17 March 2006

Happy St. Patrick's Day

I've always loved St. Patrick's Day. I'm not Irish. No, not one little bit. Altho, my Grampy O used to claim it. His claim was thin. It rested on this: His grandmother's maiden name was Kelly and he had green eyes. I will tell you this tho, LightBoy did not fall far from this tree, if you know what I mean.

In any case, I can never wear green. First, because, well ... I'm not Irish. Second, I look terrible in green. It makes me look sick. And, really, because I'm Protestant, if I were to be "Irish" for a day, I'd have to wear orange and that has the same problem ... makes me look sick.

When I was in college I really loved St. Patrick's day for all the green beer involved. I also had a friend from Lebanon who was albino and he would dye his hair green. He was the cousin of my Arabic teacher. My Arabic teacher didn't drink and was a practicing Muslim. Hussein was not. He fully participated in St. Patrick's Day and all it meant to us inebriated Americans.

Now, however, I love St. Patrick's Day for entirely different reasons. St. Patrick brought Christianity to the Celts of Ireland. There is some truth to the statement that in so doing he may have saved our sacred books during the Dark Ages. He helped create the Celtic Church. Of course, the legends about him are many. Any famous Irish person gathers legends the way a leprechaun gathers clover. But this one is my favorite I think.

St. Patrick had been invited to a meeting with the High King of Ireland at the time. The High King was a Druid and not particularly interested in this Christian God. The reason for the meeting was to draw Patrick and his followers into an ambush where they could be killed. However, Patrick and his followers were chanting what has since become known as "The Lorica" or Breastplate of St. Patrick. And as they passed through the valley where they were to be ambushed the attackers saw only a doe followed by 20 deer.

So here in it's full glory is:

"The Lorica" or "Deer's Cry 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, 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 anear, 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.


Blogger Mike Croghan said...

Thanks, LightLady, good stuff! I love Patrick's Breastplate. BTW, you do *not* have to wear orange on St. Patrick's day if you're Protestant. Patrick lived well before that little theological tussle. 'Course, as an Anglo-Catholic, middle-way product of the English Reformation, I suppose I can do as I please. :-P

- A well-and-truly-green-clad rude guy

3/17/2006 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger kate said...

Very nice St. Paddy's Day post! I love the green type, too.

3/17/2006 04:02:00 PM  

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