• Vienna McCarthy

A prayer to the Trinity for protection

Happy Feast of the Holy Trinity!

Today I’d like to share with you a prayer we sometimes pray at St George’s: St Patrick’s Breastplate.

The prayer is also sometimes also called a lorica. Lorica is a latin word meaning “breastplate” or “armour”, and lorica prayers are prayers of protection. Think of St Paul's call to the church in Ephesians 6:10-17 to put on "the whole armour of God”:

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. Put on the whole armour of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil…

One thing you'll notice when you read the prayer below is that whoever wrote it lived in a very different world to our own. The dangers they prayed for protection from are … well, let’s just say that some of them are of their time. I don’t spend a lot of time worrying about the spells of witches and druids.

The dangers in our world might seem different, but we are just as much in need of God's guidance and protection today. Over the last few weeks on our podcast, as well as in conversations all around the parish, we've been thinking about about the dangers our community is facing in the present moment. From racism to hunger to health inequality, there are injustices in our modern society that endanger us and our neighbours.

In some ways, St Patrick's Breastplate is as relevant as it ever has been.

But I’m hoping we might also have a go at creating a new lorica for our own community — St George’s Breastplate, if you like.

After the prayer below, there are some questions for you to consider. If you like to write, then feel free to write out your answers to the questions and email them to me at vienna@stgeorgeintheeast.org. But I’d love to have a conversation with you about it, too — so if you’d like to do that, send me an email anyway and we’ll arrange a time to catch up.

I bind to myself today

the mighty power

of the name of the Trinity:

believing in the three-ness,

holding fast to the one-ness

of the Creator of the ends of the earth.

I bind to myself today

the power of Christ’s birth and baptism;

the power of his crucifixion and burial;

the power of his resurrection and ascension;

the power of his coming at judgment day.

I bind to myself today

the strength of the love of the Cherubim,

in the obedience of angels,

in the hope of resurrection to meet with reward,

in the prayers of ancestors,

in the predictions of prophets,

in the preaching of the Apostles,

in the faith of confessors,

in the innocence of Holy Virgins,

in the deeds of the righteous.

I bind to myself today

the power of heaven,

the light of the sun,

the radiance of the moon,

the splendour of fire,

the flashing of lightning,

the swiftness of wind,

the depth of sea,

the stability of earth,

the firmness of rock.

I bind to myself today

God’s power to guide me

God’s might to uphold me,

God’s wisdom to teach me,

God’s eye to watch over me,

God’s ear to hear me,

God’s Word to give me speech,

God’s hand to guide me,

God’s way to lie before me,

God’s shield to protect me,

God’s host to save me,

from the snares of demons,

from the temptation of vices,

from the selfish desires of nature,

from everyone who wants to hurt me,

whether they’re far or near,

whether they’re one person or a crowd.

I bind to myself today

all these powers

against every hostile, merciless force

which may oppose my body and my soul,

against the incantations of false prophets,

against the dark laws of paganism,

against the false laws of heretics,

against the deceits of idolatry,

against the spells of witches and druids,

against all knowledge that corrupts the human soul.

Christ, protect me today

against poison, against burning,

against drowning, against wounding,

that I may receive abundant reward.

Christ with me,

Christ before me,

Christ behind me,

Christ within me,

Christ beneath me,

Christ above me,

Christ on the right of me,

Christ on the left of me,

Christ defending me,

Christ directing me,

Christ leading me,

Christ in the heart of everyone who thinks of me,

Christ in mouth of everyone who speaks to me,

Christ in every eye that sees me,

Christ in every ear that hears me.

I bind to myself today

the mighty power

of the name of the Trinity:

believing in the three-ness,

holding fast to the one-ness

of the Creator of creation.

  1. Who are the ancestors, role-models, and mentors who have revealed God’s love to you?

  2. Can you think of a time when you were struck by the beauty or power of God’s creation? What was it like?

  3. What are the “hostile forces” in our world that can make you or your loved ones feel fearful? What do you need protection from?

  4. Where do you expect to meet Jesus in your day-to-day life?

Email me at vienna@stgeorgeintheeast.org — send me answers, or we can arrange a time to chat.


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