Monday, 8 July 2019

Requiem for Freddie:
another chapter closes
at Christ Church Cathedral

Three Precentors at a funeral … with Canon Roy Byrne (left), Precentor of Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, and Canon John Bartlett (right), former Precentor and former Principal of the Church of Ireland Theological College, at the funeral of Freddie McKeown this morning

Patrick Comerford

Freddie McKeown was the Dean’s Verger in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, for all the time I was associated with it over half a century: he was there when I was commissioned a reader by Archbishop Donald Caird 25 years ago in 1994, when I was ordained deacon and priest by Archbishop Walton Empey in 2000 and 2001, and when I was installed as a canon on the nomination of Archbishop John Neill in 2007.

Freddie was, in so many ways, the life of the cathedral, day in, day out.

Whether I was the canon-in-residence or the priest on duty, it was Freddie who would verge me into my stall or into the pulpit with his verger’s wand.

This morning, that verger’s wand was laid on Freddie’s coffin at his Requiem Mass in Christ Church Cathedral. The celebrant was Dean Dermot Dunne and the preacher was Archdeacon David Pierpoint.

With Canon Sonia Gyles of Sandford and Milltown and Canon Roy Byrne of Monkstown at Freddie McKeown’s funeral in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, this morning

I felt particularly honoured and moved to be invited to process with the Chapter, of which I had been a member for ten years, and to assist with the administration of Holy Communion at the High Altar.

It was a funeral I would be pleased with for myself, in the full Anglo-Catholic tradition that Freddie was so comfortable with.

Among the clergy present were many present and past members of the cathedral chapter and Archbishop Walton Empey.

In so far as funerals can also be moments of pleasure, it was a delight to be seated in the sanctuary and so close, once again, to the Cathedral Choir.

As Freddie’s coffin was welcomed at the door of the south porch and we processed into the cathedral, the choir sang the Burial Sentences to a setting by William Croft (1678-1727).

Freddie had chosen the two readings (Revelation 7 and John 14: 1-6, 27) and all the hymns: Angel voices ever singing, Sing we of the blessed Mother, In our day of thanksgiving, Blest are the pure in heart, and Sweet Sacrament divine.

The music also included Requiem aeternam, sung as the Introit, Lux aeterna, sung after Agnus Dei at the invitation to Communion, and In paradisum deducant, sung as the Post-Communion Motel, all three from Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

As Freddie’s coffin was sprinkled with holy water and censed with incense, the choir sang Asperges me, a setting of Psalm 51 by Tomás Luis de Victoria, and then sang Nunc Dimittis to a setting by Charles Stanford.

The Communion Motet was words from a sermon preached in 1627/1628 by John Donne, to a setting by William Harris:

‘Bring us, O Lord God, at our last awakening, into the house and gate of heaven, to enter into that gate and dwell in that house, where there shall be no darkness, nor dazzling, but one equal light; no noise nor silence, but one equal music; no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession; no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity; in the habitation of thy glory and dominion, world without end. Amen.’

Freddie McKeown (1935-2019): May he rest in peace, and rise in glory.

Another chapter closes … the door of the chapter house at Christ Church Cathedral early this afternoon (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin
notes in ‘Newslink’ July 2019

Canon Patrick Comerford with Professor Salvador Ryan of Maynooth and Dom Colmán Ó Clabaigh of Glenstal Abbey in the Royal Irish Academy of ‘Marriage and the Irish: a Miscellany’

Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes

Rathkeale, Askeaton, Castletown and Kilnaughtin

Priest-in-Charge: The Revd Canon Patrick Comerford,
The Rectory, Askeaton, Co Limerick.

Summer is often a quiet time in parishes throughout the Church of Ireland. But summer this year is filled with the celebration of baptisms, the fun of barbecues, the news of book launches and fundraisers, and plans for the Harvest.

Tamsin Anabel Foley, daughter of Nicky White (Nantinan) and Rob Foley (Cork) , who were married in Saint Mary’s Church Askeaton, last year, is being baptised in Saint Mary’s on 21 July.

Congratulations to Ann Drew, members of Askeation/Ballysteen ICA, and their neighbours and friends, who recently raised over €2,100 for Milford Hospice on Sunflower Day, 7 June.

July 2019 services:

Sunday 7 July (Trinity III): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert.

Sunday 14 July (Trinity IV): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Castletown Church; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Sunday 21 July (Trinity V): 9.30, Morning Prayer, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton; 11.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert. 3.30 p.m., Holy Baptism, Tamsin Anabel Foley, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton.

Sunday 28 July (Trinity VI): 9.30 a.m., Morning Prayer, Castletown Church; 11.30, the Parish Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

August 2019 services:

Sunday 4 August (Trinity VII): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert.

Sunday 11 August (Trinity VIII): 9.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Castletown Church; 11.30, Morning Prayer, Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale.

Sunday 18 August (Trinity IX): 9.30, Morning Prayer, Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton; 11.30, the Eucharist (Holy Communion), Saint Brendan’s Church, Kilnaughtin, Tarbert.

Sunday 25 August (Trinity X): 9.30 a.m., Morning Prayer, Castletown Church; 11.30, the Parish Eucharist (Holy Communion 2), Holy Trinity Church, Rathkeale (with the Revd Joe Hardy).

New book on ‘Marriage and the Irish’

Marriage and the Irish: a Miscellany is a new book edited by Professor Salvador Ryan of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth. It is published by Wordwell and was launched recently in the Royal Irish Academy. Patrick has two chapters in this book, both with Church of Ireland connections.

Other contributors to this book with Limerick connections include David Bracken, the Limerick diocesan archivist, Dom Colmán Ó Clabaigh, a monk of Glenstal Abbey, and Dr Catherine Swift of Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.

This is an edited version of the parish notes for the Rathkeale and Kilnaughtin Group of Parishes in the July 2019 edition of ‘Newslink,’ the magazine of the Church of Ireland United Diocese of Limerick, Killaloe and Ardfert (pp 32-33).