Friday, February 22, 2013

Hail Holy Queen Brighid

I've noticed that there are a number of prayers to Bridghid that devotees have created by adapting prayers originally written for St. Brigid. I myself don't really feel that much of a connection to St. Brigid, but I do have a life-long connection to the Blessed Mother Mary. And one of my favorite prayers to her is "Hail, Holy Queen." And sometimes, when sitting with Brighid, the prayer pops up in my mind. But I don't want to recite it, because there are elements that don't connect with Brighid. And not enought elements that do. And it mentions sentiments that I no longer ascribe to, such as "that we may be made worthy of the promised of Christ."

So I took the time to adapt the prayer to be more aligned with my devotion to Brighid. Here is my first attempt:

Hail, holy Queen, Mother of comfort!
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope!
To thee do we cry, poor wandering children of Danu,
To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears.
Cover us, most gracious goddess,with thy thine mantle of healing;
And show unto us the blessed mysteries of Awen;
O clement, O loving, O sweet Mother Brighid.
Kindle our flames, O Holy Mother Eternal,
That we may spread mercy, compassion, and love throughout all the earth.

I posted it on a few social media sites. And most of the feedback was positive. And though I didn't receive any negative feedback, I did get some scholarly correction. Mostly with my use of "Awen," since it is technically a Welsh term, and Brighid, maybe at least as I spell it, is an Irish name. There was also some feedback about my use of "Thee," "Thou," and "Hail," saying the culture or spirituality out in which Brighid is central would never use these terms.

Well, I responded to some of this feedback, and I wanted to share it here:


Keep in mind, that I wrote this out of love of Brighid. And I wanted another way to put those feelings into words. So I was not aiming for scholarly accuracy. But emotional resonance. And though Brighid is a Celtic deity, to me, she is that and much more. 

To me, she is the human-faced persona that I currently clothe the Goddess in. And the Goddess has been the comforter and protector all my life. For a great while, that persona was Mary. And for some part, it was the Holy Mother Sarada Devi in the Hindu Ramakrisha movement (along with Kali and Lakshmi). But now, Brighid is calling to me. And I am calling to her. And this prayer was one way of carrying over some of those feelings I have felt and feel for Mary.

The final result, is obviously very syncretic. It contains elements of my Catholic past (and present), connection to modern Neo-Druidry and Neo-Paganism, and Irish and Welsh language/mythology/spirituality. And my use of Awen is deliberate in that it is the name most used within modern Druidry to refer to the Great Mystery behind this whole picture show.

Obviously, this originally catholic prayer to Mary can be used as a backbone to a prayer to (almost) any Godess to any Pantheon. (I'm thinking of doing one devoted to Kali for my Hindu friends.) Thus, if you were so inclined, I would encourage you to do an authentically Irish one. Or, I might just take your feedback and do one myself.

1 comment:

  1. Arguably, an authentically Irish one would have to be in Irish, so "Awen" might be totally appropriate for a consciously syncretic composition like this. "Thee," by the way, is the informal/singular form of "you". It is traditionally used when addressing deities to indicate intimacy, so in my view it's fine in this context.