PRAYER: Tírechán’s Creed

Tírechán's Creed

From Journeys on the Edges: The Celtic Tradition, by Thomas O’Loughlin

Sometime around AD 670, an Irish bishop named Tírechán set about collecting traditions about Saint Patrick.  In his book, the Collectanea (section 26), he invents a scene of Patrick meeting the two daughters of the king of Tara by a well.  One woman asks Patrick about the Christian God, and as his reply Tírechán puts the following statement of faith into Patrick’s mouth.  Its sources have never been located, yet it is a work that clearly bears the signs of use in the liturgy.

Our God is the God of all humans.
The God of Heaven and Earth.
The God of the sea and the rivers.
The God of the sun and moon.
The God of all the Heavenly bodies.
The God of the lofty mountains.
The God of the lowly valleys.
God is above the heavens;
and he is in the heavens;
and he is beneath the heavens.
Heaven and earth and sea,
and everything that is in them,
such he has as his abode.
He inspires all things,
he gives life to all things,
he stands above all things,
and he stands beneath all things.
He enlightens the light of the sun,
he strengthens the light of the night and the stars,
he makes wells in the arid land and dry islands in the sea,
and he places the stars in the service of the greater lights.
He has a Son who is co-eternal with himself,
and similar in all respects to himself;
and neither is the Son younger than the Father,
nor is the Father older than the Son;
and the Holy Spirit breathes in them.
And the Father and the Son and Holy Spirit are inseparable.

Patrick is then presented as offering her baptism with these words: You are already daughters of an Earthly king, I wish to join you now to a Heavenly king, if you choose to believe!



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