Friday, August 16, 2013


Back when Mass was always said in Latin, the priest said the "I confess," or the Confiteor by himself, and the altar boy followed him by saying his own Confiteor.

At the part where we say "through my fault," the priest said in Latin "mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa, " or "through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault," striking his breast three times.

Altar boys are boys, and, as they say, boys will be boys - always trying to get a laugh out of anything.

Back when all boys on Guam spoke Chamorro, the altar boys had a joke (never said during Mass, of course), twisting the "mea culpas" of the Confiteor.

Mea culpa, mea culpa - båsta Påle' chumupa!

"Through my fault, through my fault - stop smoking, Father!"

Frihonådas!  Silliness!

Which reminds me of the way the Spanish priests and brothers would lovingly scold the altar boys.

One would knock the head of an altar boy with his knuckle, if the boy did something foolish, and say in Spanish, "Tonto!"  "Fool!"

Another used to scold them in Chamorro, "Lassas aniti!" "The devil's skin!"  I never quite understood that one.

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