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Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations from the Gaelic Paperback – September, 1994


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Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations from the Gaelic + Celtic Prayers from Iona: The Heart of Celtic Spirituality + Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings From the Northumbria Community
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 687 pages
  • Publisher: Floris Books; Revised edition (September 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0863155200
  • ISBN-13: 978-0863155208
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #631,453 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

'This is a beautiful book ... to have for quiet moments and to use for teaching.' --Yoga Scotland, Jan 2007

Language Notes

Text: English

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Cameron-Smith TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 20, 2007
For those interested in Gaelic literature, this collection of hymns and incantations is invaluable. The material contained includes a blend of pagan and Christian imagery and spirituality, and reflects the Gaelic oral tradition. The celtic knots and motifs are wonderful adjuncts to the text.

Alexander Carmichael (1832-1912) made this collection of 'old lore' over a period of 44 years in the second half of the 19th century. Without Mr Carmichael's efforts, it is possible that some, at least, of this material would have been lost forever.

Recommended to those who are interested in Gaelic literature as well as to those with a specific interest in the hymns and incantations.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Robert Mitchell on October 4, 2007
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This is an enormous and enormously diverse compilation of short and not so short prayers from a somewhat hidden part of our western tradition.

If your looking for texts that haven't been to set to music so often as, for instance, the ave maria, look here.

If your looking for a spell to ward off the evil eye, you can probably find that as well : )

If looking for a part of our cultural heritage not regularly reported in cultural histories, look here.

These English translations of Gaelic texts make a whole other world available to the linguistically challenged, like me. : )
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Laoiseach on August 3, 2007
Though Pagans may be put off by some of the Christian overlay in this book, it is an essential compendium of traditional Gaelic prayers, charms and incantations. You may need to go to the Library to find the Gaelic versions, but it is well worth your time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A. Doug Floyd VINE VOICE on December 2, 2011
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Unlike most prayer books, this is more like a collection of folk prayers or common prayers and rituals of the people. The rituals may seem odd to us because we don't have a sense of living in a world where spirits (good and bad) are close by. These prayers reflect a people who've been shaped by a Christian vision of the world, but still retain some of their pre-Christian sensibilities about the world around them. Many of the prayers are absolutely stunning and stirring. Some of the prayers serve to sacralize the simple everyday tasks of living like sweeping a room, stoking a fire and so on. Overall, this books of prayers has deeply enriched my personal prayers and reflections.
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If you'd like to know why so many people are attracted to Celtic Christianity and spirituality, then this book is for you. Carmina Gadelica, the songs of the Gales, is a massive collection or prayers and songs in the oral tradition by Alexander Carmichael back in the 1800s. Reading these prayers, one sees that the Celtic mind was God-intoxicated, and God was present and felt everywhere and was "behind" every event. With each page and prayer, one realizes God consciousness at every turn and event, from getting up at sunrise, till sunset, and everything in between! Theologically we would call the Celtic mindset panentheistic-God was in everything.

Fast forward to today, and consider that for most contemporary Christians, prayers are limited to church or the home and are typically formal. BORING! Carmina Gadelica is how true Christian prayer was meant to be; spontaneous, lively, of the moment, coming from the heart. This volume is a must for any serious student of Celtic Christianity. Read, savor, and be proud of the Celtic tradition of prayer. This is the Celtic book of uncommon prayer.
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I have found just the right passages to address every life situation. It's a giant volume, though, so it takes some time to digest it all. That's part of its charm. I've given the book as a gift to two others. I think it would be one of my desert island necessities.
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