I Rise Today

in the power’s strength, invoking the Trinity 
believing in threeness, 
confessing the oneness, 
of creation’s Creator.
I rise today 
in the power of Christ’s birth and baptism, 
in the power of his crucifixion and burial, 
in the power of his rising and ascending, 
in the power of his descending and judging.
I rise today 
in the power of the love of cherubim, 
in the obedience of angels 
and service of archangels, 
in hope of rising to receive the reward, 
in the prayers of patriarchs, 
in the predictions of the prophets, 
in the preaching of apostles, 
in the faith of confessors, 
in the innocence of holy virgins, 
in the deeds of the righteous.
I rise today 
in heaven’s might, 
in sun’s brightness, 
in moon’s radiance, 
in fire’s glory, 
in lightning’s quickness, 
in wind’s swiftness, 
in sea’s depth, 
in earth’s stability, 
in rock’s fixity.
I rise today 
with the power of God to pilot me, 
God’s strength to sustain me, 
God’s wisdom to guide me, 
God’s eye to look ahead for me, 
God’s ear to hear me, 
God’s word to speak for me, 
God’s hand to protect me, 
God’s way before me, 
God’s shield to defend me, 
God’s host to deliver me, 
• from snares of devils, 
• from evil temptations, 
• from nature’s failings, 
• from all who wish to harm me, 
• far or near, 
• alone and in a crowd.
Around me I gather today all these powers 
against every cruel and merciless force 
to attack my body and soul, 
against the charms of false prophets, 
the black laws of paganism, 
the false laws of heretics, 
the deceptions of idolatry, 
against spells cast by women, smiths, and druids, 
and all unlawful knowledge that harms the body and soul.
May Christ protect me today 
against poison and burning, 
against drowning and wounding, 
so that I may have abundant reward; 
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me; 
Christ within me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me; 
Christ to the right of me, Christ to the left of me; 
Christ in my lying, Christ in my sitting, Christ in my rising; 
Christ in the heart of all who think of me, 
Christ on the tongue of all who speak to me, 
Christ in the eye of all who see me, 
Christ in the ear of all who hear me.
I rise today 
in power’s strength, invoking the Trinity, 
believing in threeness, 
confessing the oneness, 
of creation’s Creator.
For to the Lord belongs 
and to the Lord belongs salvation 
and to Christ belongs salvation. 
May your salvation, Lord, be with us always.

—"Saint Patrick’s Breastplate,” 

Old Irish, eighth-century prayer.

Prayer from Oliver Davies and Fiona Bowie, Celtic Christian Spirituality: An Anthology of Medieval and Modern Sources (SPCK, 1995). Used with permission.

By Patrick

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #60 in 1998]

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