Irish Blessings and Prayers
Every March 17th, the green begins.
There are parades, shillelaghs and emerald-clad leprechauns with pots of gold.
Green beer and shamrocks and cookies and cakes frosted green.
It's fun of course, but judging from a few articles
in the Irish Times newspaper,
hardly an accurate representation of Irish culture.
Even so, it is said that on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Irish.
One of the things I've always liked about St. Patrick's Day
are the greeting cards with the Irish blessings printed on them.
I don't know if they are really Irish blessings,
but I find them pleasing regardless.
Here are a couple of my favorites
from "Irish Blessings, Toasts and Prayers"
by Scott Kessman for Yahoo.com:
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!
And this one, which has been a favorite of mine
from the first time I read it on a ceramic plaque in my grandmother's house:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind always be at your back
May the sun shine warm on your face
And rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.
And Kessman also mentioned an old Gaelic blessing
that was traditionally hung over a home's entry: cead mile falte,
which means 100,000 blessings.
And that's what I wish for everyone this St. Patrick's Day!