A year or so back around St. Patrick’s Day we spent a Wednesday evening at church talking about what we know of Patrick’s life, ministry and impact on the world. Part of our service we prayed through the Lorica, or Patrick’s Breastplate – a prayer for protection attributed to Patrick. It was a good service and all agreed the Lorica was a meaningful, good prayer.
The next week Delora, a 80-some year old saint of the church came to Wednesday night service. She was excited about using the Lorica prayer in ministry. This was her story: her neighbor was a gay man who had just broken up with his lover. She knew him to be heartbroken and she invited him over for supper that night. At supper, after the food was set, she pulled out the Lorica prayer and said to him, “I think you need to hear this.” She then commenced to read through the whole thing while their food got cold.
For me there was something precious about this 80 some year old daughter of the holiness movement, this charter member Nazarene, reaching out to a gay neighbor and sharing a 1600 year old prayer with him. Delora is a huge blessing to our church and a saint in a multitude of ways. Below is the version of the Lorica we used.
The Lorica – St Patrick’s Breastplate
I arise today invoking the Trinity
Believing in the Threeness, confessing the Oneness
Of creation’s Creator.
I arise today invoking
The love of angels, the service of archangels, the prayers of the patriarchs, the deeds of the righteous,
Heaven’s might, sun’s brightness, moon’s radiance,
Fire’s glory, lightning’s swiftness,
Wind’s quickness, sea’s depth, earth’s stability, rock’s fixity.
I arise today
With God’s hand to pilot me,
God’s strength to sustain me
God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s eye to look ahead for me
God’s ear to hear me
God’s word to speak for me
God’s arm to protect me
God’s way before me
God’s shield to defend me
God’s host to deliver me
From the snares of devils, from evil temptations, from nature’s failings,
from all who wish to harm me,
Far and near, alone and in a crowd.
I arise today in the power of Christ’s birth and baptism,
In the power of his crucifixion and burial,
In the power of his resurrection and ascension;
May Christ protect me today –
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me
Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me;
Christ to me right, Christ to my left,
Christ in my lying, Christ in me sitting, Christ in my arising;
Christ in the heart of all who think of me;
Christ on the tongue of all who speak to me,
Christ in the eye of all who see me,
Christ in the ear of all who hear me.
I arise today with God’s hand to Guide me.
In the name of the Trinity
Believing in the Threeness
Confessing the Oneness
Of creation’s Creator!