We arise today
Through God’s shelter to steady us —
God’s hope to lead us, God’s wisdom calm us,
God’s eye to find the smallest home from school,
God’s ear to hear the oldest afraid to go out,
God’s word in our prayers,
God’s hands in our washing,
God’s way in our cancelling,
God’s shield in our quarantine,
God’s saints to remind us, long ago and now,
when we are alone or among others.
Christ hear our cry, like the cry of the deer today
against the passage of this illness.
Christ be with each of us
that we may become a community.
Christ before us when we are tempted to hoard,
Christ behind all who seek a vaccine,
Christ in those who care for the sick,
Christ beneath those who have lost their work,
Christ above those who are grieving.
Christ in China, Christ in Italy,
Christ in Iran, Christ in South Korea,
Christ in Washington, New York, California.
Christ across all the globe
and Christ in every neighborhood.
Christ on the right hand of loss,
Christ on the left hand of recovery.
Christ in the heart of everyone filled with fear,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks comfort,
Christ in the eyes that notice a need for help,
Christ in the ear that listens to a neighbor.
We arise today through a mighty strength
to live as God’s people in a time of pandemic.
Often called The Cry of the Deer or St. Patrick’s Breastplate this prayer is attributed to one of Ireland’s most beloved patron saints whose special day is March 17. Many versions have varying length. I have taken the shortest and most simple for today. According to tradition, St. Patrick wrote it in 433 A.D. for protection.