Much Ado About Nothing


Thursday, March 30, 2006

Lunch Chat with Aidan

Aidan: I know what Daddies do best.
Mom: What?
Aidan: They do work...and build houses.
(Papa used to build houses)

Aidan: When I get married, I am going to find a wife who always obeys God.
(Tuesday night at Bible study we talked about Samson)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Fáed Fíada

Irish for The Cry of the Deer, also called Saint Patrick's Lorica (or Breastplate).

This is a favorite hymn of Aidan and Emma and many of the students at school. As Thursday will be the the last chapel before St. Patrick's day, we are set to sing the C. Alexander version.

According to the cyper hymnal, Cecil Alexander penned these words at the request of H. H. Dickinson, Dean of the Chapel Royal at Dublin Castle:
I wrote to her suggesting that she should fill a gap in our Irish Church Hymnal by giving us a metrical version of St. Patrick’s “Lorica” and I sent her a carefully collated copy of the best prose translations of it. With­in a week she sent me that exquisitely beautiful as well as faithful version which appears in the appendix to our Church Hymnal.

The students have the great blessing of joining the Grace Cathedral school for boys for their Friday morning chapel hymn sing, on St. Patrick's day. A glorious hymn, accompanied by pipe organ, a boy's choir, in a building made for such a sound...

One tradition has it, that Saint Patrick and his companion missionaries were to travel to the court of King Laoghhaire. Along the way, waiting in ambush, were druid or druid henchmen who intended to attack and kill Saint Patrick and all his followers.
As Patrick and his companions walked, they chanted the Lorica. When they passed the would-be attackers, they appeared as a doe and twenty fawns - hence the title.

Did Saint Patrick actually write the Lorica?
As Thomas Cahill puts it "Characteristics of the language would assign it to the seventh, or even to the eighth, century. On the other hand, it is Patrician to the core...The earliest expression of European vernacular poetry, it is, in attitude, the work of a Christian druid, a man of both faith and magic."
Cahill also says: "If Patrick did not write it (at least in its current form), it surely takes its inspiration from him."

So here is a modern language translation of the poem that the hymn was taken from:

Fáed Fíada - The Cry of the Deer

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession
of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with His Baptism,
through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial
through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension,
through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim
in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels,
in hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets,
in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors,
in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven:
light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendour of Fire,
speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea,
stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me,
God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me,
God's host to secure me:
against snares of devils, against temptations of vices,
against inclinations of nature, against everyone who
shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.
I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils):
against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose
my body and my soul,
against incantations of false prophets,
against black laws of heathenry,
against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry,
against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul.
Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning, against drowning,
against wounding, so that there may come abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right,
Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length,
Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the
Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the
Oneness of the Creator of creation.
Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord.
Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.