Hallowed Be Thy Name

“Hallowed Be Thy Name” – circa 1910

This beautiful card was printed in Europe (note the variety of languages on the reverse) sometime around 1910.

Illustrating a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer, the scene in some ways resembles the “The Angelus” of Millet.

The French masterpiece portrays the reverent pause of peasant workers in the fields for the repetition of the thrice-daily prayer commemorating the Incarnation.

The postcard illustration depicts the faithful of a rural area heading toward the parish church.

In the early 20th century, there were many series of postcard illustrations representing phrases of the Lord’s Prayer. 

I am very close to having an illustration for each phrase, but the illustrations are not from the same series (alas).

The holiness of the name of God is a theme of the Judeo- Christian tradition; from the Ten Commandments and the Levitical proscriptions to the Gospel command to “swear not at all” (neither by the name of God, nor of heaven), the faithful are admonished to keep sacred the name of God.

In our clamorous age, in which many proclaim contradictory and unholy messages in the name of God, it is good to recall that the name of God is not to be used for human purposes.

(Here endeth the sermon for this Sunday,)

This postcard was addressed to Mr. C.(?) Zimmerman of Spring Grove, Lancaster County, PA.

It was prepared by Mrs. H.K.Ludwig, but not mailed.

The address baffled me – if not for the “Lancaster Co” in the address, I would have assumed it was destined for the iron and paper manufacturing town in York County.

A search of historical post offices reveals that there was a Spring Grove post office in Lancaster County from 1828-1895.

I am confident that this postcard was printed after 1895, so the place name must have survived the loss of the post office.

If the postcard had been mailed, there might be a postmark to show where the card was delivered – and that would confirm a later name of our mysterious location.

In Lancaster County, I find a cluster of businesses with the name “Spring Grove”, so I suspect that the community was located in East Lampeter or Paradise Township.


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