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In memory of Michael Brown

Michael Brown

Funeral Michaal Brown

Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerald Powell PP

On behalf of Geraldine, John, Maisie and Deirdre and family I welcome you to this funeral Mass for Michael.

We all come here to remember Michael, 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 Michael; 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 Michael.

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 MICHAEL, 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.

HOMILY

Lee Trevino, golf professional used to say there are two things you gotta keep your head down for, one is for golf, the other is for prayer.

There is, as the scriptures remind us today, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather in Laurencetown church, we reflect on the mystery of time and providence that are in God’s hands: there is indeed a time to die, a time to keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love.

Since the sudden passing of Michael you have all shared memories of him in many respects – his talents, achievements and interests

Michael was born in Banbridge on 5th August 1948, the second in a family of 5 to Hugh an Mary Brown. The family moved to Tullyraine Road Ballynabraggett and he attended Bann Primary School in Laurencetown followed by Banbridge Technical College.  The family then moved to Reilly Park in Banbridge.

He started his working career in Down Shoes in Banbridge where he worked for about twenty years. He also worked as a part-time barman in McCartan's pub in Donacloney for many years  where the stories were plentiful.

After Down Shoes Michael worked with Eamon McCartan for a short while before taking up full time employment with Banbridge Golf Club as a barman.

Sport played a huge part in Michael's life - he was a member of the famous Tullylish teams  of 1968 and 1973 and during his wake, every kick of the ball was recalled as if it were yesterday -a  testament to the marvellous bond there was among those players. Michael and his brother John were a very important part of that era.

His second sport was golf - he lived for his golf and he must have been in heaven when he was both barman and a playing member of Banbridge Golf Club.

A kind and generous man, he was popular with his Tullylish neighbours. Prior to moving to Tullylish, Michael lived with,  and cared for,  his mother until she went into full time care. When his late sister Dympna competed in the Special Olympics. Michael and the family were so supportive and proud of her. 

Michael loved gadgets and loved to keep up to date with the latest. He recently acquired a tablet and promptly arranged to have lessons so he would get the most out of it  And that was typical of him - he loved life and lived it to the full.  He loved the simple things in life - sport on the TV and as long as he had control of the remote control, he was happy!

Michael was content and that's a great gift. He was a no nonsense, no frills type of man, held in the highest regard by  those he served in the bar, played a round of golf with, kicked a ball with or  had a bit of craic with.  He will be sadly missed.

We gather today as a Christian community and our presence here today is our way of reaching out to all of you who loved him and will miss him and to you we extend our sympathy.

We can look on this sudden death in many ways:

A dark cloud, a moment of intense loneliness, and an experience we resist and don’t wish to speak about. You will all deal with it in your own individual way but can you see it as part of the outstretched hand of God’s support or the light beyond the cloud that is dark; or the companionship of Christ in this fearful moment of loneliness? Our faith tells us that it is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

 Like St. Paul we carry our faith in clay jars or earthen vessels and death can either shatter or deepen our faith.

To be a Christian is to be a pilgrim on a spiritual journey. To be a pilgrim is to go along the way of faith, hope and love. The goal is certain – eternal life in Christ Jesus. But the way is often uncertain and at times we can lose our sense of direction and we forget how to live.

This is a time of sadness. We are sad today because we are gathered to mourn Michael and say our final farewell. We are here today to console you in your sadness by our presence, our prayers and our words of consolation.

This is a time for asking forgiveness.

It is right to ask God, our loving and forgiving Father to extend to Michael his forgiveness. We are assured by our faith that God forgives always, totally and immediately.

And finally it is a time of hope.

Our faith tells us that at death life is changed, not ended. We are then filled with hope that Michael is now at peace. We are confident in this hope that God has taken him to himself.

May Mary the mother of God who buried her own son be with us to see the mind and the plan of God in our lives at this time.

May he rest in peace. Amen.

On behalf of the parish community, I extend our deepest sympathy to Geraldine, John, Maisie and Deirdre, brother in law, sisters in law, nephews, nieces and family circle.

 

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