Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: The Dock & St Patrick’s Breastplate

patrick_iconThis week Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing took him back to The Dock Church’s monthly service on board the Nomadic in the Titanic Quarter. Fr Magill had been asked by The Dock’s Rev Chris Bennett to share some reflections on ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’ for the special service.

Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing at The Dock

This weekend I worshipped with the Dock Church at the monthly service on the Nomadic.  I had been invited some weeks previously by the chaplain, Rev Chris Bennett to share a personal response to the “Breastplate of St Patrick” and also to talk about the experience of 4 Corners Festival.

Chris welcomed us to the 5th service on the Nomadic, which this time took place in the first class section of the boat.  Chris gave us a quick overview of the Nomadic and its connection with Titanic.

Then he explained that as it was the month of March the breastplate of St Patrick would be the theme.

We began by watching a short video entitled “give up yer old sins”…on the story of St Patrick. This was a child’s understanding of St Patrick (an audio tape going back to 1950s Dublin) and was accompanied by a cartoon.  We sang the first hymns which were “Be thou my vision” and “how lovely is your dwelling place”.

Chris then asked me to share my response to the “Breastplate”.  After I shared some thoughts, Chris then invited us to pray part of the “Breastplate”.  He then shared an experience from his own life and the beginning of the Dock Church adventure and showed us a video from that time. 

Chris explained how helpful he had found the prayer at that time.  In his reflection on the “Breastplate”, Chris made an impassioned plea to us to enjoy “the glory of the outdoors”.

He encouraged us to spend more time outdoors and he shared about the time he spent on Titanic walking tours.  He also mentioned the 3.33pm Dock walk or “church outside”.  He referred a number of times to “souls being nourished”by the experience of being outside. 

Chris also talked about being nourishing in nature so we could enjoy the power and majesty of God.  He then invited us to pray the second part of the “Breastplate”. 

We then listened to the music group as they played some music associated with the prayer.  Chris then summarised his response to the “Breastplate” as:

“Lord make me brave in a scary world”. 

Chris then invited me to share some reflections on the 4 Coners Fstival. 

We then finished with two hymns: “O the deep deep love of Jesus” and “Faithful One, so Unchanging.”

Chris then invited us for coffee in the newly refurbished Dock Café. 

Here is the version of St Patrick’s Breastplate which Chris used for the service

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgement of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In prediction of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me.
God’s host to save me

From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and souls,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation

One thought on “Fr Martin Magill’s Ecumenical Tithing: The Dock & St Patrick’s Breastplate”

  1. Celtic Spirituality

    My brother John recently wrote:

    “I believe our greatest poverty possibly arises from our failure to embrace the richness of our culture. For example, our conflict may reasonably be assumed to have started with the arrival of thousands of Scots into Northern Ireland during “The Plantation of Ulster” in effect creating “two tribes” . Perhaps up to one hundred thousand Scots arrived over the next hundred years or so. In effect, the conflict in Northern Ireland is a conflict between two tribes and has little to do with the supposedly Christian labels each tribe is given.”

    One of the greatest unacknowledged paradoxes is that both these tribes are Celtic and have an amazing shared history going back many centuries. In fact “Scot” originally meant “Irishman”. The Celts are said to have “saved civilisation during Europe’s Dark Ages”.

    If only there was a greater awareness that:

    “Nowhere in the Gospel, as far as I can remember, does Christ say that His commandment is love thy neighbour. He quotes it once or twice from the Old Testament and encourages other people who quote it. But His commandment was, first ‘love your enemy’ – that is quite a different matter and would avoid the terrible arrogance and hardness that are present when people do seek truth seriously.

    To, go on loving somebody with whom you totally disagree or whom you know to be an oppressor – that is a very deep and spiritual art.

    Thomas Cullinan OSB reflecting on ‘Chastity – the ability to concentrate the heart’ (c1975)

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