St Patrick’s “Lorica”

St Patrick’s “Lorica”, also known as “The Deer’s Cry” and “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” is thought to be authentic.

It is said to have turned St. Patrick and his followers into deer when they were being pursued by the king’s men early one morning–hence the title “The Deer’s Cry.” However, it is also called the Lorica of St. Patrick–a lorica being a type of prayer of protection (lorica is a Latin word literally meaning “body armour” or sometimes “breastplate”), which was popular in Celtic countries. Since then, it has always been used not only as a morning prayer, but as a prayer of protection.
Lorica
I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity
Through belief in the threeness
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the creator.
I arise today
Through the strength of Christ 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 decent for the Judgement of doom.
I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim
In obedience to the Angels,
In the service of the Archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of Holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun
Brilliance 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 host to secure me
against snares of devils
against temptations of vices
against inclinations of nature
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd.
A summon today all these powers between me and these evils
Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of heathenry,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that endangers man’s body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come 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 where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man 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 Thrones,
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the Creator.
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of Christ
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

From: http://www.ancienttexts.org/library/celtic/ctexts/p03.html

The Lorica exists in many versions, including hymns (notably, “St Patrick’s Breastplate” – “I bind unto myself today The strong Name of the Trinity, By invocation of the same The Three in One and One in Three” – by Cecil Alexander (1889)). It is also included in Shaun Davey’s concert work “The Pilgrim” (1983). An inspiring version from “The Pilgrim”, sung by Rita Connolly, and be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GGHWiAGpIP0 Another beautiful rendition by Rita Connolly can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkLzIeztC3c
patrick breastplate
Tim Keyes composed an extraordinarily magnificent Oratorio, “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”, which can be found in its many movements at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9_g9jQtJIY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7OsB8I2DOs , and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh2kphzlqjE and following played by the Tim Keyes Consort live at Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, NJ on St. Patrick’s Day 2006. There is also a movie trailer for the feature length film about the Oratorio, ‘St. Patrick’s Breastplate’ performed by Tim Keyes Consort at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark NJ March 15 2009 at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYFjB9SKPAA

A version of the hymn can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxA2zOSAuxc with a modern version by John Rutter at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jzY6MtcS70U

The words of the Anglican hymn can be found at http://www.hymnary.org/text/i_bind_unto_myself_today and, in the longer version, at http://www.cantatedomino.org/cd/index.shtml?173.txt

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: