As my wife pointed out, it would have been more meaningful if I’d have added the translation to the latin I was studying.Â My problem is that the translation loses so much, especially since a five-hundred year old version of that passage in english is perhaps the most well known prayer in Christianity, and english from five hundred years ago doesn’t really speak to the intent of the passage as well as I’d like.
The latinÂ is taken from the Roman Catholic Common Mass.Â If I were to translate it myself, it would start something like:
Father of all things, existing above and beyond in a place outside of our dimension, we hold sacred even the invocation of our feeble human attempt to describe you.Â May the entirety of creation come to know unity, and a transcendence of our mortal existence through an utter and all encompassing surrender to the perfection and peace that is your intent and plan for all creations in every shard and facet of the universe.
As a child asks for food at a grand dinner table, laid out with delicious things to eat, so do we ask for that which you have already prepared for us.Â The request honoring the offer to provide that you have already made to us.
We ask that you will actively and personally forgive and redeem us from the failures we have stumbled into; both failuresÂ with the holy and infinite, and failures with others here in our day-to-day experiences.Â As you forgive and redeem us, so do we seek the knowledge and grace to imitate and repeat that forgiveness with others who have failed in their relationships with us.
Guide us away from those things which will cause us to fail you and others, and when we begin to go down the wrong paths and blind alleys, we ask that you would lead us back to the best roads and the safe harbors that will help us continue to improve ourselves, our families, our communities, and our world.
That about covers the first paragraph, from “Pater noster” down to “sed libera nos a malo.”
The current Missal translates that paragraph as follows:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.Â Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.Â Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who have trespassed against us.Â And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Yes, I realize my translation is more â€œwordyâ€ but thereâ€™s just so much more poetry to the actual latin (and evenÂ more soÂ with the actual source Greek, but that’s another post for another time).