I Bind Unto Myself Today

I Bind Unto Myself Today March 17, 2016
Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA.
Saint Patrick stained glass window from Cathedral of Christ the Light, Oakland, CA.

My married name is Carnahan. My husband’s, great-great-great-great Grandfather immigrated from Ireland in the late 1700s.  Family names are carried down all the way to Ben and my sons, the only Carnahan men carry on the family name. As you can imagine, Saint Patrick’s day is near and dear to us. Not only because of Ben’s irish roots, but also because of our distinctly Christian heritage.

Saint Patrick was slave turned missionary. A pagan turned Christian. A man turned into a saint. He brought the Father, Son and Holy Ghost to shamrocks and gave us reason to feast every March 17th. He brought Christianity to my husband’s forefathers.

So today, our children are wearing Saint Patrick’s blue . I am preparing to make colcannon (tip: boil the potatoes in chicken broth for better flavor), soda bread and corned beef. Coming in right behind Easter and Christmas, this is one of our favorite celebrations. shamrocksWe are partying because God does not expect us to save ourselves. He lifts us up out of our misery, singing words of love and life into our hearts, guiding us (sometimes via pirates) to Himself. God has given us reason to live, reason to speak up,  reason to rejoice.


My daughter and I are going about our chores, with thanksgiving in our hearts and Saint Patrick’s breastplate on our tongue:

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 pow’r of faith, Christ’s Incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river; His death on the Cross for my slavation;

His bursting from the spiced tomb;  His riding up the heav’nly ways;
His coming at the day of doom; I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the pow’r of the great love of Cherubim;
the sweet “Well done” in judgement hour; the service of the Seraphim;
Confessors’ fath, 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 lighting free, the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea, around the old enternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today the pow’r 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 heav’nly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin, the vice that gives temptation force,
the natral lusts that war within, the hostile men that mar my course.
Or few or many, far or nigh, in ev’ry place, and in all hours,
against their fierce hostility, I bind to me these holy pow’rs.

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, the poisoned shaft, protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ 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.

And because we are reformed evangelicals, later we will drink Irish car-bombs and sing Nancy Whiskey.

If you are on Spotify, feel free to check out the fantastic St. Paddy’s playlist my husband set up.

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