Patron day in historic Mansfieldstown cemetery
The annual Blessing of the Graves takes place in Mansfieldstown Cemetery on Sunday, 13th August at 5 p.m.
The ceremonies will start in St.Mary’s Church, which dates back to 1299, with hymn singing, exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, Blessing of the Graves and Benediction.
Patron, or Graveyard Sunday, is a very important day for many people who have loved ones buried in this lovely historic graveyard, so the Committee would like to see a large gathering of young and old taking part in the ceremonies, which will last about a half-hour.
Tom O’Reilly, Secretary, in making a special appeal on behalf of the Committee, explains that they are a voluntary group and few in number, so they ask people to co-operate with them in keeping the cemetery litter free by disposing of dead flowers, old wreaths, plastic bottles, water containers, jam jars and weeds from the graves.
“We ask you especially to take all these items of litter home with you and not to put soil or stones from grames in bins provided as we have no way of disposing of it. The bins are for people who have not got transport to take the litter home with them”, said Mr O’Reilly.
He added that the Committee need full support to achieve their goal of a full restoration of the cemetery to show a deep respect for those buried there. This arrangement will give them a little more time to continue making improvements, as they have done over the last four years.
“New improvements each year cost a lot of money as materials are very expensive, so we thank the public for their support in the past to our gate collections on Patron Sunday. If any member of the public have any suggestions for further improvements, we would be delighted to discuss same”, said Mr O’Reilly.
“Unfortunately it appears not everybody is satisfied with the improvements in the Graveyard, as a headstone erected 24 years ago over the parents of a Committee member had been vandalised in 1998”, he continued.
“Now this headstone has been repiared and replaced, but the vandal has struck again inside the last two weeks, this time a County Council Anti-Litter poster, which was placed on two supports in a secluded area of the Graveyard, has been completely defaced with a sharp object.”
It is a pity that people see the need to do this ”, said Mr O’Reilly.