Many mark this day, February 2nd, as St. Brigid’s Day, a Gaelic festival based on Imbolc/Imbolg which celebrates the arrival in longer, warmer days and early signs of spring in some places. Others mark it as Candlemas (or Presentation of Christ in the Temple) while still others mark it as Groundhog Day.
St. Brigid is one of Ireland’s patron saints, presumed to have been an early Christian nun, abbess, and founder of several monasteries of nuns. Although many of the customs of St. Brigid’s Day (when Brigid was said to visit homes and offer blessings of protection of homes and livestock) have died out, the day is still observed as a cultural event where there have been Celtic connections – and co-incidentally, it’s also Groundhog Day.
When I took this photo, I was reminded of a lovely Celtic prayer based on the Caim (the word ‘Caim’ is Gaelic – meaning a ‘circling’ prayer). Used by ancient Celts, this prayer is still used by some Celts and churches who value its benefits of ‘protection’ or ‘sanctuary.’
“Encircle me this night with your presence.
Keep joy within. Keep bitterness out.
Keep generosity within. Keep greed out.
Keep love within. Keep self-seeking out.
Keep light within. Keep darkness out.”
May we do what we can to keep … bitterness out … greed out … self-seeking out … darkness out,
so that … joy, generosity, love, light may be kept within.
Creator of all, as the pandemic rages, infill us with hope that vaccines will become readily available soon
and encircle us this night, and the nights, to come with love and peace.
Amen. So be it. Amen.
© June Maffin
The Caim (the enfolding prayer) is a form of prayer used by early Celtic Christians and is based on a Prayer found in the Gethsemane Chapel, Wells Cathedral, Wells, England.