At 11.00am today the Funeral Mass for the late Lauren Bullock RIP will take place in Saint Patrick’s Church, Donaghamore. Father David Moore, Parish Priest of Pomeroy, will be chief celebrant of the Mass which will be attended by Lauren’s family, friends and the local parish community. After Mass, Lauren’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 Lauren Bullock RIP:
Parents, Martin and Mary; brothers, Shane and Ryan; grandparents, Martin, Ann-Marie and Joe; extended family; friends; and neighbours.
Music at the mass will be provided by Rory Madden and the McCrystal Family.
There will be presentation of symbols at the beginning of Mass.
First Reading from the book of Wisdom (The Virtuous Man, though he die before his time, will find rest).
Second Reading from the first letter of Saint John (Think of the Love that the Father has lavished on us by letting us be called God’s Children).
Gospel The Beautitudes.
Homily preached by Father Moore
Saint Patrick’s Day 2019, in the parish of Donaghmore and beyond, will not be remembered with any nostalgia or fond memories of the band parades or any other part of the celebration of our national Saint’s day. Instead for many decades to come, Saint Patrick’s Day 2019 will be called to mind as the awful day when three beautiful young people, all in the prime of their lives, were overpowered, literally in the mad rush of our modern world and needlessly lost their lives. On Sunday night, and during the early hours of Monday, a dark and threatening cloud hung over all of us, as we struggled to understand and come to terms with the tragic turn of events on what ought to have been a night of fun, dance, friendship and laughter.
Instead we learned, in a state of shock and disbelief, of the news of Lauren’s tragic death, and the deaths of Connor and Morgan. The very large gathering here today is to honour and respect the life of Lauren, so sadly cut short, and to support you Mary, Martin, Shane and Ryan. We can only but imagine how you are feeling today. Everything was ok on Sunday and one phone call to you, changed your lives in an instant and we are all too aware that life will not be the same again for any of you without Lauren. We never know what each new day will have in store for any of us.
One thing that never can be taken from us are our precious memories of your beautiful girl, Laruen. Lauren has been the essence of a wonderful and caring daughter, sister, grand-daughter, niece to her family and a loyal and caring friend to so many others. So many people have been touched by the events of Sunday night. Take consolation in that, a sign of what people in the community and local area truly thought of her and yourselves as a family.
Aged only 17, Lauren was well in the process of making her mark on her home, her school, this community, her circle of friends. She was ‘living the dream’, energetic and full of life, doing and enjoying all the things that made her happy. She was a girl who was happiest when she was doing things to help others and gave of herself and her time to do a good deed whenever and wherever she could.
Lauren’s many friends have described her to me as having ‘a warm and bubbly personality with a very infectious smile’, that’s a lovely picture for all of us to have of her in our minds today.
Lauren was getting on so well in Saint Patrick’s College in Dungannon, and her teachers there can attest to how eager and very able a student Lauren was. She had a bright future in front of her and we know she still had so much more to contribute to our community.
Nothing seemed to get Lauren down. She had such a positive outlook on life and a real zest for living. Lauren loved people as much as they loved her and was a real ‘socialite’ with lots of friends and people who admired and looked up to her. Lauren was involved in football and the scouts. She had started her driving lessons and had taken to it like the preverbal ‘duck to water’.
Lauren’s real passion was her ‘cheerleading’, with the Euphoria Cheerleading group. Lauren was a girl who loved to get dressed up, loved make-up, her nails done, a bit of style, her hair just right.
She only had to come into the family home at number 27, and they knew she had arrived. Family values and family time was so very important to her. She was full of energy, a delight to her parents and a marvellous support to her brothers. Benji the dog arrived three years ago into the family home as Lauren’s dog and he was absolute gold dust, her pride and joy!
Lauren was so forward thinking that she even had found herself a part-time job in McDonalds, keeping the whole of the food outlet in craic, friendship and fun.
Lauren has had too short a time on this earth, but for her 17 years of life she has certainly achieved a lot, she used her time well and wisely.
When tragedy strikes, there is a numbness that comes with it. We don’t want to think too far ahead and we cannot imagine life without her warmth and presence. Since the early hours of Monday morning, there has been a wealth of support and care for the family from the entire Donaghmore community and further afield. I commend our schools in the locality for all that they have done in ensuring the well-being of all our students as they come to terms with the deaths of Lauren, Connor and Morgan.
Mary and Martin, when you brought Lauren to be baptised, some 17 years ago, your hopes and dreams for her were very different to what we are experiencing today. For your little family, this is one of the hardest journeys of your life. It is too raw to think too far ahead. One day at a time is the only advice we can offer you. Today is not what you ever believed could happen and Saint Paul reminds us that life is changed, not ended. Being with you since Monday has been very humbling. Amid your pain you have conducted yourselves with great dignity and decorum, welcoming so many people into your home to offer you their heartfelt sympathy. Know that you have the love and support of the entire community. We will all be here for you.
‘Those who leave us in death, leave their footprint on our hearts’.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
O Lord, support us all the day long until the shadows lengthen, the evening comes the busy world is hushed the fever of life is over and all our work is done. Then in your mercy Lord, grant us all a safe lodging a holy rest and peace at last. Through Christ our Lord.
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.