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Keith Gates: Music


Lorica is also available in the collections:
Sacred Songs for Low Voice
Sacred Songs for High Voice
Other versions of Lorica may be heard here:
Lorica piano transcription
Lorica instrumental transcription


The Lorica (or Breastplate of St. Patrick) is an ancient Gaelic prayer attributed to St. Patrick and is an invocation to the Holy Trinity, usually recited in the morning. In the early Irish Church, loricas were numerous; some were written in Gaelic and some in Latin. In fact, the word, Lorica, is Latin, meaning shield or breastplate. Since prayer is a spiritual shield, these Irish loricas were prayed for protection against spiritual evils, but also from physical ones; they came into being when the Gaelic pagans converted to Catholicism: they were the replacement for the old incantations, which the new Christians discarded.

I rise today
with 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 when I pray.
God's word to speak for me.

I rise today,
God's hand to guard me,
God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me.
God's hosts to save me
from snares of the devil,
from everyone who desires me ill,
afar or near,
alone or in a multitude.

I rise today
through the strength of heaven,
light of the sun,
radiance of the moon,
splendor of fire,
speed of lightning,
softness of the wind,
depth of the sea,
stability of the earth,
firmness of the rock.