Robert Van De Weyer's book, 'Celtic Praise: A book of Celtic Devotion, Daily Prayers and Blessings', is a wonderful gift that was given to me on St. Patrick's Day a year ago. Despite being very short (a mere 64 pages) and heavily illustrated (which means fewer words on the few pages), this is a great meditative text.
In the introduction, Van De Weyer gives an overview of basic Celtic sensitivities and sensibilities. Celtic Christians were responsive to Psalms and other poetry of the biblical texts; they added their own flavour to foreign concepts and styles of Christianity that still exists to this day, remarkable given the relatively small size of the Celtic peoples then or now. After this introduction, the book is organised into four sections.
Part One: Good Things & Good Times
This section includes prayers and thanksgivings for home, God, nature, seasons, days of the week (an authentic Thank God Its Friday verse!) as well as times of day.
Part Two: Good Families & Good Friends
In this part, prayers and blessings are given for brotherhood, marriage and partnership, relationship with God, fidelity and faithfulness in friendship, thanksgivings for friends in need, and even an enemies prayer.
Part Three: Good Thoughts & Good Faith
The prayers and blessings regarding good thoughts often look at issues such as fame, fortune, ambition and activity, but cast new light on the way to view them. Good faith looks at faith in adversity and security, in complex intelligence and in simplicity.
Part Four: Good Living & Good Dying
These are daily prayers and prayers of times in one's life (protection on journeys, rising in the mornings), and some simple prayers of basic need (a prayer for a bad back). The prayers for the dying talk about those left behind as well as those departing, where they are going and who waits for them.
The bright colours and wonderful artwork throughout the book enhance the poetic psalms, prayers and blessings. The book from cover to cover is a work of art, in word and graphic display.
This book makes a great gift to give or to get for oneself.