Celtic Prayers and Incantations

Celtic Prayers and Incantations

by Alexander Carmichael
     
 

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Here, in one concise volume, are highlights from Carmina Gadelica, a 19th-century anthology of ancient Gaelic prayers and incantations. Enriched with a combination of pagan and Christian imagery, these texts are written witnesses to a centuries-old oral tradition—a rare literary feast of Gaelic folklore from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
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Overview

Here, in one concise volume, are highlights from Carmina Gadelica, a 19th-century anthology of ancient Gaelic prayers and incantations. Enriched with a combination of pagan and Christian imagery, these texts are written witnesses to a centuries-old oral tradition—a rare literary feast of Gaelic folklore from the Highlands and Islands of Scotland.
This collection of prayers, hymns, charms, incantations, blessings, runes, poems, and songs sweeps the landscape of the Gaelic imagination. An extraordinary assembly of verse and prose, it reveals the mysteries of a culture's arcane knowledge and spellbinding lore. From incantations used in healing, to blessings on livestock, prayers for protection against the evil eye, and seasonal hymns that include Christmas carols, these religious texts fascinate with their dignified, liturgical style. A monumental achievement in literature, this written record of ancient prayers captures the beauty and wisdom of the oral originals, which were once recited around traditional peat fires. Drawn from the depths of Celtic Christianity, they are a lasting testament of Gaelic faith.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780486146102
Publisher:
Dover Publications
Publication date:
03/08/2012
Series:
Celtic, Irish
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
160
Sales rank:
823,936
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt

Celtic Prayers and Incantations


By Alexander Carmichael

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-14610-2



CHAPTER 1

    Invocations

    1 Rune before prayer


    I am bending my knee
    In the eye of the Father who created me,
    In the eye of the Son who purchased me,
    In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,
    In friendship and affection.
    Through Thine own Anointed One, O God,
    Bestow upon us fullness in our need,

    Love towards God,
    The affection of God,
    The smile of God,
    The wisdom of God,
    The grace of God,
    The fear of God,
    And the will of God

    To do on the world of the Three,
    As angels and saints
    Do in heaven;

    Each shade and light,
    Each day and night,
    Each time in kindness,
    Give Thou us Thy Spirit.


    2 God with me lying down

    God with me lying down,
    God with me rising up,
    God with me in each ray of light,
    Nor I a ray of joy without Him,
    Nor one ray without Him.

    Christ with me sleeping,
    Christ with me waking,
    Christ with me watching,
    Every day and night,
    Each day and night.

    God with me protecting,
    The Lord with me directing,
    The Spirit with me strengthening,
    For ever and for evermore,
    Ever and evermore, Amen.
    Chief of chiefs, Amen.


    3 The invocation of the graces

    I bathe thy palms
    In showers of wine,
    In the lustral fire,
    In the seven elements,
    In the juice of the rasps,
    In the milk of honey,
    And I place the nine pure choice graces
    In thy fair fond face,

    The grace of form,
    The grace of voice,
    The grace of fortune,
    The grace of goodness,
    The grace of wisdom,
    The grace of charity,
    The grace of choice maidenliness,
    The grace of whole-souled loveliness,
    The grace of goodly speech.

    Dark is yonder town,
    Dark are those therein,
    Thou art the brown swan,
    Going in among them.
    Their hearts are under thy control,
    Their tongues are beneath thy sole,
    Nor will they ever utter a word
    To give thee offence.

    A shade art thou in the heat,
    A shelter art thou in the cold,
    Eyes art thou to the blind,
    A staff art thou to the pilgrim,
    An island art thou at sea,
    A fortress art thou on land,
    A well art thou in the desert,
    Health art thou to the ailing.

    Thine is the skill of the Fairy Woman,
    Thine is the virtue of Bride the calm,
    Thine is the faith of Mary the mild,
    Thine is the tact of the woman of Greece,
    Thine is the beauty of Emir the lovely,
    Thine is the tenderness of Darthula delightful,
    Thine is the courage of Maebh the strong,
    Thine is the charm of Binne-bheul.

    Thou art the joy of all joyous things,
    Thou art the light of the beam of the sun,
    Thou art the door of the chief of hospitality,
    Thou art the surpassing star of guidance,
    Thou art the step of the deer of the hill,
    Thou art the step of the steed of the plain,
    Thou art the grace of the swan of swimming,
    Thou art the loveliness of all lovely desires.

    The lovely likeness of the Lord
    Is in thy pure face,
    The loveliest likeness that
    Was upon earth.

    The best hour of the day be thine,
    The best day of the week be thine,
    The best week of the year be thine,
    The best year in the Son of God's domain be thine.

    Peter has come and Paul has come,
    James has come and John has come,
    Muriel and Mary Virgin have come,
    Uriel the all-beneficent has come,
    Ariel the beauteousness of the young has come,
    Gabriel the seer of the Virgin has come,
    Raphael the prince of the valiant has come,
    And Michael the chief of the hosts has come,
    And Jesus Christ the mild has come,
    And the Spirit of true guidance has come,
    And the King of kings has come on the helm,
    To bestow on thee their affection and their love,     To bestow on thee their affection and their love.


    4 A general supplication

    God, listen to my prayer,
    Bend to me Thine ear,
    Let my supplications and my prayers
    Ascend to Thee upwards.
    Come, Thou King of Glory,
    To protect me down,
    Thou King of life and mercy
    With the aid of the Lamb,
    Thou Son of Mary Virgin
    To protect me with power,

    Thou Son of the lovely Mary
    Of purest fairest beauty.


    5 God be with us

    God be with us
    On this Thy day,
    Amen.

    God be with us
    On this Thy night,
    Amen.

    To us and with us,
    On this Thy day,
    Amen.

    To us and with us,
    On this Thy night,
    Amen.

    It is clear to be seen of us,
    Since we came into the world,
    That we have deserved Thy wrath,
    Amen.

    O Thine own wrath,
    Thou God of all,
    Amen.

    Grant us forgiveness,
    Amen.

    Grant us forgiveness,
    Amen.

    Grant to us Thine own forgiveness,
    Thou merciful God of all,
    Amen.

    Anything that is evil to us,
    Or that may witness against us
    Where we shall longest be,
    Illume it to us,
    Obscure it to us,

    Banish it from us,
    Root it out of our hearts,
    Ever, evermore, everlastingly.
    Ever, evermore, everlastingly.     Amen.


    6 Jesu, Thou Son of Mary

    Jesu, Thou Son of Mary,
    Have mercy upon us,
    Amen.

    Jesu, Thou Son of Mary,
    Make peace with us,
    Amen.

    Oh, with us and for us
    Where we shall longest be,
    Amen.

    Be about the morning of our course,
    Be about the closing of our life,
    Amen.

    Be at the dawning of our life,
    And oh! at the dark'ning of our day,
    Amen.

    Be for us and with us,
    Merciful God of all,
    Amen.

    Consecrate us
    Condition and lot,
    Thou King of kings,
    Thou God of all,
    Amen.

    Consecrate us
    Rights and means,
    Thou King of kings,
    Thou God of all,
    Amen.

    Consecrate us
    Heart and body,
    Thou King of kings,
    Thou God of all,
    Amen.

    Each heart and body,
    Each day to Thyself,
    Each night accordingly,
    Thou King of kings,
    Thou God of all,
    Amen.


    7 Holy Father of glory

    Thanks be to Thee, Holy Father of glory,
    Father kind, ever-loving, ever-powerful,
    Because of all the abundance, favour, and deliverance
    That Thou bestowest upon us in our need.
    Whatever providence befalls us as thy children,
    In our portion, in our lot, in our path,
    Give to us with it the rich gifts of Thine hand
    And the joyous blessing of Thy mouth.

    We are guilty and polluted, O God,
    In spirit, in heart, and in flesh,
    In thought, in word, in act,
    We are hard in Thy sight in sin.
    Put Thou forth to us the power of Thy love,
    Be thou leaping over the mountains of our transgressions,
    And wash us in the true blood of conciliation,
    Like the down of the mountains, like the lily of the lake.

    In the steep common path of our calling,
    Be it easy or uneasy to our flesh,
    Be it bright or dark for us to follow,
    Thine own perfect guidance be upon us.
    Be Thou a shield to us from the wiles of the deceiver,
    From the arch-destroyer with his arrows pursuing us,
    And in each secret thought our minds get to weave,
    Be Thou Thyself on our helm and at our sheet.

    Though dogs and thieves would reive us from the fold,
    Be Thou the valiant Shepherd of glory near us.
    Whatever matter or cause or propensity
    That would bring to us grief, or pains, or wounds,
    Or that would bear witness against us at the last,
    On the other side of the great river of dark shadows,
    Oh! do Thou obscure it from our eyes,
    And from our hearts drive it for ever.

    Now to the Father who created each creature,
    Now to the Son who paid ransom for His people,
    Now to the Holy Spirit, Comforter of might:
    Shield and sain us from every wound;
    Be about the beginning and end of our race,
    Be giving us to sing in glory,
    In peace, in rest, in reconciliation,
    Where no tear shall be shed, where death comes no more.
    Where no tear shall be shed, where death comes no more.


    8 A prayer

    O God,
    In my deeds,
    In my words,
    In my wishes,
    In my reason,
    And in the fulfilling of my desires,
    In my sleep,
    In my dreams,
    In my repose,
    In my thoughts,
    In my heart and soul always,
    May the blessed Virgin Mary,
    And the promised Branch of Glory dwell.
    Oh! in my heart and soul always,
    May the blessed Virgin Mary,
    And the fragrant Branch of Glory dwell.


    9 Rune of the muthairn

    Thou King of the moon,
    Thou King of the sun,
    Thou King of the planets,
    Thou King of the stars,
    Thou King of the globe,
    Thou King of the sky,
    Oh! lovely Thy countenance,
    Thou beauteous Beam.

    Two loops of silk
    Down by thy limbs,
    Smooth-skinned;
    Yellow jewels
    And a handful
    Out of every stock of them.


    10 Bless, O Chief of generous chiefs

    Bless, O Chief of generous chiefs,
    Myself and everything anear me,
    Bless me in all my actions,
    Make Thou me safe for ever,
    Make Thou me safe for ever.

    From every brownie and ban-shee,
    From every evil wish and sorrow,
    From every nymph and water-wraith,
    From every fairy-mouse and grass-mouse,
    From every fairy-mouse and grass-mouse.

    From every troll among the hills,
    From every siren hard pressing me,
    From every ghoul within the glens,
    Oh! save me till the end of my day.
    Oh! save me till the end of my day.


    11 The guiding light of eternity

    O God, who broughtst me from the rest of last night
    Unto the joyous light of this day,
    Be Thou bringing me from the new light of this day
    Unto the guiding light of eternity.
    Oh! from the new light of this day
    Unto the guiding light of eternity.


    12 A prayer for grace

    I am bending my knee
    In the eye of the Father who created me,
    In the eye of the Son who died for me,
    In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me,
    In love and desire.

    Pour down upon us from heaven
    The rich blessing of Thy forgiveness;
    Thou who art uppermost in the City,
    Be Thou patient with us.

    Grant to us, Thou Saviour of Glory,
    The fear of God, the love of God, and His affection,
    And the will of God to do on earth at all times
    As angels and saints do in heaven;
    Each day and night give us Thy peace.
    Each day and night give us Thy peace.


    13 Prayer for protection

    As Thou art the Shepherd over the flock
    Tend Thou us to the cot and the fold,
    Sain us beneath Thine own glorious mantle;
    Thou Shield of protection, guard us for ever.

    Be Thou a hard triumphant glave
    To shield us securely from wicked hell,
    From the fiends and from the stieve snell gullies,
    And from the lurid smoke of the abyss.

    Be my soul in the trustance of the High King,
    Be Michael the powerful meeting my soul.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Celtic Prayers and Incantations by Alexander Carmichael. Copyright © 2007 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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