By Katherine Long, Editor
Clear, poignant notes played by a single bagpiper greeted the body of Most Rev. James M. Moynihan as he arrived at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception March 9.
Msgr. Timothy Elmer, vicar general of the diocese, played “The Mist-Covered Mountains of Home,” a slow march, as Bishop Robert J. Cunningham received Bishop Moynihan’s body at the entrance of the Cathedral.
Inside the Cathedral, Bishop Cunningham sprinkled Bishop Moynihan’s casket with holy water. “In the waters of baptism, Bishop James Moynihan died with Christ and rose with him to new life. May he now share with him eternal glory,” he prayed.
Bishop Moynihan’s body was then escorted into the Cathedral by a procession that included Bishop Cunningham; Bishop Moynihan’s sister, Caroline Anne Moynihan; and six of the priests Bishop Moynihan ordained during his tenure: Father Clifford Auth, Father John Canorro, Father Mark Kaminski, Father Brian Lang, Father John Manno, and Father Thomas Ward.
The bishop’s casket was placed in the nave, surrounded by yellow roses; a treasured image of the Madonna; and a paschal candle featuring his Coat of Arms, specially made by Syracuse’s Cathedral Candle Company.
“Grant, we pray, almighty God, that the soul of your departed servant Bishop Moynihan to whom you committed the care of your family, may, with the manifold fruit of his labors, enter into the eternal gladness of his Lord,” Bishop Cunningham prayed as the service began.
Diocesan administrative assistant Mary Batuk offered the first reading, 1 John 3:1-2: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”
Deacon Gregory Cross, diocesan director of Deacon Personnel, proclaimed the Gospel reading, John 14:1-6: “‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. You have faith in God; have faith also in me. In my Father’s house there are many dwelling places. If there were not, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back again and take you to myself, so that where I am you also may be. Where [I] am going you know the way.’ Thomas said to him, ‘Master, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’”
The service concluded with additional prayers and a final blessing from Bishop Cunningham: “May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”
A public viewing continued until 7 p.m., when a vigil service was celebrated.