We have a taste of Ireland
Sweets, Irish stew, and soda bread
made fresh from ladies’ kitchens.
We see in our mind’s eye homes built
of stone, bright green grasses, people
praying “Bless us with good food, the
gift of gab and hearty laughter.”
We listen to storytelling
of Ireland still heard in pubs today
laughter erupting, radiating happiness.
“May the raindrops fall lightly on your
brow, may the soft winds freshen your spirit
may the sunshine brighten your heart.”
We listen to varied music
bones, spoons, accordion, guitar,
hammer dulcimer, penny whistle
harpsichord, and bittersweet songs
feeling the burdens of the day
resting lightly upon us, and God
enfolding us in the mantle of love.
The Breastplate of Saint Patrick
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.
The spirituality that comes from Ireland and Scotland speak to my heart. There are prayers for every action of the day. Included are prayers arising from bed, cooking, cleaning, and other labor, crossing thresholds from home to the outdoors, and for different stages of life. Everyone can offer a blessing to another.
In The Celtic Way of Seeing, Frank Mac Eowen reflects, “The Celtic way of seeing holds music as sacred, having potent capabilities to carry us into greater connection to the spirit world, as well as healing and transformative powers…
ancient stories of music consist of three strains—laughter and joy, sadness and keening, and healing sleep.”
One day I hope to connect with my ancestors while touching the stone walls and churches in gratitude, circling the holy wells in prayer, as well as dancing and breathing in the salty sea air.
Commemorating Saint Patrick’s Day last Saturday, I appreciate having heard Steve Marsh adeptly play many instruments of the land while sharing history. I certainly enjoyed the company of those who attended and made the United Women of Faith’s annual brunch happen.
I leave you with one more Irish blessing that we will be inspired and motivated to help others.
May Christ be with you, before you, behind you, and within you,
May Christ be beneath you, above you, on your right and on your left.
May Christ be with you when you lie down and when you sit down.
May Christ be in the heart of everyone who thinks of you
and in the mouth of everyone who speaks of you.
Through the invocation of the Holy Trinity, we pray blessings upon you all,
Rev. Marta Wheeler
To view or download a PDF version of this Devotional, click here: Devotional MW 2023-03-15