Central Ecuador bishop election at HoB meeting

March 17, 2009

From ENS:

During a Tuesday, March 17 evening session bishops are expected to discuss Anglican Communion issues and also to cast their first ballots for the bishop of Ecuador Central, according to the agenda for the meeting. Delegates attending the February 14 diocesan convention of Central Ecuador authorized the House of Bishops to elect a successor to the Rt. Rev. Wilfrido Ramos-Orench, who is retiring.

The nominees will participate in “a ‘walkabout’ among the bishops so that they may get to know [them],” wrote Bishop George Councell of New Jersey in his blog. “The House of Bishops will then take ballots to elect a new bishop, who is to be consecrated this summer.”

O Lord, we cry out for a godly shepherd for Your children in Central Ecuador.  Amen.

Today’s Lent Devotional by Dr. Leander Harding, from TSM’s Website

March 17, 2009

I found Dr. Leander Harding’s devotional for today at the TSM website very encouraging.  Here is an excerpt:

The story of Abraham is the story of how the response of one person to God allows God to work in that person’s life and through that person’s life for the salvation of the world. If you feel sometimes dead, insignificant, undeserving and broken beyond repair, you are of the same flesh as Abraham. God has a plan for you and a plan to touch the world through you. What will be your response?

Holy Father, We give thanks that you do not leave us in our brokenness but are always working to make us holy. Give us grace to open our eyes, as did Patrick of Ireland, to see your plan, and the grace to do our part. In the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Amen.

Note: there appear to be no archives of the Trinity Lent Devotional entries, nor any permalinks, the entries change daily.  I’m trying to contact the TSM webmasters to find out if there is an archive somewhere.  Stay tuned…

Prayer for Madagascar

March 17, 2009

I just saw at ACNS that the Province of the Indian Ocean has organized a special day of prayer today for the people of Madagascar in the midst of the political turmoil there.

The latest news from the BBC is that the President is being forced to step down.

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, guide, we beseech thee, the nation of Madagascar into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

From the 1928 BCP

St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer (aka the Lorica)

March 17, 2009

We first posted this prayer 5 years ago.  It was perhaps the most popular entry of all on the old L&B site, so popular in fact that we eventually linked it on our sidebar under the category of “Lent & Beyond favorites.”


Wednesday, March 17, 2004

St. Patrick’s Breastplate Prayer

The following prayer/hymn is usually attributed to St. Patrick. I don’t think I’d ever read the whole thing before. What a powerful prayer! There is the traditional translation by Cecil Frances Alexander first, then a more modern translation of the prayer following.

As we engage in spiritual warfare for our church, this may be a prayer to learn well and return to often!

The Lorica, or, St. Patrick’s Breastplate

I bind unto myself today
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.

I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
his baptism in the Jordan river;
his death on cross for my salvation;
his bursting from the spiced tomb;
his riding up he heavenly way;
his coming at the day of doom:
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
of the great love of cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgement hour;
the service of the seraphim;
confessors’ faith, apostles’ word,
the patriarchs’ prayers, the prophets’ scrolls;
all good deeds done unto the Lord,
and purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
the virtues of the starlit heaven,
the glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
the whiteness of the moon at even,
the flashing of the lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea,
around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
his eye to watch, his might to stay,
his ear to hearken to my need;
the wisdom of my God to teach,
his hand to guide, his shield to ward;
the word of God to give me speech,
his heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
the vice that gives temptation force,
the natural lusts that war within,
the hostile men that mar my course;
of few or many, far or nigh,
in every place, and in all hours
against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
against false words of heresy,
against the knowledge that defiles
against the heart’s idolatry,
against the wizard’s evil craft,
against the death-wound and the burning
the choking wave and poisoned shaft,
protect me, Christ, till thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
the strong Name of the Trinity,
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One, and One in Three.
Of whom all nature hath creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
praise to the Lord of my salvation,
salvation is of Christ the Lord.

An alternate translation, by Kuno Meyer, is the following:

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’s birth 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 judgement of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of
the love of the Cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of the resurrection
to meet with reward,
In the prayers of patriarchs,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of sun,
Radiance 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 to me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me,

From snares of devils,
From temptation of vices,
From every one who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers
between me and those evils,

Against every cruel merciless
power that may oppose my body
and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and
smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge
that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poising, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So there come to me
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 when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of
every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of
every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye of
every one who 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.

Prayer for March 17: St. Patrick’s Day:
Almighty God, who in your providence chose your servant Patrick to be the apostle of the Irish people, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us so to walk in that light, that we may come at last to the light of everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever. Amen.

From our archives: Captain Yips – A Contrite Heart

March 17, 2009

From our archives, originally published in March 2006 as part of our Anglican Bloggers’ Lenten devotional series.  The prayer which Captain Yips is reflecting on is here.  This post was one of the most popular of our 2006 series.

Captain Yips blog is here.


Captain Yips: A Contrite Heart

Earlier in the season, Lent and Beyond uncovered a Tenth Century Latin Litany for Lent. The accompanying English translation was, I thought, a bit stiff and “churchy,” a little abstract where the original was very active and physical. So I’ve been trying to English it myself. I’m a long way from done, hung up on one poignant phrase that casts new light on one of Thomas Cranmer’s most famous prayers, and incidently highlights how language drifts with time.

The Latin phrase is

contrito corde pandimus occulta

This phrase is stunning, spiritually and emotionally. My attempts at translation have sent sparks flying off all over.

Contrito Corde

It’s tempting to translate this as “contrite heart,” and for an Anglican that phrase raises echoes of the magnificent Collect for Ash Wednesday:

Almighty and Everlasting God, who hatest nothing that thou hast made, and dost forgive the sins of all those who are penitent: Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Over time, “contrite” has devolved to mean little more than “really, really, sorry.” The Latin contritus is a very physical word that has little to do with sorrow or shame. It describes the state something is in after being rubbed down, abraded, pounded. It comes from a verb meaning, approximately, to wear out, to use up, to grind up, even obliterate. It’s a compound word, too. The root verb is terere, to rub, to wear away, with implications of to polish, to grind, to thresh, to use up, to wear out. A related adjective is teres, polished, rounded, even, elegant.

“Wow,” I said to myself after this rooting around. “Double wow.” Some words are like barges, carrying so many associations of meaning that to pluck one meaning off the heap is to diminish meaning. Contrito corde appears to mean something like

with/by means of/because of a heart broken down/worn out/ground down/broken to pieces/scoured clean

Further, the word implies a transformation, a change of state, possibly even improvement if we look to the related adjective; it’s not unlike the transformation of a raw gemstone to its cut and polished and sparkling form. It looks back a bit to a previous line in the Litany,
ablue nostri maculas delicti

Wash away the stains of our crimes.

So the contrite heart is also the heart that has had the stains scoured away.

Returning to the Collect, was Cranmer thinking of this bargeful of meanings as he wrote it? While “contrite” certainly included “sorry” among its meanings in English in the 16th century, I would guess, probably so. He was a better Latinist than I am, that’s for sure, and better than many alive today, and a profound scholar. There’s also a hint to be found in Cranmer’s prose style. One hallmark of Cranmer’s style is his use of parallel Anglo-Saxon and Latinate words to supplement each other. In the bad old days when ECUSA was bent on selling it’s patrimony, Cranmer’s style was defamed as repetitive and dowdy and elaborate. I think that’s dead wrong. He used parallel constructions to deal with very complicated material, including as much as possible by implication. In the Collect, we get “create and make,” Latinate and Anglo-Saxon words with similar but not identical meanings. In his parallel phrase, “new and contrite hearts,” I suspect that Cranmer had in mind, not a heart that was perpetually aware of and grieving for its sins, but a heart polished from its sins, clean and shining as part of the new creation in Christ, as a result of sorrow for and rejection of sin. Contrition, if I am right here, is the state one is in when God has washed the stain and disfigurement of sin away. The soul as passed through grief to a new state of restoration.

Secondary evidence about what Cranmer may have had in mind can be found in (of course) Shakespeare. By the 16th century, the primary meaning of “contrite” certainly had to do with repentance, but also effective repentance, with absolution; not sorrow alone, but effective and accepted sorrow. Shakespeare used “contrite” in this sense in Henry V, where the guilt-wracked king on the eve of Agincourt ponders his effort to secure forgiveness for his father’s murder of Richard II. He knows that despite his efforts, despite the tomb he built for Richard and the tears he has shed there, despite the 500 poor whom he supports for the purpose of praying for Richard, he, Henry, is still King and Richard is still dead, and the crime of his father cannot be undone. Henry fears that he will lose the next day’s battle because he is unforgiven, but Shakespeare is looking ahead; he knows who won Agincourt, and uses the outcome to show that Henry IV’s crime is forgiven, to legitimate Henry V’s dynasty and (by complicated interactions, exchanges and implications) also to legitimate the Tudor dynasty that sprang from Henry V’s widow (and patronized Shakespeare). Thus Shakespeare has Henry describe his contrite tears at Richard’s tomb, cluing us that Henry’s repentance is effective. This is all poetry, of course, not theology or even English usage, but goes a little to show how very delicate the meanings of “contrite” were at the time.

This is a lot of meaning to squeeze out of two words, but I think all these subsidiary meanings trail along in the wake of the primary meaning.

So what we get in the Litany, and perhaps also in the Ash Wednesday Collect, is a meaning for “contrite” that is not merely “I’m sorry,” but also, “broken down by sin but restored and rebuilt by God.” The sense of sorrow leading to transformation is essential. The Collect, maybe, looks forward to the result of repentance, a state in which God has so polished the heart that is shines in the sun like adamant diamond.

Over a thousand words! Enough! And I didn’t even get to pandimus occulta, almost equally complicated and packed with meaning.

House of Bishops/Scriptures on Fear

March 17, 2009

The House of Bishops is currently meeting in Kanuga.

2 Timothy 1:7–For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.

Romans 8:15–For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

Psalm 56:3-4— When I am afraid, I will trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I will not be afraid.  What can mortal man do to me?

Psalm 27:1–The LORD is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The LORD is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?

Isaiah 35:4–Say to those with fearful hearts, “Be strong, do not fear; your God will come, he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution he will come to save you.”

 Lord, send Your Holy Spirit down upon Your children in the House of Bishops that they may not fear the things of this world.  Amen.

Church of the Resurrection: Lent 3 Devotionals

March 17, 2009

Apologies, given that I did little blogging over the weekend, I neglected to post a link to the third week of Lenten Devotionals at Church of the Resurrection in Tampa (which is the source of the daily Lent devotionals being posted at Anglican Mainstream).

Here’s the link for Week 3:

In case I don’t get a chance to link to the Week 4 devotional guide, just go to the Church of the Resurrection Home Page and you should find the link in the top right of the page.

%d bloggers like this: