Many mark February 1st as St. Brigid’s Day, a Gaelic festival based on Imbolc/Imbolg.  St. Brigid of Kildare (aka Brigid of Ireland) is one of Ireland’s patron saints, presumed to have been an early Irish 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, it is still observed as a cultural event where there have been Celtic connections.

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, it is still used by some Celts and churches who value its benefits for it has to do with ‘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 in our lives so that joy, generosity, love, light, may be kept within our soul.   Creator of all, encircle us this night and the nights to come with love, peace, and hope.


© 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.