Monday evening’s open air mass in St John the Baptist Church cemetery brought closure to Parish Cemetery Week 2012.
A good attendance on a somewhat inclement evening were probable witnessing the first mass in that location in living memory. That same time span and even further back would be required to find the cemetery looking so well. Up to early spring this year such a gathering would have been out of the question as wellingtons or strong boots would have been a basic requirement for anyone venturing away from the main walkway. All that has changed thanks to the trojan work carried out in such a short period of time by Cashel Tidy Towns members and a small army of volunteers.
In his homily, chief celebrant Fr. Christy O’Dwyer thanked all those who laboured throughout the spring and early summer and the results of their labours he said are very evident for all to see. He asked if people ever wondered why cemeteries are so often attached to churches which runs contrary to the non Christian practice of burying the dead away from places frequented by the living. It is he said because Christians believed that churches and church land were places of refuge -Tearmann the Irish word meaning sanctuary, were fitting and safe final resting places for our loved ones.
He went on to say that we show respect for the dead by visiting the cemeteries and praying for them, the manner in which we keep our cemeteries is a reflection of our esteem. Fr. Christy concluded by once again referring to the wonderful transformation that has taken place this year which speaks volumes for all who took part. “Tremendous community spirit, wonderful generosity and a wonderful way of showing respect for the dead. 2012 was the year we really solved the problem of the adjoining cemetery”.
In keeping with established practice since the work commencement all who attended the mass were invited back to the parish centre to sample more of volunteers’ hospitality.