The Lords Prayer

Following on from yesterday, I was at a service recently where we were encouraged to use the “modern” form of the Lords prayer! Not sure that “sin” and “trials” is anymore understandable culturally!
It’s been around for a while now but I love the txt version of the Lords Prayer and really enjoyed being at a Youth Led service once where the whole congregation were led together in saying:
[email protected],ur spshl.
we want wot u want
&urth2b like hvn
giv us food
&4giv us
lyk we 4giv uvaz.
don’t test us!
save us!
bcos we kno ur boss,
ur tuf&ur cool
4 eva!ok

And lets not debate how it fits into a liturgical framework!
Supplemental: Over at Coyote Mercury you can see the Lords Prayer’s English translation in both Old and Middle English.

5 Replies to “The Lords Prayer”

  1. Yep. Its important to understand what we pray. But maybe, just maybe, understanding comes AFTER learning. Maybe we shoudn’t criticise rote learning of the Lord’s prayer – after all, the alternative would be not to teach it until or unless the children understoond it.
    I think it is very important that schools teach an agreed version of the Lord’s prayer by rote, and that learning what it means is a life-long process!
    When I was 7 I lived right by the Thames. For a long time I thought the prayer included the phrase: “lead us not into Thames Station”. But I am still glad, along with 90% of the rest of the nation, that I learned the Lord’s prayer by rote. Research tells us that most people learned the Lord’s prayer not in Church, nor from their parents, but in School. And that one of the biggest reasons for Schools dropping this teaching was confusion over which version to say!
    I’d happily trade my concern about big words for a rote learning of the traditional version, with understanding to follow later!

  2. Thanks for the comment Richard, don’t entirley disagree either but am passionate about the emphasis being on real learning not just being satisfied with having taught something. An emphasis on learning will mean a desire to engage with context and therefore what will be understood (and why we want it to be understood).
    There is an old expresion that says “To teach John Latin, one must know Latin but also must know John”
    I’m sure teaching by Rote has some place, I’m very glad I learnt several of Wordsworths poems (particularly the last verse of Daffodils) but I understood them when I learnt them, ensuring they were filed in my brain as important not irrelevant.

  3. I wouldn’t DREAM of debating the liturgical structures with you! My thoughts were more about the fact that we have the old and new versions of the Lord’s prayer (well the Methodists’ modern version is a bit different as well in fact) and yet we have lots of translations of the bible. In the New Revised Standard Version which is the version used by the lectionary the prayer is:
    “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not bring us to the time of trial, but rescue us from the evil one.”
    and the Message has:
    “Our Father in heaven, Reveal who you are. Set the world right; Do what’s best – as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals. Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others. Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil. You’re in charge! You can do anything you want! You’re ablaze in beauty! Yes. Yes. Yes”
    Yet no matter how many versions there are, what is important is that this was Jesus’ model for prayer. He didn’t say pray THIS EXACTLY but pray LIKE this. Surely it’s more important to help children udnerstand how to pray and what it means to pray?

  4. How about this one – included in the Night Prayer service in the New Zealand Prayer Book (equivalent of our Common Worship)
    Eternal Spirit Earth-maker, Pain-Bearer, Life-giver,
    Source of all that is and that shall be.
    Father and Mother of us all,
    Loving God, in whom is heaven:
    The hallowing of your name echo through the universe!
    The way of your justice be followed by peoples of the world!
    Your heavenly will be done by all created beings!
    Your commonwealth of peace and freedom sustain our hope and come on earth.
    With the bread we need for today, feed us.
    In the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
    In times of temptation and test, strengthen us.
    From trials too great to endure, spare us.
    From the grip of all that is evil, free us.
    For you reign in the glory of the power that is love, now and for ever.

  5. I came across this posting through a Google search today – scored first place on Google! As a read of our blog will show, this is one of my pet topics, so I thought I’d post a (big) comment!
    I would wholeheartedly agree that with what was said at the service, we should be teaching the modern form. As Ian has said, sins and temptation (in the Church of England version) is still not overly comprehensible, but at least the modern version is consistent with the rest of the liturgy. Also, from a personal point of view over the last 30 years I have grown up with the modern version (Series 3, ASB, Common Worship), my familiarity is with the modern wording.
    In some of the articles reporting the Church of Englands decision back in 1998 to include both modern versions of the Lord’s Prayer, and the 1967 traditional revision, a survey was quoted that said that 80% of the adult population of the UK could recite the Lord’s Prayer. However the key point was that the figure dropped to 50% for 18-25’s. From my schooling, in two mainstream comprehensive’s, with no Church association, I was never taught the prayer in school. The Lord’s Prayer is increasingly not part of mainstream schooling. I would imagine that if the survey were repeated today, six years later, the figure would be below 50%.
    To my mind, if increasingly the people we are looking towards are a blank slate with regards to the prayer, the familiarity argument looses weight, ultimately it becomes a question of looking at whether our choice is being driven by what *we* are familiar with. Are we holding on to the traditional version, and in a wider sense many of our traditions because of what we want, because of what makes us comfortable, or because it is better for those we are trying to reach? Do we need to step back from what we as members of the Church do, and be objective, looking at how what we do is percieved by an increasingly secular society? If, as is sometimes said, we are seen as being an organisation stuck in the past, lacking in relevance to modern life, if in our modern liturgy such as we have in Common Worship, we suddenly leap into a form of English that has not been commonly used in centuries, and as quickly leap back, what message does that give?
    The version of the Lord’s Prayer I quoted in my previous comment is an attempt to try and clear up a lot of the confusion in the current wording, but not suprisingly recieved a lot of criticism, (the page from which I copied the text follows it up with the comment “And, yes, I’ve suffered through services where it was used. *yuk*”) and yet I’ve seen pages and pages of debate between Christians about the meaning of the words of the traditional Lords Prayer, and the modern version is still not much better, the points where the traditional wording is confusing to a modern ear (“Lead us not into temptation” implies that God is tempting us, “Trespass” relates to land, etc etc) are still not much better.
    As with many things in the Church it is a balance between tradition, and our calling to preach the Gospel. Between those ‘in the club’, and those we are trying to reach to invite to join.
    Currently I don’t think either the traditional or current C of E modern version are particularly comprehensible to adults, let alone youth. The modern version we have I see as a compromise, an attempt to move forward, trying to keep some familiarty. It’s chief advantage it is a compromise that is a coherent part of our liturgy, rather than the apparently anachronistic reversion to BCP that we get using the traditional within a Common Worship service, and as such if we are commited to preaching to people in their own language, rather than expecting them to try and learn the language of our club, it is a step in the right direction, and a step we all should be taking.

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Mission and understanding

Fantastic training session this week led by Nigel Pimlott of Frontier Youth Trust. We were looking at mission and how we understand the culture we are working in. We all know that we are in a post-Christian country but need to be recognising what that means for the way we communicate.
Nigel gave a great example: The question to a teen was,
“do you think the Christmas story is true?”
“No” …. was the reply
“Why not?”
“Well, Reindeers can’t fly can they!”

I was doing some work in a School a few years ago and the Vicar came in to do an assembly. He led the whole school in a rendition of the Lords Prayer, which they recited, word perfect.
I was surprised/impressed but wanted to see what it had meant to them so in one of the lessons I asked,
“You all prayed the Lords Prayer this morning ….. what does trespass mean?”
There was a sea of thirty blank expressions but one lad was determined to have a stab at it and attempted to give the word, as he understood it, some sort of religious context. “Is it,” he asked, “Walking on Jesus’s grave?” (Good try I thought)
Huge assumption from the vicar that anyone would understand what they’d been taught to pray, I wonder what assumptions we make?
We’re missionairies in a culture where all the reference points have gone!

Short termismitus

Short termism is the Kryptonite to the heroic work that goes on with young people!
At the network (of youth workers) meeting yesterday we were encouraged to “Fly Kites” and work out where we’d like our ministry to be in 10 years! It was an exciting way to be thinking but with funding struggles, two or three year contracts and visions that tend to be short term ….. not practically useful.
It’s not by any means limited to the faith based sector and is apparent across the board. Neighbourhood Regeneration projects suffer greatly …… just when trust and ownership is beginning to emerge, funding runs out breeding more cycnicism and frustration.
West Berkshire Nightstop (emergency accommodation for homeless young people) have been running succesfully for two years but are now looking for continuation funding. Amazingly many trusts will only fund new (unproven) projects but will not offer any continuation funding to projects that have proven to make a difference.
All very frustrating but some good news! My friend Yvonne has been the youth and community worker at a church for 9 years and is on a permanent contract! May this catch on!

Flannelgraph …. the powerpoint of the 1960’s

Respect to Dave for being the number one google search if you are looking for flannelgraph. Anyone who’s looking to re-create lost Church traditions by reinstating flannelgraph (kinda like fuzzy-felt but bigger and with Bible type scenes) may be amused by these anarchic and theologically interesting offerings on the wib site.

Onion moments and vinyl paint

On Camp this summer, for the sort of reasons that don’t make sense outside of camp, each night at the roadshow I would have to answer a surprise question while sitting in a leather armchair in the glare of a spotlight. Favourite question was,
“Ian can you describe your favourite onion moment?”
I love the level of profound absurdity that teenagers come up with, fantastic creativity. I’ve also noticed that if you can cope with the absurd, then the serious may follow.
Once after doing some fairly serious input with a group I don’t know and opening it up to questions, I was asked, “Do you find vinyl paint too reflective?”
“on the whole, no” I replied …. “but are you reflecting on what I’ve said?”
We then had a wonderful session which would throw up deep questions punctuated with more of the absurd.
Maybe all Youth work jobs should take a leaf out of the dating ad’s, “Must have a Good sense of humour!”

Aim it at the teens

Just got back from preaching at the gig which I turned up at last night, finally got there with me and a congregation tonight!
It was a Eucharist specifically aimed at young people and I prepared accordingly. As it happened there were a vast range of ages there but I spoke specifically in a way that would engage the teens. Really good evening and the teens were involved in the service including all the music, readings and the like.
The Bloggable bit is this: Great reaction from the adults, they were really really enthusiastic about the preach. It seems to me that adult-format sermons impact some of the adults and none of the teens. A teen-format sermon engages the teens and a lot of the adults.
I know that this is a huge generalisation but look at how many adults turn up to youth-led services! Why?

2 Replies to “Aim it at the teens”

  1. Here’s a theory. The adults know what it’s like to be a teenager, so probably find youth type services vaguely familiar, or at least relatable-to. The teenagers, on the other hand, don’t know what it’s like being an adult, and so the reverse is true for them. Aside from that, youth services are always more fun – fact. And any adult who tells you that they’d rather have a serious and more theologically challenging sermon rather than one which deliberately engages them in culturally relevant ways is probably fibbing. And, of course, “culturally relevant” shouldn’t mean “not theologically challenging”. P.S. ‘Cool but weird’ shall be updated soon – am having a small period of blogger’s block. Added to this, I have a 3rd year dissertation to be planning!

  2. Aim it at the teens
    can’t speak for all adults but most feel insecure about what’s being taught these days and I am this intimidating for the teens for there too many adults there , like we’re being censored man. Because the adults wants to be involved for a couple of reasons ,and nunmber # 1 is they’re still a kid themselves with lots of mixed up fellings, so their inner kid gets ministered to too and allow to grow up.

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Unusual Youth Work tools no.1

Was early for a gig I was supposed to be speaking at, so I went for a ride on the Brompton (a folding bike), dropped down a hill into a village and through a load of teenagers. Inevitable (and slightly sarcastic) shout of “Nice Bike Mr!” so I stopped to say Hi, once I’d shown them that the bike would fold into a package in 15 seconds they were really impressed and we had a good chat. They all had a turn at riding it and they taught me a better way of controlling speed on a Skateboard (not convinced I can do it though!) Anyone want to pay me to run a course on “Detached work using folding bicycles”
Anyway, very glad I had a fun time as it turns out they’d given me the wrong date for the gig and it is, in fact, tomorrow!!!!!

TV or not TV? that is still a question

Good Post from Sarah. I agree TV is useful, I’m not anti TV as such and yes, Danger Mouse is of course, awesome. I think I have a problem with the way everything is packaged and sound-bited (new word!) for TV. The Lyrics of 1991’s “TV the drug of the nation” I reckon are still profound …. for example,
“Where straight teeth in your mouth
are more important than the words
that come out of it”

I want to understand and appreciate the culture around me but I guess my prefered mediums are listening/talking, radio and Films. I’m very grateful to everyone who keeps me up to date with TV though (and lets me watch theirs!)and every year I buy the DVD compilation of the best adverts of the year as I’m very intersted in the way that advertisers target culture(s)! Interestingly TV viewing figures overall have been going down. Let the debate continue …………

3 Replies to “TV or not TV? that is still a question”

  1. I suppose it ought to be sound-bitten… Adverts are definitely very useful for studying cultural developments. However, it is also very interesting to see the ads in the context of what sort of target audience is expected for certain TV programmes. Cars, dishwashers and insurance companies are favoured during ad breaks for an evening’s whodunnit drama, while the interval in the middle of Friends on C4 sees plenty of shampoo, hair dye and Immac easy leg-wax. I’ve been taught by a critical theory lecturer: “Text without context is a con”, and I think that that principle can probably be applied fairly effectively to a number of other areas of cultural study.

  2. Definitely sound bitten! That’s what I was going to say! I’m trying to ignore mediums instead of media!

  3. aaaarrggghh, can’t help responding. Normally I defer in all matters grammatical and the like however I have decided to stand my ground over “sound-bited”. The rationale for not using “sound bitten” is this, that sound-bite relates to the bite size chunk of information packaged not to the active biting thereof. Therefore, bite relates to the piece and not to the act of removing the piece. “Sound-bited” is meant to convery that this is a continual process whereby information is compressed, packaged and (over)simplified to a “sound-bite”, the acvtive nature of this therefore in this tense is “sound-bited”. Sound-bitten would merely imply taking a chunk out of it, not the full outworking of the process rendered by “sound-bite” in it’s understood media and cultural context.
    This is what I am going to nail (metaphorically) to the OED door as the need for this unique but neccessary construct.

Comments are closed.

TV or not TV

I don’t have a TV! Had some good discussions with teenagers at Camp when they discovered this serious omission from the Macdonald household. Sometimes wonder whether we should get one but actually from a youthwork point of view it’s great ‘cos I have to get my TV info from the teenagers. Surprisingly too most of them were more open to not having a TV than I thought they would be.
Just been reading some John Stott, he’s got a much snappier argument against TV than me, he reckons TV makes people: physically lazy, intellectually uncritical, emotionally insensitive, psychologically confused and morally disordered. He’s got a point but I don’t think it’d make for an open dialogue!

One Reply to “TV or not TV”

  1. I’m partly sympathetic with what John Stott was saying but I think I must disagree with him in part. His argument tends towards the idea of living outside the modern secular culture. I find it hard to be “in the world but not of the world” without at least dipping my toe in the water.
    I’m not defending all TV as some of it is APPALLING but I think TV (and indeed film) can both be an excellent starting point for discussions with young people about difficult situations such as relationships, families, bullying, violence and pretty much anything else that is going on in their lives.
    Last night I caught a few minutes of a rather contraversial dramatisation of the terrorists preparing for the bombings of 11th September which was very challenging. Then later I watched “Sikhs in the City” which was very informative about modern Sikhism.
    The “TV is so informative” is such an old argument but it does hold true. However aside from the educational potential of TV, what about the fact that we can watch things which are amsuing, enjoyable and just plain fun??
    Apparently all conversations eventually turn to children’s TV but in defence of television, Ian, surely there is one word which will suffice…

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Soul Shaper

I’m reading a fantastic book called “Soul Shaper” by Tony Jones all about “exploring spirituality and contemplative practices in youth ministry.” I bought the book because I’m interested in how spiritual disciplines and practices from across Church history can impact youth work. However it’s proving first and foremost a challenge to me! Tony Jones quotes Eugene Peterson to make the point, “I think the most important thing a pastor does is who he or she is” There’s a challenge when we tend to justify ourselves/our ministry by our doing, at the expense of our being!
Soul Shaper.jpg

2 Replies to “Soul Shaper”

  1. All very inspiring so far – I think you’re pretty good as ‘being you’…
    After our conversation, I, too, have set up a blog (don’t want to get behind the times, after all) – Nothing as challenging as yours yet, but we’ll see…

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