Canadian Bishops' Statement on French Translation of Our Father

“The earlier, more traditional translation has been modified, not because it is incorrect, but because it can easily be misunderstood”

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Here is a statement from the Canadian bishops’ conference regarding the French translation of a line from the Our Father.

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 Information on the Bible liturgique and the French-language translation of the Our Father 

French-speaking Episcopal Conferences around the world, including the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB), agreed 17 years ago to begin work on a complete French-language translation of the Bible for liturgical use. There have been French-language translations of a number of biblical texts approved for celebrations of the Mass and the sacraments since the Second Vatican Council; however, it was also agreed these now needed revising. The final result is a complete and revised translation, the Bible liturgique , \ which will be published in French this coming November 22. A soft-cover popular edition will be available from CCCB Publications early in the new year. 

Among the changes in the new French-language translation is a modification to one line in the Our Father. The wording “Et ne nous laisse pas entrer en tentation” (“Let us not be led into temptation”) becomes the new translation for what used to be rendered as “Ne nous soumets pas à la tentation” (“Submit us not to temptation”). The earlier, more traditional translation has been modified, not because it is incorrect, but because it can easily be misunderstood. 

The modification does not immediately affect the wording of the Our Father when prayed in groups or used in French-language celebrations of the Mass. However, this is a change expected sometime in the coming years, when a new French-language translation of the revised Roman Missal is approved. This translation of the Missal is not yet completed. 

The Bishops of Canada have informed other Christian Churches in the country about the modification in the French-language version of the Our Father. In 2010, the CCCB notified both the Canadian Council of Churches and the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, and requested their assistance in circulating the information and inviting possible comments. 

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