Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me and before me.
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in hearts of all who know me.
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger,
Christ in quiet and in roar.
Love, blessed Trinity of three,
Bound in unity
Who guides my journey.
I will arise with strength of heaven
Trusting in Your light
To guide my journey
Shine before me
Lead me home.
Power to guide me, might to hold me,
Wisdom teach me, watching o’er me.
Ear to hear me, hand to guard me,
Love to conquer every fear.
The story behind this song
Stuart: ‘Christ be with me’ is a hymn in a more traditional choral style. It is based on ‘The Prayer of St Patrick’ (sometimes known as ‘St Patrick’s Breastplate’), which recognises the closeness of Christ in every part of our lives. He is within us, beside us, in those around us, and we can call on him to provide us with all the protection and resources that we need in our daily walk with Christ. I hope that this hymn will be useful to churches from many different streams, denominations and musical styles, and may be particularly useful for those congregations and choirs that love to sing in harmony.
Emma: ‘The Prayer of St Patrick’ was originally a prayer for protection in battle, but we have expanded that to be about battles of many forms, including battles in mental health and other daily battles people face. Its premise is this idea of being surrounded by God from every single angle, and the protection that He brings us in every area of life. The chorus is a proclamation and a cry of gratitude to the Trinity – Father, Son and Spirit – in the way that they offer us protection and love.
Joseph: The invocation of the Trinity is a central part of the original prayer, and we thought it was important to declare God’s triunity in the chorus of the song. God is three Persons, and He isn’t bound by anything. It could be said, however, that His three-ness is bound by the three Person’s unity of Nature; God is three Persons, and one Divine Nature. We felt that ‘three-ness bound by unity’ was a biblical, helpful and succinct way of declaring the mystery of who God is. As we journey through life, contemplating that mystery is itself a life-giving and worshipful activity, and our hope is that this song will help to lift our hearts and minds to the mystery of who God is.