The Lord's Prayer
by Alexander Schmemann
Translation: Joseph Halldorf
Wire bound with unspread pages
"There is no better way to the heart of the Christian life than the short and seemingly simple prayer that Jesus taught," writes Alexander Schmemann. In his exposition of the prayer we call the Lord's Prayer, he shows how it seems to be formulated as if it applied to each of us personally, "for my needs, my questions, my pilgrimage."
The book The Lord's Prayer is based on a series of short talks that Alexander Schmemann gave on Radio Liberty in the 1970s, where he addresses listeners living in the Soviet Union. It was the time before Glasnost and Perestroika, and the strongly challenging form of Schmemann's proclamation should be read against the background that he is speaking to people living in a dictatorship. The familiar words of the prayer Jesus taught his disciples are given new life, and we can once again hear how they deeply call us to repentance and joy in being able to walk the path of the gospel.
Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983) was a priest in the Orthodox Church and during the latter part of his life rector of St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary in New York. He is best known for his liturgical theology and was a central figure in the movement in the 20th century that highlighted the heritage of the early church for the renewal of worship.