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In memory of Frances Berry

Frances Berry Large Web view

Frances Berry
1962 - 2016

Celebrant: Very Reverend Gerry Powell P.P.

Good afternoon. On behalf of Philip, Ryan, Corrina and Claire, I welcome you to this funeral liturgy for Frances.

We all come here to remember Frances, to give thanks, even in our grief, for her relatively short life, to offer each other, and especially those who will most miss her, the consolation of our love and our presence with you today; and to offer also the promise of eternal life.

Our consolation will be the happy memories we have of Frances; our sadness is that she has gone from us at such a young age. Our sure Christian hope is that the Lord our God will welcome her home and that one day we will be united together in heaven. In the depth of our loss and hope we now pray and offer this Eucharist for Frances.

We come to God, knowing we need his mercy and forgiveness, and so in preparing to celebrate the Mass we call to mind our sins.

Lord, you suffered and died in our name. Lord have mercy.

Lord, your heart was moved with compassion for the sick and the bereaved. Christ have mercy.

Lord you suffer with your people at the right hand of the Father. Lord have mercy.

And may almighty God, have mercy on us, forgive us our sins and bring us to life everlasting.

Let us pray:

Almighty God and Father of all, you strengthen us by the mystery of the cross and with the sacrament of your Son’s resurrection. We pray for FRANCES grant her peace. Welcome her to the eternal joy of the kingdom and give us all new hope in our sorrow that one day we shall all be with you and with each other in your home where every tear will be wiped away. Grant, this through Christ our Lord. Amen.


We gather here today in sadness with the family of Frances Berry. Our thoughts are for you. We ask God to send his Consoler to bring his peace to your hearts and to your homes. We give thanks to God for the life that he gave Frances and to pray in faith that he will welcome her to everlasting happiness in heaven.

There is as the Scriptures remind us, a time for every season under heaven. As we gather here we reflect on the mystery of time and providence that are in God’s hands: there is indeed a time to die, a time to weep, a time to mourn, a time to keep silence, a time to speak, a time to love.

You have shared memories of who she was and what she meant to you. We mourn her passing; we cherish her memory

Frances’ journey began on 6th July 1962 when she was born in Banbridge Hospital to Brian and Patsy McKiverigan. They had several moves before settling in the much-loved family home in Kernan, where she spent many happy years. She attended Ballyvarley Primary school, later moving to St. Patrick’s College. At the young age of 15, she started working in Wellworths alongside her beloved mother, Patsy, where she had many fond memories. Through working in Wellworths, she became a well known face throughout the town.

About two years later, she met Philip in the famous ‘Square’ in Gilford and nine years later, Philip popped the question! She loved nothing more than travelling round on the back of Philip’s motorbike and going camping. They married and made their first home in Cherryville, Banbridge where their son Ryan, now 25 and daughter Corrina, now 23 were welcomed into the world. The arrival of Claire 21 years ago completed their family and they moved to their current home in Grove Meadows, Banbridge.

Frances was known for many things, her homemade chips on a Thursday night, her great party organising skills – nobody could throw a party like Frances – showing people how to do things the right way – the ‘Frances’ way, whether it be how to clean glasses properly or how to hang out washing, or the ‘fry’s’ she would lovingly make for the entire family on the yearly camping holidays.

Perhaps what Frances is best known for was her love of shopping – she could take the meaning of ‘shop til’ you drop’ to a whole new level. Everyone will have fond memories of her ‘Bring me back Saturday’, just another excuse to go shopping. She enjoyed this most weekends whenever she could, with sister-in-law Sharon and of course, with her daughters. And who could forget her love of talking – she was never far away from her trusty mobile phone, and often found house-phones in her handbag!

Frances was the matriarch of the family and the glue that held everyone together. She had an immense love for her parents, nursing her mother before her death six years ago. She visited them daily and even continued to visit her mother’s grave every day.

She treated all her nieces, nephews and great nieces and nephews with the same love and affection she had for her own kids. Known as Auntie Frances to more children than just her family.

The family were asked to pick one word which they thought best described Frances and the words speak for themselves: generous, loving, strong, happy, thoughtful, a rock, amazing, brave, beautiful, kind and motherly. Each of those words are reiterated and shared by her three kids, Ryan, Corrina and Claire, whom she doted on right up until the end. They will all have fond memories of all the birthdays and Christmas Days where Frances would have happily gone without, just to see them happy. This shows her remarkable character and utter devotion to the children of whom she was so proud, and will continue to be proud of.

Her love for her husband Philip, who she spent 36 years with, showed no bounds. She lovingly attended to Philip and nursed him back to full health following his heart attack.

The last few years were tough on Frances and her family, but her sheer resilience and determination got her through with her dignity intact. Nothing was ever too much for Frances and her last ‘big’ outing was to her daughter Corrina’s wedding in St. Patrick’s church in July.

She will be extremely missed in her passing by her husband Philip, children Ryan, Corrina and Claire, her father Brian, Marie and Colette, brothers Michael and Paul, sons-in-law Neil and Colm and her cousin Tish, nieces Wanetta, Noeleen, Nicole, Gemma, Rachael, Rebecca, Katie, Caoimhe and Aine, nephews Michael, Jamie, Cormac, great nieces Madison, Aoife and Lily and 2nd great nephew Archie and by her wider family circle.

Above all you have remembered the humanity of a very good person. Today as we gather in sorrow to remember Frances, a burden of pain, a burden of loss, a burden of grief weighs heavily on you all. We gather as a community - our presence here today is our way of reaching out to you.

Frances was totally devoted to her husband Philip and her three children Ryan, Corrina and Claire– she was a rock.

God knows the reality of failing health – which she endured throughout her time of illness. We remember a lovely person, a lady who was a treasure to you all. Letting go of her today is not going to be easy for Frances was a lover of family, people and life itself. Thank you to all who cared for her and loved her in life especially in recent times. Now her suffering is over. As Frances has died now a part of you dies as well for she will live on in her wonderful family. You are filled with sorrow because her death leaves a gap that no-one else can fill adequately. Her love for you was a great blessing. When we remember her today we cannot help recalling the things she said and the way she said them, the things she did and her way of doing them but sadness is tinged with hope and expectation. We pray that she is with the Lord and we look forward to the day when we will be reunited with her. Christ’s resurrection assures us that if we follow him we will rise again.  It is only with death that life really makes sense, it’s our leap into eternity, it is God calling us home to be with him forever. At a time like this we come face to face with our own mortality.

Living a truly Christian life is about waiting in hope and as people of hope we believe in the resurrection of the dead and the life of the world to come. She brought love, care and friendship to those who knew her.





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