The Words Our Saviour Gave Us

The Words Our Saviour Gave Us

Q. I was under the impression that the Australian Church had permission to retain the former chant setting of the Our Father, but I discovered to my dismay that it is not included with the alternative tones in the back of the Missal (pp1501-2).  I assumed that it would be in there somewhere but cannot find it.  Is this a subtle way of weaning us off it?

A. We are retaining the Australian chant version of the Lord’s Prayer arranged by Percy Jones, in the same way as the Americans are doing with the version by Snow that has became the standard in the USA. The ICEL chant committee produced a version which they were well aware nobody would use as each country does its own thing.

Unfortunately the Australian version is not printed in the back of the CTS Missal as only the ICEL chants were permitted to be included and Rome would not allow local variations.

Q. For many years my parish has used the contemporary “Lord’s Prayer” during Mass:      

Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be your name, your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in Heaven.  Give us today our daily bread.  Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.  Save us from the time of trial and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.

I thought that we would revert to the traditional form with the implementation of the revised Roman Missal, but we continue to use the contemporary “Lord’s Prayer” during Mass. After doing some research I have found several references that say this should not be used during the Mass but can be used in devotions outside the Mass, for example, in the Rosary.

Can you please clarify this for me?

A. The version of the Lord’s Prayer that your parish has been using is the contemporary, ecumenical translation produced by the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET). It is used by many Christian Churches and the Catholic Church in the Philippines, India and New Zealand adopted it in the 1970s/80s. Unfortunately it has never been approved for use at Mass in the Catholic Church in Australia. 

ICEL included it in the revised Missal that was approved by the bishops conferences in 1998 but rejected by Rome a few years later. The announcement of the Vatican’s recognitio for the new translation included this: “The ICET text of the Our Father was not among the texts given recognitio. This means that all English-speaking countries will now use the same text of the Our Father.” So the wording that all English- speaking Catholics are now required to use for this important prayer is that of Thomas Cranmer whom the Roman Catholic Church burnt at the stake!

The argument for retaining the “traditional” translation is that it is widely known and used by people who have little contact with the Church and would cause confusion if changed.

The ICET version of the Lord’s Prayer should always be used at interchurch services but only the traditional translation is permitted at Mass.

Elizabeth Harrington