The Aramaic Lord’s Prayer

A Ceremony of Sound and Light

with Jilani

‘Abwoon d’bashmaya’ 

Oh Thou, the breathing Life of all, Creator of the shimmering Sound that touches us! You create all that moves in Light…

A residential retreat in France (in French/English) to learn and practice the Lord’s Prayer in Aramaic, with chants and body prayers. This workshop is based on the work of Neil Douglas-Klotz, with whom I trained for three years nearly 20 years ago. Neil has spent over 35 years studying Jesus in the context of Middle Eastern spirituality, seeing him as a Middle Eastern prophet, and looking at his words in the language he actually spoke, Aramaic. Aramaic is a bridge between ancient Hebrew and modern day Hebrew and Arabic, and by studying the words of Jesus in this context we arrive at a very different way of understanding his message. Specifically, there is not one way to translate Aramaic into English, but many layers of meaning, which can be very helpful for us nowadays, especially if we have ever felt alienated or put off by traditional translations of the words of Jesus. I have led this work in many countries, and both practising Christians and people who have felt wounded and alienated by the Christian church have had profound and healing experiences with it.

The Aramaic Prayer is the Lord’s Prayer in as close as we can get to the original words spoken by Jesus. We will explore those words in Aramaic, and discover several possible ways to understand and relate to those words through some English translations.

Above all this work is experiential, and embodied. The emphasis is not so much on study and mental understanding as on gaining an embodied experience of the prayer. To this end we will be chanting each line many times, with simple melodies and movements. This makes it easier for us to learn the words and also to drop into a felt sense of what we are experiencing.

During the weekend we will explore each line of the prayer, with time for questions and learning. The culmination will consist of a full experience of the prayer including a part where we share juice and bread to deepen our understanding and connection with the experience. The emphasis will not be on ‘getting it right’, but on dropping deeply into the prayer as a ceremony and a way to connect with the original message of Jesus, which many people find quite profound and surprising.

French version of Flyer