Prayer for Raking the Fire

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  • Teideal (Title): Prayer for Raking the Fire.
  • Uimhir Chatalóige Ollscoil Washington (University of Washington Catalogue Number): 840115.
  • Uimhir Chnuasach Bhéaloideas Éireann (National Folklore of Ireland Number): none.
  • Uimhir Roud (Roud Number): none.
  • Uimhir Laws (Laws Number): none.
  • Uimhir Child (Child Number): none.
  • Cnuasach (Collection): Joe Heaney Collection, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Teanga na Croímhíre (Core-Item Language): English.
  • Catagóir (Category): lore.
  • Ainm an té a thug (Name of Informant): Joe Heaney.
  • Ainm an té a thóg (Name of Collector): unavailable.
  • Dáta an taifeadta (Recording Date): 29/11/1983.
  • Suíomh an taifeadta (Recording Location): University of Washington, United States of America.
  • Ocáid an taifeadta (Recording Occasion): evening class.
  • Daoine eile a bhí i láthair (Others present): unavailable.
  • Stádas chóipcheart an taifeadta (Recording copyright status): unavailable.

The following prayer is said by the person raking, or smooring, the fire at bedtime. To ensure that the fire will come back to life in the morning, place a shovelful of ash over the hot coals, and say this:

I rake the fire as Christ saved all
Bridget under the foundations
The Son of Mary in its midst
And the three angels most mighty in heaven’s hall
Protect this house until day shall dawn.


Here is the text of this prayer in Irish. This version comes from Ceathrú Thaidhg in north Mayo, which may account for the slight differences in the translation.

Coigilt na Tine

Coiglím an tine seo mar a choiglíonn cách
Críost i mullach an tí is Bríd ina lár
An dá aingeal déag is treise í gcathair na ngrást
Ag cumhdach an tí is na tine seo
Is a mhuintir a thabhairt slán.


I rake this fire as all do
Christ at the top of the house, and Bridget in its midst
The twelve strongest angels in the city of graces
keeping this house and this fire
and its people safe.