Does "world without end" mean there will be no end of the world?


Full Question

The Glory Be and some prayers of the Liturgy of the Hours use the phrase "world without end." I presume this refers to the coming of a new heaven and new earth. Is it incorrect therefore to refer to the "end of the world"?

Answer

"World without end" is an idiom that means "forever" and is not meant to be taken literally. In Latin, the phrase saecula saeculorum means "ages of ages" (i.e., forever). In the current edition of the Liturgy of the Hours, it is translated "and will be for ages unending."


Fr. Vincent Serpa O.P.