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EXPLANATION OF THE OUR FATHER

ON THE DIVINE LITURGY, by ST GERMANUS OF CONSTANTINOPLE

OUR FATHER, WHO ART IN HEAVEN, HALLOWED BE THY NAME:

The name is that of the Son of God. Saying “Father” points out to you of whose goods you have been made worthy, now that you have become a son of God. Saying “in heaven” points out your Father’s native country and home: if you want to have God as a father, look to heaven and not to earth. For you do not say “my Father,” but “our Father,” since you have all men as brothers of the one Father.

HALLOWED BE THY NAME,

That is, make us holy so that You may be glorified by us. For as God is blasphemed by me, so He is also glorified by me.

THY KINGDOM COME,

That is, the second coming: for he who has a good conscience boldly desires the coming of the resurrection and the judgment.

YOUR WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IN HEAVEN,

Just as, it says, the angels do Your will, so grant that we may do it.

GIVE US THIS DAY OUR DAILY BREAD.

It means the bread which is sufficient for our nature and existence. He removes the care for the morrow. The body of Christ is the daily bread, and we pray that we may share in it blamelessly.

AND FORGIVE US OUR DEBTS, AS WE FORGIVE OUR DEBTORS

Because we sin even after baptism. We pray that He might forgive us our debts if we do bear a grudge: for God has me as an example, and what I do to the other, He does unto me.

AND LEAD US NOT INTO TEMPTATION.

We men are weak; therefore, it does not behoove us to fall into temptation, but rather to pray not to be overwhelmed by temptation. For he who is overwhelmed and overcome is led into the pit of temptation: but be who has fallen, has he prevailed?

BUT DELIVER US FROM THE EVIL ONE.

He does not say “from evil men,” for they do not wrong us, but “the Evil One.”

 

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