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Oure Fadir
English
Middle English
Manuscript

Oure fadir that art in heuenes,
Oure fadir that art in heuenes,
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
halwid be thi name;
halwid be thi name;
hallowed be Thy Name.
thi kyngdom cumme to;
thi kyngdom cumme to;
Thy Kingdom come,
be thi wille don
be thi wille don
Thy Will be done,
as in heuen and in erthe;
as in heuen and in erthe;
on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
ȝif to vs this day oure breed ouer other substance;
ȝif to vs this day oure breed ouer other substance;
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forȝeue to vs oure dettis,
and forȝeue to vs oure dettis,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forȝeuen to oure dettours;
as we forȝeuen to oure dettours;
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
and leede vs nat in to temptacioun,
and leede vs nat in to temptacioun,
And lead us not into temptation,
but delyuere vs fro yuel.
but delyuere vs fro yuel.
but deliver us from evil.



Amen.
Amen.
Amen.

Commentary
This Middle English version of the Pater Noster is known from Wycliffe’s Bible, a group of Bible translations made at the end of the 14th century under the direction of John Wycliffe (circa 1331 – 1384), a theologian who taught at the University of Oxford before being dismissed because of his criticism of the Church. Many of his opinions foreshadow those advocated later by the Protestant Reformation. His teachings fueled the religious and social contest movement of the Lollards, that was influent in England at the end of the 14th and the beginning of the 15th century.

The translation is a traditional English version from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, still used by the Catholic Church. This must have been the version familiar to Tolkien.

The fifth petition is expressed differently in Middle English and Modern English. The Middle English version follows the gospel of Matthew and literally reads “Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors.” The current English versions speaking of trespasses rather follow the gospel of Luke.

The text’s transcription rather resembles the kind of blackletter writing known as textura prescissa or sine pedibus, typified by the lack of serifs on descenders. This style appeared at the end of the 13th century and spread much in England in the Late Middle Ages. We made use of Robert Pfeffer’s typeface Pfeffer Simpelgotisch.

References
Olteanu, Michael. Convent of Pater Noster: The Lord’s Prayer in 1323 languages and dialects. 🌍 Christus Rex et Redemptor Mundi.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
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