Why is the Catholic Version of the Lord’s Prayer Shorter than the Protestants?

Anytime there is a Catholic wedding or funeral, when it gets to the point in the Mass when the Lord’s Prayer is said, you can always tell who the Protestants are and who the Catholics are just by noting who keeps going while the others stop.

The Catholic form of the prayer ends sooner than the Protestant version. Both religions share 95 percent of the words:

“Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day, our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”

Here is where the Catholic version ends. The Protestant version continues with the phrase:

“For Thine is the kingdom, the glory and power, forever and ever. Amen.”

What’s up? Well, the King James Version of the Bible has the doxology (the phrase quoted above) at the end of the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6:9–13, but other English versions and the original Greek and the Latin of Saint Jerome (400 AD) do not have it. In the Revised Standard Version (RSV) and the New International Version (NIV), like the Catholic Bibles (New American (NAB), the Jerusalem Bible and the Douay-Rheims), the doxology is not present.

Scholars speculate that a monk was copying the text late at night while tired, and as often happens with human duplication, if tired, his mind went back to familiar territory. Since the doxology is part of the Mass (“for the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours, now and forever”) that comes right after the Lord’s Prayer, perhaps the copier just kept going without thinking about it.

Luke 11:2–4 has a different version than the one found in Matthew.

“Father, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread; and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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