A Prayer for Peace

Written by admin. Posted in Archive 2016

Published on April 22, 2016 with

 A Prayer for Peace

Newbridge Parish Remembers 1916


Newbridge Parish will mark the exact date of the Centenary of the 1916 Rising with a Prayer for Peace Service in St Conleth’s Church on Sunday 24 April at 8.00pm.


This is now an opportunity for the people of Newbridge to remember in a prayerful and respectful way all those who lost their lives during Easter Week, and those who were executed in May 1916.


The Irish nation has already commemorated the 1916 Easter Rising in many ways: we have had State ceremonies, military parades, flag ceremonies, theatrical events, concerts, songs, poems, artworks, exhibitions, history publications, TV documentaries and a wide variety of schools projects throughout the country.


The ceremony next Sunday evening will comprise

  • A procession, in silence, of National, United Nations, Papal and St Conleth’s Parish flags
  • Short dramatic presentation by pupils of Patrician Primary School
  • Hymns and reflective music
  • Reading of extracts from final letters/messages of the seven Signatories of the Proclamation
  • Prayers for all deceased (Volunteers, Civilians, Members of DMP, British army, RIC)
  • Final Blessing
  • Concluding Hymn – You Raise Me Up

All are most welcome to attend what will be a unique, memorable and spiritual occasion in Newbridge Parish.



A Prayer for Peace – Newbridge Parish Remembers 1916


  • Atmosphere of Reverence and Solemnity – lighting, music, visual effects, screen

MCs – Joe O’Brien & Brenda Drumm

  1. Two people, holding candles, lead Banner of St Conleth’s Parish, Papal flag, Tricolour, United Nations flag.  Seven participants, representing the seven Signatories of the Proclamation, and two female participants representing Countess Markievicz and Nurse O’Farrell, follow in silence, each holding a plaque with the name of the person they are representing.      Plaques to be placed at altar. Flags on stand to right.


  1. General introduction and format of Ceremony (MCs). Brenda Drumm & Joe O’Brien
  • Tonight we gather to remember all those who died in 1916. There were 485 deaths during the Rising, including RIC and DMP members, 260 civilians, 40 of whom were children, and 120 British soldiers. And there were more than 2,600 casualties.
  • The State has recognised our debt to those men who gave their lives, their efforts eventually leading to our political freedom.
  • In the silence of our hearts, we remember the significance of their lives, pray for them, and give meaning to their sacrifice.
  • We remember and pray for them all with appropriate ceremony and spiritual reflection. May our ceremony help to keep their memory alive in future generations.
  • Following the opening prayer, we will listen to some of their final thoughts and prayers.
  1. Opening prayer. (Fr Paul Dempsey P.P. Presiding celebrant)

Dear friends, we gather this evening to commemorate one of the most significant periods in the history of the island of Ireland. One hundred years ago events occurred which have shaped our nation today. And now, one hundred years from that time, we gather to remember especially all those whose lives were upturned and shattered, all those who lost their lives in that tumultuous era. We gather as brothers and sisters in Christ. We gather as seekers of peace and keepers of peace. We gather mindful of a journey of healing, inclusion and peace-making that yet remains. We dedicate this service for the repose of all those whose lives were cut short on account of strife in those days. Here, in this place of prayer, as we reflect on our past we thank you for all the courageous people of Ireland who dared to hope and dream of a brighter tomorrow for our country and all of its citizens. Blessed are all those who sought to build a more inclusive and just society, for they are truly the chosen of God.  We look to the love of God tonight which looks upon all people with fairness, justice and compassion, may that love guide us into the possibilities of tomorrow.

  1. Presentation in speech and song of Proclamation by Patrician Primary School Pupils. (Preceded by short introduction by MC)

Hymn There is a Place (Fr Liam Lawton)   Parish Choir

There’s a time to remember, a time to recall

The trials, the triumphs, the fears and the falls,

There’s a time to be grateful for moments so blessed,

Jewels of our memory where love is our guest.


There’s a promise of God that is written in the stars,

For all who may travel, no matter how far.

God will be your companion each journey you make,

In the shadow of loved ones to lighten your way.



There is gold that is gleaming, in past we once knew,

In our tears and our laughter t’was love brought us through.

There’s a road we have travelled where sunlight has kissed,

That carries us onwards when loved ones are missed.



In the quiet of the evening at the close of the day,

We will rest on our journey to the Lord we will pray.

May we thank God for blessings, for the moments we shared,

As we seek to tomorrow, God will be there.



There is treasure in our fields, there is treasure in our skies,

There is treasure in our dreaming from the soul to the eye,

Or wherever we gather In the light of God’s grace,

For all we remember, there will ever be a place.


  1. 5.Reading of extracts from last letters/messages of the 7 Leaders.

Short biography of each, and their last messages.

Executed on Wednesday 3rd May

Thomas J Clarke Aged 58 years   

Read by Paul Delaney

Clarke was the oldest of the 1916 leaders. He was born on the Isle of Wight but grew up in Tyrone. He was married to Kathleen Daly, a founder member of Cumann na mBan, and they had three children. Kathleen was imprisoned in Dublin Castle during the Rebellion.

Message to his wife from Richmond Barracks, Saturday 30th April. Dear K, I am in better health and more satisfied than for many a day – all will be well eventually – but this is my goodbye and now you are ever before me to cheer me – God bless you and the boys. Let them be proud to follow same path – Sean is with me, all well – they all heroes. I’m full of pride my love.   Yours, Tom.

Thomas MacDonagh Aged 38 years     

Read by Willie Buckley

From Cloughjordan in Tipperary, his parents were national school teachers. Thomas taught in St Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, and St. Colman’s, Fermoy. He met Patrick Pearse on a visit to the Aran Islands, and then taught in Pearse’s school, St. Enda’s. He was a published poet. He was married to Muriel Gifford and they had two children.

Statement written in Kilmainham, Tuesday 2nd May

I am to die at dawn, 3.30am 3rd May. I am ready to die, and I thank God that I die in so holy a cause. The one bitterness that death has for me is the separation it brings from my beloved wife, Muriel, and my beloved children, Donagh and Barbara. It breaks my heart to think that I shall never see my children again, Goodbye, my love, till we meet again in Heaven. I have a sure faith of our union there. God help and sustain you, my love. Goodbye.

P.H. Pearse Aged 36 years

Read by Brendan Dunning

Patrick Pearse was born in Great Brunswick St, Dublin, now Pearse St. He was a poet, playwright, a linguist, barrister, school teacher and head master of St Enda’s School which he opened in 1908 where he offered child-centred education and promoted bilingualism.

Letter to his mother, Wednesday 3rd May  Goodbye, dear, dear Mother. I have just received Holy Communion. I am happy except for the great grief of parting from you. This is the death I should have asked for if God had given me the choice of all deaths – to die a soldier’s death for Ireland and for freedom.

We have done right. People will say hard things of us now, but later on they will praise us. Do not grieve for all this, but think of it as a sacrifice which God asked of me and of you. May God bless you for your great love for me and for your great faith. I hope to see Papa, and in a little while we shall all be together again.

Reflective Music with Images on screen

Executed on Thursday 4th May

William Pearse Aged 34 years

Michael O’Hanrahan Aged 39 years

Edward Daly Aged 25 years

Joseph Mary Plunkett  Aged 28 years

Read by Tom Wheatley

Plunkett was the youngest of the signatories. One of seven children, he was born in Upper Fitzwilliam St in Dublin. He was educated in Belvedere College and Stonyhurst in England. He was a poet and an editor of literary magazines.

He visited 10 countries and had a good grasp of six languages. Having proposed to Grace Gifford in December 1915, he married her on the eve of his execution.

Letter to Grace Gifford from Richmond Barracks, Tuesday 2nd May.    I have heard a rumour that I am to be sent to England. The only thing I care about is that I am not with you – everything else is cheerful. Listen, if I live it might be possible to get the Church to marry us by proxy – there is such a thing but it is very difficult, I am told. Father Sherwin might be able to do it. You know how I love you.

Poem: I see His Blood Upon the Rose (+ images on screen) Recited by Sinéad Buckley

I see his blood upon the rose
And in the stars the glory of his eyes,
His body gleams amid eternal snows,
His tears fall from the skies.

I see his face in every flower;
The thunder and the singing of the birds
Are but his voice—and carven by his power
Rocks are his written words.

All pathways by his feet are worn,
His strong heart stirs the ever-beating sea,
His crown of thorns is twined with every thorn,
His cross is every tree.

 ‘Grace’ sung by Hannah & Daniel Ryan

As we gather in the chapel here in old Kilmainham Jail
I think about these past few weeks, oh will they say we’ve failed?
From our school days they have told us we must yearn for liberty
Yet all I want in this dark place is to have you here with me

Oh Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won’t be time to share our love for we must say goodbye

Now I know it’s hard for you my love to ever understand
The love I bare for these brave men, the love for my dear land
But when Pádraic called me to his side down in the GPO
I had to leave my own sick bed, to him I had to go

Now as the dawn is breaking, my heart is breaking too
On this May morn as I walk out, my thoughts will be of you
And I’ll write some words upon the wall so everyone will know
I loved so much that I could see his blood upon the rose.

Oh, Grace just hold me in your arms and let this moment linger
They’ll take me out at dawn and I will die
With all my love I’ll place this wedding ring upon your finger
There won’t be time to share our love for we must say goodbye
For we must say goodbye

Executed on Friday 5th May

John MacBride Aged 47 years

Executed on Monday 8th May

Sean Heuston Aged 25 years

Con Colbert Aged 27 years

Michael Mallin Aged 41 years

Eamonn Ceannt Aged 34 years

Read by Raphael Ryan

Ceannt was born in Galway, the son of an RIC constable. Heworked as a clerk in Dublin Corporation. In 1908 he accompanied the Catholic Young Men’s Society on a trip to Rome as their official piper, and played for Pope Pius X.

Letter to his wife, Monday 8th May  My dearest wife Aine,  I am here without hope of this world and without fear, calmly waiting the end. I have had Holy Communion.  I have one hour to live, then God’s judgement and, through his infinite mercy, a place near your poor Grannie and my mother and father…and all the fine old Irish Catholics who went through the scourge of similar misfortune from the Vale of Tears into the Promised Land. Biodh misneach agat a stoirin mo chroidhe.


Executed on Tuesday 9th May

Thomas Kent Aged 50 years

Executed on Friday 12th May

Sean MacDiarmada Aged 33 years

Read by Seamus Mullooly

He was born in Kiltyclogher, Co. Leitrim, the eighth of 10 children. In 1911 he was struck down with polio, and had to rely on a walking stick ever after. His girlfriend was Josephine Ryan, and in one of his last letters claimed that had he lived she would have been his wife.

Letter to his Brothers and Sisters, 11 May  By the time this reaches you, I will, with God’s mercy, have joined in heaven, my poor father and mother as well as my dear friends who have been shot during the week. I have priests with me almost constantly for the past twenty-four hours.

Good Bye, Dear Brothers and Sisters make no lament for me. Pray for my soul and feel a lasting pride at my death. I die that the Irish nation may live. God bless and guard you all and may He have mercy on my soul.

James Connolly   Aged 47 years

Read by Frank Gregg

Connolly was born into a working class family in Edinburgh, the son of Irish immigrants. He joined the British army at the age of 14 and served in the Curragh. He toured North America on behalf of the Socialist Labour Party, and spent several years there before returning home in 1910.

 Statement by Nora Connolly O’Brien, his daughter, accompanying her mother, Lily, to Dublin Castle on Friday 12th May

All the signatories of the Proclamation had been shot except Papa and Sean MacDermott. I immediately said to myself: ‘Papa is going to be shot.’

When we were shown in, Papa said: ‘Well, Lily, I suppose you know what this means?’ She said: ‘Oh no, Jim. Oh no!’ and he said: ‘Yes, lovie,’ and then Mama broke down, sobbing. Papa said: ‘I fell asleep for the first time tonight and they wakened me up at eleven and told me I was to die at dawn.’ Wasn’t it a full life, Lily, and isn’t this a good end?

Executed on Thursday 3rd August

Roger Casement Aged 51 years

MUSIC… MISE EIRE (with images on screen)



  1. Reading of The Word of God: A Time for Everything (Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8). Read by Anita Hendy. 

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens;

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


  1. A reading from the Book of Apocalypse: God will wipe away all tears from their eyes (from 5thSunday of Easter).   Read by Eileen Hall.

I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth; the first heaven and the first earth had disappeared now, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the holy city, and the new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, as beautiful as a new bride all dressed for her husband. Then I heard a loud voice call from the throne, ’You see this city? Here God lives among people. He will make his home among them; they shall be his people and he will be their God; his name is God-with-them. He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone.’

Then the One sitting on the throne spoke: ‘Now I am making the whole of creation new’ he said.

The word of the Lord:    Thanks be to God

  1. Prayers of the Faithful– Led by Fr Paul Dempsey, P.P.  (Sylvia Wheatley, Gaye White)

Fr. Paul; Confident in the steadfast mercy of our God who calls us out of every slavery to freedom and new life, we bring our prayers;


  1. For past hurts yet unreconciled; for those bearing the legacies of suffering; (Pause) Lord in your mercy: R Hear our Prayer.
  2. For the prophets in our day, who call us to face the truth: for a radical commitment to peace in all its aspects: (Pause) Lord in your mercy: R Hear our Prayer.
  3. For a vigorous respect for the right to believe in Christ and to practice the Christian faith: (Pause) Lord in your mercy: R Hear our Prayer.
  4. For the peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts of Irish people throughout the world: The Irish Defence Forces have served the cause of peace in numerous countries. As we remember the Leaders of 1916, we also remember the 86 Irish military personnel who gave their lives in the service of peace with the United Nations. (Pause) Lord, in your mercy: R Hear our Prayer
  5. We remember the thousands ofIrish missionaries who have given their lives to bring the Good News to many nations all over the world. From the fifth century Irish missionaries went overseas to bring the Christian message to many lands, and that continues today with Irish religious and lay missionaries around the world.  May the Lord bless them in their work. (Pause)  Lord, in your mercy: R  Hear our Prayer.
  6. For the sons and daughters of Ireland who died in all wars and battles and for those, especially, who died in the Easter Rising, Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha. (Pause) Lord in your mercy: R Hear our Prayer.

Fr. Paul: Eternal God, in your presence we remember all who seek you as their true and only good. Make us simple enough to receive your great love, and strong enough to bear it to others. Through Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Our Father (as Gaeilge)  Guimis; Ár nAthair… 

Fr. Paul – Final Prayer – Centenary Prayer of Remembrance


Lord, Merciful and Kind,

We remember the men, women and children who died

during 1916 and throughout the troubled journey of our

island’s history.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha.


Look kindly, we pray, on the people of Ireland from all traditions, at home and abroad.

To you, O God, we long to sing a new song of compassion, inclusion and engagement in a spirit of true freedom.

You know our frail hearts and our frayed history and now another day begins.

We pray for peace and reconciliation in the century ahead.

Help us to believe in new beginnings, to listen to the voices that challenge and to sing a new song in our hearts for Ireland.

Moladh go deo le Dia – Praise God forever.

  1. Final Blessing
  2. 6.Final Hymn

You Raise Me Up – Parish Choir
When I am down and, oh, my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

There is no life – no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up to more than I can be.