Week Seven – Liturgy (in particular: when words become acts)

By November 12, 2018School of Contemplation

This week we took a look at one particular aspect of liturgy – taking the words of a blessing prayer so seriously that praying it feels like an action, a vow. This is seen in the older versions of  St. Patrick’s Breastplate: “I bind unto myself today…”

So we looked at loricas and caims – two Celtic blessing prayers. A lorica is a “breastplate,” a protective blessing in which we devote ourselves to being surrounded by the spirit of Christ. A favourite version of this is the Northumbria community’s version of St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ, as a light
Illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

 

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