St. Patrick’s Evensong

May your holy angels, O Christ, Son of living God,
Guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed.

Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep,
O High Prince of the universe, O great King of the mysteries!

May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams
Disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose.

May our watch be holy, our work, our task,
Our sleep, our rest without stop, without break.

Source: St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as prose by Kuno Meyer in Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, New York, 1911.

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.

Version in verse:

Jesus, Son of God most high,
May your holy angels keep
Watch around us as we lie
In our shining beds asleep.

Time’s hid veil with truth to pierce
Let them teach our dreaming eyes,
High King of the Universe,
High Priest of the Mysteries.

May no demon of the air,
May no malice of our foes,
Evil dream or haunting care
Mar our willing, prompt repose!

May our vigils hallowed be
By the tasks we undertake!
May our sleep be fresh and free,
Without stop and without break.

St. Patrick’s Evensong, translated as poetry, from A Celtic PsalteryNew York, 1917.

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I Arise Today (Celtic Prayer)

I arise today
embraced in the arms
of God the Father,
empowered by the strength
of God the Spirit,
immersed in the love
of God the Son.
I arise today
in the company
of the Trinity,
Father, Spirit and Son.
I arise today.

Source: Unknown, attributed as “A Celtic Prayer”

Source of this version: http://stoswaldsoswestry.org.uk/prayer-room/morning-and-evening-prayers/

See: St. Patrick’s Breastplate.

But wait… there’s more!

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.

Morning Prayer of St. Patrick

saint_patrick_28window29Lord, be with us this day,
within us to purify us;
above us to draw us up;
beneath us to sustain us;
before us to lead us;
behind us to restrain us;
around us to protect us.

Source: attributed to St. Patrick

Source of this version: https://eph5v2.wordpress.com/2014/03/17/lord-be-with-us-this-day/

Also found here: http://timeforprayer.blogspot.com/2010/09/ancient-prayers.html

Note: Although this prayer is attributed to St. Patrick, a Google Books search did not find it in any resource printed before 1996. Some lines are reminiscent of St. Patrick’s Breastplate.

Graphic: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA, from Wikimedia Commons

Blessing from St. Patrick’s Breastplate

saint_patrick_28window29

May the strength of God pilot us.
May the power of God preserve us.
May the wisdom of God instruct us.
May the hand of God protect us.
May the way of God direct us.
May the shield of God defend us.
May the host of God guard us
against the snares of evil
and the temptations of the world.

May Christ be with us.
Christ before us.
Christ in us.
Christ over us.
May your salvation, O Lord,
be always ours
this day and forever more.

Source: St. Patrick, from “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”

Source of this version: http://www.oursanctuary.net/breastplate.html

Graphic: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA, from Wikimedia Commons

But wait… there’s more!

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.

St. Patrick’s Creed

saint_patrick_28window29

Our God, God of all people,
God of heaven and earth, sea and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all stars,
God of highest mountain, of deepest valleys,
God over heaven and in heaven and under heaven.

He has his dwelling
in heaven and earth and sea
and all that is in them.

He inspires all,
he gives life to all,
he surpasses all,
he upholds all.

He ignites the light of the sun.
He surrounds the stars and tells them to shine.
He makes fountains in dry lands,
and dry islands in the sea,
and stars to serve the greater lights.

He has a Son,
coeternal with him and like him.
The Son is not younger than the Father,
neither is the Father older than the Son.

And the Holy Spirit breathes in them.
Not separate are the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.

Source: St. Patrick, fifth century, in The Tripartite Life of Patrick, 1887, p. 315-316
Translated for Prayers of the Ancient Celtic Church

Included in 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.

Also found here: http://www.maryjones.us/ctexts/p07.html

Graphic: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA, from Wikimedia Commons

St. Patrick’s Creed (from ‘The Confession of St. Patrick’)

saint_patrick_28window29

There is no other God,
and there never was another,
nor will there be any after him
except God the Father, without beginning.
From him is all beginning.
He upholds all things.
And his Son Jesus Christ
whom together with the Father
we testify to have always existed.
Before the beginning of the world
he was spiritually present with the Father.
Begotten in an indescribable manner before all beginning.
By him all things visible and invisible were made.
He was made man,
and having overcome death
was received into heaven to the Father:
And the Father has bestowed on him
the name that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord and God.
In him we believe,
and we await his coming
who before long shall judge the quick and dead.
He will render to everyone according to his deeds,
and has poured out abundantly on us
the gift of the Holy Spirit,
even the pledge of immortality,
who makes those that believe and obey
to be the sons of God the Father
and joint-heirs with Christ.
Him we confess and adore —
one God in the Trinity of the sacred name.

Source: St. Patrick, fifth century, from The Confession of St. Patrick
The Confession of Patrick, Tr. Olden,
1853, p. 44-46

Included in 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.

Graphic: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA, from Wikimedia Commons

St. Patrick’s Breastplate

saint_patrick_28window29“Lorica” was originally the word for a breastplate that a Roman soldier would wear. Loricas were prayers for protection—sometimes praying for protection from every angle, or protection for every part of the body. St. Patrick’s Breastplate is also known as “The Lorica.”

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.

I arise today
through the strength of Christ’s birth and his baptism,
through the strength of his crucifixion and his burial,
through the strength of his resurrection and 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 the obedience of angels,
in the service of archangels,
in the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in the prayers of patriarchs,
in the predictions of prophets,
in the preaching of apostles,
in the faith of confessors,
in the innocence of holy virgins,
in the deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through
the strength of heaven,
the light of the sun,
the radiance of the moon,
the whiteness of snow,
the splendor of fire,
the speed of lightning,
the swiftness of wind,
the depth of the sea,
the stability of the earth,
the firmness of rock.

I arise today, through
God’s strength to pilot me,
God’s power to sustain 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 path to go before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
from snares of devils,
from temptation of vices,
from allurements of nature,
from everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and near,
alone or in a crowd.

I summon today
all these powers to stand between me
and every cruel and merciless power
that may oppose my body and soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of paganism,
against false laws of heretics,
against deceit 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 an 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 everyone 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.

Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Salvation belongs to the Lord.
Christ is salvation.
May your salvation, O Lord, be with us always.

Source: St. Patrick

Source of this version: Modified from the translation by Kuno Meyer
Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, 1911, p. 25-28

Included in 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.

Variant: Versified by Cecil Frances Alexander d. 1895.

I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
his death on 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 virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
God’s ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
God’s 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 has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
salvation is of Christ the Lord!

Source of this version: http://www.hymnary.org/text/i_bind_unto_myself_today

Reference: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Patrick%27s_Breastplate

Original in Latin:

Ad Temoriam hodie potentiam praepollentem invoco Trinitatis,
Credo in Trinitatem sub unitate numinis elementorum.

Apud Temoriam hodie virtutem nativitatis Christi cum ea ejus baptismi,
Virtutem crucifixionis cum ea ejus sepulturae,
Virtutem resurrectionis cum ea ascensionis,
Virtutem adventus ad judicium aeternum.

Apud Temoriam hodie virtutem amoris Seraphim in obsequio angelorum,
In spe resurrectionis ad adipiscendum praemium.
In orationibus nobilium Patrum,
In praedictionibus prophetarum,
In praedicationibus apostolorum,
In fide confessorum,
In castitate sanctarum virginum,
In actis justorum virorum.

Apud Temoriam hodie potentiam coeli,
Lucem solis,
Candorem nivis,
Vim ignis,
Rapiditatem fulguris,
Velocitatem venti,
Profunditatem maris,
Stabilitatem terrae,
Duritiam petrarum.

Ad Temoriam hodie potentia Dei me dirigat,
Potestas Dei me conservet,
Sapientia Dei me edoceat,
Oculus Dei mihi provideat,
Auris Dei me exaudiat,
Verbum Dei me disertum faciat,
Manus Dei me protegat,
Via Dei mihi patefiat,
Scutum Dei me protegat,
Exercitus Dei me defendat,
Contra insidias daemonum,
Contra illecebras vitiorum,
Contra inclinationes animi,
Contra omnem hominem qui meditetur injuriam mihi,
Procul et prope,
Cum paucis et cum multis.

Posui circa me sane omnes potentias has
Contra omnem potentiam hostilem saevam
Excogitatam meo corpori et meae animae;
Contra incantamenta pseudo-vatum,
Contra nigras leges gentilitatis,
Contra pseudo-leges haereseos,
Contra dolum idololatriae,
Contra incantamenta mulierum,
Et fabrorum ferrariorum et druidum,
Contra omnem scientiam quae occaecat animum hominis.

Christus me protegat hodie
Contra venenum,
Contra combustionem,
Contra demersionem,
Contra vulnera,
Donec meritus essem multum praemii.

Christus mecum,
Christus ante me,
Christus me pone,
Christus in me,
Christus infra me,
Christus supra me,
Christus ad dextram meam,
Christus ad laevam meam,
Christus hine,
Christus illine,
Christus a tergo.

Christus in corde omnis hominis quem alloquar,
Christus in ore cujusvis qui me alloquatur,
Christus in omni oculo qui me videat,
Christus in omni aure quae me audiat.

Ad Temoriam hodie potentiam praepollentem invoco Trinitatis.
Credo in Trinitatem sub Unitate numinis elementorum.

Domini est salus,
Domini est salus,
Christi est salus,
Salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum.

Graphic: Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA, from Wikimedia Commons