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The funeral Mass for Eilidh MacLeod, will take place at 11.15am today (Monday 5 June 2017) in the church of Our Lady, Star of the Sea, Castlebay, Barra. Parish Priest, Fr John Paul MacKinnon will celebrate the Mass which will also be relayed to mourners in nearby Castlebay Hall.

 

In his introduction, Fr. MacKinnon will say:

 

“My dear brothers and sisters- today we come together here on our beautiful island of Barra as a family, as “one big family”, to pray as a family for our dear beautiful Eilidh MacLeod. Eilidh was taken from us at such a young age- and we are hurting and in pain with the loss of Eilidh from our lives.”

 

In his homily, Fr. MacKinnon will remind mourners:

 

“Eilidh packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today- Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness- she had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols concert-Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of Eilidh’s life. Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts. Every year of her life was precious to us and we thank God for blessing us with her precious life.”

 

“Roddy and Marion were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Shona & Laura were blessed with a wonderful sister, our island was blessed to have such a young talented girl growing up on it. Even though there is a great sadness here today there is a great thankfulness to God for blessing us with Eilidh’s life. Our loss is heaven’s gain.”

 

Fr. MacKinnon will also offer thanks on behalf of Eilidh’s parents, saying:

 

“On behalf of Roddy & Marion and all the MacLeod Family I thank you all for being here today for their beautiful daughter Eilidh. The family have been overwhelmed by the great generosity and love that they have received ever since they lost their Eilidh. The huge number of prayers, and messages and cards and gifts and love and support the family has received has been appreciated and has overwhelmed the family.”

 

The congregation will also pray for Laura MacIntyre:

 

“We pray for Eilidh’s good friend Laura, who is in Hospital in Manchester, we pray to our Lord Jesus to bring strength and healing to Laura in her recovery and to give strength and peace to her parents and family at this time.”

 

Prayers will also be offered for all those affected:

 

“We pray for all who have been affected by the Manchester attack; for all who have been injured, for all who have died, for all who feel pain and hurt. May the Lord Jesus unite us together as God’s children and help us all in to live in God’s love and peace.”

 

ENDS

 

Peter Kearney 

Director 

Catholic Media Office 

5 St. Vincent Place 

Glasgow 

G1 2DH 

0141 221 1168

07968 122291 

pk@scmo.org 

www.scmo.org

 

Note to Editors:

 

The text of Fr. John Paul MacKinnon’s Introductory remarks, Homily and Concluding comments are shown below, together with a list of the additional prayers which will be said.

 

INTRODUCTION

 

My dear brothers and sisters- today we come together here on our beautiful island of Barra as a family, as “one big family”, to pray as a family for our dear beautiful Eilidh MacLeod. Eilidh was taken from us at such a young age- and we are hurting and in pain with the loss of Eilidh from our lives.

 

Today we gather to pray for Eilidh, praying for her soul, that God our Loving Father, who created Eilidh, breathed life into Eilidh and put his love into her heart, we turn to our heavenly Father to thank him for blessing us with Eilidh and to now guide her soul gently to the paradise of heaven.

 

The sacrifice of the Holy Mass is the Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. Jesus gave his life on the Cross so that we may have eternal life, Jesus rose from the dead to reveal the great truth of our Christian faith- death is not the final word, it is not the final action, but the glory of eternal life awaits us all.

 

We are children of the Resurrection and we now turn to our Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus to be with us now and listen to our heartfelt prayers for Eilidh and to gently guide her soul to the promise of eternal life.

 

As we pray for Eilidh in this Mass we also pray for Eilidh’s family- for Roddy & Marion, for Shona & Laura, for the Grandparents, uncles & aunts, cousins, all the relatives and all Eilidh’s friends. Today we are one family, in the church, outside the church, down in Castlebay Hall, wherever we are -we are united today as an island family, a family of faith and love.

 

HOMILY FOR REQUIEM MASS OF EILIDH

 

I looked up the name Eilidh and found that it means “Bright one” or “light” and I thought - that sums up beautifully our own “wee Eilidh MacLeod”. Our Eilidh was a light to us all, a light shining bright in her family, a true bright light for Roddy & Marion and Shona & Laura; she was a light shining bright in Castlebay School; a light shining bright in the Pipe Band. Eilidh was our shining light who brought the brightness of her love to our islands and to our world. 

 

Eilidh was a fun loving, bubbly teenager. She had such a lovely personality, at times you thought she was shy but then when she opened up she was just a wonderful person to be around- she liked to be with people and enjoy their company. Eilidh had such a warm, gentle nature, a heart full of love.

 

Eilidh was talented, she was gifted, especially gifted  in her music; she played the Bagpipes beautifully- she was an important member of the Sgoil Lionacleit Pipe Band and I am pleased that the Pipe Band  have been able to join us here today; a wonderful talented band and Eilidh was an integral part of that team,  of the Pipe band. Eilidh was a team player and she worked hard at playing the pipes and doing her very best for the Pipe Band-which certainly worked as the Pipe Band have been going from strength to strength winning lots of awards -3rd Prize in the World Pipe Band Championships last August- a great achievement. I was over in South Uist, in Lochboisdale when the Pipe band came off the boat to a “hero’s welcome”- of course Eilidh should have been there but she came home to Barra and let her team-mates take the applause. I hope and pray the Pipe band continue their success and I hope Eilidh will inspire you all to keep going, keep practicing and doing your very best.

 

Music was a great passion of Eilidh, she loved to listen to it but when Eilidh wasn’t listening to her pop idol Ariana Grande she was taking the time to learn  about beauty therapy and getting to know about every kind of make-up and  what it could do for you. Someone recently said to me- that they looked forward to the day that Eilidh would open her own “eye-brow” salon on Barra. It was something she particularly paid attention to –“eye brows” and she had a gift for it.

 

At the end of the day, Eilidh was a normal teenage girl; she was into music, she was into make-up, she was into her mobile phone, sending texts, on Facebook and of course she had an untidy bedroom- all normal teenage things.

 

Eilidh packed a lot into her 14 years. 14 happy years. That’s so important for us to remember today- Eilidh was a happy girl, she had 14 happy years and in the last few days of her life she was the happiest you could ever imagine. The last thing in Eilidh’s life was happiness- she had spent a wonderful weekend away from the island, going shopping, going to nice Cafes, going to the cinema and then going to her pop idols concert-Ariana – she was the happiest she had ever been- and that’s what we hold onto today- the happiness of Eilidh’s life. Those memories of Eilidh will live on in all our hearts. Every year of her life was precious to us and we thank God for blessing us with her precious life.

 

Roddy and Marion were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Shona & Laura were blessed with a wonderful sister, our island was blessed to have such a young talented girl growing up on it. Even though there is a great sadness here today there is a great thankfulness to God for blessing us with Eilidh’s life.

 

Our loss is heaven’s gain.

 

We are called to be men and women of faith. And at times like this we turn to our faith to help us and strengthen us. Our Christian faith teaches us the great truth of our faith- death is not the end. Death does not have the final say in our lives. Jesus, our saviour, died on the cross to show us the way to eternal life. The empty tomb of Easter Sunday revealed the great truth -that Jesus had Risen from the dead. The darkness of death had been destroyed the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus conquered death forever by showing us the way to eternal life.

 

Jesus is the eternal light who is always shining a light before us on the path of life. Jesus encourages us all to live in his light- the light of his love. That’s what we have been created for- to love. God has not created us to take life and hurt each other but we have been created to love. We are God’s children and therefore we are called to love; to be instruments of God’s love and peace in our families, our communities and in our world.

 

In our Scripture readings today there is highlighted the importance of Angels. In the first reading from the book of Exodus it says “I myself will send an Angel before you to guard you as you go and bring you to the place that I have prepared”. Our deepest prayer today is for God’s Holy Angels to help us in our prayers and to gently guide our Eilidh to the place that is prepared for her and for all of us- the glory of heaven and to see forever the glory of God.

 

St. John in the second reading reminds us all that we are “God’s Children and that is what we are”. That is the truth- we are God’s Children. God has created us and blessed us with life and one day we will all see the glory of God and be united with our beloved Eilidh. 

 

Jesus has a soft spot for all children and rightly so. Jesus says in today’s Gospel from St. Matthew- “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me”. Jesus in the Gospel is not interested in who is the greatest, who is the strongest, who is the best. We are simply God’s Children. We are called to love and called to be humble. Jesus gives a warning in the Gospel, not to hurt our children and for those who do suffer, God has a special place with him and his holy Angels.

 

Our dear Eilidh will forever have a special place with her Lord Jesus. She was a child of God, a child who loved, who cared.  Eilidh was a bright light shining in all our lives. For some of us we may feel that Eilidh’s bright light has gone but it has not. That light lives on in each of our hearts but importantly that light lives on with God and with his Angels and Saints. Our Eilidh’s bright light will shine bright forever in the glory of heaven- Eilidh’s light will never go out. Heaven will be a brighter and happier place with our Eilidh in it!

 

My dear brothers and sisters let us remember Eilidh in our own particular way; as a loving daughter, a beautiful sister, a wonderful niece, a good friend, a best friend, a wonderful pupil in school, a team member a Pipe Band, an islander. Our Eilidh was all these and so much more- she was our bright light and now she is God’s bright light!

 

May Eilidh rest in God’s eternal love and peace. Amen.

 

CONCLUSION

 

On behalf of Roddy & Marion and all the MacLeod Family I thank you all for being here today for their beautiful daughter Eilidh. The family have been overwhelmed by the great generosity and love that they have received ever since they lost their Eilidh. The huge number of prayers, and messages and cards and gifts and love and support the family has received has been appreciated and has overwhelmed the family.

 

There are just too many people to thank individually for what they have done today, just too many. So many people have shown the true spirit and love of humanity. Out of darkness always come the light- the light of God’s love shining bright through everyone here, through family, friends and from total strangers, from all faiths and none.

 

Our islands of Barra and Vatersay have been touched by the widespread love and support of the outside world and we are eternally grateful.

 

We live in a beautiful world and a world with so many wonderful and beautiful people and that’s what we hold on to in the face of badness and evil in our world.

 

Our Eilidh will forever live on in each of our hearts and minds and our Islands will move on from this together because God’s love and goodness will always win.

 

Thank you all. “Moran Taing uile”.

 

PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL FOR EILIDH

 

We pray for Eilidh who in Baptism was given the pledge of eternal life, that she may  be admitted to the company of the Angels and Saints of heaven. May Eilidh, a child of God, a ray of God’s light in our World, be held securely in God’s loving embrace  now and forever. 

Lord hear us

 

We pray for Eilidh’s family; for her parents Roddy & Marion, for her sisters Shona & Laura, for her Grand-parents and all the relatives, that they may feel the healing power of Christ in the midst of their pain and grief.

Lord hear us

 

We pray for all Eilidh’s friends, for all those who shared her company and all who cared and loved her- may they be consoled in their loss and strengthened in their love for one another. We pray for everyone at Castlebay School- Pupils, Staff and Teachers- may the Lord Jesus reach out to the school and bring peace, love and healing.

Lord hear us

 

We pray for Eilidh’s good friend Laura, who is in Hospital in Manchester, we pray to our Lord Jesus to bring strength and healing to Laura in her recovery and to give strength and peace to her parents and family at this time.

Lord hear us

 

We pray for all of us who have assembled here today, as we worship in faith. May the Lord Jesus touch each of our hearts today and bring us peace and love and healing.

Lord hear us

 

We pray for all who have been affected by the Manchester attack; for all who have been injured, for all who have died, for all who feel pain and hurt. May the Lord Jesus unite us together as God’s children and help us all in to live in God’s love and peace.

Lord hear us

 

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