- Celebrant and homilist Father Paul Farren Adm, Saint Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry
Words of welcome from Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry
A Uachtaráin, Deputy Lord Lieutenant Helen Quigley, a cheannfort Caroline de Burca in ainm an Taoisigh, diplomatic, party and civic representatives, Bishop Andrew Forster, Revered John Montgomery, a phobail Dé, cuirim fáilte romhaibh uilig anseo. I welcome you all here as the Hume Family gathers for the funeral service of Pat Hume. This is, first and foremost, a family event as they grieve the loss of a mother and grandmother. Their personal bereavement is at the heart of this gathering.
But we are all aware that, while this funeral will be conducted as it would be for any parishioner, there are many who are participating in this event from around the world. Not all will share the language of faith that we speak here today. But all of you who join us have a shared gratitude for those who have spent their lives in the service of the Common Good.
The great people of the world are not those who are famous for being famous – but those who help others to believe that great things are possible.
We are loaded down with information. But greatness comes from those who enable transformation in others and in communities.
A rooted liberating faith enables people to imagine the unimaginable. Others may mock their hope and persistence. But transforming leadership comes from great hearted people. The heart of leadership lies not merely in slick strategies but in the generous hearts of leaders. They have an enduring passion for high ideals. That ultimately makes their work effective rather than ephemeral.
I welcome all of you to this house where Pat and John came so often to seek strength and to praise the God who can do great things. During the ceremony, you are invited to participate as well as you can in the faith language of this community. Pat lived her life with the conviction that to your own self you must be true. She would commend that to all of us here today.
Before we begin the funeral liturgy, I invite Aidan Hume to address us with words of appreciation for his mother.
Appreciation read by Aidan Hume
Entrance Hymn – Be thou my vision
First Reading read by Aedin Abbott
A reading from the book of the Proverbs.
Let kindness and loyalty never leave you;
wear them around your neck, write them on your heart.
Trust in God, put no faith in your own perception;
in every course you take have God in your mind.
Happy the person who discovers such wisdom,
because wisdom is beyond the price of pearls,
nothing you could wish for is her equal.
Her ways are delightful ways, her paths all lead to contentment.
She is a tree of life for those who hold her fast,
those who cling to her live happy lives.
The Word of the Lord.
Responsorial Psalm sung by Anne Marie Hickey
Be not afraid
Second reading read by Brian Spellman
A Reading from the letter of Saint Paul to the Colossians
You are God’s chosen race, his saints; he loves you, and you should be clothed in sincere compassion, in kindness and humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with one another; forgive each other as soon as a quarrel begins. The Lord has forgiven you; now you must do the same. Over all these clothes, to keep them together and complete them, put on love. And may the peace of Christ reign in your hearts, because it is for this that you were called together as parts of the one body. Always be thankful. Let the message of Christ, in all its richness, find a home with you. Teach each other, and advise each other, in all wisdom. With gratitude in your hearts sings psalms and hymns and inspired songs to God; and never say or do anything except in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
The word of the Lord
Gospel read by Father Paul Farren
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew
Seeing the crowds, Jesus went up the hill. There he sat down and was joined by his disciples. Then he began to speak. This is what he taught them:
‘How blessed are the poor in spirit;
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the gentle:
they shall have the earth for their heritage.
Blessed are those who mourn:
they shall be comforted.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right:
they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful:
they shall have mercy shown them.
Blessed are the pure in heart:
they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers:
they shall be called children of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted in the cause of right:
theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
‘Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.’
Homily by Father Paul Farren
Peace is not a negotiated settlement. It can never be simply a contract where you give only what you have to in order to get what you want. With this attitude there cannot be true peace because there is not true trust. Peace must bring us beyond the point of seeing the other as the opponent or the enemy. Because if we don’t get beyond that point even after the settlement is negotiated and the contract signed the other is still the opponent or the enemy. That is no foundation for true peace. So what gets us beyond that critical point?
In the Gospel we have heard that blessed are the peacemakers, they will be called children of God. More than that we heard, blessed are the pure in heart, they shall see God. This brings us to the core of peacemaking – being pure of heart. To be pure of heart is to be completely open to God, in our minds, our hearts and bodies. As the beatitude says it is to see God. The aim of our life’s journey is to see God for ever in heaven. However, if we are to be peacemakers as we make that journey we need to be able to see God in the people we meet along the way. If we are to be peacemakers on the journey home to heaven the real challenge is to see God in those we might consider to be our opponents or our enemies. That is where peace is made and that explains why the peacemakers are called children of God. The peacemakers are children of God because they recognise every single person as a child of God. This is the demand that God places on us as he leads us home to be with him in heaven.
Pat Hume, whose Funeral Mass we have gathered to celebrate this morning, was pure of heart. Pat had the purest heart of anybody I have ever met. Pat saw God in everybody that she met and her joy at seeing God was written over her face in her most wonderful smile and totally engaged and interested eyes. Pat was a most humble and beautiful person. Much has been said about John and Pat and their unity in peacemaking. It is all true and if John brought the brilliant mind to the peacemaking then Pat brought the pure heart.
Pat’s pure heart was formed by two things, I believe, by her faith and by her call to be a mother. It was Pat’s faith which was a practical and living, contemplative and silent faith, nourished by the Eucharist here at Mass every day and with quiet prayer that enabled Pat to put the realities of life in the eternal context of God’s love. This certainly was how Pat got through the tough days in her life. It was her faith that enabled her to see God in everybody she met. Pat served God in those she met and she served him faithfully. If you went to Pat with a problem your suffering became her suffering. You pain became her pain. Your problem became hers to find a solution to and she found solutions in her astute, wise, compassionate and quiet way that always avoided any type of fuss or focus on herself.
The empathy that Pat had was unique and incredible and that is why her work with Mrs Daphne Trimble, after the Good Friday Agreement, with those who are victims was so important to her. That is why she found it abhorrent that anybody or any government would believe that a line could be drawn under the pain and suffering of people. Her commitment to truth and to justice was consistent and unquestionable. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right: they shall be satisfied.
Pat, shaped and formed by her faith, did everything with a mother’s heart. She lived the vocation of motherhood in her home, in her community here in Derry and on the world stage. The vocation of a mother is the most important vocation in the world because the vocation of a mother is to give life, to give joy; it is to serve and to always put others first. Pat did all of these things in a most powerful, gentle, loving, profound and simple way. I know for you Therese, Aine, Aidan, John and Mo your mother created an oasis of love and security, trust and joy for you in the midst of much turmoil and danger in your young lives. When your home was being attacked, because your parents were committed to peace, your mother held you and protected you and never allowed you to lose confidence in the truth that peace is always more noble and stronger than violence.
Pat’s mothering went so far beyond the five of you and her grandchildren, who she was so proud of. Pat mothered us all, from those she taught many years ago to every one of us, looking at our faces, detecting tiredness, telling us to rest. Her mothering enabled her to ask questions all about us and our families as soon as she met us and to be truly interested in our answers. She rarely told her own stories because she was so interested in our stories and she could laugh and it was infectious and it was the cause of so much joy. I suppose her greatest example of mothering came in how she cared for John, in his long illness, in the last years of his life. With John she was for ever patient, for ever loving, for ever gentle and an example to us all.
We thought that God should have spared her years after John when she could have focused on herself but in hindsight Pat could never have focused on herself. She always lived for others and that was even revealed in the generous manner of her death.
Today we truly give thanks to God for the wonderful gift that is Pat Hume, for her pure heart shaped by her faith and her call to be a mother. We never wanted her to leave this world because it was always brighter and more joyful when she was here. But today we pray that she has heard John calling ‘Pat’ again and that he had brought her to the heart of God where they are united for ever.
We continue to pray for you Pat’s family, that as you rejoice in the gift of your mother, you will find peace and hope in your faith in Jesus who has defeated the power of death and who is present on the altar every time we celebrate Mass.
We pray for Pat. It was no wonder that it was her heart that was worn out, because she truly gave her heart to God and to us all. We pray that rather than just remembering Pat we will be inspired to do as she did and to see God in the other and so be true peace makers ourselves – children of God. We pray that Pat is now experiencing the fulfilment of the beatitude – blessed are the pure in heart and that she is seeing God face to face for ever and ever. Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful read by the grandchildren
Granny was the glue of our family and we all knew how loved we were. We pray for all families, that they may be havens of safety, solidarity, love, laughter and joy. Lord hear us.
Granny touched the lives of everyone she met with her gentle smile and twinkling eyes. She was genuinely interested in people and loved nothing more than hearing their stories and offering newcomers a warm welcome. We pray for migrants and refugees and all those who have been displaced through trauma, poverty and injustice. May their lives always be touched by warm welcomes and compassion. Lord Hear us.
We pray for Granny’s many friends here in her beloved Derry and Donegal that they may be comforted by the memory of Pat’s unparalleled gift for friendship. Lord hear us.
Granny loved nothing more than a walk along the Foyle in Derry and Donegal. She valued the healing power of nature. We pray that leaders take seriously the urgency of the climate crisis and act to ensure that all our children and grandchildren can enjoy a healthy planet. Lord hear us.
Granny was a teacher and believed in the transformative power of an inclusive education. We pray for teachers and young people and those who are excluded from access to learning. Lord hear us.
We pray for all those who have died, for our other grandmother Edie Abbott who will be buried next Friday, for Pat’s big sister Ella, who died recently and for our Grandad John. Lord hear us.
Presentation of the Gifts – An Raibh Tu ar an gCarraig?
Waltz of the White Lilies
Make me a Channel of your Peace
Final Commendation and Farewell – Bishop Donal McKeown
Recessional – Trathnona Beag Areir
Music provided by
Anne Marie Hickey – Soprano
Aidan Watkins – organ
Paraig O’Brien – fiddle
Katie McSherry – fiddle
Paul McSherry – fiddle
Musical Director – Frank Gallagher – whistle, violin
Notes for editors
- The Funeral Mass of the late Pat Hume RIP took place today, Monday 6 September 2021 at 11.00am, in Saint Eugene’s Cathedral, Derry.
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