St Patrick's Lorica (I Bind Unto Myself Today)

This is a hymn about the Trinity.   It is based on the Lorica of St Patrick.

The translation was made by Church of Ireland minister's wife, poet and hymn-writer Cecil Frances Alexander, née Humphreys (1818-1895).

Alternative titles include  St. Patrick's Lorica, St. Patrick's Breastplate.

With meter D, it is set to a tunes including:
  • ST PATRICK'S BREASTPLACE - an ancient Irish tune, source unknown, arranged by Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
  • DEIRDRE - adapted from an ancient Irish melody

Part of it has been adapted into a separate hymn Christ be With Me.


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Singer, self-accompanied on guitar:

Choir and congregation with organ:

Solo singer with piano:

Instrumental - piano, with displayed words:

Instrumental - classical guitar:

Instrumental - piano:


Traditional language

1 I bind unto myself today
the strong name of the Trinity
by invocation of the same,
the Three in One and One in Three.

2 I bind this day to me forever,
by power of faith, Christ’s incarnation,
his baptism in the Jordan river,
his death on cross for my salvation,
his bursting from the spiced tomb,
his riding up the heavenly way,
his coming at the day of doom,
I bind unto myself today.

3 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 lightning free,
the whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
the stable earth, the deep salt sea
around the old eternal rocks.

4 I bind unto myself today
the power of God to hold and lead,
God’s eye to watch, God’s might to stay,
God’s ear to hearken to my need,
the wisdom of my God to teach,
God’s hand to guide, God’s shield to ward,
the word of God to give me speech,
God’s heavenly host to be my guard.

5 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.

6 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 has creation,
eternal Father, Spirit, Word.
Praise to the Lord of my salvation;
salvation is of Christ the Lord!

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