Father Michael Meade, Parish Priest of Kilcormac & Killoughey, Mount Bolus, was the chief celebrant at the Funeral Mass of the late Ashling Murphy RIP last Tuesday.
The Funeral Mass was celebrated in Ashling’s parish Church of Brigid and was attended by family, friends, parishioners, students, musicians, President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD. Local, national and inter-national journalists were also in attendance.
During his homily, Father Meade said, “I extend a warm welcome to all who join with the Murphy Family and with Ashling’s faith community. Together we grieve, we pray, we hurt – this is the heavy price we pay for love – we gather as a family of faith, to be with, to support by our prayer and our presence, those whose darkness is deep, whose pain is raw and fierce. Kathleen and Ray, Cathal, Amy and her boyfriend, Ryan – you have been robbed of your most precious gift – a gift that gave only joy and love, fun and laughter to many beyond your family.
“That same love and joy was not kept on a shelf or wrapped up – it was freely given and shared through music, through sport, through her vocation as a teacher. Today we give thanks for the privilege of sharing in this most wonderful gift of Ashling Murphy, today we share our love, our grief, our faith and our comfort with the Murphy and Leonard families.”
Speaking about the issues of violence and respect, Father Meade said, “The issues raised in many ways and by many voices since this horrible act of violence invaded all our lives will, we pray, continue to evolve and bring the change we need so much, to simply give and show respect.”
In conclusion, Father Meade drew from the scriptures, and said, “Ashling is not now welcomed by strangers, she is welcomed by ones she herself loved, I pray there is comfort for us as we hand her into the warm embrace of God and especially the warm embrace of her grandparents Sheila and Paddy, Lily and Joe.
Perhaps they may welcome with words like these from the Song of Songs:
‘Come then my love
My lovely one come.
Show me your face
Let me hear your voice
For your voice is sweet
And your face is beautiful’
May her gentle soul now rest happily in God’s arms and may Christ now enfold her in his eternal love.”