Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Friday 17 May |
Saint of the Day: St. Paschal Baylon
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Why is the Our Father called the “Lord’s Prayer”?

Jezus Chrystus

Renata Sedmakova | Shutterstock

Philip Kosloski - published on 05/01/24

Both titles are used to refer to the same prayer. The title "Lord's Prayer" is typically used to highlight the author of the prayer.

Depending on the local Christian tradition, some Christians prefer to use the title “Our Father,” while others almost exclusively use “Lord’s Prayer.”

In fact, sometimes a Christian who only uses “Our Father” may be confused when they hear “Lord’s Prayer” being used as a title.

Most Catholic prayer books refer to the prayer as the “Our Father” or “Pater Noster” in Latin, while the Bible typically has a header that states “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Both titles refer to the same prayer, but the “Lord’s Prayer” is often seen as a title that highlights the authorship of the prayer.

Jesus is Lord

The Catechism of the Catholic Church explains the choice of words for this title in its section on prayer:

The traditional expression “the Lord’s Prayer” – oratio Dominica – means that the prayer to our Father is taught and given to us by the Lord Jesus. The prayer that comes to us from Jesus is truly unique: it is “of the Lord.”

CCC 2765

Jesus is seen as primary author of these words as he speaks them and teaches them to his disicples.

The Our Father also comes from God the Father

The Catechism, however, points out that because God is a union of three persons, God the Father is equally an author of the Our Father:

On the one hand, in the words of this prayer the only Son gives us the words the Father gave him: he is the master of our prayer. On the other, as Word incarnate, he knows in his human heart the needs of his human brothers and sisters and reveals them to us: he is the model of our prayer.

CCC 2765

This is important to reflect upon, as God is three in one, never separated, always united. Whenever one of the three Persons acts, all are present. Even the Holy Spirit can be said to be an author of the Lord’s Prayer.

The action of the Holy Trinity is a great mystery for us, one that is difficult to wrap our human minds around.

However you name the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, the key is to pray it in faith, praying as Jesus intended his listeners to pray.

It is his prayer, a prayer that provides a model for all of our prayers, whether written in a formula or prayed extemporaneously.

BibleCCC PrayerPrayer
Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.