Blessing of the Graves in Derry

The City Cemetery in Derry.
The City Cemetery in Derry.

Details of the annual Service of Intercession for the Dead ceremonies across Derry over the coming weeks have been confirmed.

Thousands of local people are expected to gather at the gravesides of their loved ones for the annual Cemetery Sunday Services taking place in the city this month.

The Diocese of Derry has confirmed that the Blessing of the Graves at the City Cemetery will take place on Sunday, June 17 from 6pm to 7pm.

To assist with traffic flow on the day, a one-way traffic system has been put in place for those attending.

Danny McCartney, Parks Maintenance and Cemeteries Manager with Derry City and Strabane District Council, has urged the public to adhere to the traffic management system that will be in place.

He also advised that, where possible, people should leave all vehicles outside the City Cemetery boundary walls, and to follow the advice of stewards who will be position around the cemetery.

“We would encourage the public to come early, at least half an hour before the start of the service, and to follow the signs and adhere to the advice given by the stewards,” Mr. McCartney said.

“ Every effort is being made to ensure the traffic flows freely on the day.

“We would encourage the public to be patient and to allow extra time on the day to get to the Intercession,” he added.

A limited number of passes for persons with access issues can be obtained in advance by contacting the City Cemetery directly on 028 71362615.

There will be no traffic restrictions in place for Cemetery Sunday at Altnagelvin and Ballyoan cemeteries this Sunday June 3, however, the public is advised to co-operate fully with stewards.

The Diocese of Derry has confirmed that the Blessing of the Graves at Ballyoan Cemetery will take place from 3pm to 4pm this Sunday.

The annual Cemetery Sunday service at Altnagelvin Cemetery will take place at the same time on Sunday.

The annual Service of Intercession for the Dead service at Ardmore Cemetery ,meanwhile, will also take place this Sunday, at the later time of 6pm to 7pm.

Traditionally, local families will bring Holy Water with them to the annual service.

The Bishop or his representative during the ceremony will then ask a member of each family to sprinkle their family grave with the holy water.
Those attending will also be asked to sprinkle neighbouring graves if there is no-one present.