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THE IRISH PROSTITUTE

An Irish daughter had not been home for over 5 years. Upon her return, her Father cursed her heavily.

‘Where have ye been all this time, child? Why did ye not write to us, not even a line? Why didn’t ye call? Can ye not understand what ye put yer old Mother through?’

The girl, crying, replied, Dad… I became a prostitute.’

‘Ye what!? Get out a here, ye shameless harlot! Sinner! You’re a disgrace to this Catholic family.’

‘OK, Dad… as ye wish. I only came back to give mum this luxurious fur coat, title deed to a ten bedroom mansion, plus a 5 million savings certificate. For me little brother, this gold Rolex. And for ye Daddy, the sparkling new Mercedes limited edition convertible that’s parked outside plus a membership to the country club … (takes a breath) … and an invitation for ye all to spend New Year’s Eve on board my new yacht in the Riviera.’

‘What was it ye said ye had become?’ says Dad.

Girl, crying again, ‘A prostitute, Daddy!.’

‘Oh! My Goodness! Ye scared me half to death, girl! I thought ye said a Protestant! Come here and give yer old Dad a hug !!!😜

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Irish Wedding Blessings

May God go with you and bless you,

May you see your children`s children,

May you be poor in misfortune and rich in blessings,

May you know nothing but happiness from this day forward.

May joy and peace surround you both,

Contentment latch your door,

And happiness be with you now

And God Bless you Evermore.

May you live you life with trust, And

nurture lifelong affection,

May your lifelong dreams come true for you,

Move ever that direction.

 

–oooOOoo–

 

May the light of friendship guide your paths together,

May the laughter of children grace the halls of your home.

May the joy of living for each other trip a smile from your lips, a

twinkle from your eye.

And when eternity beckons,

at the end of the life heaped high with love,

May the good Lord embrace you with the arms that have nurtured you

the whole length of your joy-filled days.

May the gracious God hold you both in the palm of His hands.

And, today, may the Spirit of Love find a dwelling place in your hearts.

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Irish Blessings

IRISH BLESSINGS

May you always have work for your hands to do.
May your pockets hold always a coin or two.
May the sun shine bright on your windowpane.
May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain.
May the hand of a friend always be near you.
And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

~~~

May joy and peace surround you, contentment latch your door.
And happiness be with you now 
and bless you evermore.

~~~

May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.

~~~

May your pockets be heavy and your heart be light.
May good luck pursue you each morning and night.

~~~

May your troubles be less and your blessing be more.
And nothing but happiness,
come through your door.

~~~

Always remember to forget the troubles that pass away. But never forget to remember the blessings that come each day.

~~~

IRISH GRACE BEFORE MEALS

Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty through
 Christ our Lord. Amen. – The

Bless us O God, as we sit together. Bless the food we eat today. Bless the hands that made the food. Bless us O God, Amen.

~~~

IRISH PRAYERS AND PRAYERS COMMON TO IRELAND

From the Breastplate of St. Patrick – Christ be with me. Christ before me. Christ behind me. Christ in me. Christ beneath me. Christ above me. Christ on my right. Christ on my left. Christ where I lie. Christ where I sit. Christ where I arise. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me. Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me. Christ in every eye that sees me. Christ in every ear that hears me. Salvation is of the Lord.

~~~

The Salve Regina (also known as Hail Holy Queen) – Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life our sweetness and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us and after this our exile show unto us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!

V: Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God

R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

~~~

The Fatima Prayer – Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell. Lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. Amen.

 

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At that hour: dealing with death

 from the Independent

Why our Irish compatriots ‘do death’ better than us

KATHERINE BUTLER 
  

TUESDAY 03 SEPTEMBER 2013

     
     
     
     
     
     
 
 
 
 
Early one morning, a year ago this month, the thing I’d always dreaded happening, happened. My mother had gone to bed the night before seeming fine, but suffered a massive stroke in her sleep. In a blur of tears and panic, I packed a few things and rushed to Heathrow, willing her to stay alive, at least until I got to the hospital in Ireland.

Three days later, my siblings and I were standing in the family home, next to an open coffin, shaking hands with people who queued down the street to offer sympathy. For nearly four hours, they came. By magic, the kitchen had filled with a small army of volunteers making sandwiches and tea, and passing around plates of apple tart.

By the time we buried my mother at the end of that August week, hundreds of people had arrived or been in contact and we’d experienced an outpouring of warmth, support, affection – and food. We could have filled the freezer several times with the home-made cakes, scones and casseroles that simply arrived. One person appeared at the front door and handed in a side of fresh salmon prepared on a baking tray dotted with lemon and dill. “Twenty-five minutes, hot oven,” is all she said, before rushing off.

Back in England, individual friends or colleagues who had themselves experienced bereavement wrote me letters or made phone calls so empathic they were heartbreaking. But for many others it was as if nothing had happened. I began to wonder if, for the English, death was either a private matter which would be indecent or even embarrassing to refer to, or that they had no idea what to say. Another possibility is they simply didn’t know.

In Ireland, passing on the news quickly is considered an important part of the response to death and this is not just in villages or small towns. My brother received a letter of condolence from the chief executive of the very large organisation he works for. It is standard practice for HR departments to send an email around when someone loses a family member. My boss in London had been very supportive, but I thought guiltily of work colleagues whose parents or spouses may have died and whose loss I had failed to acknowledge. Yet unless they had worn a black armband, how would anyone in a big workplace even know of their sorrow?

The Irish are not known for being any less emotionally repressed than their British neighbours but they do death very well. Funerals come with up to three opportunities for mourners to show up: there’s the waking of the body, which is often in the home, the “removal” to the church, and, on the final day, a funeral mass and burial followed by a reception or meal.

My friends in the UK asked me about the open coffin with a mix of fascination and horror. I didn’t tell them how my mother’s grandchildren had knelt up on chairs to get a proper look, and to place drawings beside her, or how we’d rearranged her fringe because the undertaker had made it too fussy.

To English friends, it all “sounded ghastly”. But perhaps they are used to a culture where death remains taboo even when it’s staring you in the face. One UK friend’s mother died in her fifties after a short illness. “You are invited to the funeral,” he’d said very formally. I knew that the family members were devastated but it struck me as rather sad that only a handful of people were there as they said goodbye to her. Perhaps they could not bear to feel pitied.

In Ireland, it is considered unsupportive not to show up if you know either the dead person or their family. This has much more to do with community, and perhaps psychology, than with faith. Many Irish people are now Catholics in name only but the rituals that have evolved endure and are, in my view, worth hanging on to.

Such rituals equip people with perhaps formulaic but extremely useful things to say and ways in which to act. They don’t need to ask, “Is there anything I can do?” – they know what the routine is so they just do it. One family I know awoke the day of the wake to find a neighbour hoovering their stairs. Embarrassment doesn’t come into it.

My mother died in the busy stroke unit at an overstretched hospital but nurses behaved in keeping with what is a profound, almost sacred moment for the family. They lit candles and placed a Celtic “triskele” (a pre-Christian symbol of life, death and rebirth) on the door of her room to alert other staff and patients. They covered her in an elegant purple drape and, when we eventually left, they hugged us, handing over a woven bag, her things neatly folded inside. When it seems unbearable that your mother has just died and the rest of the world is carrying on as normal, these gestures are comforting. From then to the burial four days later was intense. We were scarcely left alone for five minutes, but I think that intensity has an important healing effect.

This past year has taught me that grief is not linear. It can creep up again suddenly, just when you think you are emerging into the light. You see somebody who reminds you of the person who’s gone. Or, for a split second, you forget they’re not alive and then feel overwhelmed in odd places, as I did months later one day, queuing to buy a sandwich.

But if the culture in which you live regards death as individual or private, then you have little choice but to keep quiet about it. I suspect the cost to the NHS for treating depression or other illnesses related to it, and the cost to employers in days lost to stress leave for staff dealing with bereavement in isolation, is high.

Speaking about the death of her son, the broadcaster Libby Purves described how she felt it her duty to make other people think she was OK, otherwise they would have avoided her. “You have to make it all right for others. You want to create a feeling of casualness so that you don’t become the poor old creature nobody speaks to because they have been through tragic tragic-ness.”

To me, that seems like an extraordinary burden to place on the grieving person. I feel fortunate to come from a culture where death is part of life and people take it upon themselves to pick up the phone, send a message and, above all, keep talking you through it.

I returned this month to my home town for a small family event to mark my mother’s first anniversary and was again struck by the readiness with which local people referred to her passing, devoid of awkwardness or indeed pity. In the butcher’s, the supermarket and the hardware store as I paid for a tin of paint, I was greeted with variations on: “Your mother was a fine woman, the Lord have mercy on her” or “Hard to believe it’s been a year since your mum went”.

In Britain, death seems to be regarded as something so awful that it is best contained in the immediate family or with a counsellor if circumstances are traumatic. Perhaps there is a connection with it also being a society where even a natural, peaceful death is a medical event which few ever witness, and where the old and chronically ill are hidden away. Would attitudes to ageing be more compassionate and attitudes to life itself more fulfilling if funerals were not regarded as necessarily ghastly and mortality as something that happens only to other, less lucky people?

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