Skip to comments.The Lord's Prayer
Posted on 08/18/2006 10:52:01 AM PDT by NYer
Recently a Protestant friend asked me why Catholics do not include, "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, now and forever," at the end of the Our Father. I really do not know. Can you help me?
The "For thine..." is technically termed a "doxology." In the Bible, we find the practice of concluding prayers with a short, hymn-like verse which exalts the glory of God. An example similar to the doxology in question is found in Davids prayer located in I Chronicles 29:10-13 of the Old Testament. The Jews frequently used these doxologies to conclude prayers at the time of our Lord.
In the early Church, the Christians living in the eastern half of the Roman Empire added the doxology "For thine..." to the Gospel text of the Our Father when reciting the prayer at Mass. Evidence of this practice is also found in the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles), a first-century manual of morals, worship and doctrine of the Church. (The Didache also prescribed that the faithful recite the Our Father three times a day.) Also when copying the Scriptures, Greek scribes sometimes appended the doxology onto the original Gospel text of the Our Father; however, most texts today would omit this inclusion, relegate it to a footnote, or note that it was a later addition to the Gospel. Official "Catholic" Bibles including the Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims, the Confraternity Edition, and the New American have never included this doxology.
In the western half of the Roman Empire and in the Latin rite, the Our Father was always an important part of the Mass. St. Jerome (d. 420) attested to the usage of the Our Father in the Mass, and St. Gregory the Great (d. 604) placed the recitation of the Our Father after the Canon and before the Fraction. The Commentary on the Sacrament of St. Ambrose (d. 397) meditated on the meaning of "daily bread" in the context of the Holy Eucharist. In this same vein, St. Augustine (d. 430) saw the Our Father as a beautiful connection of the Holy Eucharist with the forgiveness of sins. In all instances, the Church saw this perfect prayer which our Lord gave to us as a proper means of preparing for Holy Communion. However, none of this evidence includes the appended doxology.
Interestingly, the English wording of the Our Father that we use today reflects the version mandated for use by Henry VIII (while still in communion with the Catholic Church), which was based on the English version of the Bible produced by Tyndale (1525). Later in 1541 (after his official separation from the Holy Father), Henry VIII issued an edict saying, "His Grace perceiving now the great diversity of the translations (of the Pater Noster etc.) hath willed them all to be taken up, and instead of them hath caused an uniform translation of the said Pater Noster, Ave, Creed, etc., to be set forth, willing all his loving subjects to learn and use the same and straitly [sic] commanding all parsons, vicars, and curates to read and teach the same to their parishioners." This English version without the doxology of the Our Father became accepted throughout the English-speaking world, even though the later English translations of the Bible including the Catholic Douay-Rheims (1610) and Protestant King James versions (1611) had different renderings of prayers as found in the Gospel of St. Matthew. Later, the Catholic Church made slight modifications in the English: "who art" replaced "which art," and "on earth" replaced "in earth." During the reign of Edward VI, the Book of Common Prayer (1549 and 1552 editions) of the Church of England did not change the wording of the Our Father or add the doxology. However, during the reign of Elizabeth I and a resurgence to rid the Church of England of any Catholic vestiges, the Lords Prayer was changed to include the doxology.
The irony of this answer is that some Protestants sometimes accuse Catholics of not being "literally" faithful to Sacred Scripture and depending too much on Tradition. In this case, we see that the Catholic Church has been faithful to the Gospel text of the Our Father, while Protestant Churches have added something of Tradition to the words of Jesus. Nevertheless, the Our Father is the one and perfect prayer given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ, and all of the faithful should offer this prayer, reflecting on the full meaning of its words.
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Pater noster, qui es in caelis, sanctificetur nomen tuum. Adveniat regnum tuum. Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo et in terra. Panem nostrum quotidianum da nobis hodie, et dimitte nobis debita nostra sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris. Et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo. Amen.
According to a colleague of mine, who is the ancient Greek and Latin teacher at a Catholic high school, the "original" Greek version of the Our Father and the Latin version are ambigious in the ending. "Sed libera nos a malo" could mean "deliver us from evil" or "deliver us from the Evil One."
How do you explain, Matthew 6 V:13?
Leaving aside sophisticated theology for a moment, quite simply, Catholics pray as Christ instructed. Just look in the Bible.
During the Mass:
Priest says: "Let us pray in the words our Saviour taught us." (Or similar phrasing).
Then priest and people TOGETHER say the "Our Father" (just as Jesus taught the disciples, straight from scripture).
Then priest says: "Deliver us Lord from every evil and grant us peace in our day. In your mercy protect us from all anxiety, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour." (approximately)
Then the congregation (only) says "For Thine is the kingdom, etc...." It is a separate prayer.
Here's a somewhat unrelated but true story:
My mother went to grade school in Chicago in the 40's. Apparently in those days, class began not only with the Pledge of Allegiance, but the Our Father as well. Yes, this was a public school.
Before her first day, my Grandmother, a devout Catholic, told my Mom, "Now they are going to say the Our Father at the beginning of school, BUT, they are saying the Protestant version! So after you say "deliver us from evil," you stop! Stay silent for the rest of it!"
So God was then allowed in the classroom, but only the socially dominant WASP version.
In your mercy keep us free from sin and protect us from all anxiety, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Saviour Jesus Christ.
And lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Amen.
The meaning of the "temptation" part here is twofold: not to put us to a test we have no strength to pass, and to grant us strength to overcome the temptation we do face.
The lacking a definite article "evil" is unfortunate and comes from Latin which lacks articles altogether. The Greek has a definite article, "liberate us from the evil". The preferred translation is "from the Evil one", that is from Satan. Translations to Slav languages, done directly from Greek render it that way: "liberate us from The Crooked One". The sequel said by the priest in the Latin tradition provides the necessary clarification in a different way: "Deliver us, oh Lord, from every evil". The point is that it is not some abstract evil that we want liberty from, but rather very concrete and numerous attacks of the Satan.
I didn't care for it in Latin...Couldn't read a thing...So, it was meaningless...
Knowing your severe anti-Catholicism displayed on this forum, I'm not surprised. You do know that English is substantially based on Latin, right?
Let me guess..you're not Catholic.
Thanks for sharing.
If it were in Greek, it would be meaningless to me, unless of course, I knew it was the Lord's prayer, then I would do my meaningful translation.
For me, it is absolutely beautiful in Latin. Of course, I was brought up in the tradition and absolutely love it.
Aside from a few ancillaries, nearly every word in the prayer has found itself into English.
advent, vent, avenue
panis, bread -- no corresponding borrowing that comes to mind
hodie <- diem = day
What's that got to do with it??? I thinks it's a pretty good prayer in English...
So what's the fixation with Latin anyway??? I went to a Latin spoken service one time...Total waste of time, for me...
Truly sad that speaking the Lord's Prayer and meeting the Lord is a waste of time for you. I've been Masses celebrated in other languages, and even if I didn't understand the language, it was still a joy because I was meeting the Lord. I pity you in your narrowness.
Agreed. I wish I had taken Latin, it's a very valuable tool for understanding English. I also prefer the Latin Mass.
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