At 12.00pm this afternoon, Father Patrick McCarthy, curate of Inniscarra Parish, Berrings, Co Cork, in the Diocese of Cloyne, will be the chief celebrant for the Funeral Mass of Matthew Healy RIP in Saint Mary’s Church. The Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.mycondolences.ie/.
The following mementos will be placed near the coffin before the funeral liturgy begins:
- Picture of Matthew Healy and his late wife Delia taken thirteen years ago on the occasion of the birth of their grandchild Matthew, who is named after his grandfather.
- Finger Rosary: Faith and in particular the Rosary and the Mass were very important for Matthew and Delia.
- iPad: Matthew had a life-long love for all things technological.
The Berring’s Church Choir will lead the congregation in the music.
Entrance: Here I am Lord
First Reading, proclaimed by Claire Healy (daughter)
A Reading from the prophet Isaiah (25:6-9)
On this mountain, the Lord of hosts will prepare for all peoples a banquet of rich food. On this mountain he will remove the mourning veil covering all peoples, and the shroud enwrapping all nations, he will destroy Death for ever. The Lord will wipe away the tears from every cheek.
The word of the lord.
Responsorial Psalm: The Lord’s my shepherd (choir and congregation)
Second Reading, proclaimed by Vincent Healy (son)
The First Letter of Saint Paul to the Thessalonians (4:13-18)
We want you to be quite certain, brothers, about those who have died, to make sure that you do not grieve about them, like the other people who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him. We can tell you this from the Lord’s own teaching, that any of us who are left alive until the Lord’s coming will not have any advantage over those who have died. At the trumpet of God, the voice of the archangel will call out the command and the Lord himself will come down from heaven; those who have died in Christ will be the first to rise, and then those of us who are still alive will be taken up in the clouds, together with them, to meet the Lord in the air. So we shall stay with the Lord for ever. With such thoughts as these you should comfort one another.
Gospel Acclamation Alleluia sung by the choir.
Gospel proclaimed by Father Paddy Buckley, Parish Priest of Inniscarra.
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John (6:51-58)
Jesus said to the crowd:
‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I shall give is my flesh, for the life of the world.’ Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:
‘I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you. Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood has eternal life, and I shall raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father, myself draw life from the Father, so whoever eats me will draw life from me. This is the bread come down from heaven; not like the bread our ancestors ate: they are dead, but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’
Homily preached by Father Patrick McCarthy CC
My dear friends, all of us are gathered today around the table, the altar of God. It is the centre point of every church, for it’s the place where the sacrifice of Jesus is made to the Father, and it’s the place where we are fed. For Jesus says he is the living bread come down from heaven and anyone who eats this bread shall live forever (cf. Gospel). These things I’ve just mentioned: table, being fed, eating, place and sacrifice also applied to Matthew’s life. From an early age he assumed great responsibilities in an era that wasn’t mechanised. Everyday life was tough and hard; however goodness triumphed over hardship, for he was one of the gentlest people you could meet. Did not our Lord say blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the kingdom of heaven?
Matthew and his recently deceased wife Delia came to this church often. This was the place where they were spiritually fed at God’s table. They heard and reflected on the stories of Jesus in the Scriptures. One of the mementos is a Finger Rosary: used as a means of meditation with Our Lady. We will never know in what ways the Scriptures and the Rosary formed Matthew to be the person he was. What we can say is that being nourished at God’s table he became a leaven for his family and community. Each person here has a story to tell of Matthew, many of them are personal to you: a fond memory, something that brings a smile to your face as you do so. I have heard many of them in these last few days.
My friends we say that the Eucharist (the Mass) is an offering of Jesus to the Father and we have the ability to participate in it. In that participation we can bring our whole selves to the Lord here in Church. Nowhere else can we do this. We can bring our worries, our doubts, our fears, our struggles and pain as well as our joys and hopes. We can also do this for others carrying them in our hearts to the Eucharist. There isn’t a doubt in my mind that Matthew brought his whole self and that of others to the Eucharist every day, for he came back day-after-day to do so. This is the real beauty of our faith: it’s not distant, cold or nonchalant, but life-giving in the depths of our minds and hearts. The Spirit breathes and breathes new and fresh life into our weary souls.
We say that the Eucharist, the Mass, is a celebration: even when we gather like we do today with deep sadness in our hearts at the passing of Matthew. In each of our hearts we offer Matthew, who is appropriately positioned (here in front of the altar), and join him with the sacrifice of Jesus on this altar to God. There is no greater prayer we can make: just as there was no greater prayer Christ could have made than offering himself on the cross for the eternal salvation of humanity. Because of this offering of Christ, and the resurrection which flowed from it, we can confidently gather with expectation that all our beloved deceased can follow on that same journey to the heavenly Father.
Saint Paul in our Second Reading was encouraging the Thessalonians not to grieve for those who have died in the way that some others do who have no hope in the hereafter. But of course this hope doesn’t mitigate our grief for Matthew and Delia, the two people who meant the world to their family; rather our grieving is tempered by our trust that they are now in the hands of God, loving, caring and gentle hands, the kind of hands Matthew himself had.
A number of you are joining us today on the internet. Many may be surprised to hear that Matthew was keen on technology, owning a video camera back in the 1970s and ‘80s: the big heavy ones you’d have to carry on your shoulders. Our local school used to ask him to record their major events. On our mementos table is his iPad which, among other things, he used to follow the Mass locally on webcam when he wasn’t well enough to come to Church.
My friends, gathering around the altar with Matthew and his family we are nourished by God’s Word and in the Bread of Life, the body and blood of Christ. We receive nourishment just as Matthew did. In turn he was able to nourish those around him: above all his family which meant everything to him. He was proud of each and every one of his children and grandchildren always asking after them. The picture on the table of mementos was taken on the occasion of the birth of the grandchild named after him thirteen years ago. It is a beautiful picture with real joy on the faces of Matthew and Delia. May that picture, with the joy it expresses, be our lasting memory of both Matthew and Delia. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God Rest In Peace. Amen.
Prayer of the Faithful
recited by Matthew’s grandchildren Séan, James, Matthew, Clíona, Robert and Ailbhe.
- For the life of granddad Matthew we pray in thanksgiving, asking that he may now share eternal life in Heaven with granny Delia and their beloved Christine. Lord hear us.
- In baptism, granddad Matthew received the light of Christ. Scatter the darkness now and lead him over the waters of death. Lord hear us.
- For the family and friends of granddad Matthew and granny Delia, that they may be consoled in their grief by the Lord who wept at the death of his friend Lazarus. Lord hear us.
- For all of us gathered together in faith today, that we may all be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven. Lord hear us.
- That those who bear the cross of pain in mind or body may never feel forsaken by God. Lord hear us.
- That God will grant peace to all those who have died in the faith of Christ. Lord hear us.
Offertory: Ag Críost an Síol
Be not Afraid.
Soul of my Saviour
I watch the Sunrise
Mass will conclude with the Final Prayers of Commendation and farewell. This will involve Father McCarthy incensing the coffin and blessing with holy water during the final prayers. The recessional hymn Nearer my God to thee will be played as Mr Healy’s remains are carried from the church.
Recessional: Nearer my God to thee
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