27 Mar 2016

The Final Prayers of the Executed Leaders of 1916 begin the State Commemoration of the Easter Rising 1916

On this Easter morn, Ireland takes stock and salutes her patriotic dead and marks the centenary of the 1916 Rising (Éirí Amach na Cásca).
Under the eye of the Commander-in-Chief, Uachtarán na hÉireann, the true successors of the Irish Volunteers, Oglaigh Na hÉireann (the Irish Defence Forces) will represent the Republic and the people of the Republic declared on Easter Monday 1916 in honouring all men and women who fell in the name of Irish freedom.
Óglaigh na hÉireann has been the people, is thepeople and will be the people. Our green uniform does not make
us less people. It is a cloak of our service, a curtailer of our
weaknesses, an amplifier of our strengths’
– General Richard Mulcahy
One of the first events on Easter Sunday was a very moving ceremony at the Stonebreakers Yard in Kilmainham Gaol where fourteen of the leaders of the Rising were executed in May 1916. As part of the simple wreath laying ceremony Fr Seamus Madigan, Head Chaplain to the Forces (from the diocese of Limerick) lead a prayer consisting of a reading from the Book of Ecclesiastes and the final prayers of the executed men:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to reap;
a time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate;
a time for war, and a time for peace.
God has made everything beautiful in its time.
"In this place of final moments we are intimately reminded of the comfort brought by faith to the Leaders of the 1916 Rising. On this Easter morning we remember, reflect and reimagine our belief in life after love!

Now, in their own words of prayer, we recall the love and devotion of the executed Leaders for family, for country and for God.
My Jesus, Mercy; May we the people of Ireland bear no malice against anyone, and live in perfect peace with Almighty God. We pray for each other, and trust the Lord will raise us up, when silent we have waited in the grave for lonely years.
Give us courage to be ready to go into darkness, danger and death trusting in your love. With your help may we act with heroism and respect all people of good will who do their duty. Give us strength to forgive and a belief to hope, that you will be with us to the end. As we draw nearer and nearer to you, we ask your blessing and protection: May we keep the faith, bring glory to you and honour to Ireland.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, may I breathe forth my soul in peace with you, Amen.
Solas na bhFlaitheas dár n-anamnacha
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamnacha
May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed
through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen

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