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Friday 24 September |
The Blessed Virgin Mary—Our Lady of Walsingham

A Priest’s Homily for His Father’s Funeral

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 02/07/16

From Fr. Michael Duffy, a heart-stirring and heart-breaking gift of love:

How beautiful that my father died during this jubilee year of Mercy. A year in which we are called to reflect upon that beautiful gift of God, his merciful and tender care and love for each of us. My father received the mercy of the lord through his life. Over and over again he received the grace from the lord to pick himself up after each of his struggles. Dad knew suffering in his life. He knew difficulty. But he also knew that the lord loved him. That the Lord died for him and that the Lord saved him.  Its with that same confidence that we gather  here in this holy place today. We gather with the confidence that the lord was present at my fathers bedside. We have confidence that the Lord is here with us now and hears our prayers.  We know that death has no power over us because of the saving passion of our Lord. As we approach this holy altar then, as my father’s son I offer this sacrifice of Calvary for him, that the lord may hear our prayers and receive dad into his heavenly kingdom.  What we do here matters.  It has an effect.  It is good that we are here together.  How blessed I feel to have been with dad in those last moments, not only as his son, but as a priest.  As a son I love him, as a priest I can help him on his journey to paradise.  Dad had every rite and prayer the church gives to the dying.  I didn’t leave a page unturned.  Those prayers aren’t  there to just make us feel good, but they have a serious effect on our souls. Anointing, absolution, viaticum, The Apostolic Pardon. While the doctors couldn’t heal his body, the church through his son was able to heal his soul. How grateful I am to be a priest. As we washed my fathers body and prepared him to be taken from us after his death I wrapped the stole with which I heard my first confession around his hands.  It is that stole, that tradition tells us Saint Peter sees first and recognizing it takes dad to the judgement seat of Christ. Christ the judge then will ask my father the same question that he will ask each of us.  “I have given you life, what have you given to me?”  And handing the Lord that purple confessional stole my father will say to the Lord Jesus “I have given you my son as a priest.” Dad, may you rest in the loving embrace of the savior.

Read it all.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

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