Nancy and I were watching The Tudors the other night (Showtime offered a free three-day trial) and I must say it was both fascinating and educational. For example, I never knew Henry VIII was so good-looking. From his portraits, you might get the idea he was on the porky side, but actually he was very trim and looked a little like a bad boy rock star. Also, it seems the WonderBra dates back to the English Renaissance, but that’s not what chiefly caught my interest.
The episode we watched showed Henry formulating the Articles of Faith for the nascent Anglican Church. (This was on Showtime, so it had to be historically accurate.) Evidently, the church set out to be almost identical to its estranged parent in Rome. Priests were to be celibate, and to deny the doctrine of transubstantiation was heresy punishable by dire torture such as only the profoundly religious can devise. Moreover – and this was a shocker such to make me temporarily forget the discovery of the Wonderbra – Henry took upon himself the wording of the Lord’s prayer!
This sent me to Google, where I discovered there are indeed different versions of the Lord’s prayer. I am not merely talking about translation here; a portion of the prayer – the part that goes, “for Thine is the Kingdom” and so forth – a part known as the doxology – seems to have been added some time in the First Century and is far from being universally accepted.
It seems to me if God Incarnate tells you, “This is the prayer I want you to use,” you wouldn’t go tampering with it, but maybe that’s just me. Of course, without the doxology, it ends with, “deliver us from evil,” which seems kind of a downer, so maybe people figured the prayer could use some improvement.
Anyway, the Anglican Church has undergone a lot of change since Henry’s time, and the Articles of Faith must be very different than our founder must have imagined. It occurred to me that yet more changes have taken place, and perhaps it is time to revise the Articles of Faith yet again and with them, The Lord’s Prayer. I offer a modest example below.
Articles of Faith for the 21st Century
Article One: Thou shalt not wear white until after Labor Day. (Actually, this is in force for all Christian denominations.)
Article Two: At the end of a prayer, thou shalt say ah-men, not ay-men like some hill-billy redneck.
Article Three: Whenever children are ushered into the chapel as part of the service and are made to stand along the rail, thou shalt murmur, “Awww.”
Article Four: Thou shalt watch the brothers and sisters in Christ when in the temple, and lo, when they rise, thou shalt rise, when they sit, thou shalt sit, and when they kneel, shalt thou kneel. On no account mayest thou rise when they sit, nor kneel when they rise, for these things are an abomination.
Article Five: God is all colors of the rainbow and embraces all nationalities in His Love. The Son of God, on the other hand, is definitely a WASP, with long, but clean and well-groomed hair, which is not red exactly, but sort of auburn.
The Lord’s Prayer
Since each person’s relationship with God is unique, it should not be expected that all prayers would be identical. The following is merely a sample.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. And give us this day our daily bread and don’t forget to stop by Kroger for those great rib eyes they have on special, and maybe shrimp and pesto, I wonder if there’s time to go to Waffle House first. I haven’t had breakfast yet.
And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us except for George Wilson, I swear to God, ever since he got that Kistler Helium2 LTX rod and reel, he walks around like his shit smelled like lilacs, it makes me puke.
And lead me not into temptation, unless it’s that MILF in the next pew, in which case lead away! And deliver me from Ebay a G. Loomis BCR803 GLX with a Shimano Metanium Mg7. The rod is 6'8", extra fast action, 4 power and the reel picks up 31" per turn. It handles 3/16-5/8oz. baits and 12-17lb. line. The entire combo weighs less than 11 oz. Titanium guides, low profile and George can eat his heart out.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
God, I’ve really got to stop at Waffle House. I’m starving.