The original version of this hymn is a prayer to God, not Brigit, collected by Alexander Carmichael in the Carmina Gadelica. I came across it in Esther de Waal's book on Celtic Christianity, Every Earthly Blessing, and was much moved by the text. In my efforts to memorize my modified version to use as a prayer on rising each morning, a tune began to attach itself to the phrases. I offer it to you now with a collection of images, mostly from old postcards and archival photos, but also including:
- images from the website of the Brigidine sisters of Australia
- hearth drawings by E. Estyn Evans
- the Solas Bhride hearth (photo by Erynn Laurie)
- Judy Chicago's Saint Bridget plate from The Dinner Party
- my own very humble clay crèche of Brigit, her cow, and the triple flame
- a Brigit candle cross-stitch design by Donna Amaral of the Daughters of the Flame
- a painting of a Renaissance woman blacksmith by Francesca Miller
- a photo of friends drumming around the fire in Haiti
- Mayra Gomez carrying Brigit's flame (from the AFRI website)
- a woman blacksmith in Sulawesi
I include Donna Amaral's cross-stitch pattern here. Please credit her wherever you may use it. Donna was an early and dedicated member of the Daughters of the Flame whose generosity and joy were a great inspiration and support to all who knew her. Her death was a great loss to us all.
Brigit kindle in my heart within
a flame of love to my neighbour
to my foe, to my friend, to my kindred all
to the brave, to the knave, to the thrall.
Without malice, without jealousy
without envy, without fear
without terror of anyone under the sun.
For the original words, collected by Alexander Carmichael, see the Comment section below.