Alexander’s Breastplate

This lorica (breastplate) prayer is called “Alexander’s Breastplate” because it is between two poems about Alexander the Great in the Welsh Book of Taliesin.

On the face of the earth
his equal was not born,
Three persons of God,
one gentle Son
in the glorious Trinity.
Son of the Godhead,
Son of the Manhood,
one wonderful Son.
Son of God, a fortress,
Son of the blessed Mary,
Son, Servant, Lord.
Great his destiny,
great God supreme,
in heavenly glory.
Of the race of Adam
and Abraham,
and of the line of David,
the eloquent psalmist,
was he born.
By a word he healed
the blind and deaf
from every ailment;
the gluttonous, vain
iniquitous, vile, perverse,
to rise toward the Trinity
by their redemption.
The Cross of Christ
is our shining breastplate
against every ailment.
Against every hardship
may it certainly be
our city of refuge.

Source: Book of Taliesin, Welsh, 10th-14th Century, excerpt
The Four Ancient Books of Wales, 1868, p. 557-558.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

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Hail, All Glorious Lord!

Hail, all glorious Lord, with holy mirth!
May Church and chancel praise your good counsel,
each chancel and church.
All plains and mountains,
and you three fountains–
two above wind,
and one above earth!
May light and darkness bless you.
Fine silk, green forest confess you.
Thus did Abraham, father
of faith, with joy possess you.
Bird and bee song bless you
among the lilies and roses!
All the old all the young
praise you with joyful tongue
As your praise was once sung
by Aaron and Moses,
Male and female,
the days that are seven,
the stars of heaven,
the air and the ether,
every book and fair letter;
fish in waters fair flowing,
and song and deed glowing,
grey sand and green sward
make your blessing’s award;
and all such as with good
have satisfied stood!
While my own mouth shall bless you
and my Savior confess you.
Hail glorious Lord!

Source: From a 12th century manuscript, “The Black Book of Carmarthen,” in A Celtic Psaltery, by Alfred Perceval Graves, F. A. Stokes Company, New York, 1917.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.  Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

Dunkeld Litany

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The litany below is a shortened version of a litany which was sung at public processions of a group of ascetic monks called Culdees. It was used at the ancient Scottish monastery of Dunkeld.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God, the Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

You are three, and yet one God, have mercy on us.

Be gracious, free us, Lord.
Be gracious, hear us, Lord.
Be gracious, spare us, Lord.

From every evil,
from every evil inclination,
from every impurity of heart and body,
from a haughty spirit,
from the evil of sickness,
from the snares of the devil,
from enemies to the Christian name,
from destructive storms,
from famine and nakedness,
from thieves and robbers,
from wolves and all dangerous animals,
from floods  of water,
from trials of death,
in the day of judgment, free us, Lord.

By your advent,
by your birth,
by your circumcision,
by your baptism,
by your passion,
by sending the counseling Spirit, free us, Lord.

We sinners pray, free us, Lord.

Holy Father, we pray, hear us.

To give us peace and concord,
to give us life and health,
to give us the fruits of the earth,
to protect our livestock from all pestilence,
to give us favorable weather,
to give us rain at the proper time,
to give us perseverance in good works,
to work true repentance in us,
to move us in charity for those in need,
to give us fervor in your service,
to give all Christian people peace and unity,
to keep us in the true faith and religion,
to preserve and spread your holy church,
to give long life and health to pastors, teachers and all leaders in the church,
to protect the leaders of our land from all enemies and snares.
to give them victory and long life,
to drive out the enemies of Christians from the earth,
to bring them to holy baptism,
to give all Christians your mercy,
to spare us,
to grant us mercy,
to look upon us, we pray, hear us.

Son of God, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Christ conquers,
Christ rules,
Christ commands.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, give us your grace,
O Christ, give us joy and peace.
O Christ, give us life and salvation.
Amen.

Let us pray.

Our Father…

Let us pray.
Almighty and gracious God, in your majesty remember us. Grant us forgiveness of all sins, increase your heavenly grace to us, and give us your help against all the snares of our enemies, seen and unseen. In the same way, protect our hearts by your command, so that after this mortal life, we may rejoice together with all your saints in the glory of the kingdom of God, serving our Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer, who has all power and rule, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Kalendars of Scottish Saints by Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh, 1872, p. lvi-lxv.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.  Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

Note: This litany is very similar to the Litany of All Saints, which was adapted by Martin Luther for his Latin Litany Corrected and his German Litany.

For Our Redemption

800px-mathis_gothart_grc3bcnewald_007Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God,
for our redemption
you were born and circumcised,
and rejected by the Jews,
betrayed with kiss by Judas,
seized, bound, and led in bonds
to Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, and Pilate,
and you stood before them to be mocked,
smitten with palm and fist,
with the scourge and the reed.

Your face was covered and defiled with spitting,
crowned with thorns,
accused by false witnesses.

You were condemned,
and as an innocent Lamb led to slaughter,
bearing your own cross,
pierced through with nails,
gall and vinegar were given you to drink,
and you were left on the cross
to die the most shameful of deaths,
wounded with a spear.

By these your most sacred pains
you deliver us from all sins and penalties.

By your holy Cross
bring us, miserable sinners,
to that place you brought the repentant thief to yourself;
for you live and with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.

Source: Sarum Missal, Innocent III, freely modified from  Ancient Collects, ed. William Bright, p. 45#3.

 

For over 150 years, Bright’s Ancient Collects has been a standard resource for classic Christian prayers. The New Ancient Collects is a complete revision and refreshing of all the prayers in Bright’s Ancient Collects with updated language. It is available in paperback and for Amazon Kindle from Amazon.com.

A Prayer for Love

O blessed Lord,
you have commanded us to love one another,
grant us grace that having received your undeserved blessings,
we may love everyone in you and for you.

We ask your kindness for all;
but especially for the friends
whom your love has given to us.
Love them, O fountain of love,
and move them to love you
with all their heart,
that they may will,
and speak,
and do those things
only which are pleasing to you.

Source: Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source of this version: Modified from http://spirituality.org/is/055/page09.asp

Also found here: The Oxford Book of Prayer, ed. Appleton, © 1985, 1992

Variant:

O blessed Lord, who hast commanded us to love one another, grant us grace that having received thine undeserved bounty, we may love everyone in thee and for thee. We implore thy clemency for all; but especially for the friends whom thy love has given to us. Love thou them, O thou fountain of love, and make them to love thee with all their heart, that they may will, and speak, and do those things only which are pleasing to thee.

O Lord, Draw Near to Those in Need

O Lord,
we bring you
the troubles and perils
of peoples and nations,
the sighing of prisoners and captives,
the sorrows of the bereaved,
the needs of strangers,
the helplessness of the weak,
the tiredness of the weary,
the failing powers of the aged.
O Lord, draw near to each;
for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Source: Anselm of Canterbury, d. 1109

Source of this version: Freely modified from Book of Prayers for Church and Home, ed. Paine and Thompson.

Another version of this same prayer appears here.

Help Us to Love You

O God,
whose greatness know no limits,
whose wisdom knows no bounds,
whose peace excels all understanding;
you love and help us beyond measure–
help us to love you.
Though we cannot fully do so
because of your infinite goodness,
increase and deepen our understanding
so that we may love you more and more;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: St. Bernard of Clairvaux

Source of this version: http://www.didymus.org/uploads/3/4/2/1/3421357/bernard_of_clairvaux_on_monastic_and_scholastic_theology.pdf

Also found here: http://grimesfirstpresbyterianchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Mar-1-web-bulletin.pdf

“Greatness knows no limits”may be a reference to Ephesians 1:19

“Wisdom knows no bounds” may be a reference to Romans 11:33

“Peace excels all understanding” is a reference to Philippians 4:7

“Love you more and more” is a reference to Philippians 1:9