3 Knocks on the Door
15th August 2016
Memories of Monaghan
15th August 2016

Easter in Ireland

The ‘Good Old Days’

Here in Ireland many of our senior citizens love to talk about the ‘Good Old Days’. They tell us that in bygone days life was not as stressful or complicated as it is now. The pace of life was a lot slower and people were more ‘laid back’ in their attitude to everyday situations. They seemed to be able to pace themselves better than we are, for they believed that ‘when God made time, He made plenty of it’. They are always very willing to talk about some of the old customs and traditions that have been handed down from generation to generation. These include some religious practices which had a great influence on their lives. It would be their wish that, among other things, we would not forget the way Easter was celebrated in the ‘Good Old Days’, particularly in the rural areas of Ireland.

Easter Water

During Easter week it was customary for people to bring gallons and bottles to the Chapel. These were then filled with Easter water. This was Holy water which had been especially blessed for Easter. The water was taken home and used in various ways, including the following:

► Farmers sprinkled it on their fields as they prayed for a good harvest.
► Householders sprinkled it in their gardens as they prayed for a good crop of vegetables.
► Each member of the family drank three mouthfuls of the water. They prayed silently for good health as they swallowed it.
► The Holy water font was filled with Easter water. Whenever a person was about to leave the house they dipped a finger in the font and blessed themselves by making the sign of the Cross with the water.
► The Easter water was sprinkled in each room of the house at night. Many believed this was a means of protection for the family against any evil or illness that might befall them during the night.
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