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Lord’s Prayer and Doxology: a suggestion

The doxology is the last line of the Lord’s Prayer, “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever and ever. Amen.” It is, to be more precise, an ancient prayer traditionally added on to the Lord’s Prayer (as found in Matthew, normally), and a version of it dates back to the beginning of the 2nd century – meaning some Catholics, at least, were praying it this way more than 1300 years before it became “the Protestant version”. Or one might just say it is one other way in which Catholic tradition has been kept better outside the Catholic communion. In any case…

The reason Catholics have become used to the Our Father without the doxology is liturgical – when we pray the Lord’s Prayer during the Eucharistic liturgy, we pause between the end of the Prayer proper and the doxology to allow the priests’ embolism, “Deliver us Lord, from every evil…” Even though we pray the doxology every Sunday, we are habituated to stopping after “…deliver us from evil”, such that when we are taken out of the Sunday liturgy, we continue to stop.

In fact, however, the embolism is only part of the Eucharist, and is not part of other liturgies, such as the Liturgy of the Hours. In those times, we should pray the entire prayer, with the doxology, even when it is not an ecumenical prayer service. If we do this regularly, it will seem less uncomfortable when we do get to a mixed liturgical setting, and be better hosts to the other Christians who rarely omit this last line of the prayer.

“The Reception of Guests”, Rule of Benedict §53

Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,
“I came as a guest, and you received Me” (Matt. 25:35).
And to all let due honor be shown,
especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims.

As soon as a guest is announced, therefore,
let the Superior or the brethren meet him
with all charitable service.
And first of all let them pray together,
and then exchange the kiss of peace.
For the kiss of peace should not be offered
until after the prayers have been said,
on account of the devil’s deceptions.

In the salutation of all guests, whether arriving or departing,
let all humility be shown.
Let the head be bowed
or the whole body prostrated on the ground
in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.

After the guests have been received and taken to prayer,
let the Superior or someone appointed by him sit with them.
Let the divine law be read before the guest for his edification,
and then let all kindness be shown him.
The Superior shall break his fast for the sake of a guest,
unless it happens to be a principal fast day
which may not be violated.
The brethren, however, shall observe the customary fasts.
Let the Abbot give the guests water for their hands;
and let both Abbot and community wash the feet of all guests.
After the washing of the feet let them say this verse:
“We have received Your mercy, O God,
in the midst of Your temple” (Ps.47[48]:10).

In the reception of the poor and of pilgrims
the greatest care and solicitude should be shown,
because it is especially in them that Christ is received;
for as far as the rich are concerned,
the very fear which they inspire
wins respect for them.

Let there be a separate kitchen for the Abbot and guests,
that the brethren may not be disturbed when guests,
who are never lacking in a monastery,
arrive at irregular hours.
Let two brethren capable of filling the office well
be appointed for a year to have charge of this kitchen.
Let them be given such help as they need,
that they may serve without murmuring.
And on the other hand,
when they have less to occupy them,
let them go out to whatever work is assigned them.

And not only in their case
but in all the offices of the monastery
let this arrangement be observed,
that when help is needed it be supplied,
and again when the workers are unoccupied
they do whatever they are bidden.

The guest house also shall be assigned to a brother
whose soul is possessed by the fear of God.
Let there be a sufficient number of beds made up in it;
and let the house of God be managed by prudent men
and in a prudent manner.

On no account shall anyone who is not so ordered
associate or converse with guests.
But if he should meet them or see them,
let him greet them humbly, as we have said,
ask their blessing and pass on,
saying that he is not allowed to converse with a guest.

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