Offaly parish postpones annual cemetery ceremonies

Tullamore and Durrow prayers may take place in September

Gearoid Keegan

Reporter:

Gearoid Keegan

Offaly parish postpones annual cemetery ceremonies

Clonminch cemetery, Tullamore

TULLAMORE parish has provisionally postponed the annual cemetery ceremonies in Clonminch and Durrow to September because of Covid-19.

The annual cemetery Mass in Clonminch usually takes place in August but due to what the parish described in its weekly bulletin as "ongoing restrictions", that will not be possible this year.

If restrictions are eased the parish will try to reschedule and have the Masses celebrated in both cemeteries in September.

The proposed dates are Sunday, September 13 in Durrow and Sunday, September 20 in Clonminch.

However, the parish emphasised that those dates are provisional, are subject to change and are dependent on the easing of current restrictions.

Also, the parish intends to have First Communion ceremonies in September and early October when schools reopen.

Baptisms have resumed and can be booked through the parish office.

Meanwhile, Tullamore parish has added an extra weekend Mass on Saturday evenings.

With capacity in the Church of the Assumption limited to just 50 people because of distancing requirements enforced with the Covid-19 pandemic, and only 35 in Durrow, a ticketing system for Mass attendance is in operation.

In advance of confirmation that the capacity at the Church of the Assumption can be increased to 160, there has been intense pressure for tickets for weekend Masses, and last weekend (July 4 and 5) they were all booked out well in advance.

A similar situation exists for this coming weekend but in response to the demand, the parish has added another Mass on Saturday evenings at 5pm in Tullamore.

The normal Saturday vigil Mass at 6.30pm continues, as do the traditional Sunday Masses at 8.30am, 10am, 11.30am and 1pm in Tullamore, along with the 11.30am Sunday Mass in St Colmcille’s Church, Durrow.

The parish stressed that entrance to both churches for all Masses (Tullamore and Durrow) will be strictly on presentation of ticket and doors will open 20 minutes before Mass time.

Demand for the weekday Masses (Monday-Friday 7.45am and 10am, and Saturday 10am) is not as strong.

Tickets will not be available at the doors and must be collected from the Parish Centre during the opening times Monday to Friday, 8.30am-5pm and Saturday, 2-4pm.