Thanksgiving and Memorial Service for Stephen O’Rourke QC

Thanksgiving and Memorial Service

for Stephen O’Rourke QC

St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh

Organ music before the service

J.S. Bach Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier BWV 731
Ralph Vaughan Williams Rhosymedre
César Franck Cantabile

Welcome- Rev Steven Manders 

Bidding Prayers- Catholic Clergy from St Mary’s Cathedral, Edinburgh

We give thanks today for Stephen O’Rourke who was a man of rare ability and distinction thanking God for all he was as a son, father, brother, uncle, friend to many and advocate. We recall, with affection and respect, the sustained offering of a life lived fully and so acknowledging our loss, we turn to the God who is our help for He will renew our hope.

In grateful remembrance of Stephen, we then commit ourselves to live as he lived, in faith, in the service of others, and with a greater reverence for our world and our neighbours.

Let us pray in the words that Jesus taught us:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Hymn – Be Still My Soul, the Lord is on Thy Side

Tune: Finlandia

Be still, my soul; the Lord is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in ev’ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul; your best, your heav’nly friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

2 Be still, my soul; your God will undertake
to guide the future as he has the past;
your hope, your confidence, let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them while he lived below.

3 Be still, my soul; when dearest friends depart
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then you will better know his love, his heart,
who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears.
Be still, my soul; your Jesus can repay
from his own fullness all he takes away.

4 Be still, my soul; the hour is hast’ning on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief, and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love’s purest joys restored.
Be still my soul; when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Isaiah 40: 25–31 in the King James Version:

O whom then will ye liken me, or shall I be equal? saith the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth. Why sayest thou, O Jacob, and speakest, O Israel, My way is hid from the Lord, and my judgment is passed over from my God? Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.

 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Thanks be to God

Romans Chapter 8 v28-39 in the King James Version

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter., in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Thanks be to God

Address made By Dr Brian O Rourke

Anthem sung by The Cathedral Choir

How lovely are thy dwellings
Johannes Brahms 1833-1897

How lovely are thy dwellings fair O lord of Hosts,
My soul ever longeth and fainteth for the blest courts of the Lord 
my heart and flesh do cry to the living God, 
Blest are they that in Thy house are dwelling, they ever praise Thee

Prayers led By Rev Steven Manders 

Let us give thanks for Stephen for his devotion to his family, as we remember especially his kindness, constancy, and many gifts. We give thanks for all that he meant as a loving father, partner, devoted son and brother and uncle

O Father of all, we pray for those whom we love but see no longer. Grant Stephen peace; let light perpetual shine upon him; and, in your loving wisdom and almighty power, work in him the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We give thanks for Stephen’s energy and spirit of adventure, for his work and skills as an advocate, mediator and actuary

Teach us, good Lord, to live our lives as a testament to his memory as we serve others; to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward, save that of knowing that we do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We give thanks for Stephen’s gift for friendship; his intellectual curiosity, his capacity for unfettered love; his quick wit and gentle humour and his ability to bring together people from many walks of life

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess in creation; grant us grace that we may honour you in our care and service of others; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

We give thanks for Stephen’s character; for his humour and resilience; his fortitude and devotion to duty, his collegiality and service to the Faculty of Advocates but above all else his service to the cause of justice and equity.

O Lord God, when you  give to your servants to endeavour any great matter, grant us also to know that it is not the beginning, but the continuing of the same unto the end, until it be thoroughly finished, which yields  the true glory; through him who for the finishing of your work laid down his life, our Redeemer, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Hear these and all our prayers both spoken and Unspoken as we ask that You guide our lives and care for our souls


A Meditation

They are not gone, who leave us this great heritage of remembering joy.

They still live in our hearts, in the happiness we knew, in the dreams we shared.

They still breathe, in the lingering fragrance, windblown, from favourite flowers.

They still smile in the moonlight’s silver, and laugh in the sunlight’s sparking gold.

They still speak in the echoes of the words we’ve heard them say again and again.

They still move, in the rhythm of waving grasses, in the dance of the tossing branches.

They are not gone; their memory is warm in our hearts, comfort in our sorrow.

They are not apart from us, but part of us, for love is eternal, and those we love shall be with us throughout all eternity

Closing Words – Rev Steven Manders

Hymn 2 – Thine Be The Glory

Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son;
endless is the victory, thou o’er death hast won;
angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

Lo! Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb;
Lovingly he greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let the Church with gladness, hymns of triumph sing;
for her Lord now liveth, death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won.

No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life;
life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love:
bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above.
Thine be the glory, risen conquering Son,
Endless is the vict’ry, thou o’er death hast won

Benediction and Dismissal – Led by Catholic Clergy

Organ Voluntary:

Henri Mulet Carillon-Sortie

Officiating Clergy:

Rev Steven Manders

Minister of Morningside United Parish Church, Edinburgh

The Right Rev Monsignor Canon Patrick Burke

St Mary’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Edinburgh

The Choir of St Giles’ Cathedral

Jordan English – Assistant Organist

Michael Harris – Master of the Music