The Cellar Read by Tolkien Glǽmscribe Mathoms News
Quenya Sindarin Telerin Qenya Gnomish & Noldorin
Adûnaic Westron Khuzdul Black Speech Valarin
Old English – Tolkien Old English Middle English
Gothic Old Norse Finnish Welsh Latin

     ⸱
Átaremma i ëa han ëa,
Our Father, who art in Heaven,
   ⸱
na aire esselya,
hallowed be Thy Name.
   ⸱
aranielya na tuluva,
Thy Kingdom come,
  
na kare indómelya
Thy Will be done,
  :
cemende tambe Erumande.
on Earth, as it is in Heaven.
     ⸱
Ámen anta síra ilaurëa massamma,
Give us this day our daily bread,
   
ar ámen apsene úcaremmar
and forgive us our trespasses,
       :
sív’ emme apsenet tien i úcarer emmen.
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
  
Álame tulya úsahtienna
And lead us not into temptation,
    :
mal áme etelehta ulcullo.
but deliver us from evil.

 ⸱:⸱

In the 1950s, Tolkien made a series of translations of Catholic prayers into Quenya, including the Lord’s Prayer. The rendition of the latter was evidently of importance to him since he wrote no less than six versions. All were published and commented in Vinyar Tengwar n° 43. We here give the final version (“Átaremma VI”), edited for the punctuation.

Facing it is the corresponding part of the traditional English version from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, still used by the Catholic Church – with the final doxology not included, but used afterwards as a liturgical element during the Mass. This must have been the version familiar to Tolkien.

This Quenya translation is remarkable in its expression of heaven. In earlier drafts, Tolkien used menel, the usual Quenya word for the sky; but finally, he preferred alternative renderings. In the first line, i ëa han ëa reads literally “who art beyond the Universe” or alternatively “who art beyond being” – this because in Quenya, ëa “to be” is also used as a name for the Universe, in reference to the creation word of the One God Eru Ilúvatar. In the fifth line, Erumande “in Heaven” contains, in the locative case, the name Eruman which could be translated “the blessed dwelling of God”. All of this points towards the willingness of Tolkien to distinguish in Quenya the physical sky and the metaphysical heaven, in accordance with modern Christian theology.

Otherwise the Quenya meaning is quite close to the English one. In particular, the word úcare used in the fifth petition refers to bad deeds, trespasses, according to the tradition arisen from the gospel of Luke - whereas other versions following the text of the gospel of Matthew use wordings like “Forgive us our debts, as we also forgive our debtors”.

The text is transcribed in tengwar or “letters of Fëanor” according to the classical mode for Quenya described by Tolkien in the Appendix E to The Lord of the Rings and used for instance by the Namarië manuscript in The Road Goes Ever On p. 65. We made use of Johan Winge’s typeface Tengwar Annatar.  Open this mode in Glaemscribe

Vinyar Tengwar: The journal of the Elvish Linguistic Fellowship, a Special Interest Group of the Mythopoeic Society. Edited by Carl F. Hostetter. Crofton (Maryland): 1988-  . ISSN 1054-7606. 🌍 The Elvish Linguistic Fellowship.

The works of John Ronald Reuel and Christopher Tolkien are under the copyright of their authors and/or rights holders, including their publishers and the Tolkien Estate.
Quotations from other authors, editors and translators mentioned in the bibliography are under the copyright of their publishers, except for those whose copyright term has ended.
Last update of the site: September 22nd 2019. Contact us: