March 16, 2021
The Celts had a prayer for everything—for going to bed, for rising from bed, for kindling the fire, for putting out the fire. There were prayers for planting, for harvesting, for walking along the road. One particular type of prayer was the breastplate prayer. It was a prayer you put on like a protective cloak. Those of us old enough to have worn the religious habit are familiar with one example of such a prayer. When donning each part of the habit, an appropriate prayer was said. One robed oneself in grace as well as in clothing.
An especially beautiful breastplate prayer is the Breastplate of St Patrick. Tradition says that Patrick was protected from outlaws as he recited this on his way to greet the king. The outlaws heard only the cry of deer as Patrick and his followers passed by. Irish composer Shaun Davey has set to music this adaptation of the longer version.Read More