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In memory of Conn Murphy


10th January 2013

Funeral Mass celebrated by Bishop John McAreavey, Bishop of Dromore

ENTRANCE HYMN:          Here I am, Lord

Following the cortege to the altar, a football and a piece of soil are brought to the sanctuary symbolising Conn’s association with the G.A.A. and ‘the land’



First Reading                   Anne Murphy

A Reading from the book of Ecclesiastes                                                             3:1-8.11

For everything there is a season,

and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born and a time to die;

a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted

a time to break down and a time to build up;

a time to weep and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones and a time to gather stones together;

a time to seek and a time to lose;

a time to keep and a time to throw away;

a time to tear and a time a sew;

a time to keep silence and a time to speak;

a time for war and a time for peace.

God has made everything suitable for its time.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God

Psalm:    Eagle’s Wings (Sung)

Second  Reading Anne Murphy

(As death approaches, Paul reflects on his life; he is happy about the past and hopeful for the future.)

 A reading from the second letter of St. Paul to Timothy. 2  c:6-8

As for me, I am already being poured out as a libation, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. From now on there is reserved for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

The word of the Lord Thanks be to God

Gospel Acclamation   (Sung)

Alleluia, Alleluia  I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord,

whoever believes in me will never die.  Alleluia!


Gospel Mark 1:6-7 (vol. 1, page 156)

The Tyrone poet, John Montague, wrote about the place where he grew up and the people he knew as a child:

"Like dolmens around my childhood, the old people

… For years they trespassed on my dreams… "

These lines conjure up an image of ancient stone monuments that dot the Irish landscape. As Montague looks back to his childhood he thinks of the older people who were there as he grew up; they were part of the landscape, permanent and solid. Conn Murphy was one of the giants of my childhood. In those years he worked round Lisnafiffy, Drumnagally, Ballyvarley and this area with his JCB. I suppose the fact that he drove a JCB and could clear hedges and ditches, clear spaces and prepare foundations – all added to the impression we had of him as a powerful figure.

Physically, Conn was a big man, a strong man with an immense capacity for hard work. In his heart and in his mind, he was a big man, generous, giving and genial. In his love for his wife and family he was a faithful, loving man. With his neighbours and friends, he was open and gregarious. His faith too was deep and strong; in recent years until his illness I met him each year on the diocesan pilgrimage to Lourdes where he travelled with the late Brendan Warnock and took part in the exercises of the pilgrimage.

Conn was born in Kernan in 1926. He married Teresa Curran in 1951 and they began their married life in Barrack Hill before moving to Lisnafiffy in 1956. Teresa died in 1995. Conn was a founder member of Tullylish GAA, a player and he served on the club committee for many years. He had an interest in boxing and was passionate about ‘whist’, travelling all over the country for a card game.

Today the Murphy family brings Conn’s remains to this chapel. This is a place where he was at home; he came to pray here throughout his life. Here he listened to the Word of God; here he received the Bread of Life, with its promise of everlasting life.

In these days after Christmas the Church in its liturgy still focuses on the figure of John the Baptist. In the course of his preaching, John said:

Someone is following me, someone who is more powerful than I am, and I am not fit to undo the strap of his sandals.

John identifies Jesus as ‘the powerful one’, ‘the strong man’. When we lose a loved one, we commend them to the mercy of God, confident that Jesus, ‘the strong man’, will carry them back gently to their eternal home with God.

John the Baptist goes on to say:

I have baptised you with water, but he will baptise you with the Holy Spirit.

At his baptism Conn was baptised with water and became a child of God. At confirmation he was anointed with the Holy Spirit. The divine life that was in him was nourished in Holy Communion and it found expression in his faith, in his prayers and in the goodness of his life. Now that he has died, we believe that he is on his way back to being united with those he loved and who have gone before him.

The memory of a good man is something to thank God for. It is also a challenge to the new generation: to live their faith as he did and to hand it on as a living legacy. This is how we honour our loved ones who die.

 On behalf of all gathered here and on my own behalf I offer sincere condolences to Conn’s children, Kevin and Brenda, and to their extended family.

Prayer of the Faithful             

Bishop McAreavey:
As we stand before the mystery of death, Christ stands among us and says to us, ‘Courage! Do not be afraid.” With confidence let us place our prayers before him knowing that he will hear our plea.

Response:                       Lord, graciously hear us.

Martin O’Neill

 1. We thank you Lord for Conn - a devoted father, grandfather and great grandfather. May he, who showed such love for others, now experience the loving mercy of  God.   Lord, hear us.

2. As death surprised Conn with its suddenness, may God now surprise him with his kindness and mercy and blot out any sins he committed through human weakness.  Lord, hear us.

Colm O’Neill

3. We pray that God will comfort all who mourn for Conn, especially his son Kevin, his daughter Brenda, his grandchildren, great grandchildren and his many friends.          Lord, hear us.

4. We remember all those who cared for Conn in his twilight years - the Laurencetown community, the doctors and staff of Craigavon Hospital and the staff of Bannview Residential Centre, Banbridge, who cared for Conn with dignity and respect.  Lord, hear us.

Paul O’Neill

5. As Conn was a founder member of the Tullylish G.A.A. we give thanks and pray for all the members of the G.A.A. May they continue to be inspired by those who went before them. 
Lord, hear us

Ciara Curran

6. We pray for all our relatives and friends who have died. We remember especially Conn's Teresa, his daughter Moya, his nephew Colin (recently deceased) and his parents Mick and  Annie Mary. May they enjoy the peace and happiness of eternal life.  
           Lord, hear us.

7. We now pray for our own special needs and intentions. …. pause..    Lord, hear us.

Bishop McAreavey: Lord, may you support us all day long, till the shadows lengthen and evening falls, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done; then in your mercy, Lord, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at last.  

We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen

Offertory Procession:    Conn’s son Kevin, daughter Brenda and grandsons Michael and Kevin now bring the gifts to the altar

Offertory Hymn:        Be Not Afraid

Communion Hymn: I watch the sunrise

Communion Reflection: The Old Man


Final Hymn: Lady of Knock

The Old Man

The tears have all been shed now
We've said our last goodbyes
His soul’s been blessed, he's laid to rest
And it's now I feel alone
He was more than just a father
A teacher - my best friend
He can still be heard in the tunes we shared
When we play them on our own

I never will forget him for he made me what I am
Though he may be gone, memory lingers on
And I miss him, the old man

As a child he'd take me walking
By mountain, field and stream
And he’d show me things not known to kings
And secret between him and me
Like the colours of the pheasant
As he rises in the dawn
And how to fish and make a wish
Beside the Holly Tree

I thought he'd live forever
He seemed so big and strong
But the minutes fly and the years roll by
For a father and his little one
And suddenly when it happened
There was so much left unsaid
No second chance to tell him thanks
For everything he'd done.




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