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Our Father

Following the remembrances of the Divine Liturgy, the people pray to God to allow them to worship “with one mouth and one heart.” They then wish each other “the mercies of our Great God and Saviour Jesus Christ”; and, “having remembered all of the saints,” they sing the litany in which they beg God to receive the eucharistic gifts “upon his holy, heavenly and ideal altar,” and to “send down in return his divine grace and the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

Ending the litany with the prayer for “the unity of the Faith and the Communion of the Holy Spirit,” the faithful commend their lives to Christ asking to be made worthy “with boldness and without condemnation to dare to call upon the Heavenly God as Father and to say: Our Father, Who art in heaven…

In the Old Testament the People of God did not dare to address God in prayer with the intimate name of Father. Only in Christ and because of Christ can men have such boldness. Only Christians can properly use the Lord’s Prayer that was taught to them by the Son of God. Only those who have died and risen with Christ in baptism, and have received the power to become sons of God by the Holy Spirit in chrismation are enabled to approach the All-mighty God Most High as their Father (Jn 1:12; Mt 6:9; Rom 8:14; Gal 4:4).

In the early Church the Lord’s Prayer was taught to people only after they had become members of Christ through baptism and chrismation. Just before receiving the gifts of Holy Communion “for remission of sins, for forgiveness of transgressions, for the communion of the Holy Spirit and for the inheritance of the Kingdom of Heaven,” the faithful who have become children of God in Christ and the Spirit exercise their gift of divine sonship in the Saviour. They dare pray to God as to their very own Father.