Regional versions of Lord’s Prayer

There are a number of different versions of the Lord’s Prayer in Anglo-Saxon manuscripts, covering differing dialects and time periods. They are all broadly recognisable, especially if compared against the King James Bible from the 17th century.

“Our Father which art in heaven,

Hallowed be thy name.

Thy kingdom come,

Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”

Matthew ch 6 vv 9-13

The texts shown below might not look very similar, but listen to the recordings for each version, and see if you can hear the similarities.

All our recordings are spoken by Steve Pollington.

The Wessex version of the Our Father script

West Saxon Dialect

Fæder  ūre

þū þe eart on heofonum

sī þīn nama gehālgod.

tōbecume þīn rīce

gewurþe ðīn willa

on eorðan swā swā on heofonum.

ūrne gedæghwāmlīcan hlāf

syle ūs tōdæg.

and forgyf ūs ūre gyltas

swā swā wē forgyfað ūrum gyltendum.

and ne gelǣd þū ūs on costnunge

ac ālȳs ūs of yfele.


Our father

Thou art in heaven

Be thy name hallowed.

Come thy kingdom.

Be-done thy will

On earth so in heaven

Our daily bread

Give us today

And forgive us our wrongs

As we forgive our wrong-doers

And lead not thou us to temptation

But deliver us from evil


Listen to the Lord’s Prayer in West Saxon

Northumbrian Dialect

FADER USÆR ðu arð in heofnu
Sie gehalgad NOMA ÐIN.
Tocymeð RÍC ÐIN.
suæ is in heofne and in eorðo.
HLAF USERNE of’wistlic sel ús todæg,
and f’gef us SCYLDA USRA,
suæ uoe f’gefon SCYLDGUM USUM.
And ne inlæd usih in costunge,
ah gefrig usich from yfle

Listen to the Lord’s Prayer in Northumbrian:

Mercian Dialect

Feder ure þu eart in heofenum

se þin noma is gehalgad

to cyme þin rice

sie þin willa on eorþan swe in heofenum

ure deghweamlice hlaf sele us to deg

ond forgef us ussa scylda swe ond us forgef ure scylde

and nu in læde us in costnunge

ales us from yfele

Listen to the Lord’s Prayer in Mercian: