One way to honor Brighid’s Gaelic history is to learn the Sloinntireachd Bride or “Genealogy of Brighid” in its original Scottish Gaelic form. This traditional prayer was recorded in Alexander Carmichael’s Carmina Gadelica. It was considered an extremely powerful protective charm. Of course, it will be easier to recite the Sloinntireachd in Gaelic if you study the language, at least to a beginner’s level.
Gaelic is not as difficult to pronounce as is commonly believed, but Gaelic pronunciation rules are very different from English. When learning Gaelic from a book or online course, one way to learn how to pronounce the language correctly is to sing along with recordings of Gaelic traditional songs. Often, the liner notes contain the lyrics in both Gaelic and English. After singing along with a few of these albums for a few months, you will not only find Gaelic much easier to pronounce but will probably also have learned a few songs.
By studying the Gaelic language and learning how to sing traditional Gaelic songs, you will help contribute to the survival of the Gaelic language and culture- another way of doing Brighid’s work in the world.
The song “Gabhaim Molta Bride” is in Irish rather than Scottish Gaelic, so the pronunciation and vocabulary are somewhat different. However, learning how to sing this popular song of Brigidine devotion is another good way to worship Brighid while honoring the Gaelic culture. Many recordings of this song are available both online and elsewhere.
“Paganized” English-language versions of the Sloinntireachd can be found in a number of places as well, but we chose not to use them.
Rather than altering any traditional Gaelic prayers to make them more pagan, we chose to compose our own prayers for this Book of Hours. The prayers in the Carmina Gadelica, as treasures of the Gaelic culture, are not ours to alter.
For the same reason, although we worship Brighid as a goddess, we prefer to present the Sloinntireachd unaltered, including its traditional mixture of Christian and pre-Christian elements.
Sloinntireachd Bride (Scottish Gaelic)
SLOINNEADH na Ban-naomh Bride,
Lasair dhealrach oir, muime chorr Chriosda.
Bride nighinn Dughaill duinn,
Mhic Aoidh, mhic Airt, nitric Cuinn,
Mhic Crearair, mhic Cis, mhic Carmaig, mhic Carruinn.
Gach la agus gach oidhche
Ni mi sloinntireachd air Bride,
Cha mharbhar mi, cha spuillear mi,
Cha charcar mi, cha chiurar mi,
Cha mhu dh’ fhagas Criosd an dearmad mi.
Cha loisg teine, grian, no gealach mi,
Cha bhath luin, li, no sala mi,
Cha reub saighid sithich, no sibhich mi,
Is mi fo chomaraig mo Naomh Muire
Is i mo chaomh mhuime Bride.
The Genealogy of Brighid (English)
THE genealogy of the holy maiden Bride,
Radiant flame of gold, noble foster-mother of Christ,
Bride the daughter of Dugall the brown,
Son of Aodh, son of Art, son of Conn,
Son of Crearar, son of Cis, son of Carma, son of Carruin.
Every day and every night
That I say the genealogy of Bride,
I shall not be killed, I shall not be harried,
I shall not be put in cell, I shall not be, wounded,
Neither shall Christ leave me in forgetfulness.
No fire, no sun, no moon shall burn me,
No lake, no water, nor sea shall drown me,
No arrow of fairy nor dart of fay shall wound me,
And I under the protection of my Holy Mary,
And my gentle foster-mother is my beloved Bride.