Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Petitions in Australia

At the end of petitions, we generally say something like "Let us pray to the Lord" or "We pray to the Lord."  

Intriguingly, in Australia their lead is in generally "Lord, hear us."  A very small change, yet sufficiently different for me that it took me about five months to remember it.  I used to stumble through my petitions, searching for the formula.  

But once I got it, I found its difference instructive. The American formula addresses the congregation; it's a sort of "the prayer's over now, let's all speak" hint.  But the Australian, on the other hand, keeps the focus of the address on God.  "God I'm doing speaking, please hear me."   

In the end, neither way is wrong.  But the variations are fun to think about, aren't they??


Victor S E Moubarak said...

In our church in the UK the person reading the petitions says: Lord hear us.

And everyone responds: Lord graciously hear us.

Jim McDermott, SJ said...

Wow. I like that response. Thanks for sharing it, Victor!

Michelle said...

"Lord, graciously hear us" is what my parish uses in the US. The variation still wakes me up!