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“The Lord’s Multiform Prayer” by Gabriel González Núñez

Translated by the author. Click here to read in the original Spanish. 

The Lord’s Prayer is the most poetic of prayers. This prayer has been transferred from one language to another, from one age to another, has crossed time and space, and thus has enjoyed countless permutations. I now dare to add countless more, or rather, I dare to add exactly 54 123 776 422 857 453 312 000 more permutations, all of them in English. To produce that many versions, I relied on an old method: I divided the Lord’s Prayer into twelve lines, and I then turned each line into seven different versions.

I opted for twelve columns and seven rows because those numbers are somewhat kabbalistic. Allow me below to produce three (due to the significance of the number) specific versions out of the 54 sextillion possible ones.

70 Our Abba in heaven, thy name is holy. May thy kingdom come to earth. May thy will take place both in heaven and on earth. Give us something to eat today. We ask thee to forgive us our sins, because even we can forgive others. And never stop protecting us from temptation, but save us from the evil one: for Thou art dominion, authority, and splendour always, always, always. Amen.

15 728 194 822 184 Our Father which art in heaven, glorified be thy name. Thy kingdom be revealed. Thy will be forged on earth as it is in the heavens. Give us bread today, before the day is over. We ask thee to forgive us our sins, inasmuch as even we forgive those who sin. And do not withhold from us thy shield at the time of temptation, but grant us freedom from the evil one: for thine are the dominion, and the power, and the glory for evermore. Amen.

113 6726 928 836 333 312 070 Our Father which makest thy abode in the heavens, holiness to thy name. Thy kingdom be made manifest. Thy will be carried out on earth as in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread And forgive us our faults, as even we forgive those who fail us. And do not withhold from us thy shield in the tempting hour, but grant us victory when facing the evil one: for Thou hast dominion, authority, and splendour for all eternities. Amen.

It is up to the reader to utter the remaining versions.

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