The Archbishop of Wales, Dr Barry Morgan, led a service of thanksgiving on Wednesday for the lives of Welsh newly-weds Catherine and Ben Mullany who were killed whilst on their honeymoon in Antigua in July.
Llandaff Cathedral was packed with around 900 friends and family for the service, during which the Archbishop summed up the shock many felt at the couple’s murder.
“Which one of us over the last few weeks, as we heard of Ben and Catherine’s tragic deaths, hasn’t felt the need to pour out one’s heart to the Almighty in shock and anger at the sheer pointless and randomness of it all? Why oh Lord, why? And it’s a perfectly natural thing to want to do.
“So today’s service is an attempt to express the full range of what we feel, for thanksgiving for lives that were so full of promise and vitality and energy and charm, and yet terrible sadness and, at times, anger that they have been cut down on the threshold of so much hope,” he said.
The couple, from Pontardawe in the Swansea Valley, were shot in a suspected robbery at their holiday bungalow on July 27, the last day of their honeymoon. Catherine, a qualified doctor, died at the scene, whilst her husband, a trainee physiotherapist, died a week later after being flown in a coma to the University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff.
The Archbishop continued, “Accidents and tragedies haven’t been willed or planned by God but are, on the contrary, for him also a disaster and frustration of his purposes.
“If we find what happened to Ben and Catherine in Antigua shocking, why should we think God does not?”
He added, “Sometimes, bad things happen to good people.”
Wednesday’s cathedral service followed a private burial for the couple last month at St John the Evangelist Church in Cilybebyll, where the couple had been married just two weeks prior to the attack.
The service was joined by the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who met the parents of the couple whilst they were on their way to Antigua. She read the poem Tread Softly by WB Yeats during the service.
The congregation joined in singing the hymns Cwm Rhondda, The Day Though Gavest Lord is Ended and Amazing Grace. Ben’s mother Marilyn and Catherine’s mother Rachel Bowen lit two candles on either side of a giant portrait of the smiling couple.
Parents of the couple, both 31, have set up the Mullany Memorial Fund to offer financial support to medical students.
Article from: Christian Today – by Jennifer Gold