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In memory of Sean Savage

Funeral Sean Savagel Medium Web view

Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

We come here today with prayer and hope to share and support a great loss. Thank you for attending today. Thank you to those who have travelled a great distance to be with us.

On this occasion we will part with the body of one whom we have loved, with whom we have shared joys and sorrows and the full weight of our loss comes to test our faith. God is with us

in our journey through life – he is with us in good times and in bad. If we trust him, we have nothing to fear:

Lord Jesus, you comfort us in our sorrows. Lord, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you strengthen us in our weakness. Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you are the hope of God’s people. 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 Sean, 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

Today as we gather in church at Sean's funeral, in the midst of our grief and sadness we are confessing our Christian faith in the resurrection of the dead and eternal life. We are affirming our belief - that while all life on this earth is terminal and while death is a fact of life, death is not the end for Sean or, indeed, for any of us. There is life after death: Life that never ends. Even in our sadness, we believe that Sean's death in this life has been his birth into eternal life. Sean lived to die and strangely, he died to live. This is the real mystery of life and death. Therefore Sean's life is changed not ended. It is our prayer that Sean is now enjoying eternal life with Jesus, our risen Lord.

Sean was born on 23rd January 1943, the oldest of 7 children to John and Jeannie Savage. The family lived in Chapel Row, Laurencetown before moving to School Terrace, but Sean spent most of his childhood with his Granny Curran in Chapel Row. He attended Bann Primary School, Laurencetown before taking up a plastering apprenticeship with Charlie Monaghan. Eventually he formed his own company in partnership with Kitsy McDowell. He met Angela at a dance in St. Patrick’s Hall Banbridge and they married in Laurencetown on 19th February 1963. Their first home together was in Clare Street, Hallsmill before moving to Banbridge and then in 1973, they built their present home on the Knocknagore Road. Sean was a great sportsman – a member of that famous Tullylish Gaelic team in 1968 that won the Junior Championship. He was also a Manchester United Fan and travelled to see them playing a couple of times. But even though he loved his football, his greatest love was kept for his racing pigeons! Angela says he spent more time in the pigeon loft than in his own house - he even had central heating installed for the pigeons! He and the pigeons won several trophies. Of course, when watching TV, it was always the sports channels!

It was thirteen years ago that Sean’s world changed after his first stroke and then 18months later, his world changed forever when a second massive stroke left him incapacitated. It took a long time for him to come to terms with his changed lifestyle. His loss of speech was the worst.

Sean experienced a lot of suffering in his life but in our hearts, we know that suffering can have great Christian value. Through pain and suffering we learn what it means to embrace the cross of Jesus Christ. Like Jesus, dying on the cross, our faith is tested when we experience suffering and when we witness suffering in other people's lives. However just as God did not desert his son Jesus, he does not desert us. And he did not desert Sean. It is our hope that Sean's suffering

in this life has not been in vain, instead, has prepared him to live a life that has changed, not ended, and rest in God's peace and love forever. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what Sean would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Sean he is at peace with God after all his suffering.

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the life he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into our lives. For you Angela and his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Sean throughout his life how much you all loved him and appreciated him. You knew that time was precious in recent times. All that you could have done for him, you did. There are no regrets. You gave him great care.

It is only to God we can turn at this time to try to find some meaning, some consolation; some hope in the situation we find ourselves in. Prayer will bring us through this time.

On behalf of the parish community I extend our sympathy to his loving wife Angela, Enda and  Declan, mother Jennie, son in law Samuel, daughter in law Caroline, grandchildren Lisa, Dean, Dionne, Shauneen and Declan, brothers Eugene, Brendan and Eamon, sisters Bernadette and Anne, and the entire family circle. Eternal rest

 

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