Blessing a home is an important part of our Irish cultural heritage and one of the most beautiful sayings starts off with "God Bless The Corners of This House."
In years gone by, a priest was often asked to bless a new home, or when a family moved to a new home the owners would sprinkle holy water around the rooms and ask God for his blessings.
Today's post features an old Irish blessing for the home with some free printables at the bottom of this post.
This lovely blessing is wonderful for sharing when someone moves to a new home, or it can be displayed as a saying in your home, or simply recited to ask for God's blessings on all who live in your sacred space.
Table of Contents
God Bless The Corners Of This House
One of the most famous of Irish home blessings, and one of my favorite Irish blessings of all times, goes like this:
"God bless the corners of this house,
And be the lintel blest,
And bless the hearth and bless the board,
And bless each place of rest,
And bless each door that opens wide
To stranger as to kin,
And bless each crystal window pane
That lets the starlight in,
And bless the rooftree overhead
And every sturdy wall.
The peace of man,
the peace of God,
The peace of love on all."
A Little History of Irish House Blessings
There is an old Irish tradition of having Mass said in a home that dates back to the time of the Penal Laws.
In the late 17th century and through most of the 18th century, it was forbidden for Catholic priests to say Mass in public in Ireland.
As a result, Irish people often invited a priest to celebrate Mass in secret in their home. Even after the Penal Laws were lifted, this tradition of blessing a home by having a priest say Mass, continued especially in rural areas. The practice became known as having "the Stations" at your house. In rural parishes to this very day, different homes host "the Stations" every year.
Holy Water Fonts In Irish Homes
In years gone by holy water fonts were often kept beside the front door in Irish homes, so that as guests departed the host or hostess could bless them with holy water.
But blessings were not reserved for guests alone. Everyone who departed the house through the door beside the holy water font was blessed.
On the way out the door Irish people would dip the index finger of their right hand in the font, and bless themselves as they set out on their journey.
As children went on their way to school they were blessed. Visitors, both frequent and infrequent, were blessed as they journeyed home. And if you were leaving to go on a long journey, there was no shortage of holy water to sprinkle over you.
I have very fond memories of my granny in County Cork nearly drowning us in holy water as we left to head back to Dublin, after spending time with her on the farm in County Cork. She could even remove the font from the wall and follow us out the door to sprinkle us with God's blessings.
Sharing of Irish blessings was not limited to priests alone. Common or ordinary folk accepted their role of sharing and giving blessings to one another. Holy water became part of our Christian tradition because of a deep, early, Celtic belief in the healing, and sustaining powers of water.
For me, having a holy water font at the front door, was one of the great Irish traditions, but like many of our cultural heritage practices, it's a tradition that is vanishing.
Free Printables For An Irish Home Blessing
A reader requested a printable version of one of my blessing graphics featuring this beautiful Irish saying.
I decided to create a few different selections of this blessing with images of thatched cottages, and text displayed using a Celtic script.
The first one is a recreation of an image I shared on Pinterest many years ago. This one is in US Letter size for printing.
Follow the links through the buttons below to be taken to a file that you can save and print.
Here's a printable featuring a thatched cottage with a blue door:
I hope you find a cottage that you like among this selection.
Plus I created a two page file that can be printed and glued together, then folded to create your own greeting card featuring this lovely thatched cottage with the blue door and windows.
Here's another printable featuring a row of thatched cottages from Connemara.
Plus I created a two page file that can be printed and glued together, then folded to create your own greeting card featuring this lovely row of thatched cottages.
And here's the final printable design, inspired by my original creation a few years back, and featuring a lovely cottage with red windows.
Plus I created a two page file that can be printed and glued together, or printed on two sides of card stock paper, then folded to create your own greeting card featuring this lovely row of thatched cottages.
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Free Irish Blessings Printables To Download
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You may also enjoy creating these online jigsaws.
Thanks for stopping by to check out this lovely Irish blessing.
Slán agus beannacht,
(Goodbye and blessings)
Mairéad -Irish American Mom
Pronunciation - slawn ah-gus ban-ock-th
Mairéad - rhymes with parade
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