The Rest Prayer

In the night that is tonight and every single night... By Mitchell Joyce

In the night that is tonight and every single night… By Mitchell Joyce

Carmichael recorded many rest blessings, all of which seemed to go by a different name according to the person reciting the prayer. There is Beannachadh Beinge, Bench Blessing, Beannachadh Bobhstair, Bolster Blessing, Beannachadh Cluasaig, Pillow Blessing, Beannachadh Cuaiche, Couch Blessing, Coich Cuaiche, Couch Shrining or Altachadh Cadail, Sleep Prayer, for example. It was a common belief that angels would guard people as they slept.1

Here is one example of a rest prayer, a simple way to finish off the day:

Rest blessing

Beannaich, a Thrì, an fhàrdach,
Is gach neach ta tàmh innt a nochd;
Beannaich, a Thrì, mo chairdean
Anns gach àit am bheil an torch; [clos
Bless Thou the dwelling
And each who rests herein this night
Bless Thou my dear ones
In every place wherein they sleep
Air an oidhche th’ann a nochd,
Agus air gach aon oidhche;
Air an latha th’ann an diugh,
Agus air gach aon latha.
In the night that is tonight
And every single night
In the day that is today
And every single day.2


1 Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica, 1992, p577.

2 Adapted from Song 338, Carmina Gadelica, 1992, p304 (English only) or Carmichael, Carmina Gadelica Volume III, 1941, pp356-357. Some corrections have been made to the Gaelic (an ardrach in the original is here corrected to an fhàrdach). Torch does not appear in any Gaelic dictionaries, though the gloss of clos does make sense here.