Recently a reader in Cape Breton asked me where to find Psalm 23 in Gaelic. If you’re not already part of a Gaelic community or taking classes, it can be hard to find! This post offers a video of us singing the metrical 23rd Psalm, the text of the metrical and regular Bible versions, and more information about the Gaelic psalm singing and the Gaelic Bible, including the new free app and translation.
Having a wedding ceremony in a Celtic language is fairly rare nowadays, but we were excited to try. Let me tell you the story of My Big Fat Gaelic Wedding (A’ Bhanais Mhór Ghàidhealach Dhà Rì-ribh agam)!
Brìghde, Bríde, Breeshey, Brigid or St. Bridget is a saint not only of Ireland, but also of Scottish and Manx Gaels. Her feast day is February 1st and signals the return of spring. Here I explore some of her Gaelic traditions and suggest some ways to celebrate the eve of her feast day at home on January 31st.
I love the controlled chaos of a children’s Christmas pageant. Nothing ever goes exactly how it’s supposed to, but it’s always hilarious and heart-warming. In 2011 I wrote a Gaelic nativity play for Gaelic learners, motivated by the desire to integrate more family activities into the Gaelic events calendar.
Today, as I write this, it’s World Communion Sunday. My church, the United Church of Canada, observes this ecumenical celebration. How does this relate to Gaelic? Bear with me. The Bible reading and sermon for today’s service was Matthew 12: 46-50. This passage reminded me strongly of a message (lay sermon) that I wrote and delivered for an ecumenical Gaelic service at the Log Cabin Church in Loch Broom, Pictou County, Nova Scotia in August 2012. My brief Gaelic sermon explains how Gaelic speakers might want to rethink our concept of a “Gaelic family.” Although my message was directed toward Christian attendees, the secular aspect of the message may be interesting for non-Christian readers to consider.
Gaels in Scotland and Nova Scotia don’t tend to know a lot about each other, unless they’ve actually visited each other’s home turf. There are a lot of similarities between Gaelic in Nova Scotia and Scotland, but also some significant differences that are not widely known. Here is the second half of my top ten list,, #5 through #1 of the top ten differences between Gaelic in Nova Scotia and Scotland from a Nova Scotian perspective.
Sometimes you set your sights on learning a text by heart that is not repeated very often in your immediate environment. For someone who is new at learning the Scottish Gaelic language, and is of Christian belief or heritage, the sacred symbolic text of the Lord’s Prayer might seem like a natural thing to learn. I’ll explain why that isn’t necessarily a good idea, and talk about when and how to learn the prayer.