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The Deer's Cry

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  • Ambrose Hawk
    The Lorica The Lorica (or Breastplate attributed to Patrick), has been called part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation. ... Here are several
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 25, 2005
      The Lorica
      The Lorica (or "Breastplate" attributed to Patrick), has been called
      "part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation." ... Here are several
      translations. It is the basis for the English Hymns, "This Day God
      Gives Me," "Christ Be Beside Me," and "Morning Has Broken." Some even
      think that the basic tune was St. Patrick's as well, though this is
      doubtful.
      The first translation into English as given here is by Cecil Frances
      Alexander, whose husband was Archbishop of Armagh, the direct successor
      of Patrick. She published nearly 400 poems and hymns of her own,
      including "All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and
      small."
      The Lorica, or, 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.

      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 he heavenly way;
      his coming at the day of doom:
      I bind unto myself today.

      I bind unto myself the power
      of the great love of cherubim;
      the sweet "Well done" in judgment hour;
      the service of the seraphim;
      confessors' faith, apostles' word,
      the patriarchs' prayers, the prophets' scrolls;
      all good deeds done unto the Lord,
      and purity of virgin souls.

      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,
      his eye to watch, his might to stay,
      his ear to hearken to my need;
      the wisdom of my God to teach,
      his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
      the word of God to give me speech,
      his heavenly host to be my guard.

      [Against the demon snares of sin,
      the vice that gives temptation force,
      the natural lusts that war within,
      the hostile men that mar my course;
      of few or many, far or nigh,
      in every place, and in all hours
      against their fierce hostility,
      I bind to me these holy powers.

      Against all Satan's spells and wiles,
      against false words of heresy,
      against the knowledge that defiles
      against the heart's idolatry,
      against the wizard's evil craft,
      against the death-wound and the burning
      the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
      protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

      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 hath creation,
      eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
      praise to the Lord of my salvation,
      salvation is of Christ the Lord.


      A more literal translation, by Kuno Meyer, is the following:

      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 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 descent for the judgment of Doom.

      I arise today
      Through the strength of the love of the Cherubim,
      In the obedience of angels,
      In the service of archangels,
      In the hope of the resurrection to meet with reward,
      In the prayers of patriarchs,
      In prediction of prophets,
      In preaching of apostles,
      In faith of confessors,
      In innocence of holy virgins,
      In deeds of righteous men.

      I arise today
      Through the strength of heaven;
      Light of sun,
      Radiance of moon,
      Splendour 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 to me,
      God's hand to guard me,
      God's way to lie before me,
      God's shield to protect me,
      God's host to save me,

      From snares of devils,
      From temptation of vices,
      From every one who shall wish me ill,
      Afar and anear,
      Alone and in a multitude.
      I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,

      Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and
      soul,
      Against incantations of false prophets,
      Against black laws of pagandom,
      Against false laws of heretics,
      Against craft of idolatry,
      Against spells of any evil witch, smith, or wizard.
      Against every knowledge that corrupts man's body and soul.

      Christ to shield me today
      Against poisoning, against burning,
      Against drowning, against wounding,
      So there come to me 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 every man who thinks of me,
      Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of me,
      Christ in the eye of every one who 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.




      Another version:

      "The Deer's Cry" "The Breast-plate of St. Patrick"

      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 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 descent for the Judgment of Doom.

      I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
      in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
      in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
      in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
      in preachings 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, splendour 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 shield to protect 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.

      (Continued)

      I 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 any evil witch, smith, or wizard;
      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 in breadth, Christ in length,
      Christ in height, 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 Threeness, through confession of the
      Oneness of the Creator of creation.
      Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
      Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.
      Amen

      Celtic Prayer attributed to St. Patrick (part of the Breastplate?)
      Also part of the background for "Morning Has Broken."

      ON Terra (earth) in this fateful hour
      I place all Heaven with its power
      the sun with its brightness
      the snow with its whiteness
      the fire with all the strength it hath
      the lightning with its rapid wrath
      the winds with their swiftness along their path
      the sea with its deepness
      the rocks with their steepness
      the earth with it starkness
      all these I place
      With God's almighty help and grace
      between myself and the powers of darkness.


      An aspect of Patrick's thought that shows very clearly through his
      writings is his awareness of himself as an unlearned exile, a former
      slave and a fugitive, who has learned the hard way to put his sole trust
      in God.



      Prayer (traditional language)

      Almighty God, who in thy providence didst choose thy servant
      Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who
      were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of
      thee: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last
      to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who
      liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
      ever.

      Prayer (contemporary language)

      Almighty God, who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to
      be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were
      wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you:
      Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the
      light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and
      reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.

      Psalm 97:1-2,7-12 or 96:1-7 1 Thessalonians 2:2b-12 Matthew 28:16-20
      (Ap)


      --
      IN HOC MODO MILLIS FRANGITVR .
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