Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This English version of the Shield or Breastplate of St. Patrick (also called the Lorica) was created by Cecil Frances Alexander, an Anglican hymnist much influenced by the Oxford Movement and particularly by John Keble. More about her here. She is probably best known for her Christmas hymn, "Once in Royal David's City." This version of St. Patrick's prayer was included in the Church of Ireland hymnal:

I bind this day to me forever bypower of faith Christ's incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
his death on the cross for my salvation;
his bursting from 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 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 hand to guide, his shield to ward,
the Word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

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 that 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 God of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord!

Image credit.

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