I was taught that

“For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory”

was not part of the Our Father.

Now we say it at Mass. Why?

Where did this come from?

Why wasn’t it accepted before?

 

Very early on in the Catholic Liturgy, the Lord's Prayer was concluded with a doxology (a prayer of praise), “For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever”. This was not part of the original Greek Scriptural text and consequently is not included in many modern Bible translations.

 

However, there are other non-Scriptural writings which have been preserved from the early days of the Church. It was here, where the doxology was first found in the important document called the "Didache," (written between 70-140 AD). “Didache” (Did-ah-kay) simply means 'teaching'. The “Our Father” in the Didache had the doxology tagged onto the end without the words “the kingdom”. The tradition of the doxology was carried into the Liturgy, and became so closely associated with the Lord's Prayer that it is now often mistaken to be part of the prayer itself. The words “the kingdom” were added later and are preserved in the document “The Apostolic Constitutions” (written 250-380 AD). The “Our Father” is contained twice in the Bible (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4) with no doxology for although very ancient, it is not found in the original manuscripts. This is simply a prayer from the believers in the early centuries of the Church whose spirits were moved by the Holy Spirit to close this beautiful prayer in grandiose fashion. These early writings never present it as an essential part of the “Our Father”, but rather an “embolism," (added prayer), intended to increase fervor and direct the intention of the faithful.

 

The early Church did use the doxology in the Liturgy just as we do today. The doxology has been included in and taken out of the Mass throughout history. This prayer had been omitted from the Liturgy of recent centuries until Vatican II when it was reauthorized for use at Mass only. It is recited and acknowledged as an ancient prayer of praise. This is why it is not said immediately following the words “deliver us from evil”. So why do Protestants use these words?

 

It is believed that a copyist when copying Matthew's Gospel put a note in the margin, noting that in the Mass, we follow the “Our Father” with the doxology. A later copyist mistakenly transcribed the margin note into the text itself and it was preserved in all subsequent copies of the manuscript. The King James Version translators in 1611 A.D., (The King James Version is a Protestant Bible) used a copy of the New Testament that contained these added words. Most Protestant scholars admit that these words are not those of our Lord. But since this text was included by the translators, it is used by Protestants but is, ironically, a Catholic Liturgical prayer.

           

An English version of the Our Father without the doxology actually did become accepted in the English-speaking world during the reign of Edward VI when the Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England did not add the doxology.  However, during the reign of Elizabeth I there was a desire to rid the Church of England from any Catholic vestiges. Because of this wish for severance and not because of authenticity, the doxology of the Lord’s Prayer was re-included.

 

            Therefore, when non-Catholics ask us why we make the “Our Father” shorter than their form, we should tell them that the added words which they use are not a part of the prayer as given by our Blessed Lord, but rather a pious addition which is ancient but not original.

 

            Remember, before the last book in the New Testament was written, the Catholic Church celebrated her golden jubilee (50 year anniversary) and 11 of the Apostles had already died. The Church existed before the Bible. The Bible came from the Church. The Church did not come from the Bible. The Catholic Church knows what words were included in the prayer and what words were not because She, the Bride of Christ, was there.