O Mary of Graces

This hymn / prayer is a traditional Irish text:  the author is unknown, and there are translations attributed to J Rafferty and Fr Douglas Hyde.   There are two tunes in circulation, with very similar rhythms but different melody patterns.

An arrangement of the tune for the Fr Douglas Hyde version, for voice and flute, is available from the Choral Public Domain Library.

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The Fr Douglas Hyde tune and translation


J Rafferty translation:

O Mary of graces, and mother of Christ,
O may you direct me and guide me aright.
O may you protect me from Satan's control,
And may you protect me in body and soul.

O may you protect me by land and by sea,
And may you protect me from sorrows to be.
A strong guard of angels above me provide;
May God be before me and God at my side.

Fr Douglas Hyde translation:

O Mary of graces and mother of God
May I tread in the paths that the righteous have trod
And mayest thou save me from evil's control
And mayest thou save me in body and soul.

And mayest thou save me by land and by sea
And mayest thou save me from tortures to be
May the guard of the angels around me abide
May God be before me and God at my side.

O Mary of graces, oh answer my plea
Under crosses in trials, to thee do I flee
O teach me sweet mother to follow His will
To journey with courage up Calvery's hill

O Mary my mother and mother of all
Be my guide and protectress that I may not fall
And mayest thou lead me to heaven above
With saints and angels I'll share in thy love

May a smile of thy mercy from heaven come down
When my heart would leave thee and cleave to the ground
And when this poor body returns to its sod
May thy loving arms bear my soul to its God.

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