Amahan Namo: The Our Father in Cebuano

Since we began serving the Divine Liturgy here last year, we have sung a setting of the Our Father which many of our embers had learned as Catholics or Filipinistas. It was familiar, so I let it be until recently.

The translation is actually not bad. But in conversation with a knowledgeable translator, we identified several places where it didn’t represent the actual words Christ taught in Matthew 6.

Now, having updated the text, this week the parish of St John Maximovitch has begun practicing singing the new version to a melody by Rimsky-Korsakov which will be familiar to many Orthodox Christians.

Teaching the new translation and melody has also led to conversations about what the prayer means. Repetition has led to such familiarity that the words are hardly even heard. Now a new text is raising questions: What “debts” do we owe and forgive? What “bread” do we pray to receive today? What does it mean to “hallow” the name of the Lord? These are conversations I am delighted to have!

One day we will sing hymns like this in pleasing harmony. For now, as we approach the concept of unison, we sing with joy and the words of Christ challenge us.

Amahan namo nga anaa sa mga langit,
pagbalaanon ang imong ngalan, umanhi kanamo ang imong gingharian,
matuman ang imong pagbuot, dinhi sa yuta, maingon sa langit.
Ang tinapay namo sa matag adlaw ihatag kanamo karong adlawa
ug pasayloa kami sa among mga utang
ingon nga nagapasaylo kami sa mga nakautang kanamo
ug dili mo kami itugyan sa mga panulay,
hinonoa luwasa kami sa dautan.

Father Silouan

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