At the rally held last Saturday in Melbourne, Florida the First Lady Melania Trump led the crowd in praying the Lord’s Prayer. Because she read the prayer instead of reciting it from memory, she has been roundly criticized.
People, this is just PLAIN WRONG!
Of course, anyone who has been raised as a Christian can recite the Lord’s Prayer from memory. We pray it at each and every worship service. But even then, we do not always say the same prayer. Catholics and Methodists will pray “forgive us our trespasses” while Presbyterians pray “forgive us our debts.”
And we always pray it in English. Melania Trump is from Slovakia, so English is not her first language. And the Lord’s Prayer that is so familiar to most of us contains words that are no longer in common usage. “Our Father, who “art” in heaven. For “thine” is the kingdom.
My mother was a high-school Spanish teacher. At her memorial service, we asked one of her favorite students, who also went on to become a Spanish teacher, to recite the 23rd Psalm in Spanish. And yes, even she who was totally fluent in Spanish, read the Psalm from mother’s Spanish Bible.
Melania Trump was not being disrespectful by reading the prayer. If anything, she was being totally respectful by ensuring that she prayed it correctly, in what to her is a foreign language. So to everyone who criticized Melania Trump for reading the Lord’s Prayer, I DARE YOU to lead your congregation next week by praying the Lord’s Prayer, from memory, in Slovakian!