When I ran across the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Andrea Bocelli singing The Lord’s Prayer, I was reminded of the following experience I had some five years ago. It was so important to me that I kept the Church Bulletin from that day and all the information that helped us labor to read this beautiful prayer in our efforts to truly align with the ONE. Aramaic apparently has many subtleties and nuances that are still absent in the English translation.
On Sunday, November 11, 2007, I was privileged to participate in a service at Unity of Washington, D.C. where we experienced saying The Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, Jesus’ native language. It was facilitated by a lovely woman named Maryn Boess who at that time had studied the “Aramaic Jesus” deeply for several years. She studied under the direct teaching of scholar/author Neil Douglas-Klotz, Ph.D. Realizing the importance of words and translation, let me share what I read in the quiet time before the service:
ONE PRAYER, ONE PRACTICE
Learn to Say the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic
What if . . .
All Christians and devotees of Jesus, and his example of selfless service, would lean to say the words of his prayer (“The Lord’s Prayer”) in his native Aramaic Language.
All Christians and devotees of Jesus would then have one prayer, one practice, that they could share together, without any language or doctrinal differences.
What difference would it make for Christians to unite in one prayer, acknowledging at the same time what all theologians, scholars, and historians know: Jesus-Yeshua was a native Middle Eastern person and spoke Aramaic, a language related to both ancient Hebrew and Classical Arabic, the languages of the Jewish and Islamic traditions?
Eastern (Aramaic-speaking) Christians today (Assyrians, Syrian Orthodox, Church of the East) do not agree about the exact pronunciation of these words, but in fact the actual differences between their pronunciations are very slight. A person of any language or background who learns a basic pronunciation of the Aramaic Lord’s prayer could easily understand any others and join in praying the prayer with them.
The Lord’s Prayer
O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration
Soften the ground of our being and
carve out a space within us where Your Presence can abide.
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be
Empowered to bear the fruit of Your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and
Share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us,
As we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.
Do not let us be seduced by that
Which would divert us from our true purpose,
But illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For You are the round and the fruitful vision,
The birth-power and fulfillment,
As all is gathered and made whole once again.
(Translated from Aramaic into English, rather than from Aramaic to Greek to Latin to English)
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