Saint Patrick’s Hymn

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Saint Patrick’s Hymn is also known as Saint Patrick’s Breastplate, The Deer’s Cry, or The Lorica of Saint Patrick and has been attributed to him. It was also adapted into the hymn I Bind Unto Myself Today (1889) by Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895) which is provided below. There have been many different adaptations as the YouTube version at the end illustrates and you’ll find many sources with varying lyrics for it.  In addition, it’s often used as a prayer especially the last part which is my favorite beginning with “Christ be with me…”

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
By power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in Jordan river;
His death on cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of cherubim;
The sweet “Well done” in judgment hour;
The service of the seraphim;
Confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
The patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, his might to stay,
His ear to hearken, to my need;
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, his shield to ward;
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Christ be with me,
Christ within me,
Christ behind me,
Christ before me,
Christ beside me,
Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort
And restore me.
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in quiet,
Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of
All that love me,
Christ in mouth of
Friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

Behind the lines

For more on Saint Patrick here’s a helpful article from Ligonier Ministries on Who Was Saint Patrick and Should Christians Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day? 

 

 

 

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