An Irish Blessing


“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” - Acts 7:15





Dear Friends,


Happy St. Patrick’s Day!


Amid the leprechaun jokes, green beer and Irish food, I’d love to off you a prayer and poem that you can reflect on, attributed to the very Patrick, patron Saint of Ireland himself.


It’s the 8th stanza, or a slightly modernized version of it, that I was first introduced to many years ago. A pastor I served under often recited it as a word of blessing and benediction. It’s especially fitting when you are heading on a journey or saying goodbye to a visitor… but since there hasn’t been much of either this past year, it’s also great for beginning your day or ending your day.


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 when I lie down

Christ when I sit down,

Christ when I arise.

As beautiful as this is, the entire prayer or poem - often referred to as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate” is equally beautiful and valuable as a prayer and as a meditation that can bring you peace as you encounter God.


On this day, I offer it to you as an encouragement, hoping and praying that you will continue to encounter Christ in all that you do!


Welcoming you to Grow in Jesus,


Pastor Don



St. Patrick’s Breastplate (Lorica of St. Patrick) – translated & ed. By Whitley Stokes


I bind to myself today,

The strong power of the invocation of the Trinity:

The faith of the Trinity in Unity

The Creator of the elements.


I bind to myself today,

The power of the Incarnation of Christ, with that of his Baptism,

The power of the Crucifixion with that of his Burial,

The power of the Resurrection, with the Ascension,

The power of the coming of the Sentence of Judgment.


I bind to myself today,

The power of the love of Seraphim,

In the obedience of Angels,

In the service of Archangels,

In the hope of the Resurrection unto reward,

In the prayers of the nobble Fathers,

In the predictions of the Prophets,

In the preaching of Apostles,

In the faith of Confessions,

In purity of Holy Virgins,

In the acts of Righteous Men.


I bind to myself today,

The power of Heaven,

The light of the Sun

The whiteness of Snow,

The force of Fire,

The flashing of lightning,

The velocity of Wind,

The depth of the Sea,

The Stability of the Earth,

The hardness of Rocks.


I bind to myself today,

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 prevent 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.


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 false laws of heresy,

Against the deceits of idolatry,

Against the spells of women, and smiths and druids,

Against all knowledge that binds the soul of man.


Christ, protect me today

Against poison, against burning,

Against drowning, against wound,

That I may receive abundant reward.


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,

Christ in the chariot seat

Christ in the mighty stern.


Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,

Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,

Christ in the eye of every man that sees me,

Christ in the ear of every man that hears me.


I bind to myself today,

The strong power of an invocation of the Trinity,

The faith of the Trinity in Unity

The Creator of the Elements.


Salvation is the Lord’s

Salvation is the Lord’s

Salvation is Christ’s

May thy salvation, Lord, be always with us!

Amen.

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