The Breaks in the Weather When it Mattered were Miraculous

Parish committee member, Dan O’Donoghue setting the traditional Paschal Fire alight during the first Easter Dawn Mass in Scartaglen on Sunday morning. ©Photograph: John Reidy

It won’t even be considered for miracle status but it is bordering on the miraculous that two outdoor, religious ceremonies over the Easter weekend were graced with the kind of weather for which the organisers could have only wished but, no doubt, prayed for.

On Good Friday afternoon as the long hand on the clock turned into the home straight for the historically celebrated time of 3pm, a long narrow, footpath confined procession made its way from the local presbytery to Castleisland’s parish church.

The weather the participants, led by the cross bearing Jerome Sheehy, got for the duration of their important journey was nothing short of ideal – remarkable even.

In the Context of What Prevailed

Even more so taken in the context of the prolonged spell of outdoor event forbidding weather to which we’ve all become accustomed since the middle of last June.

The fact that the weather forecasts predicted nothing of the sort made it even more remarkable and pleasantly surprising for all involved.

On then to Easter Sunday morning and the first known Dawn Mass in Scartaglen. Here too, hope outweighed expectation in the light of the expected weather.

The Paschal Fire

But Fr. Mossie Brick and his team and the ever flocking parishioners of Scartaglen carried the event from breaking light to its place in history and safely beyond the scope of wind and weather.

He had the reconfigured local band Up in Smoke and guest artists and the ubiquitous Cllr. Charlie Farrelly was there as the sound man.

There was a squib of a shower, a squib by recent standards, at around 5am this morning but it did little more than wet the road and it cleared to cold and dry conditions when it mattered most.

Dan O’Donoghue and the light brigade were able to ignite their paraffin soaked sod of turf without fear of rain as they proceeded eastward with their backs to the half moon, along the cemetery path to light the symbolic Paschal Fire with all its cultural and religious associations with Easter worldwide.

Marked by Shows of Strength

The people of Scart don’t do things by half when they go about their business. It’s an observation not based on this morning alone or on a figment of my imagination.

It’s from years of witnessing how the fabric of their community can draw the strands of events like this morning’s together when they put their minds to it.

Their occasions of joy and sorrow are marked by similar shows of community strength.

Thank God for the weather we got this Easter – for so many reasons, for so many people.  Up Scart.

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