Monday 17 March 2008

Prayer of St Patrick

Happy St Patrick's Day to you!

I won't be heading in to the city for the parade today. Instead I think I will celebrate a bit of Irishness this evening at a coffeehouse with a book of Irish myths and legends.

For a few local thoughts about Paddy's Day check out Dublin Mom.

In the meantime, here's the prayer from the man himself. This version was transcribed by Mrs C.F. Alexander and was first used on 17th March 1889. Mrs Alexander is also known for such hymns as 'Once in Royal David's City', 'There is a Green Hill Faraway', and perhaps most notably for 'All Things Bright and Beautiful.'

St Patrick's Breastplate
(The Lorica)

I bind unto myself today
The strong name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever,
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan River;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting form the spiced tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet 'Well done' in judgement hour;
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors' faith, Apostles word,
The patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun's life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind's tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to harken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hands to guide, his shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptations force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart's idolatry,
Against the wizard's evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all the love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord!


Rob Reardon said...

Greetings from "the Emerald City," Seattle! I've stopped by your site in the past and have been interested in what you have to say.


Wallace said...

Hope you had a good Paddy's day! I also celebrated with a coffee!

Cosmo said...

Hi Rob,

Thanks for stopping by. I'd love to get to Seattle some day - and not just for the coffee!


It's good to know that someone else was celebrating with the alternative dark brown drink today!

Nancy Mon said...

I celebrated with the wearing of some green. Hope you had a lovely holiday.