times.  May the love and faith we have known through Michaela help us to believe in the promise of the resurrection and life everlasting.

Lord Hear us
Lord graciously hear us

5. Guímis ar son daoine atá breoite nó san ospidéal ag an am seo,  Go speisialta Páidí, uncail le Mícéala.  Go ndéana Dia iad a neartú agus a chneasú le cúram a chroí agus grá a gcairde thart orthu.

A Thiarna, éist linn.
A Thiarna, bí ceansa agus éist linn.

[Translation] We pray for those who are ill or in hospital at this time, especially Michaela’s uncle Paddy.  May God give them strength and healing and surround them with compassionate care and loving friends.

Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

6. Impímid ort a Thiarna, suaimhneas intinne agus meanma a bhronnadh orainn.  Go raibh do Spiorad Naofa le cách ag fulaingt.  Go dtuga tú misneach dóibh maireachtáil ó lá go lá i láthair shólás Dé.

A Thiarna, éist linn.
A Thiarna, bí ceansa agus éist linn.

[Translation] We pray for the gift of peace of mind and calmness of spirit. May Jesus be close to those in pain. Give them courage to live one day at a time and to seek comfort in God’s presence.  

Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

We pray for those who lack peace and love in their lives.  May God gather them to a place of rest where no more suffering will touch them.

Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

8. We pray for all deceased members of the Harte and McAreavey families, we remember especially Michaela’s Granny Donnelly, Uncle Peter and Uncle Paul, all of whom died recently.

May they rest in peace.

Lord hear us
Lord graciously hear us

Offertory Procession of the Bread and Wine and symbols to highlight Michaela’s life
Catherine Strain Michaela’s Godmother and maternal aunt, a teacher in St Patrick’s Academy in Dungannon, will bring up the bread.
Marie McAreavey John’s aunt and confirmation sponsor will bring up the wine.

Holy Communion
Holy communion will be distributed inside and outside the church.
The hymns mentioned above will be sung during and after communion.

Final commendation
Mass will conclude with the final commendation. This involves the incensing of the coffin, blessing with holy water and the final prayers. The final hymn will be sung as the remains are carried from the church.

Michaela’s remains will be carried to the adjoining cemetery. Following final prayers said by Bishop McAreavey, Michaela will be buried.  After the burial two hymns will be sung: Song for Ireland and Lady of Knock.


Further information:
Martin Long, Director of Communications 00353 (0) 86 172 7678
Brenda Drumm, Communications Officer 00353 (0) 87 310 4444