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athgarvan

A Celtic Prayer

I attended a funeral this morning and the following Irish blessing was sung as the corpse was leaving the church. It is certainly Irish in origin but is the English version a collection of short traditional Gaelic blessings. For example, "Go n-éirí an bóthar leat"  actually means "May you succeed."

May the road rise 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 hollow of His hand.

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat
Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl
Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d'aghaidh,
Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna
Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís,
Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú.

The tune can be found at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMr839d1PI0

Comments

This song is so touching ! I listened it with my eyes full of tears...
Thank you!
Yes it is, isn't it?
I had always wondered about the origins, thank you :)
I'm not sure of its origins myself.
lovely! can you give a more accurate translation of the whole thing?
The sentiments are all accurate enough but it is the actual words I'm not altogether happy with. e.g. the word "te" in Gaelic means "hot". Perhaps I'm being too pedantic.

Edited at 2013-04-11 13:27 (UTC)
Oh, that's interesting! But "bóthar" still means "road", right?
That is true but I've never seen it used in such a phrase before, nor indeed the combination of "road" and "rise" in English.
The image of the road rising up to meet me always make me think of falling on my face... :)