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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.