By Carol Dixon —
Last year when I was exploring the Lord’s Prayer for a service I was leading in a small church with elderly members in rural Northumberland we had a wonderful time sharing various versions of the prayer during the service.
As it was near Pentecost we said it together in various languages – French, German, Spanish and even Swahili as one of the families had learned it when they lived in Africa. I tried it in my halting Swedish which I am still struggling to learn. Sadly the lady who was fluent in Italian was on holiday. We said it together with a pause at the end of each line (to accommodate the differing lengths) and afterwards one of the people who had chosen to read it in modern English remarked that it was lovely to have time to think about the words. It also gave us a flavour of the variety of languages heard on the first day of Pentecost.
Later in the service I shared two other versions with them, one based on my reflection on some thoughts by Thomas Moore in his book ‘Writing in the sand’ and the other a translation from the Aramaic, both of which are below.
The Lord’s Prayer (By Carol Dixon based on Thomas Moore ‘Writing in the sand’)
Our Father of the heavens – source of the universe,
Father of all things across all galaxies, and loving parent of us all on Earth,
May we understand who you really are,
May the vision you have for each of us be realised,
May your deepest desires for each of us be fulfilled;
Feed us with the Bread of Life –
Ordinary food and drink to satisfy our hunger and thirst,
Spiritual sustenance to fill our souls and spirits;
Forgive us for the times we fall short of your loving ideals;
And keep us ever mindful of our need to forgive those
Who hurt us as freely and completely as you forgive us;
Keep our feet on the path you have set for us
So that we do not stray from your way of loving;
And deliver us from the demons that bedevil us
Personally in our own lives, and globally in our world;
For you have shown us a new way of living –
A kingdom we can inhabit wherever we are
And whatever circumstances we find ourselves in –
The kingdom of your powerful love, and peace, and glory,
Each day of our lives and throughout eternity. Yes!
Our Father (trans from Aramaic by an unknown writer)
Our cosmic Father from whom the breath of life comes
Who fills all realms of light and sound and resonance.
Your heavenly domain approaches.
May your light be experienced in utmost holiness.
Let your will come true in the universe (all that vibrates)
As on earth (all that is material and dense).
Give us wisdom (understanding assistance) for our daily need.
Detach the fetters of fault that bind us
As we let go the guilt of others.
Let us not be lost in superficial things (common material temptations)
But let us be freed from what keeps us from our true purpose.
From you comes all the working will – the lively strength to act.
This song beautifies and renews itself from age to age
Sealed in trust faith and truth. (Amen)
I also discovered this lovely version of it from YouTube:
All this inspired some of the people to try writing their own takes on it later. Maybe you would like to as well?
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need.
Forgive us for doing wrong,
as we forgive others.
Keep us from being tempted
and protect us from evil.
The kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours forever. Amen.