Confession and Prayer for Forgiveness

O Lord, O King,
magnificent in the stronghold of heaven,
always worthy of praise.
In your grace for your people:
have mercy.

to whom the hosts of cherubim sing in endless praise:
have mercy.

the heavenly armies sing high praise to you,
and the seraphim reply to them:
have mercy.

O Christ,
enthroned as King above,
whom all orders of angels in their beauty praise without ceasing,
on us, your servants, always:
have mercy.

O Christ,
your one only Church throughout the world sings to you.
The sun, the moon, and stars, the land and sea, always serve you:
have mercy.

O Christ,
your saints, the heirs of the eternal country,
one and all with utter joy proclaim you in a most worthy strain:
have mercy.

O Lord,
O gentle Son of Mary,
O King of Kings,
blessed Redeemer,
on those you have ransomed from the power of death
by your own blood:
have mercy.

O noblest unbegotten, yet begotten Son,
having no beginning of age,
yet excelling all things,
on this your congregation in your pity:
have mercy.

O Sun of Righteousness,
in all unclouded glory,
supreme dispenser of justice,
in that great day when you will come to be our judge,
on this your people, who here stand before your presence,
in your pity:
Lord, then have mercy on us. Amen.

Source: Dunstan of Canterbury
Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers of the Middle Ages, edited by J. Manning Potts, 1954.

Alexander’s Breastplate

This lorica (breastplate) prayer is called “Alexander’s Breastplate” because it is between two poems about Alexander the Great in the Welsh Book of Taliesin.

On the face of the earth
his equal was not born,
Three persons of God,
one gentle Son
in the glorious Trinity.
Son of the Godhead,
Son of the Manhood,
one wonderful Son.
Son of God, a fortress,
Son of the blessed Mary,
Son, Servant, Lord.
Great his destiny,
great God supreme,
in heavenly glory.
Of the race of Adam
and Abraham,
and of the line of David,
the eloquent psalmist,
was he born.
By a word he healed
the blind and deaf
from every ailment;
the gluttonous, vain
iniquitous, vile, perverse,
to rise toward the Trinity
by their redemption.
The Cross of Christ
is our shining breastplate
against every ailment.
Against every hardship
may it certainly be
our city of refuge.

Source: Book of Taliesin, Welsh, 10th-14th Century, excerpt
The Four Ancient Books of Wales, 1868, p. 557-558.

Source of this version: Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church.

Original in Old Welsh:

Ar clawr eluyd y gystedlyd ny ryanet.
Teir person duw. vn mab adwyn terwyn trinet.
Mab yr dwydit. mab yr dyndit. vn mab ryued.
Mab duw dinas. mab gwen meirgwas. mat gwas gwelet.
O hil ade ac abrahae yn ryanet.
O hil dofyd dogyn dwfynwedyd llu ryanet.
Dyduc o eir deill abydeir o pop aelet.
Pobyl ginhiawc. goec gamwedawc salw amnyned.
Rydrychafom erbyn trindawt gwedy gwaret.
Croes cristyn glaer. lluryc llachar rac pop aelat.
Rac pop anuaws poet yn dilis dinas diffret. and 


The Lorica of Mugron

This Lorica of Mugron asks for the protection of the cross of Christ on all parts of the body. The idea is that Christ fills all our lives, so we do not need to be afraid. In one source, this Lorica was called “The Lorica of Columkille” (or Columba).

The cross of Christ upon this face,
and over this ear,
The cross of Christ upon this eye.
The cross of Christ upon this nose.
The cross of Christ upon this mouth.
The cross of Christ upon this tongue.
The cross of Christ upon this throat.
The cross of Christ upon this back.
The cross of Christ upon this side.
The cross of Christ upon this belly …
The cross of Christ upon my hands,
from my shoulders to my palms.
The cross of Christ over my legs,
The cross of Christ with me before me,
The cross of Christ with me after me,
The cross of Christ to face every trouble
in valley and hill.
The cross of Christ as I look east.
The cross of Christ toward the sunset.
In the north and south. never stopping,
the cross of Christ always there.
The cross of Christ over my teeth,
to protect from harm and danger.
The cross of Christ over my stomach.
The cross of Christ over my heart.
The cross of Christ up to highest heaven.
The cross of Christ down to earth.
There shall come no evil nor suffering
to my body or to my soul.
The cross of Christ at my sitting.
The cross of Christ at my lying.
The cross of Christ all my strength,
until we reach the King of heaven.
The cross of Christ over my community.
The cross of Christ over my church.
The cross of Christ in the next world.
The cross of Christ in this.
From the top of my head
to the sole of my foot,
O Christ, in all trouble,
I trust in the protection of your cross.
Until the day I die
before returning to the earth,
I shall trace on myself
the cross of Christ upon this face.

Source: From the Lorica of Mugron,  d. 980-981, composite translation, based mostly on The Irish Liber Hymnorum, by John Henry Bernard, 1898, p. 212

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

Original in old Irish:

Cros Chríst tarsin n-gnúis-se, tarsin g-clúais fon cóir-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin súil-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin sróin-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin m-bél-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin cráes-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin cúl-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin táeb-sa.
Cros Chríst tarsin m-broinn-se (is amlaid as chuimse).
Cros Chríst tarsin tairr-se.
Cros Chríst tarsin n-druim-se.
Cros Chríst tar mo láma óm gúaillib com basa.
Cros Chríst tar mo lesa.
Cros Chríst tar mo chasa.
Cros Chríst lem ar m’ agaid.
Cros Chríst lem im degaid.
Cros Chríst fri cach n-doraid
eitir fán is telaig.
Cros Chríst sair frim einech
Cros Chríst síar fri fuined.
Tes, túaid cen nach n-anad,
Cros Chríst cen nach fuirech.
Cros Chríst tar mo déta
nám-tháir bét ná bine.
Cros Chríst tar mo gaile.
Cros Chríst tar mo chride.
Cros Chríst súas fri fithnim.
Cros Chríst sís fri talmain.
Ní thí olc ná urbaid
dom chorp ná dom anmain.
Cros Chríst tar mo suide.
Cros Chríst tar mo lige.
Cros Chríst mo bríg uile
co roisem Ríg nime.
Cros Chríst tar mo muintir.
Cros Chríst tar mo thempal.
Cros Chríst isin altar.
Cros Chríst isin chentar.
O mullach mo baitse
co ingin mo choise,
a Chríst, ar cach n-gábad
for snádad do chroise.
Co laithe mo báis-se,
ría n-dol isin n-úir-se,
cen (ainis) do-bér-sa
Cros Chríst tarsin n-gnúis-se.



Dunkeld Litany

nature architecture building old wall arch castle church cathedral chapel decay ruin gothic place of worship england stones ruins arches monastery scotland nave abbey vault historical estate gang masonry rosette church ruins historic site ancient history

The litany below is a shortened version of a litany which was sung at public processions of a group of ascetic monks called Culdees. It was used at the ancient Scottish monastery of Dunkeld.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

God, the Father in heaven, have mercy on us.
God, the Son, Redeemer, have mercy on us.
God, the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

You are three, and yet one God, have mercy on us.

Be gracious, free us, Lord.
Be gracious, hear us, Lord.
Be gracious, spare us, Lord.

From every evil,
from every evil inclination,
from every impurity of heart and body,
from a haughty spirit,
from the evil of sickness,
from the snares of the devil,
from enemies to the Christian name,
from destructive storms,
from famine and nakedness,
from thieves and robbers,
from wolves and all dangerous animals,
from floods  of water,
from trials of death,
in the day of judgment, free us, Lord.

By your advent,
by your birth,
by your circumcision,
by your baptism,
by your passion,
by sending the counseling Spirit, free us, Lord.

We sinners pray, free us, Lord.

Holy Father, we pray, hear us.

To give us peace and concord,
to give us life and health,
to give us the fruits of the earth,
to protect our livestock from all pestilence,
to give us favorable weather,
to give us rain at the proper time,
to give us perseverance in good works,
to work true repentance in us,
to move us in charity for those in need,
to give us fervor in your service,
to give all Christian people peace and unity,
to keep us in the true faith and religion,
to preserve and spread your holy church,
to give long life and health to pastors, teachers and all leaders in the church,
to protect the leaders of our land from all enemies and snares.
to give them victory and long life,
to drive out the enemies of Christians from the earth,
to bring them to holy baptism,
to give all Christians your mercy,
to spare us,
to grant us mercy,
to look upon us, we pray, hear us.

Son of God, hear us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
have mercy on us, Lord.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world,
grant us peace.

Christ conquers,
Christ rules,
Christ commands.

O Christ, hear us.

Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

O Christ, give us your grace,
O Christ, give us joy and peace.
O Christ, give us life and salvation.

Let us pray.

Our Father…

Let us pray.
Almighty and gracious God, in your majesty remember us. Grant us forgiveness of all sins, increase your heavenly grace to us, and give us your help against all the snares of our enemies, seen and unseen. In the same way, protect our hearts by your command, so that after this mortal life, we may rejoice together with all your saints in the glory of the kingdom of God, serving our Jesus Christ our Lord and Redeemer, who has all power and rule, one with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and forever. Amen.

Source: Kalendars of Scottish Saints by Alexander Penrose Forbes, Bishop of Brechin, Edmonston and Douglas, Edinburgh, 1872, p. lvi-lxv.

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

Note: This litany is very similar to the Litany of All Saints, which was adapted by Martin Luther for his Latin Litany Corrected and his German Litany.



The Litany of the Trinity (Mugron)

The first lines of Mugron’s Litany of the Trinity

Have mercy on us,
O God, Father almighty!
O God of hosts,
O God most high,
O Lord of the world,
O indescribable God,
O Creator of the elements,
O invisible God,
O untouchable God,
O unjudgeable God,
O immeasurable God,
O impatient God,
O immaculate God,
O immortal God,
O immoveable God,
O eternal God,
O perfect God,
O merciful God,
O admirable God,
O awesome God,
O golden good,
O Father in heaven,
have mercy on us!

Have mercy on us,
O almighty God,
O Jesus Christ,
O Son of living God!
O Son that was born twice,
O only-begotten of God the Father,
O first child of Mary the Virgin,
O Son of David,
O Son of Abraham,
O beginning of all,
O end of the world,
O Word of God,
O jewel of the heavenly kingdom,
O life of all,
О eternal truth,
О image, О likeness, О figure of God the Father,
О hand of God,
О arm of God,
О strength of God,
О right hand of God,
О true wisdom,
О true light that enlightens all darkness,
О guiding light,
О sun of truth,
О morning star,
О radiance of the Godhead,
О splendor of the eternal light,
О intelligence of the mystic world,
О mediator of all men,
О betrothed of the Church,
О faithful shepherd of the flock,
О expectation of the faithful,
О angel of the great counsel,
О true prophet,
О true apostle,
О true teacher,
О high priest,
О master,
О Nazarene,
О fair-haired one,
О ever living satisfaction,
О tree of life,
О true vine,
О sprout of the root of Jesse,
О King of Israel,
О Savior,
О door of the world,
О chosen flower of the plain,
О lily of the valleys,
О rock of strength,
О cornerstone,
О heavenly Zion,
О foundation of faith,
О innocent lamb,
О diadem,
О silent sheep,
О redeemer of humanity,
О true God,
О true man,
О lion,
О ox,
О eagle,
О crucified Christ,
О judge of Doom,
have mercy on us!

Have mercy on us,
О almighty God,
О Holy Spirit!
О Spirit that is nobler than all Spirits,
О finger of God,
О guard of the Christians,
О comforter of the sorrowful,
О gentle one,
О merciful intercessor,
О giver of true wisdom,
О author of Holy Scripture,
О ruler of speech,
О sevenfold Spirit,
О Spirit of wisdom,
О Spirit of understanding,
О Spirit of counsel,
О Spirit of strength,
О Spirit of knowledge,
О Spirit of gentleness,
О Spirit of awe,
О Spirit of charity,
О Spirit of grace,
О Spirit by whom all high things are ordained,
have mercy on us.

O Father, O Son, O Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.

Have mercy on us, eternal God,
O God in heaven, have mercy on us.
Have mercy on us, O glorious God,
Trinity glorious, ruling the circle of the earth.
O God, to your name be honor and praise,
now and forever. Amen.

May the almighty God be magnified in all the earth.

Source: Litany of the Trinity by Mugron, d. 980-981.

Source of this version: Kuno Meyer in Hibernica Minora, 1894, p. 43-44

Included in Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church, © 2018, Paul C. Stratman

Original in old Irish:

Mugrón, comarba Coluim cille, hec uerba composuit de Trinitate.

Airchis dín, a Dé Athair uili-cumachtaig,
A Dé na slóg,
A Dé uasail,
A thigerna in domuin,
A Dé díaisneithe,
A duilemuin na ndúl,
A Dé nem-aicside,
A Dé nem-chorpdai,
A Dé nem-mitte,
A Dé nem-toimside,
A Dé nem-foiditnich,
A Dé nem-thruailnide,
A Dé nem-marbdai,
A Dé nem-chumscaigthe,
A Dé shuthain,
A Dé foirpthe,
A Dé trocair,
A Dé adhamraigthe,
A Dé aduathmair,
[A De in talman,
A De na teined,
A De na nusqui nexamail,
A Dhe ind aeoir [fh]uasnadaigh & rethanaig,
A De na nil-berlada im chrunni in talman,
A Dé na tonn a thec imdomhain inn aiceoin,
A Dhe na nairdreannach, & na nuili rinn étrocht,
A Dhe, ro thebestar in maisi, ro thinns[c]nastar la & aidchi,
A De ro thigernastar ar ifern cona daoscor-sluag,
A Dé ro follamnaighes co narcainglib,]
A maith forordai,
A Athair nemdai fail i nimib,
Airchis din.

[Ad Christum hec uerba pertinent.]
Airchis dín, a Dé uili-chumachtaig, a Isu Crist, a meic Dé bi,
A meic ro genair fo di,
A oen-geinne Dé Athar,
A prim-geinne Maire oige,
A meic Dauid
A meic Abraham
A thosach na nuili,
A forcend an domuin,
A Briathar Dé,
A shét na flatha némdai,
A betha na nuili,
A fírinne tshuthain,
A immhaigin, a chosmailes, a dealb Dé Athar,
A lám Dé,
A dóit Dé,
A nert Dé,
A deis Dé,
A fhir-ecnai,
A fhir-shoillsi cena soillsiges cech ndorchai,
A sholus taircedaig,
A grian na fírinde,
A rétla matindai,
A delrad na deachta,
A thaitnem na soillsi suthaine,
[A thopur in bethad bith-buain,]
A thuicsi an betha rundai,
A etirsidaigthe na nuile duine,
A thairngertaig na hecailse,
A oegaire tairise an treoid,
A frescisiu na niresech,
A aingil na comairli móire,
A fhir-faith,
A fhir-abstail,
A fhir-forcetlaid,
A uasal-shacairt,
A Maigistir,
A Nasarda,
A glan-mongaich,
A shasad bith-béo,
A bile an betha[d],
[A fhir-nem],
A fhir-fhinemain,
A flesc do freim Iesse,
A rí Israel,
A shlainicid,
A dorus an betha[d]
A blath togaide in maige,
A lil na nglenn,
A ail na sonairte,
A cloch uillech,
A Sion nemdai,
A fotha na hirse,
A uain ennaic,
A mind,
A choera cennais,
A thathchrithid in chiniud[a] daon[d]a,
A fír-De,
A fhír-duine,
A leo,
A oc-daim,
A aquil,
A Christ crochdai,
A brithem bratha,
Airchis dín.

[Hec uerba ad Spiritum Sanctum pertinent.]
Airchis dín a Dé uile-cumachtaig, a Spirut Noib,
A Spirut as uaisle cech spirut.
A mér Dé,
A coimed na cristaide,
A comdidantaid na toirsech,
A choen-suaraich,
A etar-guthid trocar,
A thi[d]nachtaid ind fír-ecnai,
A auctair na scribture noibe,
A airrechtaid na érlabrai,
A Spirut secht-dealbaig,
A Spirut in ecnai,
A Spirut in inntlechtai,
A Spirut na comairle,
A Spirut na sonairte,
A Spirat ind fessa,
A Spirut na báide,
A Spirut ind uamain,
A Spirut na deirce,
A Spirut ind ratha,
A Spirut on ordnigther cech nuasal,
[A Spirut loisces na cinta,
A Spirut nighes na pectha,
A Spirut naomh fhollamnaighes na huile dule, aicsidhe & nem-fhaicsidhe,
Aircis dim,
A Dhe uili-cumachtaig, ind Athair nemdha, & a Meic aon-geine,
Aircis dim.
Aircis dim, a Athair, a Meic, a Spirut naom.

Aircis dim a De aonda,
A De do nim, aircis dim.
Aircis dim, a De o fuilid, tria fuilid folla[m]nugud na nuile dul det, a De.
Rot be onoir & inocbail in secula seculorum. Amen.

Omnipotens Deus magnificetur in uniuersa terra, et reliqua.]




A Benediction


May our Lord + Jesus Christ
be near you to defend you,
within you to refresh you,
around you to preserve you,
before you to guide you,
behind you to justify you,
above you to bless you;
and the blessing of almighty God,
the Father, the + Son, and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always.

Source: 10th Century manuscript, from The New Ancient Collects, #575, (Bright’s Ancient Collects, p. 193.3)

In Bright’s Ancient Collects, this was printed as a prayer with this ending:

…above you to bless you;
who lives and reigns
with the Father and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever. Amen.



You Give Salvation, You Give Comfort

grigor_narekatsi_1For yours is salvation,
and from you is redemption,
and by your right hand is restoration,
and your finger is fortification.
Your command is justification.
Your mercy is liberation.
Your countenance is illumination.
Your face is exultation.
Your spirit is benefaction.
Your anointing oil is consolation.
A dew drop of your grace is exhilaration.
You give comfort.
You make us forget despair.
You lift away the gloom of grief.
You change the sighs of our heart into laughter.
To you is fitting blessing with praise
in heaven and on earth
from our forefathers and to all their generations
forever and ever.

Source: Gregory of Narek (Armenian) 951-1003, from Prayer 9, D

For a Pastor

old_sarum_cathedral_reconstructionO God,
Shepherd and Ruler of all the faithful,
look graciously upon your servant, ______,
whom you have chosen to watch
over your church in this place.
Grant that both by word and example
he may profit those in his care,
so that, together with the flock committed to him,
he may obtain eternal life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Source: Sarum Rite

Source of this version: Modified from A Book of Prayers: Together with Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Ancient and Modern, Ed. Charles Leffingwell, Morehouse Publishing Company, 1921, p. 78 #1



Bless Us

old_sarum_cathedral_reconstructionO Lord,
bless us with your heavenly benediction,
that rejoicing in your strength
and trusting in your loving kindness,
we may obtain a blessed immortality.

Source: Sarum Rite

Source of this version:   Prayers Ancient and Modern by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 275 #2

Similar to A Blessing

Graphic: Model of Old Sarum (Salisbury) Cathedral,




Send forth Your Truth

old_sarum_cathedral_reconstructionWe call on you, Almighty God,
the Fountain of eternal Light,
to send forth your truth into our hearts,
and to pour on us the glory of your brightness;
through Christ our Lord.

Source: Sarum Rite

Source of this version: Freely modified from Prayers Ancient and Modern
by Mary Wilder Tileston, Boston, Little Brown, 1914, p. 44#2

Graphic: Model of Old Sarum (Salisbury) Cathedral,