Changes in Lord ’s Prayer: A revolutionary liturgical reform by the Pope
Pope Francis is right in his view that the altering part of the Lord’s Prayer, “ And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” gives the unmistakable impression that it is the Lord who is leading us into temptation.
By K L Joseph
The proposal made by Pope Francis for a revision in the third edition of the Italian Missal on December 8, 2017 including changes to the Lord’s Prayer and Gloria had initially met with opposition as well as support.
The Churches in England and Scotland opposed the changes in the Lord’s Prayer. Many held the view that the prayer was taught by the Lord Himself, and as such it cannot be considered for changes. At the same time, there was also widespread support for Pope’s liturgical reform saying that same was ought to be done long back. Despite widespread objection and resentment, Pope Francis went ahead and officially approved the changes in the Lord’s Prayer, including Gloria on June 6, 2019.
Pope Francis is right in his view that the altering part of the Lord’s Prayer, “ And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil” gives the unmistakable impression that it is the Lord who is leading us into temptation. Therefore the Pontiff made his point crystal clear in support of the changes saying that it is the work of Satan to lead us into temptation and not of God.
By underlining this truth, Pope Francis partially changed the prayer from “ And lead us not into temptation “ to “ do not let us fall into temptation”. He said that God does not push a person into temptation. “God as a father helps the fallen person to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation and that is his department.” This clarification given by the Pope is conclusive and unassailable to justify the partial changes in Lord’s Prayer.
The origin of the cause of error in the Lord’s Prayer can be traced back to the time when the work of preparation of the New Testament was taken up. It is a matter of puzzle, why this glaring error in Lord’s Prayer indirectly holding the Lord for causing temptation had failed to come to the notice of the prominent theologians, Biblical Scholars, and Eminent Translators etc. at the time of drafting, editing and publication of the New Testament. This error was also not noticed by the church in Vatican earlier. We cannot certainly blame the Lord for the error. For it is only by the Lord, all the wrongs and errors we do are expunged and forgiven as saviour of the world.
It is a great liturgical reform made by Pope Francis in the Lord’s Prayer for the worship of God, which no other Pope in history thought of doing earlier. For this glorious act, all the Catholic Churches and the Christian communities spread across the whole world should thank him and remain in solidarity with him.
As a sequel to the changes in the Lord’s Prayer, the Holy Eucharist Order of the Syro - Malabar Church and the daily saying of the Rosary will also required to be revised accordingly including all other related formularies meant for religious worship.
(K L Joseph is a Thrichur based Lay Writer)