Merriment and Remembrance

St. Patrick’s Day is likely one of my very least favorite holidays as I have experienced, as you most likely have, cheap party favors, pinches, parties involving green beer and plastic trinkets. The feel of the holiday is, one the whole, very five-and-dime when it is meant to honor a man of great faith.

Today have fun. If green beer is in your plans, drink and be merry. By all means – merriment and a celebratory spirit are fundamental to, not opposed to, Christianity. This notion of mirth is present in the Hymn of St. Patrick’s Breastplate (Faeth fiada) alongside a resounding certainty of knowledge of who he was and who Christ is. I think the mirth is not only alongside such certainty for us today, but rather finds its source in the same knowledge.

An excerpt from the Hymn itself:

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.

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 today
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.

Amen.

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