What's the short table prayer Abba "Leiber oder Lieper Father / Vater Amen mean ? Is this somewhat correct? Can someone spell it for me please?

My great Opa came from Dessau area if that helps?


3 Answers 3


"Abba, lieber Vater" is a quote from the Christian Bible (Galatians 4, 6) in the German translation by Martin Luther. "Abba" is the original untranslated Hebrew word for "father", while "lieber Vater" is the translation for it given by Paul in Greek and translated to German by Luther (freely adding the "lieber".)

In the King James Bible the entire passage is reading: "And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." So Paul actually advises the usage of that exclamation as a minimalist prayer.

Your great grandfather probably followed that advice, finishing with "Amen" as the traditional conclusion of a prayer.


'Lieber Vater' means dear father; it is quite idiomatic in German referring to God in a prayer context.

Not sure though what exactly the prayer might be in its entirety, if there are more words. The shortest of a similar kind which comes to mind is like

Segne, Vater, diese Speise, uns zur Kraft und Dir zum Preise. Amen.

Yet as with (nearly) any prayer, there is no fixed form strictly necessary.


"Lieber Vater" (dear father) is the opening address of the prayer, "Amen" is the formula that ends a prayer. Usually these kinds of prayers have the form of opening, message, and end, for example: "Dear Father, thank you / please .... Amen." If your grandfather only said "Lieber Vater, Amen", then he left out the message body of the prayer itself, i.e. what he wanted to say to or ask of God. Maybe he used such a short form, because he felt that the message was always the same (e.g. "thank you for our food") and therefore need not be stated explicitly, but that is something you would have to ask him or, if he is no longer alive, his wife or children, who may have witnessed older variants of the prayer he used to say, giving you more information on its original form, development to its short form, and meaning.

I have no idea, what "Abba" might mean. It is not a German word. If it is "aber" (but), then it doesn't make sense where you report it ("But dear father ...").

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.