17 March 2006

In Honor of Saint Patrick

St. Patrick's Breastplate:

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ's birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me,
God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me,
God's host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

6 comments:

Mimi said...

I've always loved St. Patrick's Breastplate, thank you!

William Weedon said...

Me, too, Mimi. It's such a powerful prayer - and it brings such peace. I shared it with a friend whose son and daughter-in-law were caught in one of the hurricanes last year, suggesting that she change it to: "Christ be them, Christ within them..." etc. We both prayed it for them that way. Pax!

Mark Shane said...

What happened to "I bind myself unto...?" In my searches this week I've come across a dozen different versions and am perplexed as to which, if any, is "standard." I need to settle on one. Is this your preferred version?

Luther's remarks about picking one and sticking with it are soooooo on the mark.

The penultimate section/part/stanza of "Christ with me, Christ before me ..." is such a climax. I am invincible after that.

William Weedon said...

"I Bind Unto Myself" is a hymnic setting of this prayer. For singing the prayer, that's the way to go. For speaking the prayer, the longer version printed here does the better job. My $.02.

Mark Shane said...

On closer examination what you have here is almost an exact match with this translation.

I think I like "I bind to myself today" more than "I arise today through" because it better preserves the breastplate imagery; of suiting-up in (Ephesians style) the armor of God. What a morning prayer-

Wartburg said...

"5. I bind to myself to-day,—
The Power of God to guide me,
The Might of God to uphold me,
The Wisdom of God to teach me,
The Eye of God to watch over me,
The Ear of God to hear me,
The Word of God to give me speech.
The Hand of God to protect me,
The Way of God to go before me,
The Shield of God to shelter me,
The Host of God to defend me,
Against the snares of demons,
Against the temptations of vices,
Against the lusts of nature,
Against every man who meditates injury to me.
Whether far or near,
With few or with many.

6. I have set around me all these powers,
Against every hostile savage power,
Directed against my body and my soul,
Against the incantations of false prophets,
Against the black laws of heathenism,
Against the false laws of heresy,
Against the deceits of idolatry,
Against the spells of women, and smiths, and druids,
Against all knowledge which blinds the soul of man.

7. Christ protect me to-day
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wound,
That I may receive abundant reward.

8. Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in the fort [i.e. at home],
Christ in the chariot-seat [travelling by land],
Christ in the poop [travelling by water].

9. Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
10. I bind to myself to-day
The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity,
The faith of the Trinity in Unity,
The Creator of [the elements].

11. Salvation is of the Lord,
Salvation is of the Lord,
Salvation is of Christ;
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us."