Today my father is 78.25. He is officially older than my mother. This is bittersweet. Tonight we are going to REJOICE! My mother would be shouting HALLELUJAH (even though it is Lent). Traditionally, we break all fasts for St. Patrick’s Day, paying homage to the great British/Irish Saint and our family heritage.
You know there will be no cruciferous vegetables on the menu, no traditional stinky cabbage. I won’t go that far. My dad is making soda bread and corned beef. Ta da! Can you believe??? If you don’t know how to make corned beef, click here for Sally’s crazy easy corned beef recipe from 11 (!) years ago! Slante! We will be toasting my mother even as we mourn her absence. A mini Irish wake. One of my favorite trips with my parents was several years ago for Spring Break in Dublin.
My sister MCV sent me a gift this week, a CD entitled Inheritance by a singer named Audrey Assad. In reading the liner notes to Be Thou My Vision, I noticed that it is sung to an Irish tune. According to some sources, the words of the hymn are attributable to St. Patrick. I researched other Irish melodies in the Book of Common Prayer and Hymnal and came across what is known as St. Patrick’s Breastplate, also known as a lorica. A lorica was literally a piece of body armor in Roman times; it is also referred to as a chanted prayer of protection. Both guard the heart.
For your listening pleasure tonight I recommend starting out with Audrey Assad‘s lyrical Be Thou My Vision, moving on to St. Patrick’s Breastplate by Trinity Music and Marty Reardon. Finish up with Cooley’s Reel and Whiskey in the Jar by The Dubliners before downing your decaf Irish coffee. When it is time for bed, sing Danny Boy and let the tears flow. REJOICE.
My little Ireland (Thing 3) arrives tomorrow for Spring Break. I’ll be invoking St. Patrick to make sure she gets here safely.