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Lord’s Prayer (Mamao Chveno)

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John A. Graham is an American musicologist (PhD. Princeton University 2015) who specializes in the history of Georgian liturgical polyphony. His publications can be found at http://www.johnagraham.com/publications/






The Lord's Prayer is sung mostly as a recitative in Georgian Orthodox services. One of the more popular variants in the Kashveti Church where I have sung for many years is the variant transmitted at the Shemokmedi Monastery via Artem Erkomaishvili. This variant was recorded in 1966 in the Tbilisi Conservatory on cassette tape, and published in a beautiful book of transcriptions by David Shugliashvili (available on Amazon here).




მამაო ჩვენო, რომელი ხარ ცათა შინა,

წმინდა იყავნ სახელი შენი,

მოვედინ სუფება შენი,

იყავნ ნება შენი, ვითარცა ცათა შინა, ეგრეცა ქვეყანასა ზედა.

პური ჩვენი არსობისა მომეც ჩვენ დღეს

და მომიტევენ ჩვენ თანანადებნი ჩვენნი,

ვითარცა ჩვენ მივუტევებთ თანამდებთა მათ ჩვენთა,

და ნუ შემიყვანებ ჩვენ განსაცდელსა,

არამედ მიხსნენ ჩვენ ბოროტისაგან.

mamao chveno, romeli khar tsata shina,

tsminda iqavn sakheli sheni,

movedin supeva sheni,

iqavn neba sheni, vitartsa tsata shina, egretsa kveqanasa zeda.

puri chveni arsobisa momets chven dghes

da momiteven chven tananadebni chvenni,

vitartsa chven mivutevebt tanamdebta mat chventa,

da nu shemiqvaneb chven gansatsdelsa,

aramed mikhsnen chven borotisagan.

Our Father, who art in the heavens,

hallowed be Thy Name;

Thy kingdom come;

Thy will be done on earth, as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from the Evil One.




Musical variants (from oral tradition):

Shemokmedi monastery, recitative style (Artem Erkomaishvili)

Listen: audio from a recording by the nuns of the Jikheti convent

Score: Available for purchase on Amazon in Shemokmedi transcriptions book by David Shugliashvili


Shemokmedi monastery, ornamental style (Artem Erkomaishvili)

Listen: audio from Mama Daviti Church trio (Malkhaz Erkvanidze directing)

Score: Available for purchase on Amazon in "Kartuli Galoba [Georgian Chant], Vol. V" edited by Malkhaz Erkvanidze.

Also this video recording by the Shemokmedi Ensemble:




Gelati monastery variant, simple style

This recitative variant includes interesting cadences, where the bass voice rises through the scale to meet the upper voices in unison. Click the link to download a pdf score of this variant.

Gelati monastery variant #2, simple style

This variant is sung here by the Anchiskhati Church Choir (audio and video tracks).




Gelati monastery variant #3:

Performed by members of the Aghsavali Ensemble at the Kiketi Church:


Svetitskhoveli Cathedral variant

This musical variant is also sung in a recitative, but features a different final cadence type. Click the link to view/download the pdf score.

Score for Karbelashvili mamao chveno


Historic Recordings

This East Georgian variant of Mamao Chveno was recorded by the Sandro Kavsadze Choir at the Kashweti St. George Church in Tbilisi in 1907. Note the static fifth interval sung by the outer voices, with the middle voice experimenting with the harmony through simple upward/downward gestures.

Read more about historic recordings made between 1902-1914 on the following page: Archival Recordings.

Read more about the Sandro Kavsadze Choir on this post.


Modern Compositions


"Mamao Chveno", a poem by Ilia Chavchavadze written in the 19th century was set to music in the 20th century (composer unknown by me). Sung by the nuns of the Samtavro Convent.



მამაო ჩვენო

მამა, ჩვენო, რომელიცა ხარ ცათა შინა!
მუხლმოდრეკილი, ლმობიერი ვდგევარ შენ წინა:
არცა სიმდიდრის, არც დიდების თხოვნა არ მინდა,
არ მინდა, ამით შეურაცხ-ვჰყო მე ლოცვა წმინდა...
არამედ მწყურს მე განმინათლდეს ცით ჩემი სული,
შენგან ნამცნების სიყვარულით აღმენთოს გული,
რომ მტერთათვისაც, რომელთ თუნდა გულს ლახვარი მკრან, გთხოვდე: ”შეუნდე, - არ იციან, ღმერთო, რას იქმან!”



Our Father

Our father, who are in heaven,
I am kneeling in front of you,
I don't ask for riches and glory,
I don't want to insult holy prayer with this.
I want my soul to be lightened from the sky,
I want my heart to be filled with your heavenly love,
So that for my enemies, who may wound my heart with a spear,
I have been begging - "Forgive them Lord, they know not what they do!"



Video playlist of the same:





Patriarch's "Mamao Chveno"

The popular composition by his Holiness, Patriarch Ilia II of All Georgia (arranged by Zviad Bolkvadze in the 1990s). Playlist of various interpretations:





Sung by Georgian-Assyrians (Orthodox Christian) in the Syrian language:




20th century composition (Givi Munjishvili):



20th century Solo-Choral:


Pop Arrangement (Nikoloz Tsvima):


Pop Arrangement (Band Korali):


World Fusion

St. Ephraim choir sings the Ilia Chavchavadze text arrangement, with collaboration by sitar player Nishat Khan:





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