Is there anyone here to answer Mass...? A tale of Old Cork

I heard this story from my maternal grandmother.

Her grandfather was a lamplighter for the Cork Gas Company and he use to say, that very early in the morning, especially on dark, frosty, winter days, people used often sit in SS. Peter & Pauls’ chapel in Cork City to rest and keep warm. Even today, the interior of the church is dark and dimly light and its was a regular occurrence for a low, male voice to be heard in the darkness, whispering the words, ‘is there anyone here to answer Mass…?” This chilling lament was accompanied by a faint, ghostly apparition of a priest seen on the altar.

It was said that a local man, a well known character at the time, got up to courage once and shouted back, “I am here, Father” and proceeded to say the Latin prayers along with the ghostly priest. Just as the sacrament ended, the priest in his low voice, said to the man, “Mile Buíochas, mo mhíc, as you were here to help me pass on, I will return to help you pass on” and then faded away.

Well, many years later, the man died and the North Cathedral was packed for his funeral. All knew the old story of the ghostly priest as the man told it often but few believed it. Yet, my grandmother’s grandfather, was there at the requiem mass and always swore than when they lifted the man out of the North Cathedral, there were two priests following the coffin not one…

Cover image: By vectorpouch on Freepik

Saints Peter and Paul's Church, Cork City, Ireland

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