Celtic Prayers for Traveling

Celtic Prayers for Traveling

“God be with you at each stop and each sea;
At each lying down and each rising up;
In the trough of the waves, on the crest of 
 the billows.
Each step of the journey you take.”

 

Blessings for the Journey

The ancient Celts knew something about sitting still, and they knew about comings and goings. The Celtic tradition had a way of praying for even the smallest or seemingly mundane human experiences. Alexander Carmichael, a 19th century author and folklorist, wrote of coming upon a home in rural Scotland. His experience reveals the presence of blessings in everyday life:

“Hail to the house and household,” said I, greeting the inmates in the salutation of our fathers.
“Hail to you, kindly stranger,” replied the housewife. “Come forward and take this seat. … May the Possessor keep you in His own keeping, good man! You left early and have traveled far, and must be hungry.”

Asking God to bless our travel affirms the purpose of the journey, and our hope that the journey will be fruitful. Travels may be long or short; distant, or just around the block. But there is always room for prayer.

Using Celtic Prayers for Travel

Before or during a trip, pray one of the prayers below. The hardest part might be remembering to do it, so consider printing out the prayers and laying them on a suitcase, in the car, or next to your keys.

If a loved one is going on a trip, pray one of the following blessings over them before they leave. Again, make sure to print out the prayers and leave them out as a reminder. In addition, you can tuck the printed prayers into their suitcase as they depart.

Finally, if you know a friend or acquaintance that is traveling, email them this page, and let them know you are praying for them on their journey.

 

3 Celtic Prayers for Traveling

Celtic Journey Blessing
May the everlasting Father shield you
East and west wherever you go.

Celtic Blessing: “The Path”
God bless the path on which you go
God bless the earth beneath your feet
God bless your destination.
God be a smooth way before you
A guiding star above you
A keen eye behind you
This day, this night, and forever.
God be with you whatever you pass
Jesus be with you whatever you climb
Spirit be with you wherever you stay.
God be with you at each stop and each sea
At each lying down and each rising up
In the trough of the waves, on the crest of 
 the billows.
Each step of the journey you take.
Celtic Blessings, Prayers for Everyday Life, compiled by Ray Simpson (Loyola Press 1999)

The Journey Blessing
Bless to me, O God.
The earth beneath my foot,
Bless to me, O God,
The path whereon I go;
Bless to me, O God,
The thing of my desire;
Thou Evermore of evermore,
Bless Thou to me my rest.
Bless to me the thing
Whereon is set my mind
Bless to me the thing
Whereon is set my love;
Bless to me the thing
Whereon is set my hope;
O thou King of kings;
Bless Thou to me mine eye!
Carmina Gadelica, Hymns and Incantations collected by Alexander Carmichael (Floris Books 2006)

 

 

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