Bless this house - and the shared family circle of love, prayer and trust
Easter is a time to reflect on the special delights and challenges of domestic life and relationships, writes Archbishop Eamon Martin
The beautiful song, Bless This House, was written 90 years ago this year. When the great Irish tenor, Count John McCormack, recorded it, the song became famous all over the world.
Here in Ireland, the practice of blessing homes to ask God's protection on the family, and ward off evil, goes back centuries. One such tradition was centred on Easter. I remember well bringing home the "Easter water" from a big barrel outside our parish church. This water, in which the Paschal Candle had been dipped at the Easter Vigil, was sprinkled by our parents and grandparents to bless family members and homes, outbuildings, cars and tractors, and of course the graves of our loved ones.
You may wish to bless your home this Easter using this beautiful blessing prayer which has been handed down to us over many decades: