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St. Patrick’s Breastplate

March 17, 2012

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 hand to guard me,

God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to secure me,

Christ to protect me today.
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.
(St. Patrick of Ireland c. 389-461 [abridged], but mainly 6th century)

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Embedded below are two pieces of music based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate. The first is the great hymn of the same name. The second is “Lorica,” sung by Steve Bell. (A “lorica” is a prayer of protection [a “breastplate” prayer]; this is why this particular lorica is called “St. Patrick’s Breastplate,” to distinguish it from others.) Tomorrow, we shall be singing the former of these at our 8:30 Service, and the latter at our 10:00 Service.

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