THREE versions of the Lord\’s Prayer are likely to be included in a new edition of the Church of England\’s modern prayer book. The General Synod, meeting in York next weekend, will try to agree on a solution to the long war between liturgical traditionalists and modernisers: a new prayer book combining language both from the 16th and 20th centuries. The battle between the supporters of prayers ancient and modern became known to a wider public five years ago when the Prince of Wales lambasted the language of the Church\’s modern prayer book, the Alternative Service Book, as \’crass, banal, patronising, mean and trite\’. The General Synod will debate a recommendation from its Liturgical Commission that the next edition of the Alternative Service Book, due out in 2000, should, unlike previous versions, include sizeable excerpts from Thomas Cranmer\’s Book of Common Prayer. Priests will be encouraged to use whichever prayers suit their congregations. The General Synod first decided at its York sessions in 1989 that editions of the Alternative Service Book printed in the future should have both the modern and the almost traditional versions of the Lord\’s Prayer printed side by side. Now Cranmer will be added. The ASB has been used for the past 20 years in Anglican churches but its licence, which makes it legal to use the book in churches, must be renewed by 2000. The Liturgical Commission plans to change the present 1,500-page book by splitting it in two, keeping one half for the core services, and the other for special occasions, such as baptisms, funerals and weddings. At present there are at least five English versions of the Lord\’s Prayer in use in the UK. Anglicans account for three of these; a Roman Catholic international committee produced another, and a fifth is traditional in Scotland. English Roman Catholics have used one of the Anglican versions since they abandoned the Latin Mass. \’Our Father\’ is the lead-in that everyone agrees on.
The arguments start with the third word. Should it be \’which\’, \’who\’ or \’in\’? However, all this may be overtaken by the march of technology. The Liturgical Commission expects that it will have to license liturgical software as well as books by 2000, so that parishes can print out special service sheets every Sunday, complete with readings, psalms and prayers from any source that takes the preacher\’s fancy. 1. Cranmer
Our Father, which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, the Power and the Glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 2. Modernised 1662 Our Father, who art in heaven, 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. For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen. 3. ASB, 1980 hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. as we forgive those who sin against us. but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen. Our Father, who art in heaven, 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. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen. The Introduction Our Father who art in heaven. What does this mean? With these words God tenderly invites us to believe that He is our true Father and that we are His true children, so that with all boldness and confidence we may ask Him as dear children ask their dear father.
The First Petition Hallowed be Thy name. What does this mean? God s name is certainly holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy among us also. How is God s name kept holy? God s name is kept holy when the Word of God is taught in its truth and purity, and we, as the children of God, also lead holy lives according to it. Help us to do this, dear Father in heaven! But anyone who teaches or lives contrary to God s Word profanes the name of God among us. Protect us from this, heavenly Father! The Second Petition Thy kingdom come. What does this mean? The kingdom of God certainly comes by itself without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may come to us also. How does God s kingdom come? God s kingdom comes when our heavenly Father gives us His Holy Spirit, so that by His grace we believe His holy Word and lead godly lives here in time and there in eternity. The Third Petition Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. What does this mean? The good and gracious will of God is done even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it may be done among us also. How is God s will done? God s will is done when he breaks and hinders every evil plan and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature, which do not want us to hallow God s name or let His kingdom come; and when He strengthens and keeps us firm in His Word and faith until we die. This is His good and gracious will. The Fourth Petition Give us this day our daily bread. What does this mean? God certainly gives daily bread to everyone without our prayers, even to all evil people, but we pray in this petition that God would lead us to realize this and to receive our daily bread with thanksgiving. What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything that has to do with the support and needs of the body, such as food, drink, clothing, shoes, house, home, land, animals, money, goods, a devout husband or wife, devout children, devout workers, devout and faithful rulers, good government, good weather, peace, health, self control, good reputation, good friends, faithful neighbors, and the like.
The Fifth Petition And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. What does this mean? We pray in this petition that our Father in heaven would not look at our sins, or deny our prayer because of them. We are neither worthy of the things for which we pray, nor have we deserved them, but we ask that He would give them all to us by grace, for we daily sin much and surely deserve nothing but punishment. So we too will sincerely forgive and gladly do good to those who sin against us. The Sixth Petition And lead us not into temptation. What does this mean? God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory. The Seventh Petition But deliver us from evil. What does this mean? We pray in this petition, in summary, that our Father in heaven would rescue us from every evil of body and soul, possessions and reputation, and finally, when our last hour comes, give us a blessed end, and graciously take us from this valley of sorrow to Himself in heaven. The Conclusion For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. (*) Amen. What does this mean? This means that I should be certain that these petitions are pleasing to our Father in heaven, and are heard by Him; for He Himself has commanded us to pray in this way and has promised to hear us. Amen means, yes, yes, it shall be so. (*)