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An Irish Blessing
St. Columba's Prayer

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Page Contents:

Photos from our Celtic spiritual retreat by G. Wakenhut
The life story of St. Columba
Meet our guest musicians
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Irish Blessing

Sung by Will Nichols, baritone

St. Columba's Prayer


God's peace and man's peace -



God's peace and Colum Killey's.


On each window and on each doorway,
On each place where moonlight enters.


On all four corners of your house -
On the place where you lay your head.


And may God's peace be on you. 

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The Story of
St. Columba

There are three saints that are dominate in importance for the Irish.  They are St. Patrick, St. Brigid, and St.Columba.

St. Columba (Colum - Latin for dove) was born in Ireland in 521.  Given into the foster care of a priest as an infant, his life began as a servant to the church.  He completed his formal religious training at the age of twenty-five.  A striking figure with a powerful build, it is said his load, melodious voice could be heard from one hilltop to another.

Columba was fascinated by books and their contents and spent much of his time copying valuable manuscripts.  According to legend, this practice caused him grief when he copied a borrowed psalter, and the owner of the psalter demanded that Columba give up that copy.  The copy's ownership was decided by a king, and the decision went against Columba. 

According to another story, further difficulty occurred for Columba when a prince who had fatally injured a rival, took refuge with Columba.  A battle ensued, and while Columba's cause was victorious, 3,000 people died.  While he felt he had been in the right, his conscience would not rest.  He resolved to exile himself to another land and win for Christ as many souls as perished in the battle.   

Whatever the reason, Columba set sail with twelve of his followers to Iona (one of Scotland's Hebrides Islands) to establish his order. There are many legends about his conversions of the pagan Scots, and most are associated with miracles that impressed these converts.

St. Columba Bay on Isle of Iona where Columba first landed


A skilled sailor, he not only established Christianity in Scotland but helped to transplant Celtic enlightenment.  In addition to being a skilled writer and poet, it is said that he was a renowned artist.

Perhaps some of his illuminations may have become a part of the Book of Kells, which many feel was created on his Isle of Iona.  The Book of Kells is perceived as the oldest illuminated Biblical manuscript and contains beautifully created illuminations within its pages. 

Today, his Isle of Iona is still a spiritual sanctuary and a destination for many seeking the solitude, beauty and reverence so valued by Columba. 


Photos from our spiritual pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona, June 2004
by G. Wakenhut

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Will Nichols

Tony Patterson

A. Wakenhut
Celtic Harp

G. Wakenhut
Irish Flute

We would like to thank Will and Tony for sharing their talents with you on this recording.  

Will is the Secrest Professor of Music and Director of the Alma College Choirs and his groups are recognized as some of the best collegiate ensembles in the country. He is also in demand as a baritone/bass soloist.

Tony is Artist-in-Residence and Staff Accompanist at Alma College and assists with the accompaniment and writes arrangements for the choral ensembles.  He is also recognized as a piano soloist and has two recordings to his credit.   

They are well known to those who desire our recordings.  Will's vocals are featured on the All Thru the Night recording and Tony's arranging and keyboard skills are in evidence on the Reverence and The Earth Remembers recordings.

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To order recordings or discuss bookings,
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Anne & Gary Wakenhut

Box 272
Lakeview, MI 48850