The current translation has been used since 1966, after the modernising Second Vatican Council ushered in the use of the vernacular instead of Latin in Catholic masses around the world.

It was first rendered in Greek by the apostles Matthew and Luke, who were themselves translating the words of Jesus speaking in his native Aramaic.

"In itself the translation wasn't wrong, but the interpretation was ambiguous," said Monsignor Guy de Kerimel, the French Catholic Church's chief liturgist.

The new version has also been adopted by France's much smaller Protestant Church.

The Lord's Prayer is one of the few that most Christian faithful know by heart.

"There's going to be some mumbling for a while" as worshippers adjust to the new words, Kerimel said.

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