Information for media on the funeral liturgy for Karen Buckley RIP

28 Apr 2015


  • Media

At 2.00pm today the funeral Mass for the late Karen Buckley RIP, late of Glynn, Mourneabbey, Mallow, County Cork, will be celebrated in the Church of Saint Michael the Archangel, Analeentha, in the parish of Mourneabbey, Diocese of Cloyne.  Father Joseph O’Keeffe, Parish Priest of Mourneabbey, will be the chief celebrant at the Mass which will be attended by Karen’s family, friends and by the local parish community.  After Mass Karen’s remains will be interred in Burnfort Cemetery.

As the church has a limited capacity of 300 seats, attendance today is reserved for parishioners.  Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space to the Buckley family, media are asked not to use camera equipment within the church or on its grounds.  A public address system will be in place to relay the Mass to those attending outside of the church.

  • Mass

Please see below information for media on the funeral liturgy of Karen Buckley RIP:

Chief mourners

Parents John and Marian, and brothers Brendan, Kieran and Damien.


The soloist performing at today’s Mass will be Carmel Breen.  The singing will be led by the combined Mourneabbey parish choirs of Analeentha and Burnfort Churches and please see below the hymns which will be sung at today’s Mass:

Entrance hymn:  Be Still for the Presence of the Lord.

Psalm:  Clouds Veil:  Carmel Breen and Choir.

Alleluia:  Seinn Alleluia:  Carmel Breen and Choir.

Offertory Procession:  As I Kneel Before You.

Sign of Peace:  A Mhuire Mháthair.

Communion: There’s a Place; The Love of My Lord; You are Mine.

Post final commendation prayers:  Goodbye My Angel by Celtic Woman.

Recessional hymn:  May the Road Rise to Meet You.

Presentation of symbols before the commencement of Mass

Commentary by Padraig Hurley (cousin):

Karen’s three brothers will now bring items to the altar that represent her personality, achievements and her love for life.

Brendan is bringing up a picture of Karen’s first day in Analeentha National School where she began her education, and developed a love for learning.  Most recently Karen was studying for her Masters in Occupational Health Therapy.

Kieran is bringing up Karen’s nursing uniform.  Karen graduated as a nurse in 2014.  She was known for being a kind and caring nurse whose smile would light up the ward.

Damien brings up Karen’s favourite dress that she wore to Brendan and Niamh’s wedding.  Karen had a love of fashion and always wanted to look her best.  As you can see from the picture she looked beautiful.

First Reading (read by Jennifer Killeen, cousin):

A Reading from the book of Ecclesiastes:  (3: 1 – 2.  4 – 11).

There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven:
A time for giving birth, a time for dying;~
a time for planting, a time for uprooting what has been planted.
A time for tears, a time for laughter;
a time for mourning, a time for dancing.
A time for throwing stones away, a time for gathering them up;
a time for embracing, a time to refrain from embracing.
A time for searching, a time for losing;
a time for keeping, a time for throwing away.
A time for tearing, a time for sewing;
a time for keeping silent, a time for speaking.
A time for loving, a time for hating;
a time for war, a time for peace.

What does a man gain for the efforts that he makes?   I contemplate the task that God gives mankind to labour at.  All that he does is apt for its time; but though he has permitted man to consider time in its wholeness, man cannot comprehend the work of God from beginning to end.

The word of the Lord.

Second Reading (read by Laura Travers, cousin):

A reading from the second letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. (5: 1. 6 – 10).

We know that when the tent that we live in on earth is folded up, there is a house built by God for us, an everlasting home not made by human hands, in the heavens.

We are always full of confidence, then, when we remember that to live in the body means to be exiled from the Lord, going as we do by faith and not by sight – we are full of confidence, I say, and actually want to be exiled from the body and make our home with the Lord.  Whether we are living in the body or exiled from it, we are intent on pleasing him.  For all the truth about us will be brought out in the law court of Christ, and each of us will get what he deserves for the things he did in the body, good or bad.

The word of the Lord.

Gospel (and homily will be preached by Father Joseph O’Keeffe PP):

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John.  (6:37 – 39).

Jesus said to the crowd:

‘All that the Father gives me will come to me,
and whoever comes to me
I shall not turn him away;
because I have come from heaven
not to do my own will,
but to do the will of the one who sent me.
Now the will of him who sent me
is that I should lose nothing
of all that he has given to me,
and that I should raise it up on the last day’.

The Gospel of the Lord.


Death is sad at any age, but our feelings concerning death are not always of the same degree.  To us Karen was a young woman, a friend.  To her family she was a cousin, a niece, a sister-in-law, a sister, a daughter, a child.  It is most difficult then for them, but in particular for Karen’s parents, John and Marian, to associate the cradle to the coffin.  One represents the beginning of life and the other represents the end.  And it is doubly sad when the two are so closely linked.  We are deeply, deeply saddened when the life of someone so young is cut short, and in Karen’s case, so tragically and horrifically so, by the curtain of death.

My thoughts in this hour revolve around three words:

  1. The first has to do with Time.

In the Scriptures the book of Ecclesiastes speaks of life within a framework of time.  It says, “There is a right time for everything”.  And then it gives us a long list of events for which there is an appropriate time.  At the top of the list is this statement: “A time to be born, a time to die”.  And this is what confuses us now.  Karen’s death seems so utterly inappropriate.  It violates our sense of order.  In OUR view of life, death and childhood are poles apart, and twenty-four years simply does not seem the right time to die – it does not seem to add up.

  1. My second thought is about Tears.

There are many things in life that become so much a part of a home that their absence leaves a void.  It may be a picture that hangs on the wall, a familiar footstep, a stray kitten whom Karen named ‘Boots’, or whatever, but nothing becomes so indispensable as a child.  From the outset he/ she tangles his/her tiny fingers in our heart strings and when they are pulled away the hurt is indescribable.  It is an hour of heartache, a time of tears.

  1. But my final word is the one, I feel, we most need to hear.  It is Faith.

Saint Paul speaks of times in life when “we must walk by faith because we cannot walk by sight”.  This is one of those times.  There is no way for us to see and think our way through an hour such as we now face.  Within the scope of human reason, a tragedy such as this simply doesn’t make sense.  Therefore we either despair or find our strength in faith.

Others before us have faced this same tragedy and have opted in favour of faith.  When David, King of Israel, lost his baby boy, he somehow pulled himself together and went on with the business of living.  People wondered why and how, and he answered, “I cannot bring him back, but I can go to be with him”.  When the poet, Edgar Guest, lost his daughter, he composed the poem, “If They Could Write”.  It reads:

“What glorious news they’d have to tell
If only they could write today,
Those who have gone afar to dwell
Where all the glorious spirits stay.

In fancy then I set it down
What Marjorie would pen to me –
I’ve touched the hem of Jesus’ gown
The way they did in Galilee.

And thinking thus, I am content
To bear the loneliness and wait,
Because I know her days are spent
In all the company of the great.”

King David said what he said by faith and, Edgar Guest wrote what he wrote by faith.  And, we ourselves must master this moment by faith in the Risen/Living Christ, who has conquered death, and who cares for Karen infinitely more than any of us ever could.  Henry Wadsworth Longfellow said it like this:

“She is not dead, this child of our affection,
But gone unto that school
Where she no longer needs our protection,
And Christ himself does rule.”

Through travelling extensively Karen reached many a destination.  Shortly, we will travel with her mortal remains on her last earthly journey.  We pray Karen has already reached her final destination and that she has touched the hem of Jesus’ gown and is with God in heaven.

May her loving, caring and gentle soul rest in peace. Amen.

Prayer of the faithful

God our Father, we come before you at this time of deep tragedy.  We believe in your love for all who grieve and mourn.  Hear the voice of your people gathered today.

Claire Bowen (friend):   We pray in a special way for Karen’s parents John and Marian and her brothers Brendan, Kieran and Damien.  We pray for her extended family, relatives, friends and colleagues.  May they find the love, strength and support that they need now and always:

Lord, hear us.

Julie Malone (friend):  Karen touched the lives of all of us in a very special way and she was an example to us all.  Her love and care brought us closer to each other and closer to God.  Following Karen’s example may we play our part in making the world a better place.

Lord, hear us.

Áine Ryan (cousin):  We pray for all those working in the Emergency Services, the Police, the Fire Service, and all those organisations and individuals who have given so courageously and generously. We are very grateful for their skills and time in assisting and caring for us during this very difficult time.

Lord, hear us.

Grainne Ryan (cousin):  At times like this we realise how fortunate we are to have such good neighbours, family, friends and colleagues.  We pray in thanksgiving for all their kindness and generosity and may their goodness be returned to them during their time of need.

Lord, hear us.

Patricia Hegarty (cousin): We pray for all families whose lives are changed forever by grief and loss.  Bring them consolation and comfort.  God grant them courage to face the days ahead, knowing that you walk with them on each day’s journey.

Lord, hear us.

Marian Leahy (cousin):  We pray for Karen’s gentle soul.  May she be reunited with all those whom she loved and have gone before her.  We especially remember Nana and Granddad Buckley and Granddad Ryan.  Together may they enjoy the peace, warmth and love of God’s Kingdom.

Lord, hear us.

Katie Twohig (friend): Karen’s life revolved around family, friends and goodness.  The best tribute we can pay to her is to imitate the virtues she put before us and find ways of being people who cherish family, friends and goodness.

Lord, hear us.

Let us pray:

Heavenly Father, help us to respond in prayer, in assistance and in comfort to the best of our ability.  Keep our hearts focussed on the needs of neighbours and community.  We thank you for the love of so many good people at this time, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Offertory Procession of the Bread and Wine

Presentation of the gifts by Karen’s parents John and Marian who will bring the bread and wine to the altar which will become the Body and Blood of Christ. 

Communion Reflection

‘KAREN’ (read by Siobhan Leahy, cousin).

Small and gentle,
Honest and true,
Our sister Karen,
How much we will miss you.

These days gone by,
Have only showed,
The love for you,
That this world holds.

From green country fields,
A small country school,
To a national university,
And international studies too.

A nurse with plans,
A woman full of dreams,
An adventurer who travelled,
And in fun and laughter revelled.

A smile to lift a thousand frowns,
Brown eyes shining – big and round,
A country girl – big hopes, big plans,
Big heart, big smile and caring hands.

How great you loved,
How much you cared,
How much you gave,
How much you shared.

Sleep easy Karen, you’re now at rest,
Throughout your life you gave your best,
How much we miss you, we can’t fully express.

We love you Karen.

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


For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678