Irish blessings come in every shape and size.
From funny and formal to meaningful and poignant, there’s Irish prayers and Irish sayings to suit every occasion.
Something to be aware of from the get-go is that these blessings tend to be either religious or non-religious.
In the guide below, we’ve brought together the most notable Irish blessings for you to browse. Enjoy!
Our favourite Irish blessings, prayers and sayings
Adding Irish prayers or verses to a big day, occasion or even a card gives a little nod to Ireland while also wishing a person(s) luck and prosperity.
Below, you’ll find everything from funny Irish blessings and formal Irish blessing quotes to Irish wishes that are suitable for every occasion. Dive on in!
1. A firm favourite
Few traditional Irish blessings are as widely known and loved as ‘May the road rise to meet you‘.
Although this one is usually sits alongside Irish wedding blessings, it also features during toasts, farewells and on special milestones.
“May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
the rains fall soft upon your fields,
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.”
2. To happiness
Next up is one of the shorter Irish blessings and it’s steeped in meaning. It uses opposites to convey its message and tends to hook the listener from start to finish.
This one wishes a person that is at the beginning of a journey an easy path. It’s for that reason that it’s often used as an Irish baby blessing.
“May you be poor in misfortune,
Rich in Irish blessings, Slow to make enemies,
Quick to make friends, But rich or poor, quick or slow,
May you know nothing but, Happiness from this day forward.”
3. Green be the grass
This is another of several short Irish blessings that tends to be used during wedding ceremonies. It’s also a popular Irish birthday blessing.
Short and sweet, it gets to-the-point from the get-go and it’s easy to recite.
“May green be the grass you walk on,
May blue be the skies above you,
That pure be the joys that surround you,
May true be the hearts that love you.”
4. A host of friends that never end
If you’re looking for short Irish wishes that are easy to memorise and recite, this next one is a great option.
Filled with poetic imagery and plenty of ‘Irishness’, this falls into the traditional Irish blessings category and it’ll suit a wedding, anniversary or birthday.
“Wishing you a rainbow, For sunlight after showers—
Miles and miles of Irish smiles, For golden happy hours—
Shamrocks at your doorway, For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends, Each day your whole life through”.
5. A long Irish blessing
This is one of the longer old Irish blessings in this guide and, if you plan on reading it aloud, it’s worth taking some time to practice it.
You’ll often see this read out during a wedding ceremony or as a stand alone reading.
“May the meaning of this hour be fulfilled through the days and years to come.
May the love of this here couple, their unity of spirit,
grow deeper and stronger in the uncertainties and changes of life they will share.
Loving each other, may they love all persons. Trusting each other, may they learn to trust life.
May their love reach out to the love of all, that their lives may bless all whose lives they touch.
May they find comfort together in shared hours of shadow, as well as in the bright sunshine of joy.
May they be to each other both strong and gentle.
May all who follow their lives with interest and affection have cause to rejoice not alone in their happiness, but in their brave and generous living which makes life beautiful and significant.”
6. A blessing for everlasting love
Another good option for those of you looking for short Irish prayers for strength, this one can be used in a variety of manners.
You’ll regularly hear it used as a wedding reading along with several other short Irish wishes.
“May God give you… For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile, For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share, For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.”
7. The mist of Irish magic
With references to the mist of Irish magic and lilting Irish laughter, this short Irish blessing is one of the more popular for those looking for short Irish blessings that captures that elusive “Irishness”.
It’s a little cheeky, with a quirky ending that makes it a good light-hearted choice too.
“May the lilt of Irish laughter lighten every load,
may the mist of Irish magic shorten every road,
may you taste the sweetest pleasures that fortune ere bestowed,
and may all your friends remember all the favours you are owed.”
8. May the hand of a friend
Next is one of the more popular Irish prayers for luck that follows the prosperity theme from start to finish.
You could use this for a retirement toast or as part of a reading, if you like.
“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.”
9. To the future
Next up is an Irish prayer for healing. It wishes the listener joy, peace and friendship and the reminder that God has touched their life in many ways.
It’s also one of the more popular Irish sayings for good luck. If you use it for a reading, make sure it’s practiced before hand.
“May your mornings bring joy and your evenings bring peace.
May your troubles grow few as your Irish blessings increase.
May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.
May your hands be forever clasped in friendship and your hearts joined forever in love.
Your lives are very special, and God has touched you in many ways.
May his blessings rest upon you and fill all your coming days.”
10. Short and sweet
Short Irish blessing quotes can often be hard to come by, with many stretching over 4+ lines at a minimum.
However, if you’re looking for a very short and positive Irish blessing, you can’t go wrong with this one.
“May the roof above us never fall in,
And those gathered beneath it never fall out.”
11. Laughter and gold
This is one of many positive Irish blessings that works very well for the weddings.
It’s short and packed with well wishes for the listener/reader.
“May your home be filled with laughter,
May your pockets be filled with gold,
And may you have all the happiness,
Your Irish heart can hold.”
12. The Saints
This is one of several slightly funny Irish sayings for family gatherings that appears in this guide.
There’s a lovely bit of light heartedness to it and plenty of meaning, too!
“To live above with the Saints we love,
Ah, that is the purest glory.
To live below with the Saints we know,
Ah, that is another story.”
13. To love
It’s a wish for nothing but joy and happiness for the couple as they begin their new life together.
“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.”
14. Lucky stars above you
Many of the most popular Irish blessing quotes revolve around a theme of ‘luck’, and this one is no different.
It’s a good one to pop into a congratulations card for someone that’s had a baby as it is a thoughtful wish for the newborn at the beginning of their life.
“Lucky stars above you, Sunshine on your way,
Many friends to love you, Joy in work and play.
Laughter to outweigh each care, In your heart a song,
And gladness waiting everywhere, All your whole life long.”
15. Good health and good luck
Although you’d imagine that more Irish sayings would mention shamrocks, many of them don’t.
However, this one brings the shamrock front and centre at the start.
“For each petal on the shamrock,
This brings a wish your way,
Good health, good luck, and happiness,
For today and every day.”
16. Walls of laughter
If you’re looking for short Irish blessings for a new home, this one should fit the bill very nicely.
It’s specifically written for new home owners in mind and the final line brings a religious element to the verse.
“May these walls be filled with laughter.
May it reach from floor to rafter.
May the roof keep out the rain, May sunshine warm each windowpane.
And may the door be open wide to let the good Lord’s love inside.”
17. Turned ankles
Next up is one of the more light-hearted Irish prayers that wishes the listener/reader popularity.
However, it goes on to say that, if popularity isn’t possible, provide an easy way for the listener/reader to recognise those not on their side.
“May those who love you love you,
And those who don’t love you,
May god turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles so you’ll know them by their limping”.
18. Brooks, trees and singing hills
This is a gentle Irish blessing for healing and happiness that’ll be best suited to a card or text.
It’s likely part of a longer Irish prayer, but this verse, albeit small, packs a punch.
“May brooks and trees and singing hills Join in the chorus, too.
And every gentle wind that blows Send happiness to you.”
19. Irish angels
Next up is another Irish prayer that’ll fit nicely into a wedding ceremony or within a card.
It’s short and sweet and the ‘Irish angels’ addition brings a little dash of Ireland to the verse.
“May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May Irish angels rest their wings
Right beside your door”.
20. Bless the roof
This is another of the short Irish blessings for a new home, although it’s more religious that the previous ones.
This Irish prayer would work great in a card to congratulate the new home owners.
“Bless this house, O’ Lord we pray, make it safe by night and day;
Bless these walls, so firm and stout keep want and trouble out:
Bless the roof and chimney tall, let thy peace lie over all.”
21. In good times and bad
This is one of the longer Irish prayers and, if you’re going to incorporate it into your big day, the reader will need to practice it.
There’s plenty of meaning and imagery in this one and it’s packed with well wishes.
“In good times and bad times, in sickness and health, may they know that riches aren’t needed for wealth.
Help them face problems they’ll meet on their way—God bless this couple who marry today.
May they find peace of mind comes to all who are kind, may the rough times ahead become triumphs in time,
may their children be happy each day—God bless this family who started today.
As they go, may they know every love that was shown, and as life it gets shorter may their feelings grow.
Wherever they travel, wherever they stay, God bless this couple who marry today.”
22. To all those who dwell inside
Another Irish prayer for a new home, this is a lovely little note that’ll work well in a print out that’s framed or within a card.
“May the Grace of God’s protection,
And His great love abide,
Within your home and within the hearts,
Of all who dwell inside.”
23. May you see your children’s children
This is another of the Irish prayers focuses on the important things in life – God, health and happiness.
It works well as part of a wedding ceremony but you could also use it as part of your Irish wedding toast.
“May God be with you and bless you.
May you see your children’s children.
May you be poor in misfortune, rich in Irish blessings.
May you know nothing but happiness.
From this day forward.”
24. Remember to forget
This is a short and sweet Irish blessing prayer that can be used in everything from retirement cards to wedding toasts.
The fact that the reader will need little to no prep makes it a good option.
“Always remember to forget, The troubles that passed away.
But never forget to remember, The blessings that come each day.”
25. May your glass be ever full
While there aren’t many funny Irish blessings, this one will definitely raise a few smiles.
It can also be shared between good friends and wishes for safety and prosperity in this life and the next.
“May your glass be ever full.
May the roof over your head be always strong.
And may you be in heaven half an hour before the devil knows you’re dead.”
26. One of the shorter Irish prayers
Next up is a nice jolly one that’ll works well for congratulating the arrival of a newborn.
“May you have love that never ends,
lots of money, and lots of friends.
Health be yours, whatever you do,
and may God send many blessings to you”.
27. A quick one
Some of the best Irish blessings are short and pack a punch. This is a nice, quick toast that you can use with friends and acquaintances.
Short and sweet, it’s a simple wish for a good life, lived to the fullest.
“May you live as long as you want
And never want as long as you live”.
28. A blessing of light
This is one of the longer Irish prayers in this guide and it’s meaning.
It’s arguably best suited to a wedding ceremony, slotted in with a mix of other readings or Irish wedding poems.
“May the blessing of light be on you. Light without and light within.
May the blessed sunlight shine on you and warm your heart till it glows like a great peat fire.
May your home be filled with laughter. May your pockets be filled with gold
And may you have all the happiness, Your Irish heart can hold.
May your blessings outnumber, The Shamrocks that grow
And may trouble avoid you, Wherever you may go.
May luck be a friend to you, And be with ye in all your days,
And may trouble be to you, A stranger, now and always.”
29. A light and happy heart
Short and simple, this Irish wish revolves around happiness and reminds the listener of the important things in life.
Sure, who needs a pot of gold when you’ve a coin or two to keep you ticking along?!
“May your heart be light and happy,
May your smile be big and wide,
And may your pockets always have
A coin or two inside!”
There are many Irish wishes with the theme of gratitude, and this is one of the most popular.
You’ll see this Irish blessing framed quite a bit but it’ll work well in a card, too.
“Always remember to forget
The things that made you sad.
But never forget to remember
The things that made you glad.”
31. Forever and ever after
If Irish prayers aren’t your thing, this is a short and snappy Irish saying that’ll go down a treat at any occasion.
“May your heart be warm and happy
With the lilt of Irish laughter
Every day in every way
And forever and ever after.”
32. Live long
This is a popular Irish blessing that works really well as a casual toast.
Short and sweet, it conveys its message brilliantly in just a couple of poetic lines.
“May you both live as long as you want,
And never want as long as you live.”
33. The luck of the Irish
Although the term ‘the Luck of the Irish‘ has negative origins, it’s use here is acceptable.
Like most Irish sayings, this one can be used to wish good luck and happiness to a bride and groom or to a traveller off on a new adventure.
“May the luck of the Irish, Lead to happiest heights.
And the highway you travel, Be lined with green lights.
Wherever you go and whatever you do, May the luck of the Irish be there with you.”
34. Joy and peace
We’d argue that the best Irish blessings flow easily off the tongue, and this next one does just that.
This does a good job of wishing for a love that grows over the years and encourages the couple to work together to achieve their dreams.
“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 your life with trust, and nurture lifelong affection,
May your lifelong dreams come true for you, move ever that direction”.
35. A letter to Ireland
So, this is one of the cheesier Irish quotes that you’ll likely only hear in the likes of the States.
You’ll rarely hear anyone living in/from Ireland talk about a ‘Darlin’ colleen’.
“Here’s to the land of the shamrock so green,
Here’s to each lad and his darlin’ colleen,
Here’s to the ones we love dearest and most.
May god bless old Ireland, that’s this Irishman’s toast!”
36. A rustic blessing
This is the longer version of one of the most popular Irish prayers, ‘May the road rise to meet you’.
It adds in several more lines and would have likely been very appropriate when it was written, as many people would have worked on the land at that time.
“May the raindrops fall lightly on your brow, May the soft winds freshen your spirit.
May the sunshine brighten your heart, May the burdens of the day rest lightly upon you.
And may God enfold you in the mantle of His love.”
37. One for wisdom
One of the more popular Irish travel blessings, this next one is perfect for a farewell card for a friend that’s off on an adventure.
You’ll also see it crop up in our Irish drinking toasts as it’s suitable for going away parties also.
“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been,
The foresight to know where you are going,
And the insight to know when you have gone too far.”
38. Irish blessings for friends
Irish prayers tend to have a nice bit of imagery intertwined into their verses.
In this one, you’ll find a mix of pagan traditions with Christian ones, grounded by blessings of laughter and friendship (see more Irish friendship blessings).
“May God grant you always a sunbeam to warm you, a moonbeam to charm you,
a sheltering angel so nothing can harm you.
Laughter to cheer you, faithful friends near you.
And whenever you pray, Heaven to hear you.”
39. At the end of your rainbows
If you’re after Irish sayings for good luck, the next of our Irish wishes should tickle your fancy.
This toast packs several of the symbols of Ireland into a handful of sentences.
“May you have all the happiness
And luck that life can hold—
And at the end of all your rainbows
May you find a pot of gold.”
40. You and yours and mine and ours
The last of our short Irish blessings can be a little bit tricky when you read it aloud the first time.
However, it’s actually fairly straightforward and it’s typically used between two families who are coming together.
“Here’s to you and yours, And to mine and ours.
And if mine and ours, Ever come across to you and yours,
I hope you and yours will do, As much for mine and ours
As mine and ours have done, For you and yours”.
What great Irish prayers have we missed?
I’ve no doubt that we’ve unintentionally left out some wonderful short Irish blessing prayers from the guide above.
If you have any Irish wishes that you’d like to recommend, let me know in the comments below and I’ll check it out!
FAQs about wonderful Irish wishes
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘What are short Irish blessing quotes for a wedding?’ to ‘What Irish wishes make a good farewell?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What are the best Irish blessings?
This will depend on both the occasion and the person(s) in question, however, ‘May the road rise to meet you’ is a wonderful short Irish prayer that’s steeped in meaning.
What are some traditional Irish blessings?
‘May the road rise to meet you’ is arguably the most notable of the many Irish blessing quotes. However, many of the Irish wishes at the start of this guide are traditional.
What is the very short Irish blessing?
“May you live as long as you want, And never want as long as you live” is a great short Irish blessing if the reader is a person of few words.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.