The Lord's Prayer

We have a very traditional Anglo Catholic congregation which 'enjoys' the familiar. We have always said the traditional BCP version of the Lord's Prayer and everyone joins in without difficulty. However, our new priest has decided that we should modernise said prayer and move into the future as he says people don't understand such old fashioned words as are contained in the BCP Lord's Prayer. This has caused some angst in the congregation and there is strong resistance to saying the unfamiliar words as people eg maintain that save us from the time of trial doesn't mean the same as lead us, not into temptation. Personally I feel that how people pray to God is their own issue and can't be dictated. I'm also of the opinion that it is presumptuous to say that intelligent people can't cope with traditional language. Interestingly I have noticed that the majority of the congregation is ignoring the new printed prayer and just continuing to say what they have always said.
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Comments

  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    These things need to be handled sensitively, especially with such familiar and core prayers as the Our Father.

    I think that even the best-intended changes to corporate worship, with the soundest of reasoning behind them, can be a mistake if badly implemented. I learnt this the hard way at my former parish when our situation changed significantly. We went from being a small Orthodox mission, functioning out of a domestic chapel, to being a public parish functioning out of a church.

    Our previous situation had meant that many of our services had to be curtailed, in text, music, and ceremonial, and those of us who knew this, (particularly the clergy), were looking forward to being able to do things more fully and correctly. Having a church with the necessary space, and a more public existence leading to more people becoming involved, was the welcome breath of fresh air that we had been longing for, and we quickly set about implementing a fuller version of the services.

    What hadn't occurred to us is that a number of our people who had only ever experienced the abbreviated, simplified forms of the services that we had previously done due to lack of resources thought this was normal, and what to us was a welcome breath of fresh air was to them the unwelcome stench of unnecessary change. We handled it badly.

    It was a difficult time and lessons were learnt. In the end, we got past it and moved forward together, but it would have been beneficial had we communicated more with each other earlier on what our expectations were, why things had been done the way they were, and why some of us wanted to introduce change.

    One thing I would say is that, having seen significant changes introduced into church life both quickly and gradually, I would say that, if this change to the Our Father is part of a wider plan for change of liturgical texts, my experience is that quickly is better, and that the suggestion that significant change ought to be introduced slowly is a mistake.

    What happens with gradual change is that people are told to expect a change. They might not like it at first, but they are willing to compromise and they get accustomed to the small change. Then another change happens, and they extend that trust again. Then a few weeks later, there is another change. Then another. And so forth.

    Eventually, even the people who generally welcome change and might initially have been supportive get fed up of the constant state of flux and turn against the instigator. There is something important, I think, about people being able to find a sense of stability in their worshipping and praying life, and the sooner that is re-established after changes are introduced, the better it is for everybody.

    Better, I think, to introduce change with education first. Allow the discussion to take place and allow people time to understand the reasons for the proposed changes, the problems with the current approach, and the benefits of introducing something different. Once that has happened and it is agreed what the changes will be, just go ahead and do it rather than constantly settling people by introducing the changes in dribs and drabs. There will need to be a period of adjustment but very soon the new way will become "the way we've always done it".
  • PuzzlerPuzzler Shipmate
    Very wise thoughts.
    I only wish our new incumbent had read this and taken it on board before he arrived and turned our place upside down with no discussion, no negotiation with the Director of Music; instead of which he announced that he is the Rector and can do whatever he likes.
  • The attitude of "he is the Rector and can do whatever he likes" is a serious problem whatever, even if what he likes is to leave things unchanged and carry on as the congregation are used to.
  • Baptist TrainfanBaptist Trainfan Shipmate
    edited June 19
    I simply find it incredible that any minister/priest/pastor coming into a new situation should behave in such a high-handed manner. In my own tradition it should be impossible, as said person could be summarily sacked by the congregation. But that rarely happens.

    (The converse here, of course, can be that the Minister has their hands firmly tied by the congregation even though they know that change is crucial).
  • The 'modern' Lord's Prayer is hardly that, anyway - IIRC, it first appeared in the C of E when Series 3 was introduced back in 1973 or thereabouts!

    Nowadays, the 'traditional' version is a permitted alternative in Common Worship Order One, and is what we use at Our Place. I notice, however, that the 'modern' version uses the word 'temptation', rather than 'time of trial', or whatever, simply replaces 'thee' and 'thou' with 'you' etc., and uses 'sin' instead of 'trespass'.

    So rhubarb's Vicar seems to be reverting to an older modern version, which is no longer authorised...

    rhubarb, does Your Place use Common Worship Order Two, the traditional language version? If so, the 'modern' Lord's Prayer I mention above is, in fact, a permitted alternative, but would sit rather ill (and pointlessly) in an otherwise wholly 'thee and thou' service.

    IJ
  • We use the traditional version, except in the occasional All-age Services when we use a more modern one. Of course we are not bound to authorised texts.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    The Lord's Prayer is about more than understanding the words.
  • Indeed it is, and rhubarb's new Vicar should really be concentrating on more important issues, one feels!

    IJ
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    edited June 19
    The 'modern' Lord's Prayer is hardly that, anyway - IIRC, it first appeared in the C of E when Series 3 was introduced back in 1973 or thereabouts!

    Nowadays, the 'traditional' version is a permitted alternative in Common Worship Order One, and is what we use at Our Place. I notice, however, that the 'modern' version uses the word 'temptation', rather than 'time of trial', or whatever, simply replaces 'thee' and 'thou' with 'you' etc., and uses 'sin' instead of 'trespass'.

    So rhubarb's Vicar seems to be reverting to an older modern version, which is no longer authorised...

    "Save us from the time of trial" is the ELLC text, and so is the current ecumenically agreed version. The C of E adopted it, but with the change to the line that you have observed. I was raised with the ELLC version in the Anglican Province of the West Indies, so "Save us from the time of trial" is simply what I had always known know from childhood until I was in my late teens.

    My Orthodox jurisdiction uses "Save us from falling into temptation".

    My bishop is a scholar of languages, with a specialism in Semitic languages in particular (having come from a Jewish family). I'm in the middle of putting together an explanation of the choices behind our Engliah-language text of the Our Father based on information from him. Here is a little excerpt pertaining to the line in question.
    Save us from falling into temptation

    This phrase in its commonly accepted forms (e.g. Lead us not into temptation) is notoriously difficult to understand. It has often raised questions among faithful Christians surrounding the question of why we would have to implore God not to lead us into temptation.

    The first clue that this is not an accurate reading of the text is that this is not in keeping with the God Whom we know - why would God want to lead us into temptation?

    The second clue lies in the structure of the prayer itself. Throughout the prayer, all of the petitions have been in the positive form – our requesting God actively to bring about something that is beneficial for us. Now, suddenly, we appear to have a negative: our requesting God to refrain from doing something that would be detrimental to us, and which it is suggested He would otherwise do.

    Surely there must be another reading.

    Bishop Gregory suggests a solution based on two main points:

    The first point is that, while the prayer has come to us in the Greek of the New Testament, it would have originally been taught by the Saviour in Hebrew or Aramaic, and in Semitic languages, verbs can take one of three forms:
    • The simple, direct form. (e.g. Enter us into temptation)
    • The intensive form. (e.g. Enter us deeply into temptation)
    • The causative form. (e.g. Cause us to enter into temptation)

    If the Saviour did indeed use the causative form of the verb “to enter”, which does not translate directly into Greek, then the second point is that the negation (not), when introduced, must apply to the same verb, i.e. not “Do not cause us to enter into temptation” but rather “Cause us not to enter into temptation”. Anything else would be a misplaced negation.

    This line then becomes a petition to God to save us from entering into temptation, which is how it has been rendered in our text, and is in keeping with the ELLC text, which was only not adopted here because the Save us from the time of trial rendering was considered to differ too much from the textus receptus.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    There is no such thing at The Modern Version of the Lord's Prayer, there are multiple versions. I have one I like and use in private devotions, I try to stick in public with what the congregation is using (I rarely lead worship) but do not always manage. I have to put an effort in not to default to my private devotional practice. It is not helped that the various liturgical setting I encounter use different forms as well. That is however how the world is.
  • CyprianCyprian Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    There is no such thing at The Modern Version of the Lord's Prayer, there are multiple versions. I have one I like and use in private devotions, I try to stick in public with what the congregation is using (I rarely lead worship) but do not always manage. I have to put an effort in not to default to my private devotional practice. It is not helped that the various liturgical setting I encounter use different forms as well. That is however how the world is.

    Quite so!

    Good sense all around.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    The 'modern' Lord's Prayer is hardly that, anyway - IIRC, it first appeared in the C of E when Series 3 was introduced back in 1973 or thereabouts!

    Nowadays, the 'traditional' version is a permitted alternative in Common Worship Order One, and is what we use at Our Place. I notice, however, that the 'modern' version uses the word 'temptation', rather than 'time of trial', or whatever, simply replaces 'thee' and 'thou' with 'you' etc., and uses 'sin' instead of 'trespass'.

    So rhubarb's Vicar seems to be reverting to an older modern version, which is no longer authorised...

    rhubarb, does Your Place use Common Worship Order Two, the traditional language version? If so, the 'modern' Lord's Prayer I mention above is, in fact, a permitted alternative, but would sit rather ill (and pointlessly) in an otherwise wholly 'thee and thou' service.

    IJ

    We use A Prayer Book for Australia and most of our Eucharist service occurs as per that book, but we have held on to the traditional Lord's Prayer. We tend to view the line "lead us, not into temptation, but deliver us from evil" as having a comma after us, which of course can alter the meaning considerably. I think our congregation is unhappy that they were not consulted, but just told how things would be from now on. I don't think that this is the way to make friends or gain cooperation. Sadly at present a cold war has occurred.
  • Thanks, rhubarb - for some reason, I thought you were in the UK, so apologies for my misunderstanding.

    As others have said, notwithstanding the multiple versions of The Lord's Prayer which are indeed in common use (one of the reasons I put the word 'modern' in inverted commas), your priest is clearly heading for Trouble with a capital T.

    IJ
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    I regularly use four different versions of the Lord's Prayer: 1662 BCP, 1928 BCP, Church of England Contemporary*, Church of Scotland Traditional (=Matt 6.9-13 in the Authorised Version). (* For good or ill, the General Synod of the Church of England rebelled against the ELLC's 'Do not bring us to the time of trial.')

    Personally, I prefer not to use, or to instruct others in the use of archaic second person singular pronouns and verb forms, and I think 'trespasses' conveys very little to the uninitiated. The final petition 'Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil' is potentially difficult even in its own right because it uses an unfamiliar rhetorical device, and that is worsened by the use of 'temptation' which does not mean now what it meant in 1662, and whose current meaning and connotation is not very close to the Greek πειρασμός.
  • We're part of a three-church pastorate ... and each congregation has a different pattern. Other local churches differ in use as well. On the occasions when more than one congregation is present words along the lines of "using whatever form you are familiar with" are used and you get a variety of "sins", "trespasses" and "debts", or "temptations" and "times of trial" from different parts of the congregation. Which is great, far better than the fight over the form to use every time - or going with the form used at whichever church is hosting the service with people then feeling embarrassed that they somehow "got it wrong" if they use the version they're familiar with by habit.
  • W HyattW Hyatt Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    The final petition 'Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil' is potentially difficult even in its own right because it uses an unfamiliar rhetorical device, and that is worsened by the use of 'temptation' which does not mean now what it meant in 1662, and whose current meaning and connotation is not very close to the Greek πειρασμός.
    I'd be interested to know more about the "unfamiliar rhetorical device" you refer to - could you elaborate a bit?

    I'm glad you mentioned both parts of the petition since it seems to me that you can't consider "Lead us not into temptation" on its own without also considering "but deliver us from evil." I'm convinced that "temptation" is misleading today and is better translated as "trial", but the "lead us not into" seems theologically important to me. To me, it says something like "lead us not into trials, but do lead us through trials to the extent they are unavoidable in the process of deliverance/salvation from evil." Sort of like asking a doctor to cause us as little pain as possible, but at the same time acknowledging that some pain may be unavoidable if we are to be healed.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    I do understand why this has been changed, as it is misleading, but equally, with liturgy, people do tend to use the words they know. I go to quite an international church and people from different countries often pray it in their own language. I would imagine you’ll now just have more of an experience of different people praying different words, and I don’t see that as a bad thing. To me it is a reminder that the spirit of the prayer is more important than the exact words, and also it encourages people not to be afraid to pray it out loud even if the words they know are different.
  • rhubarbrhubarb Shipmate
    I like to think that God doesn't really mind how we pray to Him as long as we do talk to Him. Some of us use lots of words whereas others use simple language and are brief. I recently heard my 3 year old grandchild say "I love you God" which was a wonderful prayer from her.
  • ZacchaeusZacchaeus Shipmate
    The Lord ’s Prayer is full of concepts and language that people can find difficult in whichever version is used.
    Many people think ‘forgive us our trespasses’ is tricky but I have had objections to the use of the words ‘forgive us our sins’ as inappropriate with children!
    What does ‘lead us not to the time of trial’ mean to the average person? Or ‘Hallowed be your name? And let’s be honest how many people know what they are praying when they say ‘your kingdom come?’

    I come across so many people who seem to think the version of the Lord’s Prayer used with change the congregation eg attract more young people and families. I wish that the Lord’s Prayer had that much power in the world……
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    So is ‘trespasses’ a better word for use with children than ‘sins’?

    I agree with you about ‘hallowed’ - though I’m not sure there’s a better word. I also agree with you about ‘your kingdom come’. I think there may be a better way of phrasing that, but the loss would be the connection with all Jesus language and teaching about the kingdom.
  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    My preference is for the Scots translation there and 'debts'.
  • ZacchaeusZacchaeus Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    So is ‘trespasses’ a better word for use with children than ‘sins’?

    I agree with you about ‘hallowed’ - though I’m not sure there’s a better word. I also agree with you about ‘your kingdom come’. I think there may be a better way of phrasing that, but the loss would be the connection with all Jesus language and teaching about the kingdom.

    I'm not saying its a better word, but i'm saying its all strange and outside of the average persons usual language and concepts. And I find the way people get het up about particular versions is daft..
  • ZacchaeusZacchaeus Shipmate
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    So is ‘trespasses’ a better word for use with children than ‘sins’?

    I agree with you about ‘hallowed’ - though I’m not sure there’s a better word. I also agree with you about ‘your kingdom come’. I think there may be a better way of phrasing that, but the loss would be the connection with all Jesus language and teaching about the kingdom.

    I'm not saying its a better word, but i'm saying its all strange and outside of the average persons usual language and concepts. And I find the way people get het up about particular versions is daft..

    I guess I'm also saying that the whole prayer needs understanding and explaining any way and that can be ďone whichever version is used
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    My preference is for the Scots translation there and 'debts'.
    Not sure about that. Yes, the Matthew version uses a word that originally meant 'debts' and 'debtors'. However, idiomatically, south of the Border, 'debts' is more or less restricted to financial obligations. Perhaps that was Jesus's original intention, but it's unlikely. The Luke version has 'sins' then 'indebted', Jesus's gloss at Matt 6:14-15 doesn't stick with 'debts' and 'debtors' and it's been interpreted in the more usual way at least back to the Fathers.
  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    The phrase "And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil", makes little sense when read without any stress or emphasis on certain words.

    To continue the established pattern throughout the prayer, of requesting God to provide: i.e: Bring in your Kingdom, Increase the sphere of your will, Give us daily bread, forgive our trespasses, help us forgive others, etc.

    "and LEAD US, (not into temptation) but DELIVER US from evil, . . . . then becomes a request and a statement of faith in the fact that God will never tempt us. (James 1:13) as stated in scripture, but will rather LEAD US in such a way as to avoid temptation and therefore deliver us from doing evil.

    We can't expect God to deliver us from every evil situation, there would be no martyrs if that were possible, what we are asking is that we might be "guided into the paths of righteousness for His names sake". Ps.23:3; Prov.8:20.


  • Jengie JonJengie Jon Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    My preference is for the Scots translation there and 'debts'.
    Not sure about that. Yes, the Matthew version uses a word that originally meant 'debts' and 'debtors'. However, idiomatically, south of the Border, 'debts' is more or less restricted to financial obligations. Perhaps that was Jesus's original intention, but it's unlikely. The Luke version has 'sins' then 'indebted', Jesus's gloss at Matt 6:14-15 doesn't stick with 'debts' and 'debtors' and it's been interpreted in the more usual way at least back to the Fathers.

    "Debt of gratitude"

    "Sin" implies sexual misdemeanour
    "tresspass" is seen as dealing with property rights.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Enoch wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    My preference is for the Scots translation there and 'debts'.
    Not sure about that. Yes, the Matthew version uses a word that originally meant 'debts' and 'debtors'. However, idiomatically, south of the Border, 'debts' is more or less restricted to financial obligations.
    Well, aside from the fact that I don’t quite know how you can not be sure about what @Jengie Jon says is her preference :wink: , “trespasses” presents the same problem in modern English usage, since otherwise “trespass” is typically limited, at least here, to encroaching on the land of another. As @Zacchaeus says, both need some explanation for modern English speakers.

    In the States, “debts” and “trespasses” tend to be denominational markers, as do “forever” vs. “forever and ever.” Those of us from small towns learned early on through weddings, funerals or going to church with friends to adjust as necessary depending on which kind of church we were in. Being a lifelong Presbyterian, “debts” and “forever” are what are natural to me—“as we forgive those who trespass against us” just always seemed like a major mouthful to me. I don’t encounter many places around here where “sins” and “time of trial” are used.

  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    Zacchaeus wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    So is ‘trespasses’ a better word for use with children than ‘sins’?

    I agree with you about ‘hallowed’ - though I’m not sure there’s a better word. I also agree with you about ‘your kingdom come’. I think there may be a better way of phrasing that, but the loss would be the connection with all Jesus language and teaching about the kingdom.

    I'm not saying its a better word, but i'm saying its all strange and outside of the average persons usual language and concepts. And I find the way people get het up about particular versions is daft..

    I guess I'm also saying that the whole prayer needs understanding and explaining any way and that can be ďone whichever version is used
    Yes. Basically I agree. I just think that we ought not to add to the necessary explanation/teaching required, the unnecessary elements of sixteenth century English words and grammar
  • EnochEnoch Shipmate
    Jengie, I agree about 'trespasses' and what BroJames has said about not adding having to explain unnecessary elements of sixteenth century English to what we need to teach.

    However, if people think 'sin' just applies to sexual misconduct (or even chocolate), that is something that needs challenging, now, quickly, and if they still don't get it, repeatedly.

    I'm not sure people do think that. We get a problem here with people expressing the belief that they aren't a sinner because 'they're not a bad person'. The assumption is, though, that sinners are 'really bad people', murderers etc. (that or child-molesting being the usual example chosen), not them. You're not a sinner if you can point to someone else who's worse than you are.

    A certain very famous person has said in public that he's never seen any need to ask for forgiveness, that he's not a bad person, that he's much more humble than people would understand and that he and God have a good relationship. The notion that 'all have sinned' which I think 50 years or so ago was pretty obvious, is one people don't seem to get, but I think that's not a problem with the word or the concept. It's the combination of a failure in both self-awareness and a sense of what God might actually be like, what it would be like to experience his presence.

    So, I'd class that as teaching that isn't a question of explaining that unnecessary elements of sixteenth century English. It's something more fundamental than that.


    On the other hand, would 'forgive us our wrong-doings as we forgive those who have wronged us' work?
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    edited June 22
    Some Brazilian versions use 'debts' (dívidas) also. Dutch is more complicated, since schuld can mean both 'debt' and 'fault' / 'blame'.
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    edited June 22
    .

  • Jengie Jon wrote: »
    Enoch wrote: »
    Jengie Jon wrote: »
    My preference is for the Scots translation there and 'debts'.
    Not sure about that. Yes, the Matthew version uses a word that originally meant 'debts' and 'debtors'. However, idiomatically, south of the Border, 'debts' is more or less restricted to financial obligations. Perhaps that was Jesus's original intention, but it's unlikely. The Luke version has 'sins' then 'indebted', Jesus's gloss at Matt 6:14-15 doesn't stick with 'debts' and 'debtors' and it's been interpreted in the more usual way at least back to the Fathers.

    "Debt of gratitude"

    "Sin" implies sexual misdemeanour
    "tresspass" is seen as dealing with property rights.
    I think all options have strengths and weaknesses, and together can be very useful in teaching people what the prayer is actually asking for (and, as noted by others, if there is no teaching on what the prayer is saying then it's just formulaic repetition at best, a cause for division and tribalism - as in the variations being denominational markers - and a stumbling block to belief at worst). It doesn't need to be teaching about the prayer as such, but the body of teaching over years by the church on what we need to be forgiven, what we need to forgive, and what "forgive" actually means - and that's just to address the meaning of the phrase variously translated "forgive us our sins/debts/trespasses as we forgive those who sin/trespass/are our debtors", let alone the rest of the prayer.

    As an example, recently I was preaching on Jesus the Good Shepherd, and also Ps 23, and in the process talked about sheep straying and the Shepherd going off to find them. It was natural to put in at that point that "sin" is, in part, the act of wandering off the path and getting lost, salvation being when God comes and finds us, putting us back on the right path. Even though we use "debts" in our version of the Lords Prayer it wasn't unnatural to just quickly mention that the idea of wandering off, leaving where we should be into places we shouldn't, is the reason why some people say "trespass" at that point in the prayer.
  • [quote="Alan Cresswell
    As an example, recently I was preaching on Jesus the Good Shepherd, and also Ps 23, and in the process talked about sheep straying and the Shepherd going off to find them. It was natural to put in at that point that "sin" is, in part, the act of wandering off the path and getting lost, salvation being when God comes and finds us, putting us back on the right path. Even though we use "debts" in our version of the Lords Prayer it wasn't unnatural to just quickly mention that the idea of wandering off, leaving where we should be into places we shouldn't, is the reason why some people say "trespass" at that point in the prayer. [/quote]

    Thank you Alan Cresswell, for the first time "trespass" has a real meaning to me in the Lord's Prayer. Living in the country no trespassing signs abound, and that was always the connection that sprang to mind.
    We use the more traditional form at our church for three reasons, People like it, we have many members who are in recovery and take part in AA and this is the version they use each day at their meetings, and finally for people returning to church after many years away, it may be the one thing that they remember. For my own private devotions I use several different forms.
  • AnselminaAnselmina Shipmate
    I always liked the 'trespasses' language of the Lord's Prayer. Maybe because of a constant familiarity, like a previous poster, with countryside 'No Trespassing' signs!

    The feeling that yes, I've done wrong - but it's not impossible to get over it. Sins seems such a hard-faced word by contrast. But it is a personal thing.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    edited July 2
    From the viewpoint of a church that has no liturgy whatever (apart from an authorised hymn book which we can use or not) I would not dream of using any modern version of the Lord's prayer. That's not because I wouldn't know which alternative version to use, and it's not out of being 'traditional'. In our tradition, where we all close our eyes for prayer, it would mean that we would all have to read the chosen version for that week off a piece of paper handed out at the door, or off a powerpoint slide. It would be distracting and, for us, quite irreverent. After all, would you like liturgical changes made each week facilitated by the addition of a slip of paper?

    On a personal level, I am glad to be able to ask for forgiveness for my trespasses - i.e. my deliberate sins. Other sins are of course available, but I don't usually feel as bad about them - I'm just glad of his mercy when I go off the rails in thought, word or deed. That also means I am privileged to be able to pray 'lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.'
    It's a prayer that I hope will be answered and my own resolve will match His grace and power.

    Let's just keep the 'old' version.
    I can't identify any word in that version which the average 8 year old would not understand if you told him/her what the difficult words meant. Over to you, children's Sunday School teachers...
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    I always liked the 'trespasses' language of the Lord's Prayer. Maybe because of a constant familiarity, like a previous poster, with countryside 'No Trespassing' signs!

    The feeling that yes, I've done wrong - but it's not impossible to get over it. Sins seems such a hard-faced word by contrast. But it is a personal thing.

    I agree. The picture that comes to my mind is always of a child trespassing in someone else's field - it's a deliberate act, a provocative act and, depending on the reason for the landowner's prohibition, possible a dangerous act.

    It simply means that our trespasses are acts of overstepping the boundaries God has set for our welfare and protection. Each trespass is a selfish act of my desire over his will.

    I thank God that above sins of weakness, sins of mistake or inclination, these are the sins that God will forgive out of his mercy.
  • BroJamesBroJames Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    <snip>Let's just keep the 'old' version.
    I can't identify any word in that version which the average 8 year old would not understand if you told him/her what the difficult words meant. Over to you, children's Sunday School teachers...*
    In my Baptist teen years it was not uncommon in the prayer meeting for older members to pray using ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ - though for some of the teenagers it might provoke giggles. Nowadays I never hear it.

    For the price of one generation of adults learning a contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer we could avoid generations of children having to have explained to them that ‘art’ is an obsolete form of ‘are’, that ‘thy’ means ‘your’, that ‘trespasses’ means ‘sins’ or ‘wrongdoing’ - and not just being unlawfully on someone else’s land. Let alone having to explain why we are using language in a form which was in decline over 300 years ago, and (outside regional usage) has been virtually nonexistent in normal speech for over a century.

    Of course there’s still some explaining to do: how does a ‘kingdom’ ‘ come’, what does ‘hallowed’ mean, and why do we need to ask God not to ‘lead us into temptation ‘/ ‘bring us to he time of trial ‘, but those problems (it seems to me) are inherent in the substance of the prayer - not just issues of its form. Let’s not saddle generations of Sunday school teachers with unnecessary tasks for want of the will to memorise something no longer than an average ‘memory verse’. Over to you, pastors and teachers.

    (*This seems to me to be saying that the only words the average 8 year old wouldn’t understand are the ones that need to be explained to them - which seems circular to me.)
  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    Anselmina wrote: »
    I always liked the 'trespasses' language of the Lord's Prayer. Maybe because of a constant familiarity, like a previous poster, with countryside 'No Trespassing' signs!

    The feeling that yes, I've done wrong - but it's not impossible to get over it. Sins seems such a hard-faced word by contrast. But it is a personal thing.

    Bet you haven't seen a sign saying "Trespassers will be forgiven", though. :smiley:
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    BroJames wrote: »
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    <snip>Let's just keep the 'old' version.
    I can't identify any word in that version which the average 8 year old would not understand if you told him/her what the difficult words meant. Over to you, children's Sunday School teachers...*
    In my Baptist teen years it was not uncommon in the prayer meeting for older members to pray using ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ - though for some of the teenagers it might provoke giggles. Nowadays I never hear it.

    For the price of one generation of adults learning a contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer we could avoid generations of children having to have explained to them that ‘art’ is an obsolete form of ‘are’, that ‘thy’ means ‘your’, that ‘trespasses’ means ‘sins’ or ‘wrongdoing’ - and not just being unlawfully on someone else’s land. Let alone having to explain why we are using language in a form which was in decline over 300 years ago, and (outside regional usage) has been virtually nonexistent in normal speech for over a century.

    Of course there’s still some explaining to do: how does a ‘kingdom’ ‘ come’, what does ‘hallowed’ mean, and why do we need to ask God not to ‘lead us into temptation ‘/ ‘bring us to he time of trial ‘, but those problems (it seems to me) are inherent in the substance of the prayer - not just issues of its form. Let’s not saddle generations of Sunday school teachers with unnecessary tasks for want of the will to memorise something no longer than an average ‘memory verse’. Over to you, pastors and teachers.

    (*This seems to me to be saying that the only words the average 8 year old wouldn’t understand are the ones that need to be explained to them - which seems circular to me.)

    Don't all 8 year olds need words explaining to them?
    They will learn literature - Shakespeare anyone??
    biology, mathematics, IT, etc, etc, etc. All these use words that need explanation.

    Does religion have to be in words of one syllable that need no explanation in order to appreciated?

  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    BroJames wrote: »
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    <snip>Let's just keep the 'old' version.
    I can't identify any word in that version which the average 8 year old would not understand if you told him/her what the difficult words meant. Over to you, children's Sunday School teachers...*
    In my Baptist teen years it was not uncommon in the prayer meeting for older members to pray using ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ - though for some of the teenagers it might provoke giggles. Nowadays I never hear it.

    For the price of one generation of adults learning a contemporary version of the Lord’s Prayer we could avoid generations of children having to have explained to them that ‘art’ is an obsolete form of ‘are’, that ‘thy’ means ‘your’, that ‘trespasses’ means ‘sins’ or ‘wrongdoing’ - and not just being unlawfully on someone else’s land. Let alone having to explain why we are using language in a form which was in decline over 300 years ago, and (outside regional usage) has been virtually nonexistent in normal speech for over a century.

    Of course there’s still some explaining to do: how does a ‘kingdom’ ‘ come’, what does ‘hallowed’ mean, and why do we need to ask God not to ‘lead us into temptation ‘/ ‘bring us to he time of trial ‘, but those problems (it seems to me) are inherent in the substance of the prayer - not just issues of its form. Let’s not saddle generations of Sunday school teachers with unnecessary tasks for want of the will to memorise something no longer than an average ‘memory verse’. Over to you, pastors and teachers.

    (*This seems to me to be saying that the only words the average 8 year old wouldn’t understand are the ones that need to be explained to them - which seems circular to me.)

    Don't all 8 year olds need words explaining to them?
    They will learn literature - Shakespeare anyone??
    biology, mathematics, IT, etc, etc, etc. All these use words that need explanation.

    Does religion have to be in words of one syllable that need no explanation in order to appreciated?

    Only if you don't mind taking all the beauty and poetry out of it and replacing it with crude one or two syllable vernacular. I'm pretty sure the original language it was written in was not so mundane and banal.
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    Well, ‘art’ and ‘are’ are both one syllable. My understanding was that Jesus used everyday language. It is a simple prayer - the whole point of it was that he was telling people they didn’t need to be using lots of words, but can keep it simple and to the point. I certainly don’t see any harm in using everyday language. I don’t get the impression that Jesus was focusing on how poetic his language was.
  • RdrEmCofERdrEmCofE Shipmate
    fineline wrote: »
    Well, ‘art’ and ‘are’ are both one syllable. My understanding was that Jesus used everyday language. It is a simple prayer - the whole point of it was that he was telling people they didn’t need to be using lots of words, but can keep it simple and to the point. I certainly don’t see any harm in using everyday language. I don’t get the impression that Jesus was focusing on how poetic his language was.

    It depends on if you are reading a psalm to yourself for meditative reasons, or reading the parable of the prodigal son out loud to a bunch of eager children on a beach mission, whether the language is appropriately 'poetic'. The entire Bible was not written in two syllable words using the vocabulary of an 8 year old but that is not to say that it can't be presented by a good reader in language suitable to the needs and level of understanding of their audience.

  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    To me, it doesn’t really make a difference. It is the God behind the language that I am focusing on. Language is just a pointer, and always an imperfect one. It doesn’t need to be poetic - beautiful language can be a distractor for me because then it is easy to focus on the language itself. But yes, everyone is different.
  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    I don't use the KJV but the issue here is not which version is clearer, it's which version is universally familiar.
    For a prayer that is basically used at every baptism, wedding and funeral as well as countless other services it seems we're in danger of having it announced- we will now say the Lord's Prayer, to which people will say, 'which one?'
  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    In my experience people vary the version they use depending on audience, and church people tend to be aware of the different versions and able to adapt. I don’t think it is necessary to have only one version that is used everywhere.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    After all, would you like liturgical changes made each week facilitated by the addition of a slip of paper?
    From the viewpoint of a church that regularly has the congregation pray at least some unison prayers that vary from Sunday to Sunday, and does so by printing the words of those prayers in the bulletin/order of worship given to every worshipper, this would not be at all unusual. At our place, we always print the words to the Lord’s Prayer, both for those who don’t know it from memory and so people know which version to use. (Yesterday, we used the modern “sins” version.). Many of our churches do this, or at least provide some direction as to which version we use.
    Let's just keep the 'old' version.
    So, “debts” and “debtors” then? And just “forever,” not “forever and ever”? :wink:
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    I don't use the KJV but the issue here is not which version is clearer, it's which version is universally familiar.'
    But that’s part of the issue. The version you use is not universally familiar, nor is the version we use. Maybe this doesn’t happen elsewhere, but here it not unusual, particularly at weddings and funerals where the congregation is more “ecumenical,” to hear some discord in the Lord’s Prayer, as at least some people forget (or don’t know) that they’re in a church that uses a version different from what they’re used to.

    Part of the goal of the ELLC version was to update the language, but the other, perhaps larger goal was to have a single version of this most basic and universal of Christian prayers, rather than multiple versions. But this seems to be the one prayer where that kind of change comes hardest.

  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    But from what I've read on here from all of you who have liturgical worship is that there is n single version. In 30 years of conducting funerals, for example, I have never yet used any of the multiple versions with updated language. People who attend church for 'hatch, match and despatch' know the traditional version.
  • Nick TamenNick Tamen Shipmate
    Mudfrog wrote: »
    But from what I've read on here from all of you who have liturgical worship is that there is n single version. In 30 years of conducting funerals, for example, I have never yet used any of the multiple versions with updated language. People who attend church for 'hatch, match and despatch' know the traditional version.
    Which traditional version? That’s my point—there is no the traditional version. There are traditional versions that vary according to denomination and sometimes congregation.

    As I said, maybe it doesn’t happen there—people here don’t learn the Lord’s Prayer in school as it sounds like they might there, nor is there an established church that normalizes the version learned. Here, where people learn the prayer at church or at home and learn the version used by their church, unless the words are in front of people, you can almost guarantee that at a wedding or funeral with people from different churches, there will be some confusion when part of the congregation says “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us,” while others say “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” (And now, “forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” can be thrown into the mix, as some churches have started using it.) Then, when we start again after the trespassers catch up to the debtors and the sinners, you might hear some voices add “and ever” at the end, while others are moving on to “Amen.”

    In other words, when Christians of multiple denominations gather and worship together, the one prayer that should be in the best position to show our common faith is often the one that actually highlights our disunity. And that’s because there isn’t a single, shared “traditional” version.

  • MudfrogMudfrog Shipmate
    It is always this one:

    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,
    the power, and the glory,
    for ever and ever. Amen.

    That's all I've ever known.
    debts is never used in England.


  • finelinefineline Purgatory Host
    I’m in England and have been in churches that used ‘debts.’ And churches that used ‘sins.’ I’ve worshipped in different liturgical churches and different versions are used. People who go to church are generally aware of the different versions and can adapt - they’re all pretty similar anyway.

    I have just googled, and I find this article: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/lords-prayer-to-be-given-in-three-versions-1411325.html
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