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In memory of Sean Finnegan

Sean Finnegan

Today we extend our deepest sympathy to the Finnegan family of Gilford who have come here today to bury one of their own family members. Sean Finnegan was just 56 years old, born in 1961, the son of the late Hugh and  Bridget Finnegan of Gilford. 

Sean was brought up in Dunbarton Bungalows and attended St. John’s PS, Gilford and Lismore Comprehensive School, Craigavon. A very bright student, he went to university in Belfast where he graduated, worked with the Water Board. He enjoyed helping out with youth activities at Gilford Youth Club.

He had an accident some years ago which left him paralysed and not able to fend for himself. It was very difficult for him. He lived in Portadown in Ballyoran Park where he was cared for. He has not been the same man since a the accident.

Today, as we gather in church at Sean’s funeral, in the midst of our grief and sadness we are professing 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 that 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 birthday into eternal life. Sean lived to die and 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 God and in the company of his loving parents Hugh and Bridget.

Sean experienced suffering in his life but in our hearts we know that suffering can have great value, no matter how incomprehensible this may seem to us today. Through pain and suffering we learn what it means to embrace the cross of Christ. Like Jesus, dying on the cross, our faith is tested when we experience suffering and when we witness suffering in other peoples lives. However, just as God did not desert Jesus, he does not desert us. And he did not desert Sean. It is our hope that Sean’s suffering in this life but instead but instead has prepared him to live our life that has changed, not ended, and rest in God’s peace and love for ever. Amen.                                                 

 

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