Song for Saturday: Lorica

September 3, 2016 — Leave a comment

Time for a new feature–a song for Saturday from my week’s playlist.
Up first is ‘Lorica’ by Steve Bell on his album “Devotion”

The Lorica – Music and Lyric by Gayle Salmond

“I bind unto myself today
The gift to call on the Trinity
The saving faith where I can say
Come three in one, oh one in three

Be above me, as high as the noonday sun
Be below me, the rock I set my feet upon
Be beside me, the wind on my left and right
Be behind me, oh circle me with Your truth and light

I bind unto myself today
The love of Angels and Seraphim
The prayers and prophesies of Saints
The words and deeds of righteous men

God’s ear to hear me
God’s hand to guide me
God’s might to uphold me
God’s shield to hide me
Against all powers deceiving
Against my own unbelieving
Whether near or far

I bind unto myself today
The hope to rise from the dust of earth
The songs of nature giving praise
To Father, Spirit, Living Word”

During the eighth and ninth centuries in the British Isles, followers of Jesus often composed prayers to declare the encompassing presence of God in the world. Some of these were loricas, or breastplate prayers for protection [the breastplate being the piece of armor that covers your torso and protects your heart in battle, and lorica being Latin for breastplate]. Perhaps they had in mind Paul’s description of spiritual armor: Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place. [Ephesians 6:14]

This song is based on the lorica of St. Patrick. Another lorica, “Rob tu mo bhoile, a Comdi cride” is the basis for the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision”.

[more about God’s protection in my next post]

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