Christian Prayers and Worship Resources

Celtic Prayers & Blessings

Contemporary and ancient prayers in the Celtic tradition

Scottish Scene

These prayers come from a variety of sources, and are mainly traditional prayers, some translated from the Gaelic in which they were originally written. Often, the traditional prayers from remote locations contain a mix of Christian and pagan thoughts!

(see also 'Prayers from Carmina Galetica - ancient Celtic prayers)

New Blessings in the 'Celtic' style

I lay my head to rest,
and in doing so,
lay at your feet
the faces I have seen,
the voices I have heard,
the words I have spoken,
the hands I have shaken,
the service I have given,
the joys I have shared,
the sorrows revealed,
I lay them at your feet,
and in doing so
lay my head to rest.

Through the dark hours of this night
protect and surround us,
Father, Son and Spirit, Three.
Forgive the ill that we have done.
Forgive the pride that we have shown.
Forgive the words that have caused harm
that we might sleep peaceably,
and rise refreshed to do your will.
Through the dark hours of this night
protect and surround us,
Father, Son and Spirit, Three

May the God of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Son of peace
bring peace to this house.
May the Spirit of peace
bring peace to this house,
this night and all nights

Bless this house and those within.
Bless our giving and receiving.
Bless our words and conversation.
Bless our hands and recreation.
Bless our sowing and our growing.
Bless our coming and our going.
Bless all who enter and depart.
Bless this house, your peace impart.

This night and every night
grant to me light.
This night and every night
grant to me peace.
This night and every night
grant to me rest.
This night and every night
grant to me grace.
This night and every night
grant to me joy.


(All above ©John Birch)


Celtic Blessings From Other Sources

(Sources given where known - copyright not known)


May the blessing of light be on you - light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you like a great peat fire,
so that stranger and friend may come and warm himself at it.
And may light shine out of the two eyes of you,
like a candle set in the window of a house,
bidding the wanderer come in out of the storm.
And may the blessing of the rain be on you,
may it beat upon your Spirit and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there a shining pool where the blue of Heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.
And may the blessing of the earth be on you,
soft under your feet as you pass along the roads,
soft under you as you lie out on it, tired at the end of day;
and may it rest easy over you when, at last, you lie out under it.
May it rest so lightly over you that your soul may be out from under it quickly; up and off and on its way to God.
And now may the Lord bless you, and bless you kindly. Amen.

Scottish Blessing



If there is righteousness in the heart,
If there is righteousness in the heart,
there will be beauty in the character.
If there is beauty in the character,
there will be harmony in the home.
If there is harmony in the home,
there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
there will be peace in the world.
So let it be.

(Scottish Blessing)



Lang may your lum reek. (Long may your chimney smoke.)

(Scottish Blessing)



Slainte mhor agus a h-uile beannachd duibh
Good health and every good blessing to you!

(A Gaelic Prayer)



May you have -
Walls for the wind
And a roof for the rain,
And drinks bedside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
And those you love near you,
And all that your heart may desire

(Celtic Blessing)



May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children's children.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward

(An Old Wedding Blessing)



May those who love us, love us.
And those who don't love us,
May God turn their hearts;
And if He doesn't turn their hearts,
May He turn their ankles,
So we will know them by their limping.



Be ye our angel unawares
If after Kirk ye bide a wee,
There's some would like to speak to ye,
If after Kirk ye rise and flee
We' all seem cauld and still to ye.
The one that's in the seat with ye
Is stranger here than ye, maybe.
All here have got their fears and cares,
Add ye your soul unto our prayers,
Be ye our angel unawares.

(Scottish Blessing)



May the hills lie low
May the hills lie low,
May the sloughs fill up,
In thy way.

May all evil sleep,
May all good awake,
In thy way.

(Source: “Mystery on the Isle of Skye”)



God to enfold me,
God to surround me,
God in my speaking,
God in my thinking.

God in my sleeping,
God in my waking,
God in my watching,
God in my hoping.

God in my life,
God in my lips,
God in my soul,
God in my heart.

God in my sufficing,
God in my slumber,
God in mine ever-living soul,
God in mine eternity.

(Ancient celtic oral traditions - carmina gadelica)



I arise today
Through a mighty strength:
God's power to guide me,
God's might to uphold me,
God's eyes to watch over me;
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to give me speech,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to shelter me,
God's host to secure me.

(first millenium - bridgid of gael)



You are the peace of all things calm
You are the place to hide from harm
You are the light that shines in dark
You are the heart's eternal spark
You are the door that's open wide
You are the guest who waits inside
You are the stranger at the door
You are the calling of the poor
You are my Lord and with me still
You are my love, keep me from ill
You are the light, the truth, the way
You are my Saviour this very day.

(celtic oral tradition - 1st millennium)



May there always be work for your hands to do.
May your purse always hold a coin or two.
May the sun always shine upon your window pane.
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near to you and
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

(traditional blessing)



May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again, may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

(traditional gaelic blessing)


Beannachd Dia dhuit

(blessings of God be with you - ScotsGaelic)



We bathe your palms
In the showers of wine,
In the crook of the kindling,
In the seven elements,
In the sap of the tree,
In the milk of honey,

We place nine pure, choice gifts
In your clear beloved face:

The gift of form,
The gift of voice,
The gift of fortune,
The gift of goodness,
The gift of eminence,
The gift of charity,
The gift of integrity,
The gift of true nobility,
The gift of apt speech.

(traditional gaelic)



Circle me, Lord.
Keep protection near
And danger afar.
Circle me, Lord
Keep hope within.
Keep doubt without.
Circle me, Lord.
Keep light near
And darkness afar.
Circle me, Lord.
Keep peace within.
Keep evil out.

(david adam)



Deep peace I breathe into you,
O weariness, here:
O ache, here!
Deep peace, a soft white dove to You;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, grey wind of the west to You;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!
Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;
Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you!
Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,
Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you,
Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you,
And from Briget of the Mantle
Deep peace, deep peace!
And with the kindness too of the Haughty Father
In the name of the Three who are One,
Peace! And by the will of the King of the Elements,
Peace! Peace!

(From "The Dominion of Dreams. Under the Dark Star
by Fiona Macleod (William Sharp,1895))




Spare Us the Fall
May the roof above
never fall in,
May we below
never fall out.

(a Celtic grace)



My Fortress
The Sacred Three
My fortress be
Encircling me
Come and be round
My hearth and my home.

(Celtic prayer)



A Familiar Stranger
I saw a stranger today.
I put food for him
in the eating-place
And drink
in the drinking-place
And music
in the listening-place.

In the Holy name
of the Trinity
He blessed myself
and my family.
And the lark said in her warble
Often, often, often
Goes Christ
in the stranger's guise.

O, oft and oft and oft,
Goes Christ
in the stranger's guise.

(Celtic Rune of Hospitality)



Be thou my vision,
O Lord of my heart,
Be all else but naught to me,
Save that thou art;
Be thou my best thought
In the day and the night,
Both waking and steeping,
Thy presence my light.



May Christ and His Saints stand between you and harm.
Mary and her Son.
Patrick with his staff.
Martin with his mantle.
Brigid with her veil.
Michael with his shield.
And God over all with His strong right hand.



May your past be a pleasant memory,
Your future filled with delight and mystery,
Your now a glorious moment,
That fills your life with deep contentment.



May your day be filled with blessings
Like the sun that lights the sky,
And may you always have the courage
To spread your wings and fly!



May the blessings of light be upon you,
Light without and light within,
And in all your comings and goings,
May you ever have a kindly greeting
From them you meet along the road.



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.



May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams, possibilities, and promises.
May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.
May you go into the night blessed, sheltered, and protected.
May your soul calm, console, and renew you.



God bless the corners of this house and all the lintel blessed,
And bless the hearth and bless the board and bless each place of rest,
And bless each door that opens wide to strangers 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. With peace and love for all.



May your troubles be less
And your blessings be more.
And nothing but happiness
Come through your door.



May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
May pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.



May the face of every good news
And the back of every bad news
Be toward us.



May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in blessings,
Slow to make enemies,
And quick to make friends.
But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but happiness
From this day forward.



You've blessed me with friends and laughter and fun
With rain that's as soft as the light from the sun
You've blessed me with the stars to brighten each night
You've given me help to know wrong from right
You've given me so much, so please Lord give me too
A heart that is always Grateful to you.



May we live in peace without weeping.
May our joy outline the lives we touch without ceasing.
And may our love fill the world, angel wings tenderly beating.

(Trad Irish)



May the blessing of the rain be on you—
the soft sweet rain.
May it fall upon your spirit
so that all the little flowers may spring up,
and shed their sweetness on the air.
May the blessing of the great rains be on you,
may they beat upon your spirit
and wash it fair and clean,
and leave there many a shining pool
where the blue of heaven shines,
and sometimes a star.



May the good earth be soft under you
when you rest upon it,
and may it rest easy over you when,
at the last, you lay out under it,
And may it rest so lightly over you
that your soul may be out
from under it quickly,
and up, and off,
And be on its way to God.


Dear Lord,
Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am,
and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope...
And though I come not within sight
of the castle of my dreams,
teach me to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories
that are good and sweet.
And may the evening's twilight
find me gentle still.



Bless those minding cattle,
And those minding sheep,
And those fishing the sea
While the rest of us sleep.



If God sends you down a stony path,
may he give you strong shoes.



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.



Bless this house, o Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and trouble out.
Bless the roof and chimney tall,
Let thy peace lie over all.
Bless the doors that they may prove
Ever open to joy and love.
Bless the windows shining bright,
Letting in God's heavenly light.
Bless the hearth a-blazing there,
With smoke ascending like a prayer.
Bless the people here within...
Keep them pure and free from sin.
Bless us all, that one day, we
May be fit, O lord, to dwell with Thee.

(Helen Mary, 1927 (set to music by May Brahe))

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