Máel Ísu’s Prayer to the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit around us,
in us and with us,
the Holy Spirit to us,
may it come, O Christ, suddenly!

The Holy Spirit to inhabit
our body and our soul,
to protect us speedily
against peril, against diseases!

Against demons, against sins,
against hell with many evils,
O Jesus, may it sanctify us,
may your Spirit free us!

Source: Attributed to Máel Ísu,  mid-10th Century, The Irish Liber Hymnorum, 1898, p. 52

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is a collection of prayers from the time of Patrick (d. ca. 460-493) to the Synod of Whitby (664), and also from the Celtic Christian tradition that remained after Whitby. A few of the prayers in this book may be familiar from their appearance in other prayer books. Some may be appearing in English for the first time. All prayers (with one exception) are rendered or revised into contemporary English with the hopes that they will be useful in private and corporate worship. Includes prayers from The Antiphonary of Bangor, The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, The Book of Cerne, The Book of Dimma, St. Patrick, St. Columba and many other sources.

Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church is available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

Version in verse:

O Holy Spirit, hasten to us!
Move round about us, in us, through us!
All our deadened souls’ desires
Inflame anew with heavenly fires!

Yea ! let each heart become a hostel
Of your bright presence Pentecostal,
Whose power from pestilence and slaughter
Shall shield us still by land and water.

From bosom sins, seducing devils,
From hell with all its thousand evils,
For Jesus’ only sake and merit,
Preserve us, O Almighty Spirit!

found in A Celtic Psaltery, by Alfred Perceval Graves, F. A. Stokes Company, New York, 1917.

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Lutheran pastor serving St. Stephen's in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin.

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