Environmental Stewardship Commission
(MEESC)
Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota

Prayer After the Our Father
by the Rev Dr Eugene Wahl
(© Eugene R. Wahl, 2000)

The following is a prayer that I structured closely after the Our Father, but with changes to balance the feminine and masculine metaphors for the Divine, and other changes to emphasize the presence and "at homeness" of God in the created order as well as in Heaven.

This prayer and the comments I have written to go with it are intended as offerings for personal devotion and meditation.  It is not a new translation, and is not intended as a new form of the prayer that might go alongside the other forms in the Book of Common Prayer.  It is simply a prayer that the Our Father stimulated in my personal reflection--reflection on what it means to be a child of God in our times.   The goal is to allow understandings to be prayed that might be hidden in the traditional form, and possibly also to be influenced by new mysteries that are hidden in the new wordings.

I've been praying this prayer now for nearly a year, and find it is for me what I had hoped it might be--a prayer that speaks well, doesn't make me feel it undoes the Our Father, and which does emphasize that all creation and the feminine are not minor loci of God's fullness.

I offer it to anyone who might be interested:  as a meditation tool in creation spirituality that is not a treatise, but just a simple prayer.
A more thorough set of explanations is included after the prayer.
 
 

Our Father in Heaven,
Our Mother in Earth;
Hallowed be your Name.
Your Reign come,
Your Will be done;
In Earth, In Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
And deliver us from evil.

For the Reign, the Love and the Glory are Yours,
Now and forever.
AMEN



Explanatory comments:

The first sentence includes the feminine character of God, as an explicit, equal companion to the masculine.  This is justified by the passage in Genesis 1 in which God's image is said to be both male and female.  It is also justified by the perspective (emphasized by one of the former Archbishops of Canterbury, Donald Coggan) that in the risen Christ both men and women are included as members of Christ's body i.e., both maleness and femaleness are fully included in the glorified Corpus Christi.

The first sentence also says that God is in Earth just as God is in Heaven.  This does not mean that there is no fallenness or evil, but rather that God is omnipresent, even in the places of the "World" where evil is full (as on the Cross).  It also means that God dwells in, behind, and before all things in all Creation.  Saying "Father in Heaven" and "Mother in Earth" does not mean to say that Father (masculine) is only in Heaven, or Mother (feminine) is only in Earth--all, Heaven and Earth, are in God's fullness.  This usage reflects the fact that human dualistic language and metaphors don't easily deal with the unitive reality of God that includes maleness and femaleness, Heaven and Earth.  I decided to keep the traditional "Our Father in Heaven" as is, and added "Our Mother in Earth" as a simple, parallel linguistic device that emphasizes both the feminine character of God and God's presence in Creation.

The use of the word "Reign" is simply to honor both Kingness and Queenness as part of Divine majesty.

"In Heaven, In Earth" emphasizes that God is not located in Heaven, and comes on Earth (as if Earth is just a stage for the Divine economy); rather that both are "full of God's Presence".

The use of "love" in the final doxology, rather than "power", emphasizes that the root of God's action is not just potency, but rather that the impulse to express this potency is love.


Copyright Notice:  Copyright © 2000, Eugene R. Wahl, all rights reserved.  The information on this webpage may be retransmitted for information purposes, but may not be used in any publication (other than that of the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota) without the written permission of Eugene R. Wahl. All retransmissions, postings, and publications or this webpage must include this notice.

To other works on this website by the Rev Dr Eugene Wahl



The Rev Dr Eugene Wahl, the founding Chair of the Environmental Stewardship Commission, works at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO; focusing on the impacts of climate change and paleo-environmental reconstruction.  He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in paleoecology and conservation biology.  Please address your comments or additional reflections to Eugene Wahl or any MEESC member or write to:
 
MEESC
c/o C. Morello
4451 Lakeside Drive
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