Lenten Read-Along: Two Irish Prayer Songs

Braving the Thin Places Lenten Read-Along - text above image of Julianne Stanz, author, and her book

Like most children in Ireland, I learned to sing the lorica of St. Patrick in both English and Irish, and it was as familiar to me as the Barry’s or Lyons tea that is drunk in most Irish houses. The word lorica comes from the Latin word for “a coat of armor, mail, or breastplate” that was put on before the Roman troops would go to battle. The famous “Christ before me, Christ behind me” prayer of St. Patrick is part of a series of prayers invoked for their protection and strength. Enjoy a musical version in the video below.

For more musical inspiration this day, here’s another song we all grew up with in Ireland. It is called “Ag Criost An Siol” and is very much associated with Celtic wisdom. Follow along with the Irish and an English translation of the lyrics.

Participating in our Lenten read-along of Braving the Thin Places? Share your thoughts about this week’s reading in the comments below! And post your thoughts, favorite quotes, or reactions with #lentreadalong on social media.


  1. #LentReadAlong
    Chapter 6 has been my favorite so far. I read it during breaks while on “jury duty” when one’s thoughts tend to be all over the place. I think about ritual and social ritual in particular when I consider what I see when I look in my own spiritual mirror. I’m old and looking backwards. Is there really any other choice but to live your own challenges and mistakes until you are actually ready to encounter God, on God’s terms?

  2. There have been many thin places these last two years. The Irish songs were both lovely. I listened to them and felt their beauty and peace. Thank you.


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