I’d like to give a lake of beer to God.
I’d love the heavenly
Host to be tippling there
For all eternity.
I’d love the men of Heaven to live with me,
To dance and sing.
If they wanted, I’d put at their disposal
Vats of suffering.
White cups of love I’d give them
With a heart and a half;
Sweet pitchers of mercy I’d offer
To every man.
I’d make Heaven a cheerful spot
Because the happy heart is true.
I’d make the men contented for their own sake.
I’d like Jesus to love me too.
I’d like the people of heaven to gather
From all the parishes around.
I’d give a special welcome to the women,
The three Marys of great renown.
I’d sit with the men, the women and God
There by the lake of beer.
We’d be drinking good health forever
And every drop would be a prayer.
There are many stories about Saint Brigid and beer. Once, she converted water into beer for people in a leper colony, when she was asked for beer by the lepers. Back then, beer was the daily drink of the people, both because water was often polluted and additionally, beer provided some extra nourishment.
She is also reputed to have supplied beer brewed from just a peck of barley, to eighteen churches, over the Easter season.
“Against Easter the sacred virgin made beer of one onely measure or pecke of malt, sending part thereof to eighteen Churches that were round about, and besides during all the octave, that small quantity sufficed aboundantly, and served to satisfy all those who would, and were desirous to taste thereof”. see the version of Cogitosus on http://cbladey.com/brigid/saintale.html
So perhaps this year, we can reflect on the joyfulness of community, on how we can offer “white cups of love” and “sweet pitchers of mercy,” on dancing and singing, and of the afterworld/ otherworld as a “cheerful spot.”