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In memory of Eamon Magee

Eamon beside the plaque which he inserted for the Clare 200 Celebrations in 2005

 

 

FUNERAL MASS OF

EAMON MAGEE, BANBRIDGE ROAD, GILFORD

THURSDAY 31ST JULY 2008

ST. PATRICK AND ST. COLMAN'S CHURCH, LAURENCETOWN

CELEBRANT: VERY REVEREND GERRY POWELL P.P.

 

I welcome you to this funeral Liturgy for Eamon Magee.

On behalf of Mairead, Paul, Siobhan & Sinead I thank you for coming. It is so much appreciated.

We all come here to remember a good person, to give thanks, even in our grief, for Eamon’s life, to offer each other, and especially his family and 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 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 celebrate his life in this funeral mass. Let us pray for Eamon:

Homily

Dear friends, we are united with you today in sorrow at the death of Eamon Magee. The reality of death, with all its pain and sense of loss, confronts us at this moment. But as we are united in sorrow, we are also united by something else... our Faith. Confronted with the reality of death, we must allow ourselves to be confronted with the reality of our Faith. Our Faith opens our minds to the whole picture about life, death, and what happens after death. Only in the light of our Faith can we begin to understand what has happened to Eamon and how we are to keep going from here.
Death is not from God; death is turning away from God. Yet God did not leave us in death's power. He sent Christ, who died and rose again and conquered death! God has spoken to the world through Christ, and told us that He wants to give us victory over death in and through Jesus Christ!
Because of this, a Christian is not silent in the face of death! Many people, on coming to a wake or funeral, do not know what to say! Death seems to have the last word. But we who believe are not silent. We speak! Christ is risen! Death has been conquered!

The end of the story is Resurrection and life that has no end! The farewell that we give to Eamon today is a temporary farewell; the burial we give Eamon is a temporary burial. He will live! He will rise!

The ceremony today contains many reminders of this, and it points us to the fact that Eamon was baptized. We sprinkled the coffin with holy water at the beginning of the ceremony... This recalls the waters of baptism that were once poured on Eamon - a sign of the new life of Christ given to the Christian. This large candle is the Easter Paschal candle; it is present at every baptism, and symbolizes the Risen Christ. When Eamon was baptized, the life of the Risen Christ was poured into his soul! He began to share, here on earth, the life of heaven! At baptism, God rescued Eamon from the power of death; He literally snatched him from the dominion of death and transferred him into the Kingdom of Christ -- a kingdom of eternal life. Christ said to Eamon on that day, "You do not belong to death! You belong to me!"

Therefore, a Christian does not merely die. A Christian dies in Christ. Those two words, "in Christ," make all the difference in the world! We belong to Him by baptism, and we live in Him by a life of prayer, obedience to His teachings, and faithfulness to the sacraments of the Church. If we live in Christ and die in Christ, we will rise in Christ! (Personal memories)

Eamon was born in "The Glen', Tullyraine on 19th Jaunuary1933 and was the sixth child of John and Margaret Magee. He attended Bann National School in Laurencetown. On leaving school Eamon began work in Dobbins, Newry Street, Banbridge where he developed the art of salting fish. He proved to be a very trusted and valued employee.

His employment took a new direction and he served his time as a plasterer. In the late 50's. due to lack of work at home, he moved to Lution and worked in many projects before returning home.

He was later to meet a nurse from Rathfriland who worked in Banbridge Hospital and on the 28th August 1963 he married this nurse, Mairead Gribben, in St. Mary's Church. Rathfriland. They took up residence in Lenaderg and then moved to Locard Park, Tullylish and finally built their present house on the Banbridge Road in 1976.

Eamon was a faithful parishioner who involved himself in the life of the Parish. When volunteers were called to assist, either in building or renovating, he was the first to offer his services. His devotion to Our Lady manifested itself in a very practical way when he brought bouquets of flowers - a dozen white roses - for Our Lady's altar here in this church. He was also faithful collector in the church.

Eamon's early sporting interest was in Gaelic Football, but he never reached the standards required for first team statue but retained an interest.

Acting was another one of his great interests and he had leading parts in many productions here in Laurencetown where there was a very flourishing dramatic society. Eamon was really in his element when taxi-ing the cast around the country to such places as Beragh, Co. Tyrone, Donaghamore, Newry, Portadown, Ballyholland and competing in Drama Festivals.

His interests now changed direction and, encouraged by a Co. Wexford curate, Fr. Jack Sinnott, he took up golf in Tandragee Golf Club. He subsequently transferred to Banbridge Golf Club where, with perseverance and hard work, his handicap came down and he secured a place on the Carlingford and Ulster Cup Teams. Nothing pleased him more than standing on the hill at the 10th tee, watching club matches. He captained many teams for the club and his proudest moments were when he captained 2 senior Cowdy Cup Teams to victory. He was elected to the Club's Council and became Captain in 1988. Even when he was confined in Craigavon Area Hospital, he watched practically every televised golf shot at the recent British Open. He was really delighted when Padraig Harrington defended his title.

Eamon was an exemplary Catholic, faithful to his religious duties.

Respected by all who knew him, his advice was frequently asked for and always taken when matters pertaining to building was being discussed.

Tullylish has lost an outstanding parishioner who will be sadly missed, not only for his advice and guidance, but also for his very charitable deeds and works of mercy.

Eamon departed this life on Tuesday 29th July at 10 am – the feast of St. Martha. St Martha was the sister of Lazarus and Mary who made her profession of faith in Christ as the Son of God and in the resurrection. In welcoming a guest we welcome Christ - we show our Christian spirit of service and through our Christian lives we ready ourselves to be welcomed as guests of the Kingdom of God. The Risen Lord speaks those words to Eamon today:

“Well done good and faithful servant, welcome into the joy of your Lord”.

Lee Trevino once said: “There are 2 things you must keep your head down for. One is for golf, the other is for prayer”.

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. Let us pray that little prayer for him now and call to mind one special memory you have of Eamon as we pray:

On behalf of Fr. Mc Donagh and all of us gathered here today to pray for Eamon I would like to extend our sympathy to Eamon’s loving wife Mairead, son Paul, daughters Siobhan and Sinead; sons in law Dean and Dave, grandson Ethan, brothers Frank, Brendan, Dessie and Aidan; sisters Eileen, Moya and Patsy, brother in law Sean, sisters in law Mary and Ann, nieces, nephews and the entire family circle.

 

Opening Hymn: I watch the Sunrise

Communion Hymns: Amazing Grace
Ave Maria
There is a Place

Reflection: Miss Me, but Let Me Go

Final Hymn: Here I am, Lord

 

Organist: Colum McGarry

Soloists: Lynn Laverty and Paula Jordan

 

Below

Eamon with Willie Greene preparing the wall for the Clare 200 Plaque. Eamon worked tirelessly for the Clare 200 Celebrations and his Clare Memories can be read on www.clare200.org

 

 

 

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