An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
This was recently shared on our Parish eList, I thought it appropriate to share as we remember (and perhaps share with others) that tomorrow is about far more than Guinness, clovers, and the color green.
This powerful prayer was composed by Saint Patrick in the year 433. He was aware that there was an ambush to try to kill him and his group en route to the King's court. It was during the march that they chanted the sacred Lorica or Deer's Cry - later known as St. Patrick's Breastplate.
As the druids lay in hiding, ready to kill, they saw not Patrick and his men, but a gentle doe followed by twenty fawns.
St. Patrick and his men were saved.
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, 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 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 near, alone and in a crowd.
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 witches, smiths and wizards, against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul. Christ to protect me today against poisoning, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance in 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.
My spiritual father gave me a copy of that prayer about a month ago. I love that it is also called "St. Patrick's Breastplate." When I say it, it makes me feel as if I am preparing for an armed watch, donning my helmet and flak jacket- doing my pre-fire and comms checks. It seems to me to be a perfect morning prayer.
My daugher came home from school yesterday all atwitter about "tiny elves that pinch you and if you catch them they have to give you their gold." They can teach that drivel in the schools, but never mind the man the day is NAMED for. I wish more and more that home-schooling was possible for us.
We had a long talk about St. Patrick and why he is important- she was most impressed that he was a contemporary of her own name-saint than anything else, though.
the hymn takes about 20 minutes to sing all the way through...the rector of my last parish as an Anglican used to put it in the mix quite frequently. I love the change up from the verses to the chorus...some chorus, so much for simple pop formulas.
If Patrick had been a girl, he would have been Brigid Mary :-)
At his (Lutheran) pre-K yesterday, there was much ado about leprechauns...they even had a leprechaun hunt. But then my boy brought in his St. Patrick icon for show-and-tell. He told his class that the chapel prayer they use (God be in my head, God be in my heart, God be on my right, God be on my left) was actually written by St. Patrick himself. Okay, so it's not EXACTLY the same as the Lorica, but it's not bad for five-year-olds.
I'll pop my head up again when the feast of St. Brendan (5/16) rolls around...my Brendan is 10.