For Unity

God the Father,
source of Divinity,
good beyond all that is good,
fair beyond all that is fair,
in you is calmness, peace and unity.
Repair the things that divide us from each other
and restore our unity of love
like your divine love.
And as you are above all things,
unite us in goodness and love
that we may be spiritually one,
with you and with each other,
through your peace which makes all things peaceful
and through the grace, mercy, and tenderness
of your only Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.

Source: Dionysius of the Syrian Jacobite Church, 9th Century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954. (New Ancient Collects, #264)

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For Forgiveness

God and King,
by your mercy,
pardon the sins of your servant __________.
Deliver him from all the bonds of the enemy
that he may cling to your commandments with all his heart,
and always love you alone with all his strength,
and one day be counted with your blessed ones;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Source: Old Rheims Manuscript, 9th century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954. (New Ancient Collects, #370)

An Acknowledgment of God’s Supremacy

O Father of that Son who has awakened us,
you still urge us out of the sleep of our sins,
and call us to become yours.
To you, Lord, we pray,
you, the supreme truth,
for all truth that is, is from you.
You we implore, O Lord,
the highest wisdom,
through you all who are wise derive their wisdom.
You are the supreme joy,
and from you all who are happy derive their pleasure.
You are the highest good,
and from you all beauty springs.
You are the intellectual light,
and from you we derive our understanding.
To you, O God, we call and speak.
Hear us, O Lord,
for you are our God and our Lord,
our Father and our creator,
our ruler and our hope,
our wealth and our honor,
our home, our country,
our salvation, and our life.
Hear, hear us, O Lord.
Few of your servants comprehend you,
but at least we love you,
yes, we love you above all other things.
We seek you, we follow you,
we are ready to serve you.
We desire to remain under your power,
for you are the Sovereign of all.
Command us as you will;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.

Source: Alfred the Great, 9th century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

For Strength and Guidance

Lord God Almighty,
shaper and ruler of all creatures,
we pray for your great mercy,
that you guide towards you,
for we cannot find our way.
And guide us to your will, to the need of our soul,
for we cannot do it ourselves. [1]
And make our mind steadfast in your will
and aware of our soul’s need.
Strengthen us against the temptations of the devil,
and put remove from us all lust and every unrighteousness,
and shield us against our foes, seen and unseen.
Teach us to do your will,
that we may inwardly love you before all things with a pure mind.
For you are our maker and our redeemer,
our help, our comfort, our trust, our hope;
praise and glory be to you now and forever.

Source: Alfred the Great, 9th century

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954. (New Ancient Collects, #264)

[1] Original translation: “that Thou guide us better than we have done, towards Thee, and guide us to Thy will, to the need of our soul, better than we can ourselves.”

In Your Mercy, Lead Me

The Evangelist Mark, from the Book of Cerne

Almighty God and Father, Lord of heaven and earth, I pray, in your mercy lead me:

where thousands of angels always reflect the exceeding glory of the King of kings, praising him;
where the twenty-four elders fall before the throne of the Lamb of God, praising him;
where the four living creatures surround the throne, and every eye sees his wonderful works;
where the four rivers flow from their one source;
where the patriarchs, the first to believe in God, rule with him in his divine city;
where the prophets, full of the pure Holy Spirit, praise Christ together in the purest light of truth;
where Christ with the apostles Peter and Paul rule, sitting on their thrones;
where the flower of the state of virginity of the innocent with the pleasantness of the people of flourishing are following the Lamb;
where the martyrs of Christ are dressed in white robes and singing and waving palm branches;
where the holy, pure virgins hold palms for the king of kings;
where the crowd of saints sings to the Lord with constant peace in the land of the living;
where there is happiness;
where there is security;
where there is always health
where there is purity of mind;
where there is no pain;
where there are no problems, no anger, no pain of labor;
where there is no hunger;
where there is no deep water;
where no fire burns;
where no one perishes;
where there is no old age;
where youth flourishes;
where there is no groaning;
where the poor do not weep;
where there is eternal peace;
where there is joy;
where there is no trouble;
where there is true life;
where there is no bitter death;
where it is always divine;
where no one knows evil;
where love is strong;
where the nourishing glory of Christ the King reigns;
where there is true joy;
where the cup is full of constant life;
where the clear name of Christ rules upon his throne;
where all things are made right;
where there is salvation for all;
where there is unity;
where there is Trinity;
where there is real truth;
where there is divine virtue;
where there is the God of gods;
where there is the Lord of lords;
where there is the King of kings;
where there is the choir of heaven;
where there is the Light from Light;
where there is the source of life, flowing in the heights of the city;
where the voice of praise resounds for the Lord;
where there is no darkness of night;
where the King of kings rules forever and ever. [151.]

Source: The Book of Cerne, p. 106-108

Original in Latin:

Deus pater omnipotens domine caeli ac terrae deduc me obsecro te per misericordiam pietatis tuae
Ubi resplendent semper angelorum milia regem regum laudantes cum ingenti gloria .
Ubi uiginti quattuor seniores sunt proni agnum dei laudantes ante conspectum throni .
Ubi mystica quattuor animalia tota oculis plena tarn mira magnalia .
Ubi ilia flumina bis bina manantia uno e fontis rore inrigati .
Ubi patriarchae primi credentes deo ciues urbis diuinae regnantes sine (fine) cum eo .
Ubi prophetae puri spiritu sancto pleni christum conlaudant clara causa luminis ueri .
Ubi sancta maria sanctis cum uirginibus uitae fruentes prmiis & in thronis sublimibus .
Ubi petrus et Paulus christi cum apostolis regnant cum rege sedentes in cathhedris .
Ubi sequuntur agnum turbae innocentium uirginitatis flore amoeno florentium .
Ubi martyrum chori amicti stolis albis christo canentes habentes uitae palmam .
Ubi uirgines sanctae castitatis nimiam habent palmam gloriae regni regiae .
Ubi sanctorum turbae domino canentium gaudent cum pace firma in terra uiuentium .
Ubi est felicitas .
Ubi et securitas .
Ubi semper sanitas .
Ubi mentis puritas .
Ubi nullus dolor .
Ubi nee mentes nee irae furor Nee dolor laborantibus .
Ubi nullus esurit .
Ubi nee ullus bibit .
Ubi ignis non urit .
Ubi nullus peribit .
Ubi senex non manet .
Ubi iuuenis florebit .
Ubi lesus non gemit .
Ubi pauper non plorat .
Ubi pax perpetua .
Ubi et laetitia .
Ubi nee molestia .
Ubi uita est uera .
Ubi nee mors amara .
Ubi semper diuina .
Ubi non nocent mala .
Ubi caritas firma .
Ubi alma gloria christi regis regiae .
Ubi lumen diuinum .
Ubi gaudium uerum .
Ubi poculum purum uitae perennis plenum .
Ubi nomen praeclarum Christi regnantis (in) thronum .
Ubi est rector rerum .
Ubi salus cunctorum .
Ubi unitas .
Ubi diuinitas .
Ubi trinitas .
Ubi ueritas uera .
Ubi uirtus diuina .
Ubi deus deorum .
Ubi dominus dominorum .
Ubi rex regum .
Ubi caelorum chori .
Ubi lux lucis .
Ubi fons uiuus fulget in summa poli .
Ubi uox laudis resonat domino regi .
Ubi nox nulla tetra .
Ubi regnum regnorum saeculorum in saecula . Amen .

The Lorica of Gildas

Book of Cerne
The Lorica of Loding in the Book of Cerne

The Lorica (Breastplate) of Gildas is also known as the Lorica of Loding, and is found in the Book of Cerne.

Trinity in unity, preserve me.
Unity in Trinity, have mercy on me.

I pray,
preserve me from all dangers
which overwhelm me
like the waves of the sea,
so that neither mortality
nor the vanity of the world
may sweep me away this year.
And I also ask,
send the high, mighty hosts of heaven,
that they not abandon me
to be destroyed by enemies,
but defend me now
with their strong shields
and that the heavenly army
advance before me:
cherubim and seraphim by the thousands,
and archangels Michael and Gabriel, likewise,
I ask, send these living thrones,
principalities and powers and angels,
so that I may be strong,
defended against the flood of strong enemies
in the next battle.

May Christ, whose terror scares away the foul throngs,
make with me a strong covenant.
God the unconquerable guardian,
defend me on every side by your power.
Free all my limbs,
with your safe shield protecting each,
so that the fallen demons cannot attack
against my sides or pierce me with their darts.
I pray, Lord Jesus Christ, be my sure armor.
Cover me, therefore, O God, with your strong breastplate.
Cover me all in all with my five senses,
so that, from my soles to the top of the head,
in no member, without within, may I be sick;
that, from my body, life be not cast out
by plague, fever, weakness, suffering,
Until, with the gift of old age from God,
departing from the flesh, be free from stain,
and be able to fly to the heights,
and, by the mercy of God, be borne in joy
to the heavenly cool retreats of his kingdom.

Source: The Lorica of Gildas, also known as the Lorica of Loding from the Book of Cerne. 

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: The Lorica of Loding continues after the section above to appeal to the saints for protection, and then to pray, individually, for protection for all the parts of the body. The remainder of the Lorica is presented below, based on the translation by Hugh Williams in Gildas: The Ruin of Britain … together with the Lorica of Gildas, 1899.

Patriarchs four, prophets four,
apostles, watchmen of the ship of Christ,
and all the athlete martyrs, I ask–
And charge also all virgins,
faithful widows, and confessors,
to surround me by their safety,
and every evil perish from me.

May Christ, whose terror scares away the foul throngs,
make with me a strong covenant.
God the unconquerable guardian,
defend me on every side by your power.
Free all my limbs,
with your safe shield protecting each,
so that the fallen demons cannot attack
against my sides, or pierce me with their darts.
Skull, head, hair and eyes,
forehead, tongue, teeth and their covering,
neck, breast, side, bowels,
waist, buttocks and both hands.
For the crown of my head with its hair,
be the helmet of salvation on my head;
for forehead, eyes, triform brain,
nose, lip, face, temple;
for chin, beard, eye-brows, ears,
cheeks, lower cheeks, internasal, nostrils;
for the pupils, irises, eyelashes, eyelids,
chin, breathing, cheeks, jaws;
for teeth, tongue, mouth, throat,
uvula, windpipe, bottom of tongue, nape;
for the middle of the head, for cartilage,
neck—you, kind One, be near for defense.
I pray, Lord Jesus Christ, by the nine orders of holy angels,
Lord, be my sure armor,
for my limbs, for my entrails,
that you may drive back from me the invisible
nails of stakes, which enemies fashion.
Cover me, therefore, O God, with strong breastplate,
along with shoulder blades, shoulders and arms.
Cover my elbows and elbow-joints and hands,
fists, palms, fingers with their nails.
Cover back-bone and ribs with their joints,
hind-parts, back, nerves and bones.
Cover surface, blood and kidneys,
haunches, buttocks with the thighs.
Cover hams, calves, thighs,
knee-caps, hocks and knees.
Cover ankles, shins and heels,
legs, feet with the rests of the soles.
Cover the branches that grow ten together,
with the toes and their nails ten.
Cover chest, sternum, the little breast,
nipple, stomach, navel.
Cover belly, reins, genitals,
and paunch, and vital parts also of the heart.
Cover the triangular liver and fat,
spleen, armpits with covering.
Cover stomach, chest with the lungs,
veins, sinews, gall-bladder with
Cover flesh, groin with the inner parts,
spleen with the winding intestines.
Cover bladder, fat and all
the numberless orders of joints.
Cover hairs, and the rest of my limbs,
whose names, may be, I have passed by.
Cover me all in all with my five senses,
and with the ten doors formed for me,
so that, from my soles to the top of the head,
in no member, without within, may I be sick;
that, from my body, life be not cast out
by plague, fever, weakness, suffering,
Until, with the gift of old age from God,
I blot out my sins with good works;
And, in departing from the flesh, be free from stain,
and be able to fly to the heights,
and, by the mercy of God, be borne in joy
to the heavenly cool retreats of his kingdom.

 

You Are the King of kings, and Lord of Lords

God, my almighty God, I humbly worship you.
You are the King of kings, and Lord of lords.
You are the judge of every age.
You are the Redeemer of our souls.
You are the Liberator of those who believe.
You are the Hope of those who labor.
You are the Comforter of the sad.
You are the Way for the straying.
You are the Teacher of the nations.
You are the Creator of all creatures.
You are the Lover of all that is good.
You are the Prince of all virtue.
You are the Joy of your saints.
You are Life everlasting.
You are Joy in truth.
You are the joy of our eternal homeland.
You are Light from light.
You are the Fount of holiness.
You are the glory of God the Father in the highest.
You are the Savior of the world.
You are the Fullness of the Holy Spirit.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father, ruling on your throne forever.

Source: From a confession of sins in The Book of Cerne, 9th Century.

Source of this version: Translated for 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.

Deus deus meus omnipotens
Ego humiliter te adoro
Tu es rex regum et dominus dominantium
Tu es arbiter omnis saeculi
Tu es redemtor animarum
Tu es liberator credentium
Tu es spes laborantium
Tu es paracletus doleutium
Tu es uia errantium
Tu es magister gentium
Tu es creator omnium creaturarum
Tu es amator omnis boni
Tu es princeps omnium uirtutum
Tu es gaudium sanctorum tuorum
Tu es uita perpetua
Tu es laetitia in ueritate
Tu es exultatio in aeterna patria
Tu es lux lucis
Tu es fons sanctitatis
Tu es gloria dei patris in excelso
Tu es saluator mundi
Tu es plenitude spiritus sancti
Tu sedis  ad dexteram dei patris in throno regnas in saecula

Source: The prayer book of Aedeluald the bishop, commonly called the Book of Cerne, p. 95-96.