Bless Each Odour

In choir rehearsal tonight we sang “nostrils”. I don’t mean we sang in a nasally tone; we actually sang the word “nostrils”. The beautiful music, by Daniel E. Gawthrop, is set to a 19th century Celtic text, “Bless to Me, O God,” from Carmina Gadelica. This collection of hymns, prayers, poetry and rituals from the Scottish Highlands and Islands, is a record of oral tradition handed down through generations; translated and compiled by Alexander Carmichael (1832–1912). All that surrounds me each day, even the many things I smell, can remind me of God’s abundant blessings.

PRAYER AT RISING
(From Catherine Maclean, crofter, Naast, Gairloch)
Bless to me, O God,
Each thing mine eye sees;
Bless to me, O God,
Each sound mine ear hears;
Bless to me, O God,
Each odour that goes to my nostrils
Bless to me, O God,
Each taste that goes to my lips;
Each note that goes to my song,
Each ray that guides my way,
Each thing that I pursue.
Each lure that tempts my will,
The zeal that seeks my living soul.
The Three that seek my heart,
The zeal that seeks my living soul,
The Three that seek my heart.

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