The Funeral Mass for Marian Finucane RIP will take place today in Saint Brigid’s Church, Kill, Co Kildare, Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin, at 12 midday. The chief celebrant of the Mass will be Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll, rector of the Pontifical Irish College, Rome, and first-cousin of the deceased. The concelebrants will be Bishop Éamonn Walsh, Auxiliary Bishop Emeritus of the Archdiocese of Dublin, and Father Willie O’Byrne, Parish Priest of Kill. Burial will take place privately after the Mass.
The Bright Lady – Peter Browne, uileann pipes
First Reading read by John McCrossan
A Reading from Ecclesiastes:
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 knocking down, a time for building; 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. God has made everything beautiful in its time.
The Word of the Lord
Thanks be to God
The Lord is my Shepherd – Maighread Ní Dhomhnaill
Second Reading read by Claire Duignan
A Reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Romans:
The life and death of each of us has its influence on others; if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord, so that alive or dead we belong to the Lord. This explains why Christ both died and came to life, it was so that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.
The Word of the Lord
Gospel proclaimed by Father Willie O’Byrne
John 14: 1-6
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house, there are many dwelling places. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and will take you to myself, so that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way to the place where I am going”.
Thomas said to him “Lord we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
The Gospel of the Lord
Homily of Monsignor Ciarán O’Carroll
We have come here this morning to pray for the happy repose of the soul of Marian Finucane Clarke. We have come here this morning to remember her with love and affection and to thank God for the gift of her life. We have also come here this morning to offer our sympathy and express our solidarity with all the members of her family – especially her husband John, her son Jack, her daughter in law Jenny, her sisters, brothers, in laws, family members, relatives, colleagues and friends. Sympathy is extended to all who loved her and who were loved by her – all who worked with her and were enriched by her presence in their lives at various chapters of life.
‘There is a time for everything under heaven – a time to be born and a time to die’. So we heard in the Old Testament Scripture reading. This morning we, as family, as friends and as a faith community, remember and celebrate that intervening time – the life, the work and the faith of Marian Finucane. We have come to thank God for the gift of her life, to remember and celebrate her contribution to our lives, to Irish life and society and to profess our faith – her faith – in Jesus Christ and her belief and hope in the Resurrection.
We gather with those whom she loved and who loved her, remembering her, praying for her and asking God to bless her with the gift of eternal peace.
The sad news of the death of Marian came as a dreadful shock. She was such an icon of Irish broadcasting and will always be remembered for her outstanding journalistic abilities, her keen intellect, warmth, wit, thoughtfulness, compassion and kindness.
‘The life and death of each of us has its influence on others’ we heard in the second reading. The influence of Marian was significant. The contribution Marian made to advancing and shaping our nation and its peoples through her professional work as a courageous broadcaster, and her determination to facilitate conversation without fear or favour, was repeatedly and wonderfully captured in countless public tributes paid over recent days.
She had great empathy and sense of fairness and treated everyone with courtesy and respect. A generous and determined woman, and a thoughtful and kind friend whose keen sense of humour enriched the lives of many, her charity work at home and abroad was simply outstanding.
Thousands always enjoyed her programmes and she will be missed on the radio. Publicly the nation has lost a skilled broadcaster. Privately John has lost a soul partner, Jack a loving mother and Jenny a cherished mother in law. The great, exuberant joy shared by our family and friends but a few short months ago at Jack and Jenny’s wedding contrasts now with the sorrow and sadness we experience this day of Marian’s funeral.
We, as a family, gather this morning sincerely appreciative of the love, support and prayers of each and every one of you present, and many others, who have sent messages of sympathy and condolence at this sad time.
Your presence here this morning, along with so many public and private messages received over the past days, constitute a tremendous source of solace and strength to the family at this time of inexpressible grief.
Marian was blessed with an indomitable spirit which she had to call on often in her full, dynamic and fruitful life. Blessed with energy and dynamism, determined and persistent, she had boundless curiosity about life and the world.
Throughout her eventful life she was privileged to experience many changes and received the grace to confront various, sometimes demanding, challenges.
She had to carry the cross of bereavement with the death of her beloved daughter Sinead – a bereavement she bore with tremendous dignity. In the face of Sinead’s death, Marian mobilised all of her formidable strengths and skills by dedicating a whole chapter of her life to supporting the hospice movement at home and establish a hospice charity in South Africa. Indeed many were the recipients of her quiet generosity and abundant charity.
Through her various popular programmes Marian became a presence in thousands of homes each week as listenership figures consistently revealed. It is consoling to know that it was in the peace of her own home that she was called unexpectedly to her eternal home last week.
Her journey through life here on earth drew to a close, suddenly and unexpectedly, during the liturgical season of Christmas – a time when, as a faith community we commemorate and celebrate the birth of the Christ-child and the hope that His life, death and resurrection gives to us who are baptised in his name and strive in life to walk in his path.
The Gospel today gives us a message of hope in the face of the devastation of death. At the time of Christ’s ascension, His Apostles and followers did not want Him to leave them. Jesus however persisted stating that He was going not to abandon those who believed in him but rather to prepare a place for them. ‘And when I have prepared a place for you I shall return to take you with me so that where I am you may be too’, He said. The Apostles believed this. Marian believed this. It was one of the most remarkable promises in history and we look forward to it being fulfilled now for Marian, and, in due time, for us all.
The gift of the Risen Christ was peace. ‘Peace be with you’ were His opening words to His disciples following the Resurrection. Today at the close of this life’s journey for Marian, we pray that she will hear those words directed to herself. ‘Peace be with you’.
The light of the message of Christ, symbolised in the Paschal Candle under whose shadow the coffin now gently rests, is the light we turn to today for some measure of hope in the face of the darkness of death. Hope that just as Christ broke through the barrier of death so too has Marian. Death, they say, is not extinguishing the light for the Christian; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.
Today, here in Saint Brigid’s Church, as we mourn for Marian, we place our trust in Christ. We pray that the promise which He made to His apostles will be realized for her and we ask the God of peace, strength and hope to be with us and with all who are bereaved this day.
Marian – May the angels welcome you into Paradise. May the saints come to greet you and bring you to the Holy City, the new and eternal Jerusalem. May you rest in peace. Amen.
Prayers of the Faithful:
Joanne Hassett O’Kelly
Ag Críost an Síol – Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
Port na bPúcaí & The Wounded Hussar – Peter Browne, uileann pipes
Bánchnoic Eireann Ó – Maighread and Tríona Ní Dhomhnaill
Eulogy read by Jack Clarke
Mo Ghile Mear
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