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Irish Blessings
page Five

This was inspired by a comment from the O'Doud family who suggested that with so many beautiful Irish blessings in existence, we could probably post a different one each day. The O'Doud's, bless them, are so right - we've found a wealth of blessings.
We'd like to invite readers to send us their favorites and we'll list those, too.
Previous Blessings page | Next Blessings page

Palm Sunday Blessing
May the Sunday palms line your path
And the Seder bread unite your clan;
May the Paschal Lamb set you free
And the candle fire renew our land;
May this Passion tide heal all pain
May we be close to God this Holy Week,
In baptismal water, may we live again
And find the One for whom we seek.
Adapted and edited from Irish-American Blessings, by Fr. Andrew M. Greeley
Photo Credit: Stanford University

Blessing & Gifts for a new house:
Bread - So you never go hungry.
Wine - So your life is always sweet.
Broom - So your home is always clean and welcoming.
Salt - So there is always spice in your life.
And a candle - So you always have light.
With thanks to Rene Williams

A Blessing for Mother's Day
May Jesus and Mary protect your home
And all who receive your tender care;
May you be praised on this day of your own,
May the sun shine brightly and the sky be fair.
Andrew Greeley

Lá an Mháthair faoi shona dhuit
Happy Mothering Sunday to all
mothers being honoured today.

Múchadh feirge id fhreagra
May your gentle answers turn away wrath
From the book of 500 Beannacht (Blessings) by Canon Pádraig Ó
Fiannachta, which was just released in Ireland.

This day, and always,
May God's strength direct you,
May His power sustain you,
May His wisdom guide you,
And His vision light you.
His ear to your hearing,
His word to your speaking,
His hand to uphold you,
His pathway before you,
His shield to protect you,
And his legions to save you.
Edited and adapted from St. Patrick's Prayer

God Bless You on St. Patrick's Day
Image from Catholic Greetings

The great God between
Your two shoulder blades
To protect you in your
going and returning
The Son of the Virgin Mary
be close to your heart,
And the perfect Holy Spirit
Be keeping an eye on you.

Blessing of the March Saints
From St. David may you be blessed with his gentleness
From St. Joseph may you know freedom from want
From St. Aquinas may he teach you wisdom and truth
From St. Gregory may you learn tradition's faithful way
From St. Gabriel may you understand the gift of mercy
From St. Casimir may you know the love of Our Lady
And from St. Patrick, our beloved patron saint,
May the shamrock remind you of the Three in One,
and may God keep you from all harm.

Blessing for the house
Touch the lintel and touch the wall,
Nothing but blessing here befall.
Bless the candle that stands by itself,
Bless the books on the mantelshelf,
Bless the hearth and the light it sheds,
Bless the pillow for tired heads.
Those who tarry here, let them know
A threefold blessing before they go:

Sleep for weariness, peace for sorrow,
Faith in yesterday and tomorrow.
Those who go from here, let them bear
The blessing of hope wherever they fare.
Lintel and window, sill and wall,
Nothing but good, this place befall.
Contributed by Hartson Dowd

May you always have these blessings: a soft breeze when summer comes- a warm fireside in winter- and always- the gentle smile of a friend.

May flowers always line your path
And sunrise light your day,
May songbirds serenade you, 
Every step along the way,
May a rainbow run beside you,
In a sky that's always blue,
And may happiness fill your heart,
Each day your whole life through.

May the Mantle of Brigid be about you,
The memory of Brigid be within you,
And the protection of Brigid keep you
From all harm this day and night,
From dawn till dark, from dark till dawn.

From tinker and pooka and black-hearted stranger
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire
From the horns of the cows going home to the byre
From teasing the ass when he's tied to the manger
From stones that would bruise and from thorns of the briar
From evil red berries that waken desire
From hunting the gander and vexing the goat
From depths o' seawater by Danny's old boat
From cut and from tumble, from sickness and weeping
May God have your loved ones this day in His keeping.
Edited and adapted from the poem "A Prayer for a Child" by Winifred M. Letts

Brigid that is in Faughart
Blinne that is in Killeavey
Bronagh that is Balinakill
May you bring me back to Ireland
The Emigrant's Prayer from Irish Blessings by Pat Fairon

On that day when the weight deadens on your shoulders
and you stumble, may the clay dance to balance you. And
when the ghost of loss gets into you, may a flock of colors
indigo, red, green, and azure blue--come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight. When the canvas frays and the stain of ocean
blackens beneath you, may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours, may the clarity
of light be yours, may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours, and so may a
slow wind work these words of love around you, an invisible
cloak to mind your life.
From Anam Cara by John O'Donohue, RIP
John O'Donohue passed away peacefully in his sleep on January 3, 2008.
Photo Credit: John O’Donohue web site

May your day be touched
by a bit of Irish luck,
brightened by a song in your heart,
and warmed by the smiles
of the people you love.

May the God of new beginnings grant you a New Year of peace and love.
Fr. Andrew M. Greeley

May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

The light of the Christmas star to you
The warmth of home and hearth to you
The cheer and good will of friends to you
The hope of a childlike heart to you
The joy of a thousand angels to you
The love of the Son and God's peace to you.

Three things are of God,
And these are what Mary told to her Son,
For she heard them in heaven:
The merciful word;
The singing word;
And the good word.
May the power of these three holy things
Be on all the men and women
of Erin forever more.

At all Hallow's Tide, God keep you safe
From goblin and pooka and black-hearted stranger,
From harm of the water and hurt of the fire,
From thorns of the bramble, from all other danger,
From Will O' The Wisp haunting the mire;
From stumbles and tumbles
and tricksters to vex you,
May God in His mercy, this week protect you.

May God grant you and yours
the peace of all things calm,
the place to hide from harm,
the light that shines in dark,
the heart's eternal spark.
A door that's open wide to
the guest who waits outside.
Hospitality, warmth and cheer
by your hearth, no matter where.
O, oft and oft and oft, goes Christ
in the stranger's guise.
He is the light, the truth, the way
May He be with you this very day.
Edited and adapted from the 1st millennium Celtic Oral Tradition

May the strength of the winds of Heaven bless you,
carrying the rain to wash your spirit clean.
May the blessing of God's earth be upon you,
and as you walk the roads, may you always have
a kind word for those you meet.
Edited from This Blessing is for You by Rona Downey

May embers from the hearth warm your hands,
May sunshine from an Irish sky warm your face,
May a child's bright smile warm your heart,
And may everlasting love warm your soul.
Photo Credit: Wynn Anne's Meanderings

May God, who created the animals
of this earth as a help to us, keep
us from all harm and sustain us
with the grace His blessing brings,
today, tomorrow, and always
In honour of the feast of
St. Francis on October 4

May what you see in the mirror delight you,
and may what others see in you delight them.

May your joy be as bright as September red
Your friends as strong as Autumn gold;
May Mary protect you from fear and dread
And Brigid warm you through winter cold;
May you relax in Indian Summer peace
And walk serenely in smoky evening light;
May you know God's love will never cease,
That after winter comes spring delight.
Edited and adapted from a blessing by
Fr. Andrew M. Greeley

May God bless your rosary beads
And you who with them devoutly prays;
My He be kind to all your needs
On this and all your remaining days.
Fr. Andrew Greeley

May God guard you
through each night and day
and ever watch above you.
May God smile on all you do
and always, may God love you!

Previous Blessings page | Next Blessings page

Images: The Sea by Reint Withaar. This artist specializes in works that are both tranquil and inspiring; from Barewalls Prints.
This print is available to send as an-card. It is also for sale. Your purchase of any item featured on our site helps support our efforts. Thank you.
BlueMountain free ecards and Brigits Feast.


Thu, Dec 7, 2017

Holly and Ivy hanging up and
something wet in every cup*

Not so long ago, Irish Christmas decorations were much simpler than they are now. The children gathered holly and ivy for adorning, windows, doorways, mantles and pictures, and the father would carve out a turnip in which would be placed a large red candle. This would go in the window to light the way for the Holy Family on Christmas Eve. Only in relatively recent times did an Irish family have a Nativity scene and a decorated tree in the house. As for Mistletoe, it's quite rare in ireland and is generally associated with ancient Celtic and Druidic fertility celebrations; this is most likely where the custom of kissing under the mistletoe comes from.
*Old Irish Christmas toast
Image: Pashley Manor Gardens.

Click for More Culture Corner.

Irish Blessings
by Ashley Shannon

A Treasury of Irish Blessings

Irish Blessings (Coasterbooks)

Irish-American Blessings & Prayers
by Fr. Andrew M. Greeley

Created by the Benedictine monks of Glenstal Abbey, this is a beautifully bound book that includes prayers for all occasions. Once you read it, it's easy to understand why it is a best-seller in Ireland. To see full review, please click here : Glenstal Book of Prayer


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