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St Patrick's Breastplate

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St Patrick's Breastplate

Saint Patrick's Breastplate is a Christian hymn whose original Old Irish lyrics were traditionally attributed to Saint Patrick during his Irish ministry in the 5th century; however, it was probably actually written later, in the 8th century.[1] It is written in the style of a druidic incantation for protection on a journey. It is part of the Liber Hymnorum, a collection of hymns found in two manuscripts kept in Dublin.[2]

The words were translated into English verse by Cecil Frances Alexander in 1889 and set to two traditional Irish tunes, St. Patrick and Deirdre.[3] The hymn, also known by its opening line "I bind unto myself today", is currently included in the Lutheran Service Book [Lutheran Church- Missouri Synod], English Hymnal, the Irish Church Hymnal and The Hymnal (1982) of the U.S. Episcopal Church. It is often sung during the celebration of the Feast of Saint Patrick on or near March 17, as well as on Trinity Sunday. In many churches it is unique among standard hymns because the variations in length and metre of verses mean that at least three different tunes must be used - different in the melody sung by the congregation.

The prayer known as "Faeth Fiada",[4] or the "Lorica of St. Patrick" (St. Patrick's Breast-Plate) was first edited by Petrie in his "History of Tara".[5]

Scripture references may include

References

  • Dibble, Jeremy; Stanford Sacred Choral Music, Vol. 3 Notes. London, 1998.

External links

  • Beliefnet: Morning Prayer of Saint Patrick
  • The life of St Patrick
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