Irish Prayer May The Road Rise Up To Meet You

The Irish Prayer May the Road Rise Up To Meet You is arguably the most famous Irish prayer, and no doubt one of the most popular Irish blessings. 

In this blog post, we have a free printable poster with this Irish prayer that you can download and we will go through the meaning and significance of this beautiful Irish blessing. 

beautiful Ireland

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You (Traditional Irish Blessing or Prayer)

May the road rise up to meet you

May the wind always be 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.

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You In Irish

Here is the original version of this blessing in the Irish language, Irish Gaelic. 

Go n-éirí an bóthar leat 

Go raibh an ghaoth go brách ag do chúl 

Go lonraí an ghrian go te ar d’aghaidh 

Go dtite an bháisteach go mín ar do pháirceanna 

Agus go mbuailimid le chéile arís, 

Go gcoinní Dia i mbos A láimhe thú. 

Irish Prayer May The Road Rise Up To Meet You (Extended Version)

The above version of this traditional Gaelic blessing is most commonly heard but you may also hear longer variations of this ancient Celtic prayer, which are just as beautiful, adding some of the following verses and wishes, to wish you great love, long life, good health and lots of money!

May God be with you and bless you;

May you see your children’s children.

May you be poor in misfortune,

Rich in blessings,

May you know nothing but happiness

From this day forward.

What Is The Meaning Of May The Road Rise Up To Meet You?

Put simply, this Celtic prayer is a beautiful way of saying “travel safe”. The meaning is about God blessing your journey, keeping you safe and well on your travels. 

The first line “Go n-éirí an bóthar leat” can be translated with a meaning similar to that of the French ‘Bon Voyage”, making this blessing suitable for a Farewell wish, or as a good luck message for someone moving on and taking a new job or a new step in life.

You could say, “may you succeed on your road” is a better translation than may the road rise up to meet you – BUT this is the translation we have all become familiar with, and know and love nowadays.

It is a beautiful wish to share on special occasions, wedding ceremonies and at times of transition and new chapters.

Imagery of Nature

Using images of nature is common in Celtic literature and in Celtic Christianity these can be used as a representation of how God provides care for his creation. In this case, using imagery of the sun, wind and rain. 

Some people say the “wind at your back” represents the Holy Spirit to be with you, which can be referred to as a mighty wind.

Others said this meaning is simply – may you have a smooth journey with ease, and not a difficult terrain with lots of things to climb.

sun and field Irish blessing

The sun warming your face is said to symbolise the mercy of God which shines upon us, with warm rays of sun. God’s mercy is referred to as sunshine in Luke 1:78

“Because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven.” (NIV)

The rain falling soft on your fields would have symbolised God’s provision, to the ancient Irish farmers. As we all know, the crops need a steady amount of rain to grow lush and plentiful.

peaceful field

Who Wrote May The Road Rise Up To Meet You?

This is an traditional blessing from Irish history, the author is unknown.

Some people have attributed this saying to St. Patrick – I guess we will never know! 

More Irish Blessings

May good luck be with you wherever you go, and your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow.

May your days be many and your troubles be few, May all God’s blessings descend upon you.

May peace be within you, May your heart be strong, May you find what you’re seeking wherever you roam.

May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been

the foresight to know where you’re going

and the insight to know when you’re going too far.

May The Road Rise Up To Meet You Irish Blessing Coloring Page

You can use this coloring sheet to make your own greetings card for friends and family, with the Irish prayer May The Road Rise Up To Meet You colored in by hand.

may the road rise up to meet you Irish blessing prayer to color printable

Download Coloring Page PDF

Click below for your free instant digital download of this Irish blessing coloring page.

Terms of use: free for personal use / free for classroom use.

Download Printable Poster PDF

Irish Prayer May the road rise up to meet you Free printable poster

Click the download button below for free instant digital download of this printable Irish prayer poster.

Terms of use: free for personal use / free for classroom use.

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We hope you enjoyed our explanation of this popular Irish blessing.

Please go ahead and share with your faithful friends and family, or pin to your Pinterest boards – Go Raibh Maith Agat (thank you!)

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