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In memory of Patsy Millar

Funeral_Leaflet_Patsy_Millar
Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

 

I welcome you to this funeral Mass for Patsy.

We all come here to remember a good man, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his life, to offer each other, and especially all those who will most miss him, the consolation of our love and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Patsy; our sadness is that he has gone from us.

Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome him home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Patsy.

We come to God, knowing we need his mercy and forgiveness, and so in preparing to celebrate the Mass we call to mind our sins.

Lord, you suffered and died in our name. Lord have mercy.

Lord, your heart was moved with compassion for the sick and the bereaved. Christ have mercy.

Lord you suffer with your people at the right hand of the Father. Lord have mercy.

And may almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and Father of all, you strengthen us by the mystery of the cross and with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. We pray for PATSY, grant him peace. Welcome him to the eternal joy of the kingdom and give us all new hope in our sorrow that one day we shall all be with you and with each other in your home where every tear will be wiped away. Grant, this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Patsy Millar

Dear friends, we are united with you today in sorrow at the death of Patsy Millar. The reality of death, with all its pain and sense of loss, confronts us at this moment. But as we are united in sorrow, we are also united by something else... our Faith. Confronted with the reality of death, we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of our Faith. Our Faith opens our minds to the whole picture about life, death, and what happens after death. Only in the light of our Faith can we begin to understand what has happened to Patsy and how we are to keep going from here.

Patsy was born in 80 years ago in the year of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. 
He was born in Belfast on 16th May 1932, son of Robert and Catherine Millar. He has one sister, Margaret. His brother Bobby died  on 27th May 1985. He lived there before moving to Chapel Row. When Miller Park was built he and his family moved to number 30. Patsy lived in Gilford for a long time, then moved to Locard Park but spent the last year of his life living in Gilford again. Patsy worked in Gilford Mill for a number of years and then the  King's Packaging where he worked alongside his brother Bobby. He worked there until his retirement. Throughout his life he liked  to have a bit of craic and go to the dances. He loved to get dressed up in a suit and tie. Close friends called him 'Deano' because he looked like Dean Martin. Patsy also liked to sing!!  He loved  pigeons and he liked a flutter on the horses.  He talked about putting a bet on up until the day before he died. He liked to have a drink in the local bars but gave up drinking about eight years ago. He was renowned for telling one particular joke (at least 100 times or more!!) it goes like this:'A man on deaths door asked his priest if they play football in Heaven? The priest said 'John I don't know but I'll find out for you'. A few days later the priest came back and said 'I've good news and I've bad news. The good news is they do play football in Heaven and the bad news is you're in goals on Sunday!'Patsy became poorly on 22nd December. He died on Sunday morning in Seapatrick Care Home.  Thank you to all who cared for Patsy and loved him in life. Now his suffering is over. Now after all these years he has passed on to eternal life.

Death is not from God; death is turning away from God. Yet God did not leave us in death's power. He sent Christ, who died and rose again and conquered death! God has spoken to the world through Christ, and told us that He wants to give us victory over death in and through Jesus Christ!

Because of this, a Christian is not silent in the face of death! Many people, on coming to a wake or funeral, do not know what to say! Death seems to have the last word. But we who believe are not silent. We speak! Christ is risen! Death has been conquered! In this holy season of Lent we are a people in waiting in hope of the resurrection of the dead and the life to come.

The end of the story is Resurrection and life that has no end! The farewell that we give to Patsy today is a temporary farewell; the burial we give Patsy is a temporary burial. He will live! He will rise!

The ceremony today contains many reminders of this, and it points us to the fact that Patsy was baptized. We sprinkled the coffin with holy water at the beginning of the ceremony... This recalls the waters of baptism that were once poured on Patsy - a sign of the new life of Christ given to the Christian. This large candle is the Easter Paschal candle; it is present at every baptism, and symbolizes the Risen Christ. When Patsy was baptized, the life of the Risen Christ was poured into his soul! He began to share, here on earth, the life of heaven! Christ said to Patsy on that day, "You do not belong to death! You belong to me!"

Yes, we as Christians grieve. But we grieve with hope. We have gathered here not so much to talk about Patsy but to pray for him.  We believe that our prayer here can help Patsy where he is now.  We know that prayer is powerful and we believe that we can help the departed by praying for them.  The best gift you can now give to Patsy is to pray for him.  There is no better gift you can now give Patsy.  There is nothing that you could now do that would be more helpful and beneficial to him than praying for him.  When we lay a wreath in someone’s honour the flowers will wither but the prayers we offer for someone will never wither.  If you say just one “Hail Mary” for Patsy it will last into eternity. 

On behalf of all gathered here today to pray for Patsy I would like to extend our sympathy to Patsy’s loving sister Margaret, his nephews and nieces and the entire family circle.


 JH

 

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