Blessings have been a major part of Irish religious culture for hundreds of years. Many of the best known blessings were originally written in Irish and later translated into English and other languages.
There are also several modern Irish blessings; some very good but also many of dubious quality and written for the growing trinket and greeting card markets.
The true Irish blessings, however, are rich and inspirational. They cover a wide variety of occasions from Christenings to funerals and all of life’s landmarks in between. These are a selection of the best Irish blessings.
This wonderfully warm blessing is sometimes used at weddings in Ireland, often during reception where it is recited by the best man.
The reference to children illustrates one of the main priorities of the Irish, and indeed, people everywhere. The blessing is wishing you a long life, but does so by hoping that you live to see the most important things in life, your children and your grandchildren.
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Here’s another wedding blessing;
Irish blessings can take a very practical approach, as this clever little piece illustrates.
It calls on God to turn the hearts of our enemies and people who don’t like us. However, if God doesn’t want to turn their hearts so they love us, could he please turn their ankles so they limp?
That way we will be able to recognise them and be warned. It’s a clever mix of love and pragmatism.