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In memory of Eamon Campbell

Funeral Eamon Campbell  booklet

I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Eamon Campbell. We are praying today for all of you in your loss. Death is always a shock; even more so when it’s the death of someone close to us who has died after a very long illness.

We all come here to remember Eamon, to give thanks, even in our grief, for his life, to offer each other, and especially 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 Eamon; 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 Eamon.

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 EAMON 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.

 

A child was walking through a cemetery one day with his granddad. Puzzled by the headstones he asked his granddad what they were. His granddad said, “These people were living in those houses over there. Then God called them and now they’re living in God’s house.” The boy said, “And is this where they left their clothes?” What better way could we explain passing from this life to the next? We have gathered here not so much to talk about Eamon but to pray for him. We believe that our prayer here can help Eamon 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 Eamon is to pray for him. There is no better gift you can now give Eamon. 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 Eamon it will last into eternity. Prayer has lasting value.

 

That reminds me of many things we do during life. We do many things during life that in a sense, in the light of eternity, are a waste of time. What really matters in life is putting God first. Jesus said in our Gospel that he is the Way, the Truth and the Life and if we are not living our lives in union with Jesus then we are not on the way and if we are not on the way we are lost. On one occasion Jesus said, “Seek the kingdom of God first and all these other things will be given you as well.” When we do that, when we seek the kingdom of God first, love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and our neighbour as ourselves, then we are on the way, and not wasting our time.

 

The tall white candle, the Paschal Candle, stands beside the coffin at every Funeral Mass. We call it the Paschal Candle because we light it firstly at Easter and there are five grains of incense inserted in it symbolizing the five wounds of Jesus, the two wounds in his hands, the two in his legs and the wound in his side. It is very symbolic that this candle stands near the coffin during every funeral Mass. It is almost as if Jesus is standing beside the coffin looking up to his Father and pleading on behalf of Eamon, saying, ‘Look, I bore these wounds in my body for the salvation of Eamon. I suffered, I died, and I rose again for him. Forgive him Father and take him to Paradise. St. Paul wrote, ‘We know that he who raised the Lord Jesus to life will raise us with Jesus in our turn, and put us by his side and you with us.’

 

Also in the Paschal Candle above the five grains of incense there is the first letter of the Greek alphabet, Alpha, and below the five grains of incense there is the last letter, Omega. In other words, Jesus is the beginning and end of all that we do and say. If it were not for Jesus suffering those five wounds, dying and rising, life would not have meaning. But Jesus was the beginning and end of Eamon’s life and is the beginning and end of all our lives. It is he who gives meaning to our lives, especially in times of suffering.

 

We come this afternoon to celebrate the life and death of Eamon Campbell and to pray for him. We mourn his passing, we cherish the memory of a good man, an easygoing man, who enjoyed nothing more than being a family man staying; a loving husband to Rose, wonderful father and grandfather.

 

He bore his illness with great courage and resignation; Today we gather in sorrow to remember Eamon Campbell – a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. So we gather as a community and our presence here is our way of reaching out to the Campbell family whose burden is heaviest and whose loss is greatest.

 

On behalf of the parish community I wish to extend our sympathy to Rose, to Geraldine and Patricia, son in law Martin, grandchildren Owen, Tierna, Daniel and Ci-Jai, brothers Micky, Dan and Jim, and sisters Rita and Kathleen and family circle.

 

 

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