St. Matthew's Episcopal Church Maple Glen, Pennsylvania

Please note: All in-person activities and services at Saint Matthew’s are suspended until at least May 4th as we seek to do our part to help contain the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We ask you to keep in your prayers all who have been affected by this pandemic and those who care for them. To stay in community and support one another during this time, we will continue to livestream a weekly Sunday service at 10:00 a.m. and will be sharing additional resources and services by email, Facebook, and Instagram.

Update – Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

A blessed St. Patrick’s Day, St. Matthew’s.  

I include a brief reflection on St. Patrick and his most famous hymn below for your reflection.  The hymn number is 370 if you feel like singing.  I am including the more literal text than the one that appears in the Hymnal.  It seems more poetic.

  1. My staff and I met this morning via Zoom to figure out ways to invite us all together in community during this time of Pandemic.  
  2. Sunday we will be livestreaming the Eucharist on Facebook at 10:00 am with music, homily and prayers for you all. We will email instructions on Saturday. You do not need a Facebook account to participate. 
  3. Tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon we will be offering Noonday Prayer at 12:00 also by streaming on Facebook.  You’ll be able to join us by visiting the parish Facebook page. If you need instructions, please email Joe Buesgen.
  4. Thursday, Morning Prayer will be offered at 9:00 via Zoom.  If you would like to attend, contact Karen Sawyer so she can send information about how to get on to the site.
  5. I want to continue to offer the Lenten Study on Zoom.  If you want to be part of this let me know and I will send you the link with instruction about how to use it.

Peter+


Stanford’s “I bind unto myself today’: St Patrick’s Cathedral Dublin 1982 (John Dexter)
THE LORICA, OR, ST. PATRICK’S BREASTPLATE
(As translated by Kuno Meyer)
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 the Cherubim,
In the obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In the hope of the resurrection
to meet with reward,
In the 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 to 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 temptation of vices,
From every one who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in a multitude.
I summon today all these powers
between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless
power that may oppose my body
and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and
smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge
that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poising, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So there 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
every one who speaks of me,
Christ in the eye of
every one who 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.

About St. Patrick:

Patrick was born about 390, in southwest Britain, somewhere between the Severn and the Clyde rivers, son of a deacon and grandson of a priest. When about sixteen years old, he was kidnapped by Irish pirates and sold into slavery in Ireland. Until this time, he had, by his own account, cared nothing for God, but now he turned to God for help. After six years, he either escaped or was freed, made his way to a port 200 miles away, and there persuaded some sailors to take him onto their ship. He returned to his family much changed, and began to prepare for the priesthood, and to study the Bible.

Around 435, Patrick was commissioned, perhaps by bishops in Gaul and perhaps by the Pope, to go to Ireland as a bishop and missionary. Four years earlier another bishop, Palladius, had gone to Ireland to preach, but he was no longer there (my sources disagree on whether he had died, or had become discouraged and left Ireland to preach in Scotland). Patrick made his headquarters at Armagh in the North, where he built a school, and had the protection of the local monarch. From this base he made extensive missionary journeys, with considerable success. To say that he single-handedly turned Ireland from a pagan to a Christian country is an exaggeration, but is not far from the truth.

Almost everything we know about him comes from his own writings, available in English in the Ancient Christian Writers series. He has left us an autobiography (called the Confessio), a Letter to Coroticus in which he denounces the slave trade and rebukes the British chieftain Coroticus for taking part in it, and the Lorica (or “Breastplate” a poem of disputed authorship traditionally attributed to Patrick), a work that has been called “part prayer, part anthem, and part incantation.” The Lorica is a truly magnificent hymn, found today in many hymnals (usually abridged by the omission of the two stanzas bracketed below). The translation into English as given here is by Cecil Frances Alexander, whose husband was Archbishop of Armagh, and thus the direct successor of Patrick. She published nearly 400 poems and hymns of her own, including the well-known “There is a green hill far away,” “Once in royal David’s city,” “Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult,” and “All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small.” (Source)