Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What endures

Today is Spy Wednesday. Not an official day in the Church calendar, at least anymore outside of Ireland and Wales. Today is the day when Judas arranged his betrayal of Christ.

Spy Wednesday is a Celtic name for the day. And it reminded me of the two Irish phrases that my grandmother taught me. She was born in America in 1892, of Irish immigrant parents. The two phrases are telling.

The first, and most often used, Pogue mo thoin, pronounced "Poga mohone". Meaning? "Kiss my ass." Yeah, grandma taught me.

And the second I learned verbally from her, too, pronouncing it (incorrectly, I suspect), as follows: "A nanya ma naha awgus avik awgus shprig naha amen."

It's the Sign of the Cross, "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen." In Irish, with its maddening spelling, I n-ainm an athar, agus an mhic, agus an sprid naoimh. Amen.

An insult and a blessing. These things last.


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