Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Readings, hymns and
sermon ideas for
Saturday 17 March 2018,
Saint Patrick’s Day

The reliquary made for relics of Saint Patrick, now in the Hunt Museum, Limerick (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

Next Saturday [17 March 2018] is Saint Patrick’s Day, and the celebrations may mark a welcome break in Lent as we move into Passiontide the following day, Sunday 18 March.

The readings in the Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) are: Tobit 13: 1b-7; Psalm 145: 1-13; II Corinthians 4: 1-12; John 4: 31-38. There is a direct link to readings HERE.

These are some resources that be helpful in planning for Saint Patrick’s Day:


1, A sermon preached in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton, Co Limerick, on Saint Patrick’s Day 2017 is HERE.

2, A sermon preached in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin, on Saint Patrick’s Day 2013 is HERE.

Saint Patrick depicted in a window by Catherine O’Brien in the south of porch Saint Bartholomew’s Church, Ballsbridge, Dublin (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Thinking about Saint Patrick:

Four papers on Saint Patrick delivered at a Readers’ Retreat Day in the Church of Ireland Theological Institute, Dublin, in March 2016 are available through these links:

1, Who is Saint Patrick?

2, Saint Patrick’s writings and his message

3, Celtic Spirituality, is there something there?

4, The Eucharist, with a short sermon.

Saint Patrick with mitre, crozier, Bible and shamrock on the side of the chapel in Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Liturgical Resources:

Liturgical Colour:

White (please note that Green is not the Liturgical Colour for Saint Patrick’s Day).

Penitential Kyries:

O taste and see that the Lord is good;
happy are those who trust in him.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

The Lord ransoms the live of his servants
and none who trust in him will be destroyed.
Christ, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.

Come my children, listen to me:
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.


Almighty God,
in your providence you chose your servant Patrick
to be the apostle of the Irish people,
to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error
to the true light and knowledge of your Word:
Grant that walking in that light
we may come at last to the light of everlasting life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Introduction to the Peace:

Peace be to you, and peace to your house, and peace to all who are yours (I Samuel 25: 6).


To this land you sent the glorious gospel
through the preaching of Patrick.
You caused it to grow and flourish in the life of your servant Patrick and in
the lives of men and women, filled with your Holy Spirit,
building up your Church to send forth the good news to other places:

Post Communion Prayer:

Hear us, most merciful God,
for that part of the Church
which through your servant Patrick you planted in our land;
that it may hold fast the faith entrusted to the saints
and in the end bear much fruit to eternal life:
through Jesus Christ our Lord.


God, who in days of old gave to this land the benediction of his holy Church,
fill you with his grace to walk faithfully in the steps of the saints
and to bring forth fruit to his glory:

Saint Patrick alongside Saint Cuthbert, Saint Finbar and Saint Laurence O’Toole in the stained glass windows in the baptistery in Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Suggested Hymns:

The hymns suggested for Saint Patrick’s Day, 17 March, in Sing to the Word (2000), edited by Bishop Edward Darling, include:

Tobit 13: 1b-7:

No suggested hymns.

Alternative, Deuteronomy 32: 1-9:

668, God is our fortress and our rock
539, Rejoice, O land, in God thy might
540, To thee, our God, we fly (verses 1-3, 7)

Psalm 145: 1-13

24, All creatures of our God and King
125, Hail to the Lord’s anointed
321, Holy, holy, holy! Lord God almighty
358, King of glory, King of peace
360, Let all the world in every corner sing
104, O for a thousand tongues to sing
365, Praise to the Lord, the almighty, the King of creation
368, Sing of the Lord’s goodness
73, The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended 374, When all thy mercies, O my God
492, Ye servants of God, your master proclaim

II Corinthians 4: 1-12:

52, Christ, whose glory fills the skies
613, Eternal light, shine in my heart
481, God is working his purpose out as year succeeds to year
324, God, whose almighty word
569, Hark, my soul, it is the Lord
96, Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it
195, Lord, the light of your love is shining
228, Meekness and majesty
341, Spirit divine, attend our prayers

John 4: 31-38:

305, O Breath of life, come sweeping through us
46, Tá an fómhar seo go haerach, céad buíochas le hÍosa
(The harvest is bright, all thanks be to Jesus)
141, These are the days of Elijah

Also suitable:

611, Christ be beside me
459, For all the saints who from their labours rest
461, For all thy saints, O Lord
460, For all your saints in glory, for all your saints at rest (verses 1, 2c and 3)
464, God, whose city’s sure foundation
322, I bind unto myself today
322, I bind unto myself today (vv. 1, 2, 8 & 9)
536, Lord, while for all the world we pray
471, Rejoice in God’s saints, today and all days
473, Síormholadh is glóir duit, a Athair shíorai
(All glory and praise to you, Father above)

Saint Patrick … a stained glass window in Saint Edan’s Cathedral, Ferns, Co Wexford (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

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