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Ar nAthair (Our Father)

A Pentecost Prayer for Online Catholics' readers and lovers of the Gaelic!

by Brian Doyle

It was my grandfather who taught me the prayer
One sunny morning sitting on the front steps
As cars and dogs and children went parading by.

Ata ar neamh, who is in heaven, he said, though
Of course He is no He at all in the general sense
But is us and everywhere and that's a stone fact

No matter what your gramma says, don't tell her.
Go naomhaitear d'ainm, hallowed be thy name,
Go dtaga do riocht, thy kingdom come, which

It is already, as we see by just paying attention.
Go ndeantar do thoil, thy will be done, ar an
Talamh mar a dheantar ar neamh, on earth as

It is in heaven. Tabhair duinn inniu, give to us
Ar n'aran laethuil, our daily bread, and agus
Maith duinn ar bhfiacha, forgive us our debts

Mar a mhaithimidne dar bhfeichiuna fein, as we
Forgive our own debtors, which huh we have none.
Well, the prayer as usually promulgated then goes

On to say agus na lig sinn i gcathu, and lead us not
Into temptation, but that's a cruel and foolish line
And I will not teach it to you. So, ach saor sin o olc,

But deliver us from evil, and right there we really
Should say please, but we are Catholics, boy, and no
Polite at all one bit. And then we finish with aimein,

Which let us say it together as men do, so aimein!
We said together sitting smiling watching the parade
Which forty years later I do with him still in my heart.

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