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Our most recent family pic with only Andrew missing

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St Patrick's Day Prayers

This pic was taken in South Africa in 2015 before our move to the Norwich in the UK. 

John Wesley had a great deal to say about his ministry in both Norwich and Ireland, not always complimentary towards the folk he ministered to. In this entry from his journal for Saturday, February 17, 1781, he manages to insult both the folk of Norwich and of Ireland in one breath:

After spending Thursday and Friday with the affectionate people at Lowestoft, on Saturday I returned to Norwich. Here I found about fifty missing out of the two hundred and sixteen whom I left in the society a year ago. Such fickleness I have not found anywhere else in the kingdom; no, not even in Ireland.
Sun. 18. The Chapel was full enough, both in the afternoon and the evening. I declared to them the whole counsel of God, and on Monday returned to London.

I grew up in a home where every March 17th, St Patrick's Day, I woke up to hear my Dad singing "For they're hanging men and women for the wearing of the green" and "With me shillelagh under me arm, And a twinkle in me eye, I'll be off to Tipperary in the morning." 

So, on this St Patrick's Day and in remembrance of my Dad, Patrick, I donned some green, including his green tie with the Irish national emblem, my tweeds and shillelagh (that's the stick, from Hawthorne House, Dublin) and prayed some good St Paddy's Day prayers. The first is from the Book of Common Prayer for today and the second is Patrick's Breastplate prayer. I first came across the Breastplate prayer in 1999.


Patrick's life really was in danger at the time he first prayed the Breastplate as King Laeghaire tried to have Patrick killed because of the many that his preaching was turning away from the old druid religion to Christ. However, as all solitaries and people of prayer know, the biggest battles can be the one's inside - 'fightings and fears, within, without.'

From the BCP:
Collect of the Day: Patrick, Bishop and Missionary of Ireland, 461

Almighty God, in your providence you 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, for ever and ever. Amen.

Patrick's Breastplate Prayer:
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 for ever.
By power of faith, Christ's incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the 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 the 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;
Or 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 the 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. 
[Breastplate Prayer sourced here]


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