One popular Irish home blessing begins, "God bless the corners of this house / And be the lintel blessed. / Bless the hearth, the table too / And bless each place of rest." Irish prayers and blessings are typically sentimental in nature, placing value on good friends and the comforts of home. Many blessings are humorous or clever sayings that make good housewarming and wedding gifts.
Ireland is a family-oriented society with a long history of Roman Catholic tradition. Many of the country's Christian traditions mingled with older Celtic systems of belief to create uniquely Irish blessings. On occasion, these traditional beliefs tend to be superstitious; for example, a supplication during times of storm pleads for the home to stand as a barrier between those who live inside and the troubles of the outside world. Blessings that invite good fortune on each part of a house, from the roof to the foundation, also hearken to older traditions. One popular Irish house blessing prays that the inhabitants of a home never want for anything they need in life. A prayer like this would be an appropriate gift for homeowners or newlywed couples.
Irish home blessings conjure a particular domestic atmosphere that is inviting, friendly and comforting. One saying contains cheerful language that brings friends and family to mind; blessings with cozy images such as hot tea, a warm fireside and friendly conversation are appropriate for homeowners who enjoy entertaining guests. Many people consider Irish blessings to be a sign of friendship rather than an expression of strong religious faith. The best Irish home blessings arouse feelings of hope for a prosperous future, time-honored friendships, and strong relationships with family, friends and neighbors.