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Spinetingling: Worshippers from 300 churches sing The Irish Blessing

There are few more glorious sounds than hundreds of people coming together to sing in unison to lift spirits in times of trouble.

That’s exactly what happened when worshippers from more than 300 churches in every county of Ireland got together through the wonders of technology to sing a one-thousand-year-old hymn.

Has there ever been a better example of the ancient world and the modern combining to produce something wonderful?

The organisers  say The Irish Blessing (Beannacht uile-Éireann) is a project inspired by the many international recordings of “The Blessing” (by Cody Carnes, Kari Jobe and Elevation Worship) which have been made during this time of pandemic.

“The performance is dedicated to each and every one of our key workers and those they care for on the island of Ireland.

“We wanted to honour that inspiration, whilst at the same time, honouring the unique history and culture of our island. So we chose a song that would resonate across the island, with every denomination and cultural grouping, one that could be used as a platform to sing a Blessing over our land, all our key-workers and those they are caring for.

“Be Thou My Vision” is just such a hymn written over 1000 years ago. It reminds us of the One to whom we should look in this time of pandemic, whose presence is our light, the source of our wisdom, in whom we find our treasure and where we find victory.

“Individuals from 300 Christian churches and organisations located in every county on the island submitted self-recordings of vocals and instruments which have been compiled by our creative team to produce this music video – we hope you receive a blessing as you watch it.

“Profits from ’The Irish Blessing’ will be directed to Christian Aid Ireland and Tearfund Ireland in equal measure.”

 Be Thou My Vision/Prayer of St Patrick

Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art;
Thou my best thought, in the day and the night;
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my wisdom, be Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father and I, Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be thou my battleshield, my sword for the fight;
Be thou my dignity, thou my delight;
Thou my soul’s shelter and thou my high tower;
Raise thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise;
Thou mine inheritance, through all my days
Thou and Thou only, the first in my heart;
High King of heaven, my treasure Thou art.

High King of heaven, my victory won;
May I reach heaven’s joy, O bright heaven’s sun;
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall;
Still be my vision, O Ruler of all.

Christ be with you, Christ within you
Christ behind you, Christ before you,
Christ beside you, Christ to win you,
Christ to comfort and restore you,

Christ beneath you, Christ above you,
Christ In quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love you,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger

Watch the performance here.

The video prompted a warm response from viewers across the world with comments like:

Thank you so much. It has brought me to tears seeing the Irish church sing in unity in all these shapes, sounds and colours

Uplifting and timely for Pentecost. Well done to all.

The Irish blessing reached the mountains of Austria on Pentecost’s evening to move our hearts. Thank you all!

Amazing so Beautiful

I absolutely loved this. You brought my beautiful homeland together as one and it filled my heart and soul with great joy. I was born in Belfast City Hospital and It was great to see that it was included in this amazing video as well as Dublin, the birthplace of my mother. I love my homeland. Thank you.

Absolutely amazing well done what an uplifting experience

Thank God, Thank You for our Families & Friends that live in that little island across the Atlantic Ocean—- Ireland— that prayer & the people who participated brought the rainbow to a broken United States of America.

Thank you for such an amazing experience – I keep replaying the blessing since my friend sent it to me the other day. It has brought me such calm and joy and hope. I keep looking to see if I recognize anyone involved. Such a huge undertaking which is travelling around the world! Thanks again – a very grateful Irish lady in the US.

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