This section doesn’t currently include any content. Add content to this section using the sidebar.

Irish Prayers & Blessings

With the season of Lent and Easter upon us, you may find yourself seeking a time of prayerful reflection. The Irish have a long tradition of practical, aptly worded prayers and blessings. Today, we’re sharing a few of these to use during your quiet time or as your join with friends and family to celebrate.

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

This prayer, which is one of the most lengthy as well as most popular Irish prayers, is attributed to Saint Patrick (although some say the author is anonymous). It is said to have been written before he went to convert 5th century Irish king Leoghaire from paganism to Christianity, thus he felt he needed his armor or breastplate. Today you can use it during times of personal reflection.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with His baptism,
Through the strength of His crucifixion with His burial,
Through the strength of His resurrection with His ascension,
Through the strength of His descent for the judgment of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In the predictions of prophets,
In the preaching of apostles,
In the faith of confessors,
In the innocence of holy virgins,
In the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
The strength of heaven,
The light of the sun,
The radiance of the moon,
The splendor of fire,
The speed of lightning,
The swiftness of wind,
The depth of the sea,
The stability of the earth,
The firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near.

I summon today
All these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul;
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me an abundance of reward.

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Threeness,
Through confession of the Oneness
of the Creator of creation.

Christ In All

The words of this prayer appear very similar to stanzas of the Breastplate prayer; however, this is a much shorter version. If you’re looking for a prayer you can easily memorize and repeat throughout the day, start with this one. It can also be a good option for little ones to learn.

Christ be with me,
be after me,
be before me,
and be at my right and left hand.
May everything I do be for Christ.

An Old Irish Blessing

Easter is often a time of gathering with extended family, including ones you may not often see. Offer this customary Irish blessing to those around your table to extend goodwill and God’s omnipotent presence in all they do.

God’s might to uphold you,
God’s wisdom to guide you,
God’s eye to look before you,
God’s ear to hear you,
God’s word to speak for you,
God’s hand to guard you.

Traditional Irish Blessing

Finally, as the sun sets on your gathering, give this blessing before departing. Its familiar words—which you may even have on a coffee mug or plaque in your home—will sweeten the days you are apart from friends and family and remind them of your love as well as the Lord’s.

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.
The rain fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.