The Lorica Prayer

The Lorica, or St. Patrick’s Breastplate, according to tradition, was an old Celtic prayer adapted by St. Patrick, beloved patron saint of Ireland, about 433 A.D.. In it, the person praying dons metaphorical spiritual armor against the darkness that might be faced during the day ahead.  The Lorica is a fine example of a protection prayer, a type of prayer well known in the Irish Celtic tradition. The early Irish  saw themselves as literally encircling themselves with prayer, clothing themselves in righteousness, their  feet shod in readiness for the gospel of peace…  and to make this point physically they sometimes circled clockwise before praying. The Lorica, also known as The Deer’s Cry, was originally written in Irish Gaelic. Originally translated in the late nineteenth century, the prayer is commonly known only in part.

Abridged Lorica Prayer

I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through a belief in the Threeness, confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

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.

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 everyone who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of everyone 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 a belief in the Threeness, confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Amen

Full Version

I arise today, through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through a belief in the Threeness, confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ’s 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 service of archangels, in the hopes of resurrection to meet with reward, in prayers of patriarchs, in predictions of prophets, in preachings of the apostles, in faiths of confessors, in innocence of holy virgins, in deeds of  righteous people.

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 snares of devils, against temptations of vices,  against inclinations of nature, against all who should 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 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 everyone who thinks of me. Christ in the mouth of everyone 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 a belief in the Threeness, 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

A Bit of Irish

Críost liom, Críost romham, Críost i mo dhiaidh,
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me.

Críost os mo chionnsa, agus Críost fúm,
Christ above me and Christ beneath me1

About Contemplative Prayers

Ministrants.com offers Contemplative Prayers, Meditations, and Visualizations to enrich the personal spiritual life. The meditations and visualizations are geared towards adults, teens and tweens. Most offerings, but not all, include references to God, and many – such as The Lorica, are specifically Christian in nature. For children, we suggest the Breathing Butterfly, available free in many languages from The Elfenworks Foundation.

Non-Medical Disclaimer – We are not engaged in professional medical services and assume no responsibility for patient outcomes. Medical advice and decisions are appropriately made only by a competent and licensed medical practitioner, who must make decisions, in light of all of the facts and circumstances in each individual and particular case. We absolutely do not advocate that anyone turn away from their current treatment or support—these meditative visualizations are intended to augment, not replace, any such treatment. — Ministrants, a division of Elfenworks Productions, LLC.


1Sources:  Grateful thanks to Br. President Ronald Gallagher, FSC, of St. Mary’s College of California, and to Theologian and Singer Dr. Nóirín Ní Riain, authority on Celtic Gregorian Chant, for assistance with the lyrics and the Irish. Hers is the singing voice that opens the spoken prayer. If you listen to the abridged version, you’ll hear her singing a bit of The Lorica, in Irish.  Her complete performance graces the documentary film Ireland, The Celtic Way  [more on the film].

Categories Prayer | Tags: , , | Posted on March 16, 2015

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google del.icio.us Stumble Upon Digg Reddit