Letter: Modern prayer

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The Independent Online
Like much media treatment of church affairs, your article "Synod changes the Lord's Prayer" (12 February) suffered from presenting the issue solely as a contest between traditionalists and modernisers.

A modern version of the Lord's Prayer has been in use in the Church of England for over 20 years, and the principle that modern and traditional versions should exist side by side is widely accepted.

A less tractable question is the wording of the modern version, particularly the clause traditionally rendered "Lead us not into temptation". The choice for the new millennium is between adopting the new, ecumenically agreed version "Save us from the time of trial", and further experimentation to find a better rendering.

While, in the interests of Christian unity, the Church of England would be right to fall into line with the ecumenical text, it should do so in full awareness that "Save us from the time of trial" is superior to the traditional version neither as a rendering of the biblical text nor (arguably) in terms of intelligibility to present-day churchgoers.

Dr GRAHAM GOULD

Department of Theology and Religious Studies

King's College London

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