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In memory of Mary West

 

 

Funeral Mary West Large Web view

 

 

On behalf of John I welcome you to this funeral mass for Mary.

 

Death is always a shock; even more so when it’s the death of someone close to us who has died after a long period of residential care. We all come here to remember a remarkable lady, to give thanks, even in our grief, for her life, to offer each other, and especially all those who will most miss her, 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 MARY; our sadness is that she has gone from us.

 

Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome her 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 Mary.

 

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 MARY, grant him peace. Welcome her 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.

 

There is we know a time for mourning and a time for joy. These two emotions will surely find a place together in our hearts today. At the end of Mary’s life of   73 years it maybe that the need to praise God is uppermost in our minds because it is so clear how rich God’s blessings have been to her:

“My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings”.

We are happy today because we know deep down that Mary’s life was complete and she was ready for God. You have received much from her – always generous and thoughtful.

Thank you to all who cared for her throughout her life especially in recent times at the Seapatrick Home.

Mary was the daughter of Brigid and Bert West and was born in Aldershot. She came to Gilford when she was 11 years old and was brought up by John and Mary McCusker. She was educated in St. John's Primary School and then worked in Gilford Mill as a 'winder'. Mary looked after John and Mary until they died and continued to live with her brother John in Dunbarton Bungalows. She enjoyed music and going to the G.C.C. Hall and the Legion. She espcially loved dancing and jiving. Mary could 'turn her hand to anything, including painting and decorating. She had great taste and was a lovely girl when at her best.

As we grow older we learn the lessons of endurance and faith of how we are totally dependent on God. We are no longer invincible. In all our lives there are the valleys and the hills, the good times and the bad times, the successes and the failures, the joys and the sorrows. We are all given a certain number of years and those who live the longest become deeply aware that this time is not given so much for our enjoyment, but rather to work out our salvation. We thank her for all her care and understanding and her complete generosity as a loving person.

Every human story is the story of a journey, the journey of life. Christ is with us on this journey, even though at times we do not recognise him. He is so close to us that our stories merge with his. He shares with us his victory over sin and death.

When all is said and done it is only Christ’s story that makes sense of ours – glory achieved through suffering and death. The resurrection of Christ opens all our stories to the prospect, not of a good ending but of a glorious ending. The last word in each of our stories belongs to God.

Now we have to let Mary go. Her life gave glory to God. And now she has stretched out her tired hands for the last time and God has taken her to himself. Let us pray with hope and gratitude for the eternal rest of this valiant lady and join again in prayer: “My soul give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings”.

Let us celebrate her homecoming, with thanks to God for her life, for the example our faith gives us; for the lessons that we learned from her about living well and dying well. May her gentle soul, rest in peace

 

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