Monday, March 17, 2014

Prayer of St Patrick

This prayer is said to have been written by Saint Patrick himself, who lived from 387 – 493. St. Patrick evangelized Ireland.

As the story goes, he suspected an ambush while he was on the way to meet King Laoghaire. He said the prayer, known today as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, or the Deer’s Cry. As the soldiers sent to kill him lay in wait, Patrick and his companions passed by but all the soldiers saw were deer. Whether or not St. Patrick actually wrote the prayer, it is an eloquent expression of Christian faith, especially in crisis.

The Prayer of St. Patrick.

We bind unto ourselves today
the strong Name of the Trinity.
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.

We bind this today to us forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
his baptism in Jordan river,
his death on Cross for our salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom.
We bind unto ourselves today.

We bind unto ourselves the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgment 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 God-saved souls.

We bind unto ourselves today
the virtues of the star lit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at evening,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

We bind unto ourselves the power
of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, His might to stay,
his ear to hearken to our need;
the wisdom of our God to teach,
his hand to guide, His shield to ward;
the word of God to give us speech,
his heavenly host to be our guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar our course;
or few or many, far or nigh –
in every place and in all hours,
against their fierce hostility
We bind to us 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, the poisoned shaft –
protect us, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with us, Christ within us,
Christ behind us, Christ before us,
Christ beside us, Christ to win us,
Christ to comfort and restore us.

Christ beneath us, Christ above us,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love us,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.
Christ in every eye that sees us,
Christ in every ear that hears us.

We bind unto ourselves the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.
by Whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:

Praise to the Lord of our salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.