Celtic Christians understood that finding the Holy in the daily meant harmonizing their lives with the rhythm of the Holy. Each act of the day, from stepping out of bed to evening’s sleep, was prayed through hymns, poems, and songs. Many of these were collected and translated by folklorist Alexander Carmichael between 1855 and 1910 in the Carmina Gadelica. The following prayer was sung as a child began his day.I am bending my knee In the eye of the Father who created me, In the eye of the Son who purchased me, In the eye of the Spirit who cleansed me, In friendship and affection. Through Thine own Anointed One, O God, Bestow upon us fullness in our need.
St. Patrick’s Breastplate stands as one of the most familiar Celtic protection prayers. Although Patrick probably didn’t write it, the prayer communicates the faith Patrick needed as a missionary traveler in a hostile Ireland. It has been used for centuries for protection on trails and roads. Many now pray this prayer as they travel the freeways of a modern world. Here is a portion of St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also called “the deer’s cry.”I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, Through a belief in the Threeness, Through confession of the Oneness Of the Creator of creation. 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 hosts to save me … 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 when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in the eye that sees me, Christ in the ear that hears me.
In Him together, Susan Gaddis