Saturday, March 19, 2005

I like this prayer better...

Not that I absolutely hate the Lord's prayer, but this one speaks to me more directly.

Goddess’ Prayer

Our Mother, who are all around us,
Blessed be thy children.
Thy blessings won, thy work is done
On earth and in the heavens.

Give us this day, the strength and trust
To confront our fears
As we challenge those who would use
Our fear against us.

Guide us in this struggle
With love and peace
To create a new world of
Justice, joy and harmony.

For thine is the beauty
And the love of creation
In the circle forever.

Blessed be.


Anonymous Michael Chermside said...

I gained a great deal of insight into the lord's prayer when my wife (who is jewish) tried to teach me a little bit about traditional prayers.

Remember, the story behind the Lord's prayer is that Jesus was hanging out with a large number of supporters and they asked him to perform the traditional blessing of the food. Folks were so impressed with the prayer that he said that someone remembered the words and wrote them down.

But the other bit you need to know about jewish prayers is that they have a certain formulaic quality to them. (A word of warning: what I'm saying here is just my own impression, which may well be wrong. But it's what I've got.) Just as most christians end a prayer with "Amen" without it really meaning anything, jewish prayers always begin "Barook ata adenoi aluhenu melloch ghlom" (please excuse my horrid attempt at phoenetic spelling here) and they end with a formulaic ending as well.

Translating these, I discovered something interesting. I'll work with the King James translation here, because that's the one I learned as a child. The traditional beginning of a prayer means approximately this:

Our father who are in heaven, hollowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

So the first few lines of the lord's prayer are just formulaic "start of prayer". Some of the ending lines are a fairly "standard" prayer ending as well. In fact, I translate the whole thing like this:


<StartPrayer>Give us this food today, and forgive our sins just as we forgive those who sin against us. <EndPrayer>

Now, THAT's a prayer I can identify with... short and to the point. Of course, someone with more historical religious background might point out that my interpretation here is wrong, but it's always made a lot of sense to me.

7:10 PM, March 27, 2005  

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