Blessing of the Day

flower

Bless this day,
The quiet sounds of morning,
The waking of creation.

Bless this silence, nurture of solitude,
Feeding thirsty spirits,
Filling hearts for another day.

Breathe deeply the quiet,
The early morning sounds,
The softness of the sun.

Breathe deeply the beauty,
The songs of birds,
The dew upon the grass.

Breathe deeply the peace,
Cool wind upon skin,
Gentleness in every step.

Guide me, guide us,
Gently into the day,
May we be blessing to all we meet.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

The Nest

birds

The photos — clockwise: Cordilleran Flycatcher mama sitting on the nest; Papa bird watching from the tree; Mama taking a break; the eggs in the nest.

So fragile, this nest,
sitting on the electrical box,
barely sheltered from the wind and the rain.

So fragile, these eggs,
life growing within,
nurtured by the warmth
of a mother’s tiny body.

Life begins,
life grows,
life comes forth
from miraculous beginnings.

Shelter these lives,
Great God of Creation,
Source of all that has been,
all that is,
and all that is to come.

Thank you, Creator,
for eyes to see
intricate nests,
tiny birds,
speckled eggs.

We delight in your Creation.

Photos and prayer © Beth A. Richardson

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

A Blessing for the Empty Place

2014-05-25 17.47.25-1

You sit in the empty place that is left,
After the death, the arrangements, the service,
The cards and calls and emails,
The departure of family,
The thank yous and acknowledgements.

Left with the emptiness,
The space that can never be filled
In quite the same way.

You see a shadow, hear a sound,
Taste a food she used to love,
Start to tell him something about your day,
Smell a blanket or pillowcase,
And your eyes and heart are filled with tears.

The first week, the first month, the first birthday,
The first holiday, the first anniversary,
These bring you to the place of remembering,
The place of exquisite, lonely sorrow.

Bless you and your memories.
Bless the tender heart that beats within you.
Bless the empty space that can never be filled.

The shadows, the smells, the tastes, the thoughts,
Transform their pain into blessings,
Signs that though you live in that desperately empty place,
She walks beside you,
He laughs in the shelter of your heart.

That empty place
That can never be filled
In quite the same way
Is filled
With love.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

You Sit by the Bedside

2014-04-02 19.15.34-1

You sit by the bedside
Holding a hand, holding the space
For one who is entering the final journey

You sit by the bedside on a holy pilgrimage
Never having gone there yourself
Trusting that your presence is enough

You sit by the bedside of one who is silent
Of one who is crying
Of one who is drifting away

You enter into the thin space, the holy place
Your hand holding his hand
Your spirit touching her spirit

You sit by the bedside
Praying and singing
A witness of love and courage

Go gently, dear friend
The saints travel with you
Bless this time, this journey, this transition

You sit by the bedside
God in you and God in the beloved one
Christ in sorrow and Christ in freedom
Spirit holding all.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

May You Know Love

20140406-083815.jpg

Today, may you know love.
May you know happiness.
May you know peace.

Today, may you be open.
May you be safe.
May you be blessed.

Today, may you feel uplifted.
May you feel serene.
May you feel joy.

A thousand thousand prayers,
A thousand thousand blessings,
On you, and you, and you.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

You, O God!

20140331-182127.jpg

Let my prayer stand before you like incense; let my uplifted hands be like the evening offering.
– Psalm 141:2 (CEB)

You, O God!
You paint the sky with our prayers.

You, O Great Gardener!
You coax forth delicate buds and blooms.

You, O Mighty One!
You bend your ear to our laments, our praises.

You, O Gentle Spirit,
You delight in creatures great and small.

Shelter us with your love.
Enliven us with your passion.
Kiss us with your peace.

You, O God! You!
Praised be your name.
Amen.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

Beside Us

20140327-064344.jpg

We are lonely,
We are aching,
We are grieving,
You walk beside us.

We are hurting,
We are searching,
We are afraid,
You walk beside us.

We are hungry,
We are homeless,
We are destitute,
You walk beside us.

We are happy,
We are contented,
We are grateful,
You walk beside us.

On all paths,
Through all days,
For all souls,
You walk beside us.

Amen.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

Welcome, Spring

2014-03-19 09.12.59-2

Long nights and cold days
Fallow fields and dormant trees
A lenten journey of the inner world

I open my eyes and see
Light. Warmth breaking through

Promise of new life
Coming out of death
Resurrection

Welcome, beauty
Welcome, buds
Welcome, newness
Inside and all around me

You, God, source of Hope
Source of Healing
Source of Life

Welcome, welcome
Make your home in me


Photo by Beth A. Richardson. Tulip tree bloom with the windows of The Upper Room Chapel in the background.

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.

St. Patrick’s Day

photo

In name of the Creator,
In name of the Child,
In name of Spirit,
Three in One:

Creator cherish me,
Christ cherish me.
Spirit cherish me,
Three all-kindly.

God make me holy,
Christ make me holy.
Spirit make me holy.
Three all-holy.

Three aid my hope,
Three aid my love,
Three aid mine eye,
And my knee from stumbling,
My knee from stumbling.

Adapted from Carminca Gadelica, Vol. 3, p. 63.

On the Eve of Ash Wednesday

20140304-073311.jpg

On the Eve of Ash Wednesday
Of Spring and new life
Of the Lenten journey

I am overwhelmed with too much
Too many tasks, responsibilities, voices
Too many distractions and demands

Take this frozen and tired soul, Loving God
Nurture within me sustaining life
Coax from me only that which is needed

Let me shed the darkness
That I might reach toward your light

Let me empty cluttered spaces
That there might be a home for you

Melt me, mold me, fill me, use me,
On this Eve of Ash Wednesday

 
 
Find more of my prayers in my book Christ Beside Me, Christ Before Me: Celtic Blessings.