St. Patrick’s Day celebrates the culture of the Irish, who are known not just as drinkers, but as poets and storytellers with an eloquence that few other cultures can replicate. (Of course, I may be biased, being an Irish lass meself, but that’s another story.) Ireland has given us some of the best prayers and blessings in the English language. How many of these do you know?
May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
Wishing you always…
Walls for the wind,
A roof for the rain
And tea beside the fire.
Laughter to cheer you,
Those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire
May neighbours respect you,
Trouble neglect you,
The angels protect you,
And heaven accept you.
May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.
May the blessing of light be on you—
light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you
and warm your heart
till it glows like a great peat fire.
May God give you…
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.
God bless the corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest,
And bless the hearth and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest,
And bless each door that opens wide
To stranger as to kin,
And bless each crystal window pane
That lets the starlight in,
And bless the rooftree overhead
And every sturdy wall.
The peace of man, the peace of God,
The peace of love on all.
And just for good measure, here’s an eighth:
May you be in Heaven a half hour before the Devil knows you’re dead!