July - Flower Festival / Blessing of Graves
Flower Festival / Blessing of Graves
Over the weekend of the 16th to 18th July, a magnificent display of flowers was presented in St. Laurence's Church for the first Festival of Flowers to be held in that part of the parish.
It was an overwhelming success, with well over a thousand people passing through the nineteen different presentations reflecting life in Ballinroad over a period of two hundred years.
There were many changes in that time, but were faithfully recorded through the medium of flowers and the various themed displays which complemented them.
During Sunday Mass, Fr. Doherty congratulated and thanked all those who had brought about the Festival, had set it up and worked so hard and made so many sacrifices to do so, thanking especially those who decorate the sanctuary week after week, paying their respects to the God who exists in our midst.
He thanked the members of the Dungarvan Flower Club who helped in a big way to put on the flower show and acknowledged his gratitude to all who had contributed to the success of the event.
In his homily, Fr. Doherty referred to the wonders of nature in which we can see God every day. He said that the focus of the Word of God today is the great miracle which goes on under our eyes, the miracle of Christ's presence in creation.
"What we are familiar with, we become blind to the reality of and undoubtedly, God's presence in the world in which we live, we often take for granted. Yet, nothing happens in nature without having someone responsible for it all, that is God.
Nothing happens in our relationship with God without having someone responsible for it too. That is God, working through Jesus Christ and the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
That we have a God, there is no doubt; that His presence can be seen in nature, there is equally no doubt. You need only look at any tree or any flower and if we want to see, we can see God speaking to us through that tree or that flower.
Through the nature that He has created, the nature that runs our universe, runs our world, He is speaking to us every day.
We know that there are different guises in which He comes very close to us and there are others we have to search for. As the creator of the world, we see His work all about us, we see His glory in every flower.
As God, our Redeemer, we can picture Him with his arms extended on the cross, saying 'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'. We can see him there, dying so that we might live and have the chance to live eternally with God in heaven."
Blessing of the Graves
Later, in the warm sunshine of the July afternoon, there was Ceremony of Remembrance and Prayer for all those who are buried around St. Laurence's Church.
People were invited to stand by the graves of their loved ones and join in the prayers and the hymns while Fr. Doherty walked through the entire graveyard blessing the graves and sprinkling holy water as he went.
It was a new format for Ballinroad, but one with which the people agreed, in which they enthusiastically took part and which they looked forward to taking place again.
In his homily, Fr. Doherty said that 'we are here to remember and here to pray. Those who were near and dear to us in life and whom God has called to their eternity in Heaven.
We are here to pray for those who are still on their way, may they be hastened on their journey as a result of our prayers here this evening.
We gather in faith, as God's people, as a people full of faith, so that through our union with one another in Christ our departed family and friends may be helped by our prayers and that the living may be consoled through their link with them, for the spirit world is a very real world, is part of God's creation and surrounds us.
Those who have died belonging to us are very close indeed.
Last Update 17-November-2004 - Designed and maintained by Tom Keith (2004)(Top)