At 2.00pm today the Funeral Mass for the late Connor Currie RIP will take place in Saint Malachy’s Church, Edendork. Father Kevin Donaghy, parish priest of Dungannon, (Drumglass, Killyman and Tullyniskin), will be chief celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by Connor’s family, friends and the local parish community. After Mass, Connor’s remains will be interred in the adjoining cemetery. Attendance inside the church is reserved for family, loved ones and parishioners only. Out of respect for the solemnity of the Mass, and to provide privacy and space to the family, media are asked not to use camera equipment within the church. Please see below information for media on the funeral liturgy for Connor Currie RIP:
Presentation of symbols before the commencement of Mass
As the Mass begins, items to remember Connor’s life are brought forward:
Connor’s mother and father, Ciara and Eamon, and his brothers Sean, Cormac and Cahir present:
- a family photograph
- a Saint Patrick’s Academy blazer
- an Edendork football club jersey
- Connor’s football boots
- a football trophy
For everything there is a reason, and a time for every matter under heaven;
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal;
A time to break down and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones,
And a time to gather stones together.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek and a time to lose;
A time to keep and a time to throw away;
A time to tear and a time to sew;
A time to love and a time to hate,
A time for war and a time for peace.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm (sung)
First Letter of Saint John 3:1-2
Think of the love that the father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children, and that is what we are. Because the world refused to acknowledge him, therefore it does not acknowledge us. My dear people, we are already the children of God but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him because we shall see him as he really is.
The Word of the Lord.
Jesus said to his disciples:
Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house; if there were not, I would have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you, and after I have gone and prepared you a place, I shall return to take you with me, so that where I am you may be too.
The Gospel of the Lord.
Homily preached by Father Donaghy
The readings we have just listened to bear a strong resonance with the life of Connor Currie. The first reading lists a whole series of emotions and experiences, positive ones, negative ones and even neutral ones. Thankfully Connor lived through a lot of the more positive experiences: he knew an abundance of times to laugh and even some times to dance; over the years of his young life there was a lot of time to build up his academic success and his sporting skill; plenty of time to keep in his memories of good times with family and friends – treasured times together. Most of all Connor knew a great amount of time to love and to be loved, most especially within his own family where despite his young age he had a remarkable capacity to look after his younger brothers Sean, Cormac and Cahir: so much so that he could be left to look after them and even prepare food for them when their parents went shopping or on some short trip.
The times with Connor were good times.
In recent days Connor’s parents and close family have been greatly comforted by the good memories shared with them by Connor’s classmates and team-mates and teachers and friends.
Friends have recalled how he lit up a room as he entered it and his infectious smile warmed everyone’s hearts.
Teachers remember him as a courteous and appreciative young student, always in the habit of saying thank you as he left the classroom – though he maybe let that be the passport that got him through an odd bit of mischief as well!
At home that “thank you” was a constant habit as well – he always spoke those words as he left the kitchen table. Unlike the usual reputation of teenage boys he was quite fussy about the tidiness of his room, the wardrobe hangers well used and clothes neatly folded in the drawer, no clutter in the room and everything in its place. He knew he was loved at home – as his parents said to me “he was a gem”.
Away from home he was a star as well, a conscientious student who had his sights set on doing accountancy, the office desk and computer set-up in his bedroom a sure sign that he was preparing for a life of paperwork, computers and figures.
He was a star on the football field as well – the trophy brought up at the start of the Mass just one token of the commitment and skills he was developing.
And there’s always bits of a teenager’s life that the parents don’t get to see, so it has only been in the last few days that Connor’s friends shared with his parents some video shots on their phones of Connor practising his dance moves – and improving those skills as well!
There’s a thing too about Connor that maybe his friends didn’t know – he was actually born in Armagh and lived in Portadown until he was about seven years old. He recently went to the McKenna Cup Final with his Tyrone top on but before leaving he let his Armagh-born mother have a peep to see that he had an Armagh top on underneath the Tyrone one – Connor was going to be a winner either way!
And a winner indeed he was: a winner of a loving family; a winner of many loyal friends and team-mates; a winner in school life and on the sports field – and a winner above all, of a place among the ranks of God’s children.
Connor happily shared in the faith of his family, the loyal and sincere faith passed down through the generations. So we can indeed, in the words of the second reading, “think of the love that the Father has lavished on us, by letting us be called God’s children”.
Connor as a child of God is drawn in trust and faith into the eternal company of heaven.
For us, of course, he is gone all-too-soon, but we listen to the promise of Jesus in the gospel that He goes ahead of his faithful people to prepare a place in the everlasting peace of heaven. God opens His arms in welcome to Connor. May his kind soul find eternal rest in the happiness of our eternal home.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.
May he rest in peace.
Prayer of the faithful
Read by Connor’s friends Ruairi O’Hanlon, Jamie Watt, James Currie and Darragh Dalton.
We pray in thanksgiving for Connor’s life, for the blessings, the love and the goodness that he shared with so many people. May God receive him and reward him in the eternal peace of heaven.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for Lauren Bullock and Morgan Barnard who also lost their lives along with Connor. May they also share the peace and lasting happiness of our eternal home.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for the families and close friends who mourn the passing of the three young people whose funerals are held today. May they know the comfort that comes from God and from God’s people.
Lord, hear us.
We pray for all of those impacted by the tragic event of last Sunday evening. May God be close to them to bless and strengthen them and to hold them in his loving care.
Lord, hear us.
God, help us to accept the things we cannot change,
The courage to change the things we can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.
Offertory Procession of the Bread and Wine
Presentation of the gifts by family members who will bring the bread and wine to the altar which will become the Body and Blood of Christ.
Read by Niall Morgan, Tyrone footballer and local primary school teacher
When tomorrow starts without me
And I’m not there to see,
When the sun may rise and find your eyes
All filled with tears for me:
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry
The way you do today,
While thinking of the many things
We didn’t get to say.
When tomorrow starts without me
Please try to understand
That an angel came and called my name
And took me by the hand:
When I walked through heaven’s gate
I felt so much at home
When God looked round and smiled on me
And said: “this is eternity, the joy and peace
I have for you; today your life on earth is past
And here life starts anew”.
So when tomorrow starts without me
Don’t think we’re far apart
For every time you think of me
I’m right with you, in your heart.
Remarks of Archbishop Eamon Martin at the final commendation
Saint Patrick was only sixteen years old when he was cruelly wrenched away from his family, friends and loved ones by kidnappers who sold him into slavery in Ireland. He wrote about that lonely time, and about the terrible loss and fear his family suffered, not knowing where he was and probably asking themselves endless questions: Where is he now? Why did this happen? How will we cope? What if…?
Since the terribly tragic events in Cookstown on Saint Patrick’s night we’ve all been asking those kinds of questions – and none more so than the families of Lauren, Connor and Morgan. Words fail us at times like this. All that really matters, and makes a difference, is love and friendship and compassion. And only faith can dare to speak into the darkness of these days to offer a glimmer of light and hope in this valley of tears.
The young teenager, Saint Patrick, in the depth of his pain and isolation, wrapped himself around with prayer: “Christ on my right, Christ on my left”, he prayed. “Christ in mouth of friend and stranger”.
Here in Co Tyrone this week – as families, parishes, schools and communities – we’ve been circling each other around with love and faith and kindness and compassion. The shocking events of Sunday last have reminded us that life is very fragile; we need to cherish every moment and always look out for each other, and keep each other safe.
Thank you all for being here today to offer your prayerful presence and support. In the days ahead, we will cherish the memories of these precious and gifted young people whose lives have been so suddenly wrenched from among us; we will continue to hold their families, and each other, close in love and faith, praying as the young Saint Patrick did, “Christ behind me, Christ before me. Christ to comfort and restore me”.
Saint Paul says: “Take comfort in knowing that everyone who died in Christ shall rise to new life and be with him forever”.
God rest Morgan and Lauren and Connor and surround you, their loved ones with a blanket of love and faith, until one day, in the joy of heaven, we will see their smiling faces again. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha.
For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Brenda Drumm 00353 (0) 87 310 4444.