Switching languages for now

by Sarah Luna

Yesterday at Church, Reverend A called up all the children and explained to them how Lent is a time to “get into spiritual shape”. She explained that we can do this by praying and reading the Bible and being kind to other people. Lent, she explained, is a time to draw close to God. Children’s time is often my favorite part of the service.

We are now eleven days into Lent. If you’re unfamiliar with Lent, read this or go to Wikipedia. Lent is observed in the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and some Protestant denominations. Without going into specifics (because I do have specific goals), I have been “praying and reading the Bible and being kind to other people”.

So what does this have to do with the title of this post?

I’ve also been trying to learn Marathi for my upcoming trip to India, but I have been hindered by the lack of resources available to me. I haven’t found any Marathi materials, and I’m starting to doubt my ability to learn an entire new alphabet in two months along with all the other things I have to learn.

So I decided to switch to French. I’ll share the story behind that later. Taking a tip from the Language Hacking Guide (which I love!) and perhaps inspired by my Lenten reading, I decided to start memorizing Bible verses in French.  I have had to memorize a lot of Scripture in my life; I had a Bible passage to memorize every week from Kindergarten to the 8th grade. And I am so grateful for that. When I went home over Christmas break, I found a French Bible in our library bookstore and bought it. I figure that by memorizing the Scriptures that I know in English in French, I can 1) re-affirm the content and 2) work on a new language.

Mission #1: The Lord’s Prayer also known as the Our Father, the Pater Noster, and in French the Notre Père

The Notre Père has been showing up in my life a lot these past two weeks. At this time of year, many people find it helpful to focus on the prayer line by line or even word by word. I particularly like this set of posts by Jennifer Fulwiler that analyze each word (beginning with Our). Just yesterday, Reverend Dr. H talked about what we actually mean when we say the words: “Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.” Do we really want that? We should be sincere when we pray those words. But are we?

So here I go: The Notre Père

Notre Père qui es aux cieux,
Que ton nom soit sanctifié,
Que ton règne vienne,
Que ta volonté soit faite,
Sur la terre comme au ciel.
Donne-nous aujourd’hui Notre pain de ce jour.
Pardonne-nous nos offenses,
Comme nous pardonnons aussi
À ceux qui nous ont offensés.
Et ne nous soumets pas à la tentation,
Mais délivre-nous du mal. Amen.