The Annual Mass for those buried in the cemeteries within the parish of St. Agnes or cremated at Glasgow Maryhill Crematorium was held on 5 November. The church was full for the service, with musical support provided by the St. Mungo Singers and by Dr. Noel Donnelly (still recuperating from his recent operation) on clarsach.
Parish Priest Fr. Willie Monaghan welcomed all who had come to the Mass to remember family or friends and reminded them that every Sunday Mass celebrates the Resurrection and the Lord’s victory over death, and so an appropriate time to remember the dead.
In the Gospel of the Mass, Jesus makes clear the importance of helping others, not just observing religious practice. We are called to be witnesses to Christ in our lives, whatever our lives are like, and we celebrate today our brothers and sisters who have gone through life, living it quietly, probably doing nothing fantastic, for God’s glory and preparing for the great event ahead of them. We pray for them to be received into the fullness of life, and for us, we are called to “fly the flag” for the Lord and be his kind of men and wormen.
The music of the Mass reminded us of the richness of the liturgical music available for requiems and Masses of remembrance, beginning with St. Richard of Chichester’s prayer – to “see you more clearly, to love you more dearly, to follow you more nearly day by day.” – through the plainsong Requiem Aeternam and Noel Donnelly lovely hymn “How blest are those who hav died in the Lord” and Fr. Gerry Fitzpatrick’s “Just as Jesus died and rose” to the beautiful “O Love that will not let me go”, and ending with Noel Donnelly setting of the blessing “May the Lord bless and keep you…..now and forever”.
The Mass ended with the joyfulness of Botor’s ”Misericordias Domini” (I will sing of the Lord’s mercy…..for his mercy lasts forever). All present were invited to enjoy the hospitality of the Parish community in the parish hall before heading home. It was only at the end as we left to go home that we noticed the lovely bench installed outside the parish hall in memory of the late Parish Priest, Fr. Noel Barry, who did so much to develop this Annual Mass