May I Keep the Smallest Door

Almighty God,
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit
to me the least of saints,
to me allow that I may keep
even the smallest door,
the farthest, darkest, coldest door,
the door that is least used,
the stiffest door.

If only it be in your house, O God,
that I can see your glory even afar,
and hear your voice,
and know that I am with you, O God.

Source: Attributed to St. Columba, 521-597.

Source of this version: http://yourworshiptools.com/a-prayer-of-st-columba/

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

This prayer recalls Psalm 84:10.

 

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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.]

Source: https://celt.ucc.ie/published/G206009.html

 

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Delightful It Is to Serve the King of Kings

Let me bless almighty God,
whose power extends over sea and land,
whose angels watch over all.
Let me study sacred books to calm my soul:

I pray for peace,
kneeling at heaven’s gates.
Let me do my daily work,
gathering seaweed, catching fish,
giving food to the poor.
Let me say my daily prayers,
sometimes chanting, sometimes quiet,
always thanking God.
Delightful it is to live
on a peaceful isle, in a quiet cell,
serving the King of kings.

Source: Attributed to St. Columba, 521-597.

Source of this version: https://daily-prayers.org/angels-and-saints/prayers-of-columba-colomcille-of-ireland/

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

 

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What Need I Fear?

Alone with none but you, my God
I journey on my way.
What need I fear, when you are near
O King of night and day?
More safe am I within your hand,
Than if a host round me stand.

My destined time is known to you,
And death will keep his hour;
Did warriors strong around me throng,
They could not stay his power:
No walls of stone can man defend
If you your messenger will send.

My life I yield to your decree,
And bow to your control
In peaceful calm, for from your arm
No power can wrest my soul:
Could earthly omens e’er appal
A man that heeds the heavenly call?

The child of God can fear no ill,
His chosen, dread no foe;
We leave our fate with you, and wait
Your bidding when to go:
‘Tis not from chance our comfort springs,
You are our trust, O King of kings.

Source: Attributed to St. Columba, 521-597.

Source of this version: http://www.traditionalmusic.co.uk/hymn-lyrics/alone_with_none_but_thee_my_god.htm

Guide Me, Today, Tonight and Forever

Be O Lord,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me
and a bright flame before me;
today, tonight and forever. Amen.

Source: Attributed to St. Columba, 521-597.

Source of this version: https://daily-prayers.org/angels-and-saints/prayers-of-columba-colomcille-of-ireland/

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

 

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The Antiphonary of Bangor

The Antiphonary of Bangor and The Divine Offices of Bangor is now available in paperback through Amazon.com. It is also available for Amazon Kindle.

BANGOR was the site of an influential abbey and school in northeast Ireland. The Antiphonary of Bangor is a book of canticles and prayers that were used in Bangor Abbey’s liturgies of the hours with special prayers and elements for Easter Eve, Easter Day, Eastertide, Saturdays and Sundays and on festivals of Martyrs. It was written by hand, sometime around A. D. 680. It is significant for two main reasons. It shows us a worship tradition that developed in a different way than the Roman Rite. While some of the canticles, hymns and prayers in the Antiphonary are also found in the Roman Rite, many are unique. It also shows us some of the theology of the Celtic Christians.

Book I – The Antiphonary of Bangor reproduces the Antiphonary with all items in their original order. Reference numbers are from F. E. Warren’s Latin edition.

To have a better understanding of the use of these materials and put the items in order, I have arranged them in Book II – The Divine Offices of Bangor, a hypothetical reconstruction of what a Bangor Book of Hours may have been like, following the directions in the Antiphonary and Warren’s speculations in his notes.

Paul C. Stratman
July 2018

 

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The Lord’s Prayer from the Book of Cerne

Father, in your tranquil world above,
may your kingdom come,
reveal your nourishing light.
Let your clear will be done
on earth and in heaven.
What is needed for life today,
the substance of holy bread,
provide to us soon.
Forgive countless debts of our wicked errors,
no different than we pardon our debtors.
Oh, keep temptation of the devil far away,
and likewise raise us up from evil
to light at your right hand.

Source: The Book of Cerne, 9th Century, translated by Paul C. Stratman for A Collection of Prayers.

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

Orginal in Latin, from The prayer book of Aedeluald the bishop: commonly called the Book of Cerne, ed. Arthur Benedict Kuypers.

Pater alte tui tranquillaque mundo –
Adueniat regnumque tuum lux alma recludat –
In caelo et in terra tua fiat clara uoluntas –
Uitalisque hodie sancti substantia panis –
Proueniat nobis tua mox largit(i)o soluat –
Innumera indulgens erroris debita praui  –
Et nos haut aliter concedere fenore nostris –
Tetrisae ua procul temtatio daemonis absit –
Aeque malis tua nos in lucem dextera tollat –

 

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Two Celtic Communion Prayers

The Lorrha Missal (also called the Stowe Missal) was a book containing the texts of the mass, written in Ireland in the late 8th century. The first prayer below was prayed after the consecration (Words of Institution) and before the distribution. The second prayer was the post-communion prayer.

We believe, O Lord.
We believe we have been redeemed
by the breaking of Christ’s body,
and the pouring of his blood.
We rely on this sacrament for strength,
confident that what we now hold in hope,
we will enjoy in true fulfillment in heaven;
through our Lord Jesus Christ
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
now and forever.
Amen.

We give you thanks, O Lord,
holy Father, almighty and eternal God,
for you have satisfied us
with the body and blood of Christ your Son.
In your mercy, O Lord,
let this sacrament not be for our condemnation or punishment,
but for our salvation and forgiveness,
for strengthening the weak
as a firm foundation against the dangers of the world.
With this communion forgive all our guilt,
and give us the heavenly joy of sharing in it;
through our Lord Jesus Christ
who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit
now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Lorrha-Stowe Missal, p. 6-7.

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

Formatted as block paragraph:

We give you thanks, O Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God, for you have satisfied us with the body and blood of Christ your Son. In your mercy, O Lord, let this sacrament not be for our condemnation or punishment, but for our salvation and forgiveness, and for strengthening the weak as a firm foundation against the dangers of the world. With this communion forgive all our guilt and give us the heavenly joy of sharing in it; through our Lord Jesus Christ who reigns with you and the Holy Spirit now and forever.

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A Celtic Litany

The Lorrha Missal (also called the Stowe Missal) was a book containing the texts of the mass, written in Ireland in the late 8th century. The litany below is freely modified from the Litany of St. Martin from the Lorrha Missal. It would have been prayed between the reading of the Epistle and Gospel.

Let us all pray to the Lord.
Hear us, Lord, and have mercy.

With all our heart and mind,
to the Lord who looks over the earth and makes it tremble,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For blessed peace and most tranquil times for us,
for the holy church to extend from our borders to the ends of the earth,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For our pastors, teachers, servants,
and all leaders in our church,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For this place and those who live in it,
for faithful leaders,
and for all who serve to defend our land,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For those who dedicate themselves to the Lord’s service,
for the needy, for widows and orphans,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel by land, sea and air,
for those striving to live lives of repentance,
for those instructed in the Christian faith,
let us pray:
Lord, have mercy.

For those who bear fruits of mercy in Christ’s holy church,
let us pray:
Hear us, Lord almighty.

That we may live in the Christian faith and die in peace,
let us pray,
Lord, hear our prayer.

That God’s kingdom may remain among us,
that his will be done among us in the holy bonds of charity,
let us pray,
Lord, hear our prayer.

To preserve the Christian faith among us in all holiness and purity,
let us pray.
Lord, hear our prayer.

O Lord,
cleanse us from all our sins,
and restore us in your sight.
Graciously hear our prayers
and receive our praise;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and forever.
Amen.

Source: Freely modified from The Litany of Supplication of St. Martin in the Lorrha-Stowe Missal, p. 6-7. Translated and prepared for A Collection of Prayers. The closing prayer is a very free adaptation of the litany’s closing collect.

Original in Latin:

Lorrha Litany.png

A more literal translation of all the petitions may be found here: http://www.liturgies.net/Liturgies/Other/stowe.htm

 

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