The Hans Christian Andersen Center

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The motif Prayer is a part of: Ritual


Faith, speech, words, ritual

Description of this motif:

Prayers in a religious sense of the word, are adressed to one or more gods, divine or sacred persons in anticipation of help, blessings or a good relationship.

There are prescribed prayers, e.g. the Lord's Prayer and Ave Maria, and there are prayers, which are spontaneous and individual. Both kinds are present in Andersen's tales.

Example 1:

"God bless our neighbor for all that she gave us," the widow said. "This good candle will burn far into the night."

Example 2:

The table was spread and the potatoes were eaten. How good they tasted! It was a real feast. There was an apple for everyone, and the smallest child said grace:

"Now thanks, dear Lord, I give to Thee
That Thou again hast filled me. Amen."

"And didn't I say it nicely?" the little girl asked.

"Don't say such things," her mother told her. "Just thank the good Lord for filling you up."

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