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General Forums => Christian News => Topic started by: GTAsoldier on September 20, 2012, 05:20:37 PM

Title: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: GTAsoldier on September 20, 2012, 05:20:37 PM
A fantastic read on "Journey to Orthodoxy":

http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/09/18/why-americans-need-an-all-english-liturgy/

Excerpt:
Quote
One of the major obstacles to the twenty first century becoming the Orthodox century is the language barrier.  In many American Orthodox parishes the Sunday Liturgy is either in a foreign language or a mixture of English and non-English.  Orthodox parishes with an all-English Liturgy tend to be in the minority.  This blog posting addresses why we need all-English worship services, what can be done about the present problem of people exiting through the backdoor, and how we can help make the twenty first century the Orthodox century.

- Jade
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: vamrat on September 20, 2012, 05:27:22 PM
Really?  I think there are plenty of societal factor that hit Christianity hard across the board that have a much larger impact on why the 21st Century is not the Orthodox Century that are far more pressing than whether we say Gospodi Pomiluy or Lord Have Mercy.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 20, 2012, 06:04:52 PM
I want to print that article out and frame it
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 20, 2012, 08:41:54 PM
all american liturgy?
what about all the ethnic orthodox who attend church, how would they feel abt it?
My church is 1/2 & 1/2 ish, everyone is happy.....well except my mother.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 20, 2012, 08:45:40 PM
wanted to also say; in another church further of a drive away from me (they are a larger parish3-4X larger) and have 2 liturgys on sunday. the first one is in Greek and the second is in English.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 20, 2012, 10:07:09 PM
all american liturgy?
what about all the ethnic orthodox who attend church, how would they feel abt it?
My church is 1/2 & 1/2 ish, everyone is happy.....well except my mother.

The article said that ethnic parishes should not be done away with and should be respected.  But for Orthodoxy to grow, it needs to be in the local culture.  And I agree, the Orthodox parish that is thriving in our area is the OCA parish and it has already produced 2 or 3 daughter parishes from the one parish 25 years ago that started with only one family.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 20, 2012, 11:52:51 PM
OK i admit i did not read the entire article, read less then 1/2 and got turned off by it. I got the impression that the whole thing was going to be complaining on why we should stop diff languages in church, the usual new converts thinking they know better then the church and wanting to change the church. seems like most of the threads here are of that nature.

what do you think abt what i said: 2 liturgy's, one at 8am in diff language and one at 10am in English- dnt think you can complain abt that? only English speaking people get the liturgy in English, plus you can get the experience of belonging to an ethnic parish, which i think is important!!

or do you think its better to have a diff church for yourselves? if yes, i don't think its a good idea. you will miss out on things you did not know even existed. Orthodoxy is deep, very deep, don't assume you know everything. im cradal Orthodox and the more people i speak to the more i realise i dont know anything.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 20, 2012, 11:56:58 PM
OK i admit i did not read the entire article, read less then 1/2 and got turned off by it. I got the impression that the whole thing was going to be complaining on why we should stop diff languages in church, the usual new converts thinking they know better then the church and wanting to change the church. seems like most of the threads here are of that nature.

what do you think abt what i said: 2 liturgy's, one at 8am in diff language and one at 10am in English- dnt think you can complain abt that? only English speaking people get the liturgy in English, plus you can get the experience of belonging to an ethnic parish, which i think is important!!

or do you think its better to have a diff church for yourselves? if yes, i don't think its a good idea. you will miss out on things you did not know even existed. Orthodoxy is deep, very deep, don't assume you know everything. im cradal Orthodox and the more people i speak to the more i realise i dont know anything.


I already belong to a parish like that, one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to.  I mean, if we are going to attract converts do we also expect them to wake up so early on Sunday when most other Churches start their services later?  Plus, at least in my case, the authentic spirituality is still not there.  We really need to be separate, on our own.  As the article said, the faith is always brought to the different cultures.  Think Sts. Cyril and Methodius.  We who do not belong to the ethnicity of the parish need to be able to feel comfortable and grow in the faith without the pressure to absorb the culture.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 12:31:34 AM
Ok, i just wrote 20 min worth of responces to you post, in a hevily sarcastic tone. I trying to be less conforntational in my life...i have a way of pissing people off. so i deleted everything i wrote and just left this.

YOU SAID: "I already belong to a parish like that, one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to.  I mean, if we are going to attract converts do we also expect them to wake up so early on Sunday when most other Churches start their services later? "

are you telling me if church was at 5:45a.m. you would not go?


YOU SAID: "Plus, at least in my case, the authentic spirituality is still not there."

bring you own spirituality (BYOS)- no one can give it to you- we just set the stage for you.

I dont think its possible to absorb the complete faith without absorbing the culture also.


I gota say: Orthodoxy is not abt you------------its abt God.

I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on September 21, 2012, 12:41:15 AM
OK i admit i did not read the entire article, read less then 1/2 and got turned off by it. I got the impression that the whole thing was going to be complaining on why we should stop diff languages in church, the usual new converts thinking they know better then the church and wanting to change the church. seems like most of the threads here are of that nature.

I know, right? 'Cos such a high proportion of so-called "cradle" Orthodox Christians are big Church-attenders.

Damnable konvertsy.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: celticfan1888 on September 21, 2012, 12:50:29 AM
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Asteriktos on September 21, 2012, 12:54:36 AM
Well which is it, do you dislike them or do you think they're winning?  ???
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 12:55:43 AM
Ok, i just wrote 20 min worth of responces to you post, in a hevily sarcastic tone. I trying to be less conforntational in my life...i have a way of pissing people off. so i deleted everything i wrote and just left this.

YOU SAID: "I already belong to a parish like that, one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to.  I mean, if we are going to attract converts do we also expect them to wake up so early on Sunday when most other Churches start their services later? "

are you telling me if church was at 5:45a.m. you would not go?

I probably would, but they don't put up a big building and spend thousand of dollars to operate it in a year just for me.  And the Church is not just for me.

YOU SAID: "Plus, at least in my case, the authentic spirituality is still not there."

bring you own spirituality (BYOS)- no one can give it to you- we just set the stage for you.

That is my problem, no one is setting it up for me.  At least where I am.  Mind you, my statements are not general but more from my own experience. I don't know what is out there in other cities, but at least where I live this is the scenario.

I dont think its possible to absorb the complete faith without absorbing the culture also.

So why are the Slavs still Slavs?  Why aren't they Greek?  If culture is attached to the faith, then we should all be Jewish Christians today.

I gota say: Orthodoxy is not abt you------------its abt God.

I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

That comment swings both ways.  Why enforce culture that is not the culture of the land?  It's not about being Greek or Ukrainian or Russian, it is about God.  In fact, a very good Ukrainian Orthodox man told me that.  He went to the OCA instead of the UOC.  He said that the faith should be focused on God, not Ukraine or Russia or whatever.  And he said he refuses to attend ethnic parishes any longer.  And this is a Ukrainian man!

And as I said above, change a 2000 year old faith? There were no Greeks or Ukrainians or Russians at the beginning of the faith. It was only Jews. They changed the faith for Greeks, Slavs, Syriacs, etc.  Why are you being stubborn where the Apostles were not?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Alpo on September 21, 2012, 02:40:05 AM
What's with "ethnic parish"? "American" is not an ethnicity? Would American parish with all-English services crowded with American Black people be considered as an ethnic parish?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 21, 2012, 02:48:18 AM
American, unless you're talking about Native Americans of various tribes (who might not have the same perspective on being "Americans" or English-speakers, after all), is not an ethnicity, no.

I have some issues with the thinking behind this article, but on the positive, anything that would better integrate the Orthodox faith into American society is good. It is not good to remain separate from the people you'd like to bring to the faith, but thankfully, as hinted at in the article, the linguistic makeup of any particular parish will generally change by the second American-born generation. That's just a natural consequence of language attrition patterns in the USA, but it works out in favor of evangelization and growth.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Alpo on September 21, 2012, 02:58:46 AM
American, unless you're talking about Native Americans of various tribes (who might not have the same perspective on being "Americans" or English-speakers, after all), is not an ethnicity, no.

Well I can understand that but please do not make an assumption that other kind of nationalities are. Finland for one is not an ethnic concept and I'm not exactly confident that other European nationalities are either. :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 21, 2012, 03:05:11 AM
???

I'm confused. Did I make that assumption in my reply? I'm the closest thing to a European in my parish, and I'm not much of an ethnicity, myself. :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Alpo on September 21, 2012, 03:18:34 AM
???

I'm confused. Did I make that assumption in my reply? I'm the closest thing to a European in my parish, and I'm not much of an ethnicity, myself. :)

Sorry, I should have been more clear. I wasn't speaking to you specifically but to all of the people in here.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on September 21, 2012, 05:51:46 AM
Americans can have an all English liturgy. Come on down to my western rite parish :)

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 21, 2012, 08:30:11 AM
What's with "ethnic parish"? "American" is not an ethnicity? Would American parish with all-English services crowded with American Black people be considered as an ethnic parish?

America is not about the ethnicity of her citizens but about ideology--the lofty principles embodied in her foundational documents. It may be that people of a particular ethnicity (or race as in your example) attend a particular church. I do not think that such a grouping would be considered normative and certainly not in line with the tenets of Christianity, even though it would be represented as Christianity+ as an attempt to justify it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on September 21, 2012, 08:49:16 AM
What's so bad about liturgical languages? It adds to the mystery. AFAIK in Greece they still use Koinè in the liturgy, which is almost unintelligible to the average Greek.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 21, 2012, 08:57:59 AM
What's so bad about liturgical languages? It adds to the mystery. AFAIK in Greece they still use Koinè in the liturgy, which is almost unintelligible to the average Greek.
It's alright every once in a while but to get the full benefit of the Liturgy, you need to understand the truths being spoken.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Αριστοκλής on September 21, 2012, 09:02:32 AM
What's so bad about liturgical languages? It adds to the mystery. AFAIK in Greece they still use Koinè in the liturgy, which is almost unintelligible to the average Greek.

I keep reading this but just don't buy it. Every Hellene is schooled in Homeric and Attic Greek which means Koine should be readily understandable. Moreover, even here, a period of time following the liturgy with a side by side Greek-English printed source eventually results in one knowing exactly what is being said in Greek. (I know I studied, and still do, Homeric, Attic,and Koine and so it might not come as easy for some, but I still think this is true.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on September 21, 2012, 09:12:22 AM
What's so bad about liturgical languages? It adds to the mystery. AFAIK in Greece they still use Koinè in the liturgy, which is almost unintelligible to the average Greek.

I keep reading this but just don't buy it. Every Hellene is schooled in Homeric and Attic Greek which means Koine should be readily understandable.

I have been schooled (well, still being schooled) in Attic and Homeric Greek, but I doubt I could keep up with that fast a pace.

Moreover, even here, a period of time following the liturgy with a side by side Greek-English printed source eventually results in one knowing exactly what is being said in Greek.

Exactly, so what's the problem with liturgical languages again?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 21, 2012, 09:17:56 AM
Exactly, so what's the problem with liturgical languages again?

They create false dichotomy between the Church and everyday life.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on September 21, 2012, 09:22:37 AM
Exactly, so what's the problem with liturgical languages again?

They create false dichotomy between the Church and everyday life.

You have a point there.

I wonder, when the Jews spoke Aramaic in the time before Christ was the liturgy in the temple in Aramaic or did they retain Hebrew as liturgical language? And in Poland do they use Polish or Old Slavonic in the liturgy?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Monk Vasyl on September 21, 2012, 09:24:10 AM
This all depends on the makeup of the parish.  If all the members are American born, English should be the language, but if there is a good mix of both, then I favor a bilingual Divine Liturgy.  We also have to remember, we may have an influx of new immigrants, so they should be able to hear the Liturgy in their native tongue.  In our UOCUSA parish we use about 50/50.  In fact, there are some parts that both the priest and I do in both languages, as this will help both groups to learn a new language.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on September 21, 2012, 11:05:23 AM
This all depends on the makeup of the parish.  If all the members are American born, English should be the language, but if there is a good mix of both, then I favor a bilingual Divine Liturgy.  We also have to remember, we may have an influx of new immigrants, so they should be able to hear the Liturgy in their native tongue.  In our UOCUSA parish we use about 50/50.  In fact, there are some parts that both the priest and I do in both languages, as this will help both groups to learn a new language.
It also depends on what you want the makeup of the parish to be. If you want the parish to focus on its ministry to new immigrants (a necessary ministry, I would agree) then the use of that language is appropriate. However, if you want the parish to focus on its ministry to the children and grandchildren of those immigrants - and to proclaim the Gospel to the community at large - then the use of English ought to be your choice. Please understand that I do not see the two as being mutually exclusive. How that may play out in a parish will differ depending on local circumstances. For example, you may want to have most services in English with a few in the other language; or occasionally instead of, or perhaps in addition to English. Or you may have bilingual services. But what do you mean by that? Some parts in English only, some in other language only? Or by repeating most things? And if the former, will you switch the two parts on a regular basis so no one is left out?

These are just questions. I have the luxury of being in a mission parish that is English-speaking with only an occasional nod to Arabic, and even less to Greek. In fact, those who speak those languages are insistent that we use English. I guess that's why we feel OK with an occasional use of their language, which I know they appreciate though not likely to admit it  ;).

I might challenge you though on your statement that a new language will be learned in our services. Most people will simply tune out the other language. They may pick up the occasional phrase, or may learn a few brief hymns and prayers, but that's about it. Conversational ability won't develop. Besides, from what I read in this forum, liturgical Greek, certainly Old Slavonic, perhaps others, have little practical use outside the liturgical services. How many congregations speak Old Slavonic at coffee hour or in the business meetings? What I read once somewhere - probably on this forum - was that the language used in your parish council meetings should be the language used in the Divine Liturgy.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Iconodule on September 21, 2012, 11:14:57 AM
What's so bad about liturgical languages? It adds to the mystery.

Is such "mystery" (read: cluelessness) the purpose of our worship?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 21, 2012, 11:16:17 AM
I wonder, when the Jews spoke Aramaic in the time before Christ was the liturgy in the temple in Aramaic or did they retain Hebrew as liturgical language? And in Poland do they use Polish or Old Slavonic in the liturgy?

Polish in 4 places (in 2 of them there are also Liturgies in CS served too), Ukrainian in a few, rest (>200) in CS.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Iconodule on September 21, 2012, 11:17:02 AM
Putting the Church's services in the vernacular does not somehow debase it to the language of the street. The language of our prayers is inherently otherworldly, regardless of the type of language used to translate it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 01:55:02 PM
i can settle the language problem.
if its a Russian parish--liturgy will be in Russian.
if its a Greek parish---litturgy in Greek.
so on and so forth.

Now arrive all the converts:
as the percentage changes in the Church converts vs cradle, so does the liturgy language. until it become 50-50.
 
I'm my parish when i first moved there the priest asked me, while handing out the Adideron what i prefered English or Greek, everyone turned around to see what i was going to say (i think its become an issue in my parish also). i said i don't care either way is fine for me. NO ONE liked my answer, everyone had a sad or annoyed face, it was funny.

(btw:i don't hate converts! i jst wish they would just go with the flow more as opposed to questioning everything and trying to change things. especially the brand new converts just crismated--all of a sudden demand things be different?)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 02:08:55 PM
i can settle the language problem.
if its a Russian parish--liturgy will be in Russian.
if its a Greek parish---litturgy in Greek.
so on and so forth.

Now arrive all the converts:
as the percentage changes in the Church converts vs cradle, so does the liturgy language. until it become 50-50.
 
I'm my parish when i first moved there the priest asked me, while handing out the Adideron what i prefered English or Greek, everyone turned around to see what i was going to say (i think its become an issue in my parish also). i said i don't care either way is fine for me. NO ONE liked my answer, everyone had a sad or annoyed face, it was funny.

(btw:i don't hate converts! i jst wish they would just go with the flow more as opposed to questioning everything and trying to change things. especially the brand new converts just crismated--all of a sudden demand things be different?)


I hope you understand, people want the faith to be theirs as much as you want it to be yours.  A foreign culture mixed with a faith is really confusing to us interlopers.  And it is furstrating if there are more people at peroggy making days than there are for Vespers or Great Feast Liturgies on a weekday.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 21, 2012, 02:10:55 PM
i can settle the language problem.
if its a Russian parish--liturgy will be in Russian.
if its a Greek parish---litturgy in Greek.
so on and so forth.

Liturgy in Russian? AFAIK there are no more than 3 places with such thing.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 02:23:50 PM
i can settle the language problem.
if its a Russian parish--liturgy will be in Russian.
if its a Greek parish---litturgy in Greek.
so on and so forth.

Now arrive all the converts:
as the percentage changes in the Church converts vs cradle, so does the liturgy language. until it become 50-50.
 
I'm my parish when i first moved there the priest asked me, while handing out the Adideron what i prefered English or Greek, everyone turned around to see what i was going to say (i think its become an issue in my parish also). i said i don't care either way is fine for me. NO ONE liked my answer, everyone had a sad or annoyed face, it was funny.

(btw:i don't hate converts! i jst wish they would just go with the flow more as opposed to questioning everything and trying to change things. especially the brand new converts just crismated--all of a sudden demand things be different?)


I hope you understand, people want the faith to be theirs as much as you want it to be yours.  A foreign culture mixed with a faith is really confusing to us interlopers.  And it is furstrating if there are more people at peroggy making days than there are for Vespers or Great Feast Liturgies on a weekday.

i would not use as harsh a term as "interlopers"!
(interloper=A person who becomes involved in a place or situation where they are not wanted or are considered not to belong)
at least in my parish, converts are wanted and treated very nicely. so im thinking is it possible where you are, its not like my parish? are you not treated as friends, as part of the congragation, or is it just that you feal your not a part of them?

And: the faith is yours-and mine- it cant be taken away form you or me!
re: the perrogie comment: i thnk you have some sort of an issue (founded or not, i dont know) with the natinalityof your parish, thats a question?
------------
quick story (fwiw): for a bunch or years i was budhhist. being a budhist encompasess the asian culture. i dont think you can be a buddhist and not be emmerged and a part of the culture! i feel the same woth Orthodoxy, its a package deal. you will be missing out on alot if you try to seperate the culture from the religion.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TristanCross on September 21, 2012, 02:25:10 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 02:27:15 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

That is the problem I think.  It is immigrants who put up churches in North America, not missionaries.  So the focus was always ethnicity and culture, not evangelizing the "natives".
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TristanCross on September 21, 2012, 02:28:26 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

That is the problem I think.  It is immigrants who put up churches in North America, not missionaries.  So the focus was always ethnicity and culture, not evangelizing the "natives".

That's the problem. We are no longer a country of immigrants. We've been here generations and now have our own culture and people.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 02:38:26 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

Hee hee, funny............not realy:
 
BUT the greeks or russians or bulgarians did not move into (immigrate) the afore mentioned countries and establish Orthodoxy. the country accepted Orthodoxy so it was in the home lands language.
 
In america the greeks russians...immigrated into the usa and with them they brought there religion and now you want to change it as if it is your own. you should thank your russian greek bulgarian brotheres for enlightening you!
It  would have been diffrent if you had gone to russia or greece and lerned abt Orthodoxy there and brough tit back to the usa....then you could have orthodoxy in english.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 02:39:03 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

That is the problem I think.  It is immigrants who put up churches in North America, not missionaries.  So the focus was always ethnicity and culture, not evangelizing the "natives".

You see!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 21, 2012, 02:39:45 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

Liturgy in Russia is in Church Slavonic (with 1-3 exceptions) not understood by Russians. Liturgy in Greece is in Koine not understood by modern Greeks.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 02:46:56 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

Hee hee, funny............not realy:
 
BUT the greeks or russians or bulgarians did not move into (immigrate) the afore mentioned countries and establish Orthodoxy. the country accepted Orthodoxy so it was in the home lands language.
 
In america the greeks russians...immigrated into the usa and with them they brought there religion and now you want to change it as if it is your own. you should thank your russian greek bulgarian brotheres for enlightening you!
It  would have been diffrent if you had gone to russia or greece and lerned abt Orthodoxy there and brough tit back to the usa....then you could have orthodoxy in english.

Thank you Greeks and Russians for bringing your religion to us!  Now can we please have it in English! ;)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TristanCross on September 21, 2012, 02:54:19 PM
I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians. Are we the Universal Church or ethnic gatherings?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 02:56:21 PM
In Russia, the Liturgy is in Russian. Why? Because Russians speak Russian.

In Greece, the Liturgy is in Greek. Why? Because Greeks speak Greek.

In Bulgaria, the Liturgy is in Bulgarian. Why? Because Bulgarians speak Bulgarian.

In America, England, and Australia, the Liturgy is in many languages (primarily Greek or Russian). Why? I don't know. The people of these lands don't speak those languages. Maybe it's the fact that Russians and Greeks think they are of a superior race. Sorry, but it's annoying how Russian Christians talk about Russia as if Russia is the new Israel. The truth is: there's nothing special about Russia...and I'm under ROCOR! Yet I also believe that the the OCA has more of a right to claim to be the American Orthodox Church than any other church (when missionaries came to Bulgaria, they did not institute the Russian Church of Bulgaria or the Greek Church of Bulgaria. No. They made the Bulgarian Church.)

Hee hee, funny............not realy:
 
BUT the greeks or russians or bulgarians did not move into (immigrate) the afore mentioned countries and establish Orthodoxy. the country accepted Orthodoxy so it was in the home lands language.
 
In america the greeks russians...immigrated into the usa and with them they brought there religion and now you want to change it as if it is your own. you should thank your russian greek bulgarian brotheres for enlightening you!
It  would have been diffrent if you had gone to russia or greece and lerned abt Orthodoxy there and brough tit back to the usa....then you could have orthodoxy in english.

Thank you Greeks and Russians for bringing your religion to us!  Now can we please have it in English! ;)

Ok, since you put it that way, yes you may.
just remember 10% go to the Greek and Russian of the top.
oh and of cours the franchise fee, is upfront.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 02:57:49 PM
I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians. Are we the Universal Church or ethnic gatherings?

That is exactly what im trying to say!       you HATE NATINALISTS!  I kew it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 21, 2012, 03:03:25 PM
At my parish we have about 80% English to 20% Coptic and Arabic. It seems like most people are happy about this. I know I am. It is much more than I could have hoped for, being the only native English-speaker in the parish, and some of our people don't really speak English. But then the Copts like to reach out to English-speakers so much that sometimes they even have liturgy in English in Egypt! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aVFgnHHOWHc) :)

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: celticfan1888 on September 21, 2012, 03:04:01 PM
Well which is it, do you dislike them or do you think they're winning?  ???

I dislike them, AND I think they are Whining (he meant whining). lol
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 03:08:26 PM
Well which is it, do you dislike them or do you think they're winning?  ???

I dislike them, AND I think they are Whining (he meant whining). lol

Oh thanks, i saw that but did not want to respond, embarrassing.

thanks for bringing it up though :(
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 03:10:32 PM
and yea i think they are "whining" and i dislike the whining, no them really, although some of them. no just kidding.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 03:28:53 PM
Ok, since you put it that way, yes you may.
just remember 10% go to the Greek and Russian of the top.
oh and of cours the franchise fee, is upfront.

No need, we'll just take it for free.  According to Copyright Laws, anything before 1923 is public domain.  So the writings of the Fathers and the Liturgies themselves are public domain ;)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TristanCross on September 21, 2012, 03:33:44 PM
and yea i think they are "whining" and i dislike the whining, no them really, although some of them. no just kidding.

I see more posts from you in this thread than anyone else. Maybe you are the one whining...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 04:02:00 PM
Ok, since you put it that way, yes you may.
just remember 10% go to the Greek and Russian of the top.
oh and of cours the franchise fee, is upfront.

No need, we'll just take it for free.  According to Copyright Laws, anything before 1923 is public domain.  So the writings of the Fathers and the Liturgies themselves are public domain ;)

Thats another thing we americans do, is assume everything is abt us. if im not mistaken the bible was not written in the usa. So US copyright law does not apply.
But do you see what i men, we usa see things only from our POV. that pisses people off. there is a humungus world out there and usa is only a part of it.
i how yo see what im saying.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 21, 2012, 04:04:49 PM
and yea i think they are "whining" and i dislike the whining, no them really, although some of them. no just kidding.

I see more posts from you in this thread than anyone else. Maybe you are the one whining...

No im not whining.

whining is:
why i gota go to church at 8am and they gota go 10am.
why do i have to learn anotheres customs when mine is the best.
why do i have to listen to it in you r language when i speek english.

thats what whining (anyway u spell it) is my firend!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 04:26:43 PM
Thats another thing we americans do, is assume everything is abt us. if im not mistaken the bible was not written in the usa. So US copyright law does not apply.
But do you see what i men, we usa see things only from our POV. that pisses people off. there is a humungus world out there and usa is only a part of it.
i how yo see what im saying.


I'm not American, FYI.  I don't even live in America ;)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 21, 2012, 04:54:02 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

OK i admit i did not read the entire article, read less then 1/2 and got turned off by it. I got the impression that the whole thing was going to be complaining on why we should stop diff languages in church, the usual new converts thinking they know better then the church and wanting to change the church. seems like most of the threads here are of that nature.



I feel the same way.  I've always been turned off by the idea that if we just do everything in English catering to Americans than the Church will grow bigger than the Catholics and we'll bring back the Golden Age.  It is a bunch of malarkey yo!!  Further it stinks of that uniquely American idea of "American individualism" which is a euphemism for the feeling most Americans tend to have that Americanism is the best way to live, the only way to live, and that all other cultures and lifestyles are useless in comparison to the great America.  It is selfish, and further I think very naive.  From my experience in Orthodox parishes with English liturgies, it has seemed to have ZERO impact in keeping youth and bringing in converts compared to other Orthodox parishes which are less Anglicized.  My own two-cents as a native English speaker in an ethnic parish where English is perhaps the third language at best, is that language is not a barrier, effort and involvement is!  Either you put the effort in  bringing the Church into your life, or you don't, but just changing the language around doesn't inherently make folks get more involved. If anything, I fear it has the opposite effect, by changing the Church around to cater to the needs of a few folks, it doesn't change the folks.  The Church changes us, we don't change the Church.  If we are not letting the Church push is to grow, mature, and evolve, then we never will.  Language is not inherently a barrier to this.  Further, in having to navigate two cultural worlds, through several languages, you have to increase your effort all the more by the challenge.  In this way, I feel ethnic parishes actually have MORE to offer Americans culturally speaking to involve them in the Church, not less.  English I feel can actually hurt us in this regard, because so many folks think that if we just change the language, we can stand back and watch the Church grow.  That will never happen, the Church will only grow by our efforts combined in synergy with God's Grace.  If we match God's efforts, we can overcome ANY barrier, linguistic, cultural, or otherwise.

For my part, in the Ethiopian Church our liturgy has been in Ge'ez for a thousand years at least, a language with no Ethiopians themselves speak, so our Tradition has ALWAYS been for folks to learn to sing and understand the Liturgy in its original language, whatever Ethiopian language or dialect they happen to speak. Perhaps this is a uniquely African experience where so many folks are fluent in five or six languages just to catch a local bus, so folks are culturally more flexible and willing to learn.  However, from my experience, learning Ge'ez has  only enhanced the Liturgy, not detracted.  Having the Liturgy in a different language to me always seemed to enhance the mystifying and bewildering aspects, drawing me deeper inside in reflective prayer to contemplate and experience the Holy Spirit Himself through the Service, and not to get too caught up in the intellectual absorption.  After all, we are Orthodox, not Scholastic like the Latins :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 05:13:32 PM
After all, we are Orthodox, not Scholastic like the Latins :)

And yet...

Having the Liturgy in a different language to me always seemed to enhance the mystifying and bewildering aspects, drawing me deeper inside in reflective prayer to contemplate and experience the Holy Spirit Himself through the Service, and not to get too caught up in the intellectual absorption.

Same line by Traditional Catholics who want Latin only Mass


As the article says, having to learn another language on top of having to learn the faith is intellectualizing it.  It is hard enough to learn and fully understand the teachings, and we have to also absorb another culture and language to do that?  St. Paul disagrees with that notion, and so does Sts. Cyril and Methodius.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 21, 2012, 05:37:19 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

After all, we are Orthodox, not Scholastic like the Latins :)

And yet...

Having the Liturgy in a different language to me always seemed to enhance the mystifying and bewildering aspects, drawing me deeper inside in reflective prayer to contemplate and experience the Holy Spirit Himself through the Service, and not to get too caught up in the intellectual absorption.

Same line by Traditional Catholics who want Latin only Mass


As the article says, having to learn another language on top of having to learn the faith is intellectualizing it.  It is hard enough to learn and fully understand the teachings, and we have to also absorb another culture and language to do that?  St. Paul disagrees with that notion, and so does Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

I would disagree because language itself is not an intellectual matter, it is cultural, spiritual, and communicative. It transcends the intellect and gives us a vehicle to better express our thoughts and feelings.  In regards to prayer, learning a new language and tone to sing prayers gives this same experience.  At the least, I can say that has been my own and many others in the Ethiopian experience of the Ge'ez Liturgy.  To be sure, we have Amharic in the Liturgy for the petitions and spoken prayers, however, again, Amharic is not the language of all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.  I can only speak from our own jurisdiction's experience, however again, our model has been to preserve a single Liturgical language as a lingua franca to help navigate the complex linguistic world of Africa's Horn where there are over 200 regional languages and dialects spoken in Ethiopia alone!  Essentially, the Catholics were right on this in that inevitably in regards to language you have to pick one and stick it out to have a Universal Church. What would the Ethiopians do if from parish to parish some had the Liturgy in Tigranya, some in Amharic, some in Oromoya let alone a hundred other dialects? What would Paul have exactly to say about that in the context of 1 Corinthians 14:23-28?

 

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 21, 2012, 05:49:13 PM
I don't know why we're arguing about this. The United States is unique because it doesn't have an official language, yet its de facto national language is also the (current) world language, and will be so for the foreseeable future. So native-born English speakers like me have had it easy for all of our lives, and when we're confronted with people who are here and yet not speaking English natively, we may be offended, like such-and-such people just don't want to be "American" (Being American = speaking English, preferably without an accent). I think that's a ridiculous way of looking at things. If the point is to stop nationalism and its ugly stepchild phyletism in the Church (a worthy goal), then is it better to make an "American Orthodox Church" that is by default English, or to recognize that this model will not work for America, because we are a naturally multilingual society, being composed of a million different groups already? That is our natural state, not this imposed English upon everybody, which is the result of the kind of identity politics that, so the argument goes, are causing the problem for the Church in the first place. So if the point is for everyone to pray in a language he understands and is comfortable with, wouldn't the Egyptian-American pray in Arabic, and the Russian-American (if he still knows his language) in Russian, and the Greek-American in Greek, and the Maori-American in Maori, etc.? I mean, where I live if we were to follow the "this is what the people speak" model, we would have the liturgy about half in English, about half in Spanish, and about 5% in Navajo (and fractions of fractions of a percent in other Native languages). Is this feasible, with our Egyptian-born priests who have already taken on the job of learning another language for the liturgy, and for their daily lives in adapting to this country? I think what the people go through as immigrants to a new culture is greatly under-appreciated in the rush to demand that everything be "our" way, because after all "they" are in "our" country now. I thought there was no "us" and "them" in Christianity? I thought that was the whole problem with this issue?

So, yeah, I don't get it. I thank God that we have such wonderful priests as we have, who do 80% of the liturgy in English, and give me the sacraments in English, and teach me and guide me in English. Really, I think it's wonderful and I wish everyone had that experience. I'm just saying that in turn, when it comes time for me to do my responses in Arabic or Coptic (which is only a little bit of the time, and are generally repetitions of things we've already said in English, and are available in translations at all times, so there's no excuse of "I don't know what's going on", unless you're illiterate), I do them as best as I can, just like the priests and the deacons and literally everyone who isn't me at my church does them in English the majority of the time.

I think this kind of give and take is necessary if you're going to deal with the reality that Egyptians don't magically become monolingual Euro-Americans every time a white person comes to visit. And, besides, there is also the ugly stereotype underlying all this that Americans can't or don't want to learn about other cultures, that they don't know other languages, that they're not adaptable, etc. That's all garbage. I grew up speaking two languages and while not everyone is so lucky, many people I've talked to have said that they wish they had been. Well, here's one way to practice, but some people want to say that's wrong. Really...is it as wrong as forcing the liturgy to be in English among Amharic-speaking people, or Armenian-speaking people, or Inupiaq-speaking people, etc.? We either appreciate our diversity in all situations and "bear with one another in love", or we complain and complain and further subdivide because those people over there speak funny talk and eat icky food and my precious American sensibilities just can't handle it. For me, I am thankful for what I have and do not see it as a hindrance, but a blessing.

Of course, outside the liturgy there might be other problems, but the same would be true even of 100% Euro-American parishes (in that not everyone who speaks English in this country has the same culture to begin with). God will deal with that, too, in the coming generations which will switch over to English or another local language at some point.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HouseOfGod on September 21, 2012, 05:55:28 PM
At the present time, the usage of Greek in my parish is rapidly diminishing. The majority of the service is now in Greek, and singing with the choir now I know that the hymns that are still sung in Greek are generally done alternatively in English, on a regular basis (usually one Sunday Greek, English the next, but the priest's end to his prayer is the executor in this matter). I am 15 years old and I am a native English speaker. However, I enjoy the tradition that is Greek liturgy and hymn. I do know of an instance in which a person left our parish to pursue an Orthodox church that did the Liturgy completely in English, and I do hear some complaints (among my Sunday School teachers, oddly enough, in many cases) about the usage of Greek. But I also know that a Greek liturgy has been intriguing to a lot of people that I know, and it draws them through mysticism into the truth of the Orthodox Church, and leads them to Christ. Maybe I'm wrong completely, or it isn't like that for most.  ??? I believe in choice, and it wouldn't matter to me either way. I mean, Greek could become illegal, and I'd still be an Orthodox Christian.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 21, 2012, 05:55:59 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I don't know why we're arguing about this. The United States is unique because it doesn't have an official language, yet its de facto national language is also the (current) world language, and will be so for the foreseeable future. So native-born English speakers like me have had it easy for all of our lives, and when we're confronted with people who are here and yet not speaking English natively, we may be offended, like such-and-such people just don't want to be "American" (Being American = speaking English, preferably without an accent). I think that's a ridiculous way of looking at things. If the point is to stop nationalism and its ugly stepchild phyletism in the Church (a worthy goal), then is it better to make an "American Orthodox Church" that is by default English, or to recognize that this model will not work for America, because we are a naturally multilingual society, being composed of a million different groups already? That is our natural state, not this imposed English upon everybody, which is the result of the kind of identity politics that, so the argument goes, are causing the problem for the Church in the first place. So if the point is for everyone to pray in a language he understands and is comfortable with, wouldn't the Egyptian-American pray in Arabic, and the Russian-American (if he still knows his language) in Russian, and the Greek-American in Greek, and the Maori-American in Maori, etc.? I mean, where I live if we were to follow the "this is what the people speak" model, we would have the liturgy about half in English, about half in Spanish, and about 5% in Navajo (and fractions of fractions of a percent in other Native languages). Is this feasible, with our Egyptian-born priests who have already taken on the job of learning another language for the liturgy, and for their daily lives in adapting to this country? I think what the people go through as immigrants to a new culture is greatly under-appreciated in the rush to demand that everything be "our" way, because after all "they" are in "our" country now. I thought there was no "us" and "them" in Christianity? I thought that was the whole problem with this issue?

So, yeah, I don't get it. I thank God that we have such wonderful priests as we have, who do 80% of the liturgy in English, and give me the sacraments in English, and teach me and guide me in English. Really, I think it's wonderful and I wish everyone had that experience. I'm just saying that in turn, when it comes time for me to do my responses in Arabic or Coptic (which is only a little bit of the time, and are generally repetitions of things we've already said in English, and are available in translations at all times, so there's no excuse of "I don't know what's going on", unless you're illiterate), I do them as best as I can, just like the priests and the deacons and literally everyone who isn't me at my church does them in English the majority of the time.

I think this kind of give and take is necessary if you're going to deal with the reality that Egyptians don't magically become monolingual Euro-Americans every time a white person comes to visit. And, besides, there is also the ugly stereotype underlying all this that Americans can't or don't want to learn about other cultures, that they don't know other languages, that they're not adaptable, etc. That's all garbage. I grew up speaking two languages and while not everyone is so lucky, many people I've talked to have said that they wish they had been. Well, here's one way to practice, but some people want to say that's wrong. Really...is it as wrong as forcing the liturgy to be in English among Amharic-speaking people, or Armenian-speaking people, or Inupiaq-speaking people, etc.? We either appreciate our diversity in all situations and "bear with one another in love", or we complain and complain and further subdivide because those people over there speak funny talk and eat icky food and my precious American sensibilities just can't handle it. For me, I am thankful for what I have and do not see it as a hindrance, but a blessing.

Of course, outside the liturgy there might be other problems, but the same would be true even of 100% Euro-American parishes (in that not everyone who speaks English in this country has the same culture to begin with). God will deal with that, too, in the coming generations which will switch over to English or another local language at some point.

Post of the Month runner up ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 06:48:24 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

After all, we are Orthodox, not Scholastic like the Latins :)

And yet...

Having the Liturgy in a different language to me always seemed to enhance the mystifying and bewildering aspects, drawing me deeper inside in reflective prayer to contemplate and experience the Holy Spirit Himself through the Service, and not to get too caught up in the intellectual absorption.

Same line by Traditional Catholics who want Latin only Mass


As the article says, having to learn another language on top of having to learn the faith is intellectualizing it.  It is hard enough to learn and fully understand the teachings, and we have to also absorb another culture and language to do that?  St. Paul disagrees with that notion, and so does Sts. Cyril and Methodius.

I would disagree because language itself is not an intellectual matter, it is cultural, spiritual, and communicative. It transcends the intellect and gives us a vehicle to better express our thoughts and feelings.  In regards to prayer, learning a new language and tone to sing prayers gives this same experience.  At the least, I can say that has been my own and many others in the Ethiopian experience of the Ge'ez Liturgy.  To be sure, we have Amharic in the Liturgy for the petitions and spoken prayers, however, again, Amharic is not the language of all Ethiopian Orthodox Christians.  I can only speak from our own jurisdiction's experience, however again, our model has been to preserve a single Liturgical language as a lingua franca to help navigate the complex linguistic world of Africa's Horn where there are over 200 regional languages and dialects spoken in Ethiopia alone!  Essentially, the Catholics were right on this in that inevitably in regards to language you have to pick one and stick it out to have a Universal Church. What would the Ethiopians do if from parish to parish some had the Liturgy in Tigranya, some in Amharic, some in Oromoya let alone a hundred other dialects? What would Paul have exactly to say about that in the context of 1 Corinthians 14:23-28?

 

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Sorry, but Church history disagrees with you.  Your own Liturgical language didn't originate from the Apostles (or was used by them).  How did that happen unless someone along the way decided to use another language.  God never intended the Christian faith to be in one language, Pentecost is a testament to this.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 21, 2012, 06:56:47 PM
Post of the Month runner up ;)

+1
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 21, 2012, 06:57:27 PM
I don't know why we're arguing about this. The United States is unique because it doesn't have an official language, yet its de facto national language is also the (current) world language, and will be so for the foreseeable future. So native-born English speakers like me have had it easy for all of our lives, and when we're confronted with people who are here and yet not speaking English natively, we may be offended, like such-and-such people just don't want to be "American" (Being American = speaking English, preferably without an accent). I think that's a ridiculous way of looking at things. If the point is to stop nationalism and its ugly stepchild phyletism in the Church (a worthy goal), then is it better to make an "American Orthodox Church" that is by default English, or to recognize that this model will not work for America, because we are a naturally multilingual society, being composed of a million different groups already? That is our natural state, not this imposed English upon everybody, which is the result of the kind of identity politics that, so the argument goes, are causing the problem for the Church in the first place. So if the point is for everyone to pray in a language he understands and is comfortable with, wouldn't the Egyptian-American pray in Arabic, and the Russian-American (if he still knows his language) in Russian, and the Greek-American in Greek, and the Maori-American in Maori, etc.? I mean, where I live if we were to follow the "this is what the people speak" model, we would have the liturgy about half in English, about half in Spanish, and about 5% in Navajo (and fractions of fractions of a percent in other Native languages). Is this feasible, with our Egyptian-born priests who have already taken on the job of learning another language for the liturgy, and for their daily lives in adapting to this country? I think what the people go through as immigrants to a new culture is greatly under-appreciated in the rush to demand that everything be "our" way, because after all "they" are in "our" country now. I thought there was no "us" and "them" in Christianity? I thought that was the whole problem with this issue?

So, yeah, I don't get it. I thank God that we have such wonderful priests as we have, who do 80% of the liturgy in English, and give me the sacraments in English, and teach me and guide me in English. Really, I think it's wonderful and I wish everyone had that experience. I'm just saying that in turn, when it comes time for me to do my responses in Arabic or Coptic (which is only a little bit of the time, and are generally repetitions of things we've already said in English, and are available in translations at all times, so there's no excuse of "I don't know what's going on", unless you're illiterate), I do them as best as I can, just like the priests and the deacons and literally everyone who isn't me at my church does them in English the majority of the time.

I think this kind of give and take is necessary if you're going to deal with the reality that Egyptians don't magically become monolingual Euro-Americans every time a white person comes to visit. And, besides, there is also the ugly stereotype underlying all this that Americans can't or don't want to learn about other cultures, that they don't know other languages, that they're not adaptable, etc. That's all garbage. I grew up speaking two languages and while not everyone is so lucky, many people I've talked to have said that they wish they had been. Well, here's one way to practice, but some people want to say that's wrong. Really...is it as wrong as forcing the liturgy to be in English among Amharic-speaking people, or Armenian-speaking people, or Inupiaq-speaking people, etc.? We either appreciate our diversity in all situations and "bear with one another in love", or we complain and complain and further subdivide because those people over there speak funny talk and eat icky food and my precious American sensibilities just can't handle it. For me, I am thankful for what I have and do not see it as a hindrance, but a blessing.

Of course, outside the liturgy there might be other problems, but the same would be true even of 100% Euro-American parishes (in that not everyone who speaks English in this country has the same culture to begin with). God will deal with that, too, in the coming generations which will switch over to English or another local language at some point.

Being an immigrant myself, I would say it is hard enough for me to assimilate into the culture of my everyday life, then I have to assimilate to another foreign culture for Church?  Talk about identity crisis.  It is stressful.

As the article said, we are not trying to get rid of ethnic parishes.  Heck, even Roman Catholics have them.  On a regular schedule the Mass is said in the Greater Vancouver Area in no less than a dozen languages.  English, French, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Cantonese, Slovak, Czech, just to name a few I can recall off the top of my head.  In fact, my countrymen make up about 40-50% of all Roman Catholics in the Lower Mainland, yet there isn't one regularly scheduled Filipino or Tagalog Mass.  But that is okay, English is the second official language of the Philippines, we were all taught English in school and we use English to some degree in our daily lives.  There is a place for ethnic parishes and foreign languages in our Church.  But the fact is, if we want our Churches to grow then we need to make it open to the common culture of the land.  Orthodoxy is not a simple faith especially if one grows up in a Western Christian faith which is the prime source of converts.  It is hard enough to smash your Christian paradigm formed by the West, and then the expectation is for the convert to learn a new language and assimilate in a foreign culture?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on September 21, 2012, 07:41:16 PM
the classic argument i've heard is:  if the language is a language you understand you at least have the OPPORTUNITY to immerse yourself in the services & pay attention.  If they are not, then there's no way you can participate in the service, no matter how fervent you are, because there will always be a barrier. 

Thoughts? 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 21, 2012, 08:16:06 PM
Being an immigrant myself, I would say it is hard enough for me to assimilate into the culture of my everyday life, then I have to assimilate to another foreign culture for Church?  Talk about identity crisis.  It is stressful.

Then you could be most sympathetic to the position of most of our priests. :) Coming from wherever they come from, having to learn English for their daily lives, and also having to in essence re-learn their liturgies in a new (second, third, etc.) language. It's tough, isn't it? They have to deal with the same thing.

Quote
But the fact is, if we want our Churches to grow then we need to make it open to the common culture of the land.
 

Which one?

Quote
Orthodoxy is not a simple faith especially if one grows up in a Western Christian faith which is the prime source of converts.  It is hard enough to smash your Christian paradigm formed by the West, and then the expectation is for the convert to learn a new language and assimilate in a foreign culture?

Again, it's not like I don't understand this. I'm the only non-Arabphone in my parish. I just think this particular issue is overblown, and the way that it is often talked about being "solved" involves so many bad assumptions, I'd much rather let the natural course of community and church evolution allow us to be flexible with regard to the actual makeup of the parish and how to best serve everyone. Imposing English on a bunch of immigrants who already struggle with it for the sake of a tiny minority of natives makes much less sense to me than how we already do it (remember, we already do 80% English). Could it be better? Probably at some parishes, yes. I have heard from Coptic friends in Europe that they have priests who can't handle the local language (French) at their church. That's not good, but at the same time I get the idea from talking to them that the priests are trying and this time it is the Europeans who have the ugly attitude of "this person who is foreign to my culture is not learning FAST ENOUGH for me". Such people generally don't have any real solutions to make things better, just more and more demands. Again, give and take is the key. In addition to English sermons and everything else in the liturgy, Father makes sure any theological point that is discussed over the Agape meal is talked about in English (or summarized, if he doesn't have the vocabulary for it in English), and when he or any of the other people at church want to know such-and-such a word in English, they ask me. It works out well, so far. They don't impose anything on me and I don't impose myself on them. The Church is not the Jeremy show, just like it's not the Ioannis show or the Mina show or the Vladimir show. It's all of us, and we don't all speak one language or have one culture, so we all have to do what we can.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 21, 2012, 08:26:14 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Sorry, but Church history disagrees with you.  Your own Liturgical language didn't originate from the Apostles (or was used by them).  How did that happen unless someone along the way decided to use another language.  God never intended the Christian faith to be in one language, Pentecost is a testament to this.

Maybe your jurisdiction's history disagrees, but in our own Ethiopian jurisdiction of Orthodox our history is precisely why we have a liturgical language in the first place. It is in part because the musical notation for our tones of prayer and hymn are written specifically for Ge'ez and do not readily translate to other languages (hence why neither English or Amharic are appropriate), and in part to solve the lingua franca situation.  So should Ethiopia just have TWO HUNDRED different versions of the Divine Liturgy, or should we just have TWO HUNDRED individual regional jurisdictions of the Tewahedo Church for each language group?  Lord have His Mercy! The Ethiopian Church doesn't have a preference for Ge'ez out of any kind of particular theology, rather sheer logistics, something the Apostles were quite familiar with.


 I just think this particular issue is overblown, and the way that it is often talked about being "solved" involves so many bad assumptions, I'd much rather let the natural course of community and church evolution allow us to be flexible with regard to the actual makeup of the parish and how to best serve everyone. Imposing English on a bunch of immigrants who already struggle with it for the sake of a tiny minority of natives makes much less sense to me than how we already do it (remember, we already do 80% English). Could it be better? Probably at some parishes, yes. I have heard from Coptic friends in Europe that they have priests who can't handle the local language (French) at their church.  Such people generally don't have any real solutions to make things better, just more and more demands. Again, give and take is the key. The Church is not the Jeremy show, just like it's not the Ioannis show or the Mina show or the Vladimir show. It's all of us, and we don't all speak one language or have one culture, so we all have to do what we can.

Post of the Month bronze medal



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 22, 2012, 01:47:32 AM
Then you could be most sympathetic to the position of most of our priests. :) Coming from wherever they come from, having to learn English for their daily lives, and also having to in essence re-learn their liturgies in a new (second, third, etc.) language. It's tough, isn't it? They have to deal with the same thing.

Canadian immigrants are required to take the IELTS and get a good score.  So there is no reason for any of us here, priests, IT guys, accountants, etc. not to know English.  Our Chaldean Catholic priest here is from Iraq and Syria, speaks good English.  He is even biritual.

Which one?

The Canadian one ;)

Seriously, America is a melting pot.  You think you have varied culture there?  Come to Canada and see what real diversity is about.  And I am not saying this in a good way, its ethnic ghettoes here and there.  At least in America you get to hyphen "-American" to your ethnicity.  In Canada you are of the same ethnicity and you live in a part of town dominated by that ethnicity and you basically stay within that circle.  There is more commonality in the US, even though other cultures are now shifting the culture.  But that is natural, that is part of the evolution of society.

Again, it's not like I don't understand this. I'm the only non-Arabphone in my parish. I just think this particular issue is overblown, and the way that it is often talked about being "solved" involves so many bad assumptions, I'd much rather let the natural course of community and church evolution allow us to be flexible with regard to the actual makeup of the parish and how to best serve everyone. Imposing English on a bunch of immigrants who already struggle with it for the sake of a tiny minority of natives makes much less sense to me than how we already do it (remember, we already do 80% English). Could it be better? Probably at some parishes, yes. I have heard from Coptic friends in Europe that they have priests who can't handle the local language (French) at their church. That's not good, but at the same time I get the idea from talking to them that the priests are trying and this time it is the Europeans who have the ugly attitude of "this person who is foreign to my culture is not learning FAST ENOUGH for me". Such people generally don't have any real solutions to make things better, just more and more demands. Again, give and take is the key. In addition to English sermons and everything else in the liturgy, Father makes sure any theological point that is discussed over the Agape meal is talked about in English (or summarized, if he doesn't have the vocabulary for it in English), and when he or any of the other people at church want to know such-and-such a word in English, they ask me. It works out well, so far. They don't impose anything on me and I don't impose myself on them. The Church is not the Jeremy show, just like it's not the Ioannis show or the Mina show or the Vladimir show. It's all of us, and we don't all speak one language or have one culture, so we all have to do what we can.

Well, we come from different circumstances.  But from where I see, the parishes that are less ethnic are the most successful ones.  It may not be true in every parish but at least here where I am, that is the case.  And also for me and my family and our situation, we do want a parish that we can really belong to an not have that ethnic barrier.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 02:27:11 AM
Good for you. I hope you find what you seek.

Canada has been good for the Coptic Orthodox Church, as well, and the Church has been good for Canada. You guys have Fr. Pishoy Salama and others of that perspective (e.g., setting up active missionary parishes), and many, many different types of Canadians are coming to Orthodoxy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_hll-d2FM) through such efforts. Glory be to God.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 22, 2012, 03:23:44 PM
The Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Church uses about 30 different Liturgical languages in Kenya only.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 03:44:42 PM
As do the Coptic Orthodox: The Nicene Creed in Luo language at a Coptic Orthodox Church in rural Kenya (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBKNkfRd9VE)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Punch on September 22, 2012, 05:16:01 PM
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!

Exactly.  It is not their culture that brought them to Orthodoxy, but the Orthodox culture that beckoned them to come. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 22, 2012, 05:24:09 PM
Exactly.  It is not their culture that brought them to Orthodoxy, but the Orthodox culture that beckoned them to come. 

Yes, please.  I want the Orthodox culture, not Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, etc.  Lest you forget you got your Orthodoxy from Jewish people.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 05:27:54 PM
Wait, what? Orthodox Jews bequeathed Orthodox Christianity? Um...no?  ???
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 22, 2012, 05:36:25 PM
Wait, what? Orthodox Jews bequeathed Orthodox Christianity? Um...no?  ???

I don't mean the modern day Orthodox Jews.  I meant those Orthodox Jews from the First Century like Paul and Barnabas.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 22, 2012, 05:39:43 PM
Good for you. I hope you find what you seek.

Canada has been good for the Coptic Orthodox Church, as well, and the Church has been good for Canada. You guys have Fr. Pishoy Salama and others of that perspective (e.g., setting up active missionary parishes), and many, many different types of Canadians are coming to Orthodoxy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-_hll-d2FM) through such efforts. [/b]Glory be to God.

Or remaining Protestant but attending since it's all the same anyway...

Fr. Pishoy isn't the pioneer of English in the Coptic Liturgy... that happened long before he was a priest... he's just following in the steps of Fr. Antony Messieh in introducing Protestantism to the Coptic Church to appeal to Evangelicals...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 06:03:55 PM
Oh boy, I knew this was coming...couldn't find another YT example of a multiethnic parish, though (so maybe the OP has a point after all). Look, regardless of what you or I think about Fr. Pishoy or Fr. Anthony, they are ordained priests of the Coptic Orthodox Church. Me, I'm just some guy. I just got here. I'm not going to tell people who have dedicated their lives to service of the Church that they're Protestant and bad and all that. Both have virtually nothing to do with my experience in the COC (nobody's going to tell me that Fr. Philemon or Fr. Mansour who serve us here in Albuquerque are somehow Protestant), and yet even if they are at fault for all of these things as people on the internet accuse them of being, what does it then say that they have the multi-ethnic, convert-friendly parishes? If they are not Orthodox (and again, I'm not saying they are or aren't...that's not my call), then surely some Orthodox must step up and bring the people to the true faith. Complaining that others who are bringing people in are Protestant doesn't do anything to witness to people who might otherwise go along with them, not knowing any better. And again, I feel like this should be emphasized: They're the ones doing the work. If others should be doing it because others are Orthodox, then it'd be nice to see it being done, instead of tearing down what a few priests are doing because it doesn't meet our standards. (I've heard similar complaints about the missionary churches in Africa, but oddly enough usually not from people who have been there.)

Just last week I brought up the idea of having Spanish-language information available to the wider non-Orthodox community, as we are in a heavily Hispanic state. Crickets. Essentially "Yeah, that'd be nice, but kind of useless since we can't do the liturgy in that language". And how can I even argue with that? It's true. So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 22, 2012, 07:58:01 PM
Dear Choy , I am with you on this, language is oh so very fundamental in spreading the Gospel of the Lord. the Church is not a museum of whatever country's or ethnic culture, the Church is the Bride of the Living Christ, with a Living Tradition and that Orthodox Tradition is about following the Apostolic Tradition of preaching the Gospel in the spoken language of the people not in the ancient historical language of their ancestors just to feed their patriotic zeal and /or their old country nostalgia.

In Ethiopia we do not read the Gospel in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic because those who evangelized Ethiopia also learned the common language of the people and translated everything into that common spoken language so today we read the Gospel in Geez , Amharic, tigrigna and Oromuffa, it is quite a shame I tell you that we can not read it with all the spoken languages of Ethiopia, so I feel there is much much work to be done in that regards to give access to all people in the country the chance to celebrate the Divine Liturgy with their first language. the same here in America English must be used sooner than later, this does not take away from the need to preserve all the Christianized cultural heritages and traditions of the old countries , we can even have parishes with different schedules to cater to the English speaking crowd that includes the first second third generations of the immigrants, as well as to the first generation and all others who prefer the language of the old country or the ancient liturgical languages.

There is a reason why the gift of language was given at Pentecost to the Apostles and we see the immediate result of that with the baptism of the 3000, so first and foremost if what we want is the preservation of linguistic and cultural heritages then we might go to the various types of museums and preservation centers, but we should never treat the Church of Christ as a museum, her Bridegroom Lives, and He has given her a Mission to reach All Men! and she must by His grace fulfill it. this remains the priority until He returns!

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 22, 2012, 08:12:36 PM
@ dzheremi's last question. no they can not and should not! and yes there is a lot to do, long way to go.... but every step forward counts so great idea about the Spanish language btw.  :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 08:18:21 PM
Hiwot, just out of curiosity, what is done in areas of Ethiopia with lesser-known languages where the people are mostly Orthodox, like among the Dorze? Is it just read in the national language, and hopefully people will know it, or...? (I have heard one amazing song for celebrating Mesqel in their native language, with their traditional polyphonic way of singing, but I can't imagine the whole liturgy in that way...what an experience that would be!)

This is an issue that we all have to deal with. I hope my posts in this thread have not been taken to be anti-nativization or whatever you'd call it, because that's certainly not my position. I think the USA is rather unique and so some of what Cyril and Methodius did would not work so well here, as we aren't dealing with dialect continua in most places (cf. the Slavic situation in Europe), but with many different interacting and in some sense competing communities, so something that works for English monolinguals probably won't work for others. Simply imposing English on everybody obscures the linguistic and cultural diversity of our communities, which I would think could be just as alienating to potential converts as the current situation of having multiple languages (with English as the majority language, I'd hope, as it is still the majority language of the country) might be.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 22, 2012, 08:35:37 PM
dzheremi, it is read in Amharic, the common language of communication in the country, however this does not mean that folks in those areas speak it well they don't, so after readings there are people who translate what is read in the language and sermons are done in their own language, where the person giving the sermon knows it, otherwise even sermons are done via translators so this still is a very sad reality.

I know historical , economic and  cultural factors are at play in this, but the church has now every opportunity to correct these failures and serve the flock of Christ, before it is forced to leave the fold in search of proper spiritual nourishment , that comes by hearing the Word of God, which leads to understanding and believing with unshakable Faith.

there are some good starts in this area(  building of churches in the remote parts of the country,clergy training in their own language, translation of liturgical texts, hymns preparation,etc..) , and they are showing wonderful fruits, I hope and pray this continues and grows.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 08:50:20 PM
Amen! May it continue and grow.

If I had the money and time, I would enroll in Navajo classes, as we have the most Navajo people of any major city in this country right here in Albuquerque, so it is not uncommon to hear it spoken, and there are TV programs in that language and all that. And of course, some have their own churches, but they are Protestants or maybe Catholics (I can't tell, since I don't speak the language, and unfortunately you can't tell a Catholic from a Protestant based on the music of the liturgy anymore). But it would be wonderful...and there are hints of possbilities yet to be fulfilled (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBZnuhFDz-I), even in these heterodox churches. I would just collapse in happiness (and shock) if I were to ever hear the prayer in that video in a local Orthodox Church...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Punch on September 22, 2012, 08:56:24 PM
Exactly.  It is not their culture that brought them to Orthodoxy, but the Orthodox culture that beckoned them to come. 

Yes, please.  I want the Orthodox culture, not Ukrainian, Russian, Greek, etc.  Lest you forget you got your Orthodoxy from Jewish people.

I am not sure that I can disagree with you on this one.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 22, 2012, 09:04:39 PM
Amen! May it continue and grow.

If I had the money and time, I would enroll in Navajo classes, as we have the most Navajo people of any major city in this country right here in Albuquerque, so it is not uncommon to hear it spoken, and there are TV programs in that language and all that. And of course, some have their own churches, but they are Protestants or maybe Catholics (I can't tell, since I don't speak the language, and unfortunately you can't tell a Catholic from a Protestant based on the music of the liturgy anymore). But it would be wonderful...and there are hints of possbilities yet to be fulfilled (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBZnuhFDz-I), even in these heterodox churches. I would just collapse in happiness (and shock) if I were to ever hear the prayer in that video in a local Orthodox Church...

Indeed!!!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 22, 2012, 10:16:34 PM
So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?

I believe they can create a serious stumbling block. There is serious backlash in surrounding areas. This sets back what needs to be done, because English service, and service for converts, becomes associated in people's minds with a Protestant style of "worship" and preaching. This is why it bothers me when they are held up as examples. It plays right into HabteSelassie's argument that we're dreaming that if we just used English great numbers would come in and the West would be won. Look, here are people winning big numbers... by dumbing down Orthodoxy until it's not, clearly this is the wrong directions.

It's not about numbers. It's about doing our duty, not having grand phantasies about what would happen if we did.

If people want to hold up an example of a Coptic priest doing it right, the one in that area is Fr. Athanasius Iskander, who was very much a pioneer of the usage of English... not that the Liturgy hadn't been prayed in English before, but he was a large part of shaping the translation we have, and did great work in creating an English parish. And it isn't a megachurch ,and doesn't want to be.

The Church was a typical closed community. He sat them down and told them that if they weren't open to outsiders, they would lose their kids. They would end up getting married to people from where they lived, and they would bring them to the Church, and if they were driven away as outsiders, their own kids would go with them. He said that for the future of their children in the Church, they had to sacrifice having the Liturgy they way it was comfortable to them.

One of the parents in the Church went to him and told him that when he prayed 50/50 English/Arabic, as soon as he switched to Arabic, their kids eyes glazed over. They were afraid their kids would be lost to the Church. Since then the Liturgy has been English. There's a very small amount of Arabic, a little big of Coptic, and of course some Greek.

Not shockingly, not everyone likes that. But being faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and the great commission is not about being popular.

This doesn't mean he neglects the needs of Arabic speakers. He has tried to get a second priest to hold a parallel Arabic Liturgy, but he hasn't been given one. So he does the best he can, and has an Arabic Liturgy on a Saturday once or twice a month. No one goes to them though. The people who complain so loudly about wanting Arabic still seem to go to the English one on Sunday, or not go often at all, and don't tend to show up to the Arabic Liturgy being held to meet their "needs". So it gets cancelled because no one comes. Then people complain, and they run it for a bit again, until they just can't since you're not allowed to have a Liturgy without people. The weekday Liturgies used to be in Arabic. But the people going are pretty much exclusively English speaking, so it has shifted to mostly English.

Has this resulted in droves of North Americans coming into the Church? Of course not. Our culture doesn't want religion. But those who are seeking do find a home where they can live, and the kids are about to bring friends and others, and have a place to introduce people. A future has been assured for the parish, and for those seeking Orthodoxy, a barrier is removed, it's made that much more accessible.

This is what it's about. It's not about converting the West. It's about doing our duty to offer the Gospel to all, and then it's up to God if those who respond is a billion, or one. What we'll be judged on is doing our duty, and offering, not on the fruit, which depends wholly on God.

One man, not a priest, not a monk, a layman, a child on a journey with a businessman, offered Orthodoxy to those who massacred those with him in Ethiopia. When he was allowed to return to Alexandria, he told St. Athanasius about the need to send a shepherd for those who believed. St. Athanasius ordained him a bishop, and sent back St. Frumentius as the first bishop of Ethiopia.

One child offered Orthodoxy, and converted a nation. Now there are millions of Orthodox are in North America, and we don't offer. We just keep to ourselves, create pockets of the old cultures, and then wonder why people here who find Orthodoxy can't become Greek, or Egyptian, or Russian, or whatever, for the sake of Orthodoxy. We don't only not offer, we place barriers in the way of those seeking Christ. We're more concerned with preserving cultures than obeyign the great commission.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 10:29:42 PM
I don't really find anything to disagree with in your post, Jonathan. My own parish is not nearly big enough to have these kinds of issues (to be divided into pro-Arabic/anti-Arabic factions), so I don't think it's right to comment too much on them or how others handle them. My point is to say that those who are received at Fr. Pishoy's church or Fr. Anthony's or some other place that a lot of people don't like (and at least as far as concerns Fr. Anthony, I can see why; I haven't heard too many sermons by Fr. Pishoy, so I don't know where the charges of Protestantism are coming from) are still entering canonical Orthodox churches, despite the questionable approach to evangelism on the part of any particular priest.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 22, 2012, 10:32:15 PM
Hiwot, dnt know if you read the entire thread. but
The problem is not that it should not be in english. It is, and it should be!
The underlying thread within this thread is the reasoning why it should be in english.
its like giving alms:
if i give someone $$ to help him and its between me and him---then it is pleasing to God, no?
But if i give $$ to someone to show off that im a good person to others---then that is not pleasing to God, no?

The underlying motivation for the request that the liturgy to be in english is because of self importance and dislike for people and there cultures. Someone outright said "I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians."
another, when informed that in my parish they do 2 liturgy's one in Greek and one in english. Actually complained that they do it in his parish also but he hates having to be the ones who have to get up early to go to the early liturgy. Funny actually, how lazy can u be!
so that's just 2 examples in this thread that show the underlying reasoning from some here. there is also the self righteousness of some to demand things as if they have some special right cause they are American. anyway read or reread the thread and you will  pick up on it.
And that is relay why i have been giving them a hard time with this. I fully support the liturgy in all languages!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 22, 2012, 10:34:25 PM
I don't really find anything to disagree with in your post, Jonathan. My own parish is not nearly big enough to have these kinds of issues (to be divided into pro-Arabic/anti-Arabic factions), so I don't think it's right to comment too much on them or how others handle them. My point is to say that those who are received at Fr. Pishoy's church or Fr. Anthony's or some other place that a lot of people don't like (and at least as far as concerns Fr. Anthony, I can see why; I haven't heard too many sermons by Fr. Pishoy, so I don't know where the charges of Protestantism are coming from) are still entering canonical Orthodox churches, despite the questionable theology of any particular priest.

But it isn't a numbers game... They're baptised, they're chrismated, but if they aren't formed in the Orthodoxy faith, what is the point? The Sacraments aren't magic that we just need to convince people to get, they need to be grafted into authentic orthodoxy. It isn't a good thing to have people in Orthodoxy on paper, but in a parish that is hard to distinguish from an evangelical community, and at the same time place additional barriers to people who want to come in in nearby parishes because of people there pushing back against the picture of "converts" and "convert churches" seen from the watered down version.

It's better to not do something than to stray in doing it. It's better to do a small thing well than a big thing poorly.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 22, 2012, 10:37:34 PM
Hiwot, dnt know if you read the entire thread. but
The problem is not that it should not be in english. It is, and it should be!
The underlying thread within this thread is the reasoning why it should be in english.
its like giving alms:
if i give someone $$ to help him and its between me and him---then it is pleasing to God, no?
But if i give $$ to someone to show off that im a good person to others---then that is not pleasing to God, no?

The underlying motivation for the request that the liturgy to be in english is because of self importance and dislike for people and there cultures. Someone outright said "I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians."
another, when informed that in my parish they do 2 liturgy's one in Greek and one in english. Actually complained that they do it in his parish also but he hates having to be the ones who have to get up early to go to the early liturgy. Funny actually, how lazy can u be!
so that's just 2 examples in this thread that show the underlying reasoning from some here. there is also the self righteousness of some to demand things as if they have some special right cause they are American. anyway read or reread the thread and you will  pick up on it.
And that is relay why i have been giving them a hard time with this. I fully support the liturgy in all languages!


There's a big difference between saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because I don't wanna get up early... and in saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because it makes it a little bit more inaccessible to people who, if exposed to Orthodoxy, might in time come to Orthodoxy. One is laziness, one is a desire to obey the Gospel.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 22, 2012, 10:40:04 PM
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!

Winning?  Who are we, Charlie Sheen clones?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 22, 2012, 10:41:23 PM
The Orthodox (Chalcedonian) Church uses about 30 different Liturgical languages in Kenya only.

Michal, thank you for bringing some sanity and for not being a Charlie Sheen clone. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 22, 2012, 10:43:18 PM
Well which is it, do you dislike them or do you think they're winning?  ???

I dislike them, AND I think they are Whining (he meant whining). lol

So Charlie Sheen clone x2, a whiner and self-proclaimed winner. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 22, 2012, 10:46:44 PM
Hiwot, dnt know if you read the entire thread. but
The problem is not that it should not be in english. It is, and it should be!
The underlying thread within this thread is the reasoning why it should be in english.
its like giving alms:
if i give someone $$ to help him and its between me and him---then it is pleasing to God, no?
But if i give $$ to someone to show off that im a good person to others---then that is not pleasing to God, no?

The underlying motivation for the request that the liturgy to be in english is because of self importance and dislike for people and there cultures. Someone outright said "I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians."
another, when informed that in my parish they do 2 liturgy's one in Greek and one in english. Actually complained that they do it in his parish also but he hates having to be the ones who have to get up early to go to the early liturgy. Funny actually, how lazy can u be!
so that's just 2 examples in this thread that show the underlying reasoning from some here. there is also the self righteousness of some to demand things as if they have some special right cause they are American. anyway read or reread the thread and you will  pick up on it.
And that is relay why i have been giving them a hard time with this. I fully support the liturgy in all languages!


There's a big difference between saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because I don't wanna get up early... and in saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because it makes it a little bit more inaccessible to people who, if exposed to Orthodoxy, might in time come to Orthodoxy. One is laziness, one is a desire to obey the Gospel.
This is exactly what he said:
"I already belong to a parish like that, one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to.  I mean, if we are going to attract converts do we also expect them to wake up so early on Sunday when most other Churches start their services later?"

"one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to"---why dont u care to go to it???

Lazy, self rigtious, spoiled, sence of self entilement, on and on. Did u know when the turks had greece they secretly hade church in secret caves and secret basements in homes risking there lives for it. did u know that they would cross the border int albania(?) to worship in a monostary! give me a break trying to justify what he said.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 22, 2012, 10:47:38 PM
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!

Winning?  Who are we, Charlie Sheen clones?
already stated?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 22, 2012, 10:50:15 PM
So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?

I believe they can create a serious stumbling block. There is serious backlash in surrounding areas. This sets back what needs to be done, because English service, and service for converts, becomes associated in people's minds with a Protestant style of "worship" and preaching. This is why it bothers me when they are held up as examples. It plays right into HabteSelassie's argument that we're dreaming that if we just used English great numbers would come in and the West would be won. Look, here are people winning  big numbers... by dumbing down Orthodoxy until it's not, clearly this is the wrong directions.

It's not about numbers. It's about doing our duty, not having grand phantasies about what would happen if we did.

If people want to hold up an example of a Coptic priest doing it right, the one in that area is Fr. Athanasius Iskander, who was very much a pioneer of the usage of English... not that the Liturgy hadn't been prayed in English before, but he was a large part of shaping the translation we have, and did great work in creating an English parish. And it isn't a megachurch ,and doesn't want to be.

The Church was a typical closed community. He sat them down and told them that if they weren't open to outsiders, they would lose their kids. They would end up getting married to people from where they lived, and they would bring them to the Church, and if they were driven away as outsiders, their own kids would go with them. He said that for the future of their children in the Church, they had to sacrifice having the Liturgy they way it was comfortable to them.

One of the parents in the Church went to him and told him that when he prayed 50/50 English/Arabic, as soon as he switched to Arabic, their kids eyes glazed over. They were afraid their kids would be lost to the Church. Since then the Liturgy has been English. There's a very small amount of Arabic, a little big of Coptic, and of course some Greek.

Not shockingly, not everyone likes that. But being faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and the great commission is not about being popular.

This doesn't mean he neglects the needs of Arabic speakers. He has tried to get a second priest to hold a parallel Arabic Liturgy, but he hasn't been given one. So he does the best he can, and has an Arabic Liturgy on a Saturday once or twice a month. No one goes to them though. The people who complain so loudly about wanting Arabic still seem to go to the English one on Sunday, or not go often at all, and don't tend to show up to the Arabic Liturgy being held to meet their "needs". So it gets cancelled because no one comes. Then people complain, and they run it for a bit again, until they just can't since you're not allowed to have a Liturgy without people. The weekday Liturgies used to be in Arabic. But the people going are pretty much exclusively English speaking, so it has shifted to mostly English.

Has this resulted in droves of North Americans coming into the Church? Of course not. Our culture doesn't want religion. But those who are seeking do find a home where they can live, and the kids are about to bring friends and others, and have a place to introduce people. A future has been assured for the parish, and for those seeking Orthodoxy, a barrier is removed, it's made that much more accessible.

This is what it's about. It's not about converting the West. It's about doing our duty to offer the Gospel to all, and then it's up to God if those who respond is a billion, or one. What we'll be judged on is doing our duty, and offering, not on the fruit, which depends wholly on God.

One man, not a priest, not a monk, a layman, a child on a journey with a businessman, offered Orthodoxy to those who massacred those with him in Ethiopia. When he was allowed to return to Alexandria, he told St. Athanasius about the need to send a shepherd for those who believed. St. Athanasius ordained him a bishop, and sent back St. Frumentius as the first bishop of Ethiopia.

One child offered Orthodoxy, and converted a nation. Now there are millions of Orthodox are in North America, and we don't offer. We just keep to ourselves, create pockets of the old cultures, and then wonder why people here who find Orthodoxy can't become Greek, or Egyptian, or Russian, or whatever, for the sake of Orthodoxy. We don't only not offer, we place barriers in the way of those seeking Christ. We're more concerned with preserving cultures than obeyign the great commission.

Also in here: andits called a spelling error
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 22, 2012, 10:52:11 PM
I don't really find anything to disagree with in your post, Jonathan. My own parish is not nearly big enough to have these kinds of issues (to be divided into pro-Arabic/anti-Arabic factions), so I don't think it's right to comment too much on them or how others handle them. My point is to say that those who are received at Fr. Pishoy's church or Fr. Anthony's or some other place that a lot of people don't like (and at least as far as concerns Fr. Anthony, I can see why; I haven't heard too many sermons by Fr. Pishoy, so I don't know where the charges of Protestantism are coming from) are still entering canonical Orthodox churches, despite the questionable theology of any particular priest.

But it isn't a numbers game... They're baptised, they're chrismated, but if they aren't formed in the Orthodoxy faith, what is the point? The Sacraments aren't magic that we just need to convince people to get, they need to be grafted into authentic orthodoxy. It isn't a good thing to have people in Orthodoxy on paper, but in a parish that is hard to distinguish from an evangelical community, and at the same time place additional barriers to people who want to come in in nearby parishes because of people there pushing back against the picture of "converts" and "convert churches" seen from the watered down version.

It's better to not do something than to stray in doing it. It's better to do a small thing well than a big thing poorly.

I'm not saying it is a numbers game or that the sacraments are magic or anything like that. It's just that I have heard many accusations, really blanket condemnations, like "the churches in LA are Protestant", "the churches in Canada are Protestant", and I just have to wonder, as a convert myself, what then happens to the people in them. All of those baptisms are worthless and the priests who administered them not real priests, or what? Or (and this is a point of view I'd like to hear more often) could it be that certain specific priests are not doing their part, and should be retrained in evangelism according to the apostolic faith and not some new fads (as I understand the criticisms of Fr. Anthony and Fr. Pishoy as saying that this is going on in those churches), and maybe others who see such problems should bring them to the relevant bishops? I find the wholesale writing off of certain territories as somehow lost to Protestantism-in-the-name-of-evangelism to be very disturbing, whether actually reflected in the local churches or not. As I said in my other post, it may be right but it doesn't seem like it's helpful.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 22, 2012, 10:52:21 PM
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?   You had better get your rearends out of bed and get there.  I used to disagree with Fr. Florovsky that "God gave the right faith to the wrong people."  Now I agree, in part.  I would remove the second "the" because we still have a good portion.  The Jews of old complained of the Greek converts to the Faith.  The Greeks centuries later complained of the Slavic converts to the Faith.  What a bunch of whiners, with modern counterparts being no better, and sometimes worse.  The good news is that God prevails, no matter how many of you work against it.  Lord have mercy.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 22, 2012, 10:53:07 PM
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!



Winning?  Who are we, Charlie Sheen clones?
already stated?

You obviously have more time than I do, but thanks for the input.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on September 22, 2012, 11:17:06 PM
we each get 24hrs so not realy. its what we do with the time we have.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: LBK on September 22, 2012, 11:27:59 PM
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on September 23, 2012, 08:55:22 AM
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.
You and I think much alike.

Also, a very early Liturgy can be a benefit to other Christians who want to explore the faith. It means they can attend a Sunday service without having to abandon their own, until they are ready to do so, of course. It helps when the entire family does not choose to convert.

Just the other side of the coin - yes, there are arguments against it as well. Lots for a local parish to consider.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on September 24, 2012, 06:05:55 AM
In a good deal of parishes, the priest has another job unfortunately. So having an early liturgy might be too much of a strain for him :(

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 24, 2012, 07:32:06 AM
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

In Cyprus, whether weekday or Sunday, church begins 6:30am and it does not seem to effect numbers whatsoever. I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 24, 2012, 08:20:43 AM
I'm not saying it is a numbers game or that the sacraments are magic or anything like that. It's just that I have heard many accusations, really blanket condemnations, like "the churches in LA are Protestant", "the churches in Canada are Protestant", and I just have to wonder, as a convert myself, what then happens to the people in them. All of those baptisms are worthless and the priests who administered them not real priests, or what? Or (and this is a point of view I'd like to hear more often) could it be that certain specific priests are not doing their part, and should be retrained in evangelism according to the apostolic faith and not some new fads (as I understand the criticisms of Fr. Anthony and Fr. Pishoy as saying that this is going on in those churches), and maybe others who see such problems should bring them to the relevant bishops? I find the wholesale writing off of certain territories as somehow lost to Protestantism-in-the-name-of-evangelism to be very disturbing, whether actually reflected in the local churches or not. As I said in my other post, it may be right but it doesn't seem like it's helpful.

But I haven't written off whole territories... I objected to a priest who is going down the wrong path being held up as an example of mission work, and instead held up the example of another priest only an hour away who is doing it right, and spoke of the negative influence on normal parishes 5-15 minutes away. The wrong mindset, the association forming that accommodating western culture = accepting Protestant style, needs to be pushed back against. What bishop would we complain to? We have none, and the bishop who got the "convert church" going is the brother of the priest there. We can either look the other way when we see corruption among the bishops and priests, and when we see destruction of Orthodoxy in parishes that are becoming Orthodox only in name, and be complicit in what they are doing, or we can continue to say "no". As a convert, I'm tired of people thinking that that garbage is what my people "need", and being increasingly shunned as if I were the one bringing it into the Church, or as if it were coming in for me.

(http://smsv.ca/images/WWLLogo2.jpg)
http://smsv.ca/worship.shtml
I'd like to see some limits on our worship. I'd like to see it limited to orthopraxis.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 24, 2012, 11:37:52 AM
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.

I think that having two liturgies divides a parish into two congregations, a bad thing in itself--it would be better to split into two are more parishes. Also, if you do have two liturgies, the folks who go to the earlier one usually miss out on coffee hour or Agape Meal, both of which are part of the Common Work, IMO.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 24, 2012, 11:51:58 AM
Jonathan: We are in agreement. Apologies if it sounds like I'm being stubborn or apologetic for things that wrong. It is hard for me to gauge these things that go on in other places, since my own community is quite small and removed from what is going on in Canada or LA, the two places I've often heard are very Protestant. So I never know how to take these complaints, as it seems like some really have written off entire places as somehow unsalvageable.

I do not understand your comment about not having a bishop, though. There are no bishops in Canada, or you don't know who would be appropriate to write to, or...? Couldn't you contact HG Bishop David, as he is the general bishop of North America? It seems like just shaking your heads won't do much, and it is hurting the Church up there as you say it is, then somebody with the power to do something about it should at least come to investigate.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: MarkosC on September 24, 2012, 12:06:33 PM
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

In Cyprus, whether weekday or Sunday, church begins 6:30am and it does not seem to effect numbers whatsoever. I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

I presume you mean Orthros starts at 6:30?  Cool, this suggests that Divine Liturgy finishes at least at 9:00 with homily (assuming they take the standard abbreviations normally seen in Greek usage).  FWIW, Orthros begins every day at 7AM at St. Dimitrios in Thessaloniki (services finishing around 10:30 if Divine Liturgy is celebrated).    I don't notice that Orthros attendance is any less there than anywhere else, meaning that time is not necessarily a pastoral impediment.  

http://www.inad.gr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111 (http://www.inad.gr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111)

Of course, early Orthros+Liturgy is not quite what some people advocating two liturgies are advocating - rather, two Divine Liturgies (I know of few places outside ROCOR that do all services seperately and bilingually), effectively creating two parishes in the same building.  
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 24, 2012, 12:26:44 PM
Jonathan: We are in agreement. Apologies if it sounds like I'm being stubborn or apologetic for things that wrong. It is hard for me to gauge these things that go on in other places, since my own community is quite small and removed from what is going on in Canada or LA, the two places I've often heard are very Protestant. So I never know how to take these complaints, as it seems like some really have written off entire places as somehow unsalvageable.

I do not understand your comment about not having a bishop, though. There are no bishops in Canada, or you don't know who would be appropriate to write to, or...? Couldn't you contact HG Bishop David, as he is the general bishop of North America? It seems like just shaking your heads won't do much, and it is hurting the Church up there as you say it is, then somebody with the power to do something about it should at least come to investigate.

Thanks, I've enjoyed the conversation. I will pm about bishops in Canada since it's too far removed from this topic :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: celticfan1888 on September 24, 2012, 12:36:26 PM
I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

Why is that?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 24, 2012, 01:30:44 PM
Why is that?

The services are celebrated closer to their appointed time (Matins should finish at dawn, not close to noon, much less the early evening), which means the words of the prayers, which make reference to the movement of time, simply make more sense. Also, you have the entire day ahead of you when you finish.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 24, 2012, 01:32:31 PM
I presume you mean Orthros starts at 6:30?  Cool, this suggests that Divine Liturgy finishes at least at 9:00 with homily (assuming they take the standard abbreviations normally seen in Greek usage).

Yes, Orthros at 6:30. Liturgy finished around 9:30 most places.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 24, 2012, 01:40:35 PM
I think that having two liturgies divides a parish into two congregations, a bad thing in itself--it would be better to split into two are more parishes. Also, if you do have two liturgies, the folks who go to the earlier one usually miss out on coffee hour or Agape Meal, both of which are part of the Common Work, IMO.

Works for our parish.  The English Liturgy folks have their coffee hour and the Ukrainian Liturgy folks have their lunch (since we do ours earlier).  But you are right, folks are divided.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: arnI on September 24, 2012, 05:18:27 PM
I am not sure how many folks English Liturgies would attract. The Protestant churches which are well attended are sort of like the mega-churches. Bands have replaced choirs, songs are displayed on power-point, the pastor delivers a multimedia presentation (hardly a homily), folks don't join the Church (everyone is just attends), no mention of baptisms, no communion (regardless whether it is considered a symbol or not), not one single cross displayed, no feast days - Christmas and Easter services are actual drama productions put on for the community, folks clap their hands while jumping to the rock style band music, teenagers are at a separate service, and so on. Then you have the ultra conservative Protestant churches which are KJV-only which is said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and the original Greek is not needed because the KJV is translated without error and can not be changed. Not really sure who the English services may target except for those who would already convert, possibly Catholics, and those 2nd or 3rd (and so on) generation cradle Orthodox who no longer attend. English may help Orthodoxy in America maintain with better growth than now, but I don't foresee a large crowd rushing the doors of the Church. I'd prefer to retain our Orthodoxy as handed down, and if needed adopt the local language.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 24, 2012, 05:44:49 PM
I attended a Coptic parish in NJ a few times which had weekday Liturgies at 7am to allow people to come before work. The times I went they were very well attended, and this was one of the smaller parishes in the area.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 24, 2012, 06:13:24 PM
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 24, 2012, 07:47:38 PM
Ukrainian or English?

http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=1932&pagetypeID=8&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

But some parish priests cannot speak English well enough to celebrate English-language liturgies, and some elderly Ukrainian Catholics “get very tense when things get celebrated in English,” he told Catholic News Service.

“Because of this mentality, we have lost a lot of people,” he added.




The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, spent years working in Argentina.

“Our most vibrant parishes in Argentina are Spanish-speaking,” he said.

When Archbishop Shevchuk met with young people at a Winnipeg parish Sept. 7, he told them not to worry about not being able to speak Ukrainian.

“This is not a church of Ukrainians, it’s a church of Christ,” Archbishop Shevchuk said. “We are a global church. We are a church of the Ukrainian tradition.”
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 24, 2012, 08:05:07 PM
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.

In fact, I think unless a persons Bishop requires it, it should not be mandatory to learn Greek or Russian in seminary.  Ancient Greek, sure.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 24, 2012, 08:06:53 PM
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.
Hey, we agree on something ;D.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 24, 2012, 08:50:24 PM
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.
Hey, we agree on something ;D.
:D
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TheMathematician on September 24, 2012, 09:23:44 PM
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.

In fact, I think unless a persons Bishop requires it, it should not be mandatory to learn Greek or Russian in seminary.  Ancient Greek, sure.

I agree with the principles of what you are saying, and agree that this should be the case. However, until the time comes when america has our own church, and no more GOARCH, ROCOR, serbian, or etc., then for the unity of their respective church, seminarians should continue to learn the language, so it eases communication within the church.

However, 100% english is what i agree with as a rule, but exceptions when the situations call for it
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: GTAsoldier on September 24, 2012, 09:28:38 PM
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.

What's the name of that parish? Do they have a website?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 24, 2012, 10:44:40 PM
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.

What's the name of that parish? Do they have a website?

St. Herman of Alaska http://www.sthermanofalaskachurch.blogspot.ca/
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: GTAsoldier on September 25, 2012, 07:29:19 AM
Thank you
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on September 25, 2012, 07:48:08 AM
This whole argument (not necessarily here but its a pretty widespread argument) I think is silly. Last time I looked, scripture was not written in Slavonic or Russian originally. The local people spoke those languages so those languages were needed. It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 25, 2012, 08:05:16 AM
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on September 25, 2012, 08:08:51 AM
This whole argument (not necessarily here but its a pretty widespread argument) I think is silly. Last time I looked, scripture was not written in Slavonic or Russian originally. The local people spoke those languages so those languages were needed. It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

PP

So do I, so long as the parish is comprised of English speakers. When it's comprised predominantly of first generation immigrants whose English is not good, that has to be taken into account. I completely agree with my priest's approach which is that we vary between about 50/50 and 70/30 Romanian to English depending on who is in the church on a given day. We always have the epistle and Gospel reading in both languages as well as the Creed and Our Father, however, no matter how few non-Romanians are present. The difference between now and the time the Slavs were evangelised is that we aren't (but probably should be) really going out to evangelise people who speak English, we're catering for existing Orthodox communities that have emigrated to English speaking nations and collecting the odd native convert along the way. I certainly support all English parishes in principle but in practice this isn't always going to the best approach.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on September 25, 2012, 08:44:44 AM
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on September 25, 2012, 08:59:17 AM
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Should it be the hierarchy that recognizes this or the parish priest? I'd argue the latter as he's the one that should know the needs of his parishioners. Certainly my experience here is that it's the priests who drive this (or not). Of course, in our case we have one Metropolitan covering several countries with different native languages so maybe this has just happened because it's the only way it can work, but it seems the right approach to me. I've been lucky enough to know two wonderful, forward thinking Romanian priests who have encouraged the transition from Romanian to English in their recently established and very ethnic parishes and it works very well - that's the right way to go. I've also, unfortunately, known parishes here that have been established for decades, have no recent immigrant members and still use not a single word of English and these generally bear out what you say - the regulars are generally made up of a handful of older people and the churches are only ever full at Easter and Christmas.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on September 25, 2012, 09:26:45 AM
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Should it be the hierarchy that recognizes this or the parish priest? I'd argue the latter as he's the one that should know the needs of his parishioners. Certainly my experience here is that it's the priests who drive this (or not). Of course, in our case we have one Metropolitan covering several countries with different native languages so maybe this has just happened because it's the only way it can work, but it seems the right approach to me. I've been lucky enough to know two wonderful, forward thinking Romanian priests who have encouraged the transition from Romanian to English in their recently established and very ethnic parishes and it works very well - that's the right way to go. I've also, unfortunately, known parishes here that have been established for decades, have no recent immigrant members and still use not a single word of English and these generally bear out what you say - the regulars are generally made up of a handful of older people and the churches are only ever full at Easter and Christmas.

James
I said hierarchy based on what I have learned at a local very ethnic parish. The priest told me almost in tears that he would like to use more English, but his bishop won't let him.

Full at Easter and Christmas? Well, the same priest told me can't get people to anything at Easter except a morning DL. It's an old calendar parish/jurisdiction so I attended their Christmas DL earlier this year - which was on a Saturday. The approximately 30 people present didn't come close to filling the building which was constructed in 1969 according to the cornerstone.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 25, 2012, 10:00:30 AM
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Indeed. That's why I said language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic, not ethnic, make-up of the congregation. If half the congregation are young Greeks who are only proficient in English, then the use of English in the services should reflect that need.

It's certainly a problem in my archdiocese where half the congregation in most parishes will have passed on within the next 10 years. If the churches don't do more to educate the youth, many of the smaller parishes are likely to close down once that happens. However, our Archbishop is actually the one who pushes for at least some English to be used everywhere. It seems to be certain clergy (or perhaps, members of his parish council) who are more reluctant to make that happen.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 25, 2012, 10:14:55 AM
So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?

I believe they can create a serious stumbling block. There is serious backlash in surrounding areas. This sets back what needs to be done, because English service, and service for converts, becomes associated in people's minds with a Protestant style of "worship" and preaching. This is why it bothers me when they are held up as examples. It plays right into HabteSelassie's argument that we're dreaming that if we just used English great numbers would come in and the West would be won. Look, here are people winning big numbers... by dumbing down Orthodoxy until it's not, clearly this is the wrong directions.

It's not about numbers. It's about doing our duty, not having grand phantasies about what would happen if we did.

If people want to hold up an example of a Coptic priest doing it right, the one in that area is Fr. Athanasius Iskander, who was very much a pioneer of the usage of English... not that the Liturgy hadn't been prayed in English before, but he was a large part of shaping the translation we have, and did great work in creating an English parish. And it isn't a megachurch ,and doesn't want to be.

The Church was a typical closed community. He sat them down and told them that if they weren't open to outsiders, they would lose their kids. They would end up getting married to people from where they lived, and they would bring them to the Church, and if they were driven away as outsiders, their own kids would go with them. He said that for the future of their children in the Church, they had to sacrifice having the Liturgy they way it was comfortable to them.

One of the parents in the Church went to him and told him that when he prayed 50/50 English/Arabic, as soon as he switched to Arabic, their kids eyes glazed over. They were afraid their kids would be lost to the Church. Since then the Liturgy has been English. There's a very small amount of Arabic, a little big of Coptic, and of course some Greek.

Not shockingly, not everyone likes that. But being faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and the great commission is not about being popular.

This doesn't mean he neglects the needs of Arabic speakers. He has tried to get a second priest to hold a parallel Arabic Liturgy, but he hasn't been given one. So he does the best he can, and has an Arabic Liturgy on a Saturday once or twice a month. No one goes to them though. The people who complain so loudly about wanting Arabic still seem to go to the English one on Sunday, or not go often at all, and don't tend to show up to the Arabic Liturgy being held to meet their "needs". So it gets cancelled because no one comes. Then people complain, and they run it for a bit again, until they just can't since you're not allowed to have a Liturgy without people. The weekday Liturgies used to be in Arabic. But the people going are pretty much exclusively English speaking, so it has shifted to mostly English.

Has this resulted in droves of North Americans coming into the Church? Of course not. Our culture doesn't want religion. But those who are seeking do find a home where they can live, and the kids are about to bring friends and others, and have a place to introduce people. A future has been assured for the parish, and for those seeking Orthodoxy, a barrier is removed, it's made that much more accessible.

This is what it's about. It's not about converting the West. It's about doing our duty to offer the Gospel to all, and then it's up to God if those who respond is a billion, or one. What we'll be judged on is doing our duty, and offering, not on the fruit, which depends wholly on God.

One man, not a priest, not a monk, a layman, a child on a journey with a businessman, offered Orthodoxy to those who massacred those with him in Ethiopia. When he was allowed to return to Alexandria, he told St. Athanasius about the need to send a shepherd for those who believed. St. Athanasius ordained him a bishop, and sent back St. Frumentius as the first bishop of Ethiopia.

One child offered Orthodoxy, and converted a nation. Now there are millions of Orthodox are in North America, and we don't offer. We just keep to ourselves, create pockets of the old cultures, and then wonder why people here who find Orthodoxy can't become Greek, or Egyptian, or Russian, or whatever, for the sake of Orthodoxy. We don't only not offer, we place barriers in the way of those seeking Christ. We're more concerned with preserving cultures than obeyign the great commission.

Johnatan, oh man, God bless you my brother and grant you many years!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on September 25, 2012, 08:30:41 PM
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

It has already happened.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 26, 2012, 06:15:50 AM
I wonder if a good solution to the language problem in many parishes would be to do the Liturgy of the Catechumens - i.e. the public and educational part of the Liturgy - in English and the Liturgy of the Faithful - i.e. the private part in which all the prayers imply participation in the Eucharist - in the preferred liturgical language of the congregation.

That way visitors are not excluded from the things they are supposed to hear and participate in - the common prayers, the Scripture readings, the sermon, and so on - and the youth can be educated in a language they understand. Meanwhile, the rest of the congregation can have the Liturgy of the Faithful in the liturgical language they're comfortable with, and since this part of the Liturgy contains no variable parts (except for Axion Estin very occasionally being replaced by Epi si kecharitomeni) those who struggle with the liturgical language can easily follow along if Liturgy books are made available to them.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Alpo on September 26, 2012, 06:48:09 AM
While that could be theologically reasonable option I don't think the fuss is about theology. People would still feel alien since they wouldn't understand all of the service.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 26, 2012, 06:54:30 AM
While that could be theologically reasonable option I don't think the fuss is about theology. People would still feel alien since they wouldn't understand all of the service.

My assumption here, though, is that those who don't understand are in a minority, and that the majority of the congregation would feel alienated were the whole service done in English.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Tommelomsky on September 26, 2012, 08:05:52 AM
I did of my own free will find a parish where the majority of the liturgy is said in church-slavonic and when we monthly more or less have services in my native tongue (norwegian). I am fine with that. In many ways, there are two parish groups (not neccecarely always a good thing), but i accept it and will in time (if..God wills it) attempt to learn russian so i can communicate with the russians too.

Would i want all liturgy in my native tongue? No. Why? Because i knowlingly found a russian-orthodox parish knowing that the languages there were and is, russian and church slavonic. I am happy with that being so. It is a tradition and i do not wish to change that.

Changing things for the sake of changing makes my gut go bananas.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 26, 2012, 08:12:31 AM
Changing things for the sake of changing makes my gut go bananas.

When needed, it's not changing for the sake of changing, it's changing for the sake of legitimate pastoral needs within the parish.  The introduction of Church Slavonic was precisely such a change, the same goes for Coptic, Arabic, Armenian, Georgian, Latin, Ge'ez or any other language we regard as "traditional". Only Greek, and perhaps also Syriac, can be considered inherently traditional liturgical languages, yet the tradition of the Church has been to translate where needed.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 26, 2012, 10:40:36 AM
Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on September 26, 2012, 10:45:11 AM
Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

Unfortunately I'm not sure it works like that - I've known ethnic parishes filled only with the old, still using their own language exclusively while the younger generations have long since gone elsewhere, presumably for exactly the reason you've identified above.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 26, 2012, 11:01:29 AM
Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

Unfortunately I'm not sure it works like that - I've known ethnic parishes filled only with the old, still using their own language exclusively while the younger generations have long since gone elsewhere, presumably for exactly the reason you've identified above.

James


This is, fortunately or unfortunately - depending on your pov, a fairly common pattern in immigrant churches. I was formerly Lutheran and attended a German Lutheran church (it's first name in the late 1800's was the German Lutheran Congregation). Up until WWII, services, catechism and church council meetings were in German. And up until fairly recently, in Lutherland (Minnesota and Wisconsin), small towns would have several Lutheran churches - the Swedish, Norwegian, German, Finnish churches and then the English-language church that all their children went to.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 02:26:29 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

My dear, you are only pointing out the crux of the problem! Much of the Canons, writings, prayers, and Tradition of the Church are often written in the mother tongue which the youth lose in several generations.  So if they either (a) do not translate the ENTIRETY of the Tradition into different languages or (b) build the youth on a solid foundation within the Church and the Holy Spirit then we lose them entirely precisely because as you say, time changes things.  For Sola Scripture Protestants, what concerns them is that the Tradition seems to change, mature, and grow with us.  This is true by the way, but the Tradition evolves in the Holy Spirit to change and grow and mature along with ourselves who are continually living in this same process of growth as humans.  The Tradition is rooted in the continuity of Church history, and it grows with us.  We translate things to accommodate how we are growing as a Body of Christ, incorporating other cultures and peoples into this holistic Organism.  When we try to transmit our mother tongue languages to the next generations we are not trying to burden or hinder them, rather we are trying to empower and enfranchise them to better understand the Tradition, and as our reverend Metropolitan told our youth at a meeting last year, "You do not want to become Ethiopian ferenj (foreigner) in your own culture, in your own homeland, to your own people."   

Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 02:34:55 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

My dear, you are only pointing out the crux of the problem! Much of the Canons, writings, prayers, and Tradition of the Church are often written in the mother tongue which the youth lose in several generations.  So if they either (a) do not translate the ENTIRETY of the Tradition into different languages or (b) build the youth on a solid foundation within the Church and the Holy Spirit then we lose them entirely precisely because as you say, time changes things.  For Sola Scripture Protestants, what concerns them is that the Tradition seems to change, mature, and grow with us.  This is true by the way, but the Tradition evolves in the Holy Spirit to change and grow and mature along with ourselves who are continually living in this same process of growth as humans.  The Tradition is rooted in the continuity of Church history, and it grows with us.  We translate things to accommodate how we are growing as a Body of Christ, incorporating other cultures and peoples into this holistic Organism.  When we try to transmit our mother tongue languages to the next generations we are not trying to burden or hinder them, rather we are trying to empower and enfranchise them to better understand the Tradition, and as our reverend Metropolitan told our youth at a meeting last year, "You do not want to become Ethiopian ferenj (foreigner) in your own culture, in your own homeland, to your own people."   

Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
What's wrong with translating the body of Tradition? That was what was done in Ethiopia from Coptic to Ge'ez was it not? And before that in Egypt from Greek to Coptic and then Arabic. Why not do it from Ge'ez to Amharic and all the regional languages? I feel like monks and nuns in Monasteries and Convents have enough time on their hands for such an endeavor.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 26, 2012, 02:39:17 PM
Language attrition patterns are what they are regardless of the language used at church. I'm not even sure why this is considered a debatable point. Without a relatively constant influx of immigrants from the "old country" (e.g., Spanish-speakers from nearby Spanish-speaking territories), or at the very least strong contacts with those who remain there (possible due to modern communication), the language will die out. The question is what should the Church's response be. In some cases (e.g., Coptic Church), the churches are quite new and it probably is more a matter of having the first American-reared generation growing up now make a smart choice for English, hopefully without completely losing the traditional language (as I've said, I like how we do it with 80% in the English and 20% in Coptic and Arabic, though the exact percentages should ideally be a function of the makeup of the community) as it is the source of the traditional sources of knowledge (i.e., Coptic chant wouldn't exist in English as it does if it hadn't first existed in Coptic, and we might conceivably end up in a situation where N-th generation Coptic people and converts pick up Protestant-style worship for lack of a suitable English alternative; I would hope that we would see this as even more objectionable than keeping 5% or 10% or whatever in the traditional language, mostly or completely in the form of set responses....even in the most debased RC masses, for instance, they still keep the "Kyrie Eleison" in Greek, even if they step all over it with some atrocious organ or piano or something).
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 02:43:09 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

My dear, you are only pointing out the crux of the problem! Much of the Canons, writings, prayers, and Tradition of the Church are often written in the mother tongue which the youth lose in several generations.  So if they either (a) do not translate the ENTIRETY of the Tradition into different languages or (b) build the youth on a solid foundation within the Church and the Holy Spirit then we lose them entirely precisely because as you say, time changes things.  For Sola Scripture Protestants, what concerns them is that the Tradition seems to change, mature, and grow with us.  This is true by the way, but the Tradition evolves in the Holy Spirit to change and grow and mature along with ourselves who are continually living in this same process of growth as humans.  The Tradition is rooted in the continuity of Church history, and it grows with us.  We translate things to accommodate how we are growing as a Body of Christ, incorporating other cultures and peoples into this holistic Organism.  When we try to transmit our mother tongue languages to the next generations we are not trying to burden or hinder them, rather we are trying to empower and enfranchise them to better understand the Tradition, and as our reverend Metropolitan told our youth at a meeting last year, "You do not want to become Ethiopian ferenj (foreigner) in your own culture, in your own homeland, to your own people."   

Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
What's wrong with translating the body of Tradition? That was what was done in Ethiopia from Coptic to Ge'ez was it not? And before that in Egypt from Greek to Coptic and then Arabic. Why not do it from Ge'ez to Amharic and all the regional languages? I feel like monks and nuns in Monasteries and Convents have enough time on their hands for such an endeavor.

Not necessarily anything in particular, but it seems like A LOT more work than getting a few kids to learn their parents' language, after all, if we translate everything, in the process we actually cement the generational divide much more so than we bridge the gap :)



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 02:48:20 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

My dear, you are only pointing out the crux of the problem! Much of the Canons, writings, prayers, and Tradition of the Church are often written in the mother tongue which the youth lose in several generations.  So if they either (a) do not translate the ENTIRETY of the Tradition into different languages or (b) build the youth on a solid foundation within the Church and the Holy Spirit then we lose them entirely precisely because as you say, time changes things.  For Sola Scripture Protestants, what concerns them is that the Tradition seems to change, mature, and grow with us.  This is true by the way, but the Tradition evolves in the Holy Spirit to change and grow and mature along with ourselves who are continually living in this same process of growth as humans.  The Tradition is rooted in the continuity of Church history, and it grows with us.  We translate things to accommodate how we are growing as a Body of Christ, incorporating other cultures and peoples into this holistic Organism.  When we try to transmit our mother tongue languages to the next generations we are not trying to burden or hinder them, rather we are trying to empower and enfranchise them to better understand the Tradition, and as our reverend Metropolitan told our youth at a meeting last year, "You do not want to become Ethiopian ferenj (foreigner) in your own culture, in your own homeland, to your own people."   

Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
What's wrong with translating the body of Tradition? That was what was done in Ethiopia from Coptic to Ge'ez was it not? And before that in Egypt from Greek to Coptic and then Arabic. Why not do it from Ge'ez to Amharic and all the regional languages? I feel like monks and nuns in Monasteries and Convents have enough time on their hands for such an endeavor.

Not necessarily anything in particular, but it seems like A LOT more work than getting a few kids to learn their parents' language, after all, if we translate everything, in the process we actually cement the generational divide much more so than we bridge the gap :)



stay blessed,
habte selassie
And what about getting the kids to learn a language even their parents do not understand?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 02:56:04 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!





Just wait awhile, and the whole language issue will be a moot point, since second, third and fourth generations are typically not fluent in the language of their parents or grandparents, if they speak it at all.

My dear, you are only pointing out the crux of the problem! Much of the Canons, writings, prayers, and Tradition of the Church are often written in the mother tongue which the youth lose in several generations.  So if they either (a) do not translate the ENTIRETY of the Tradition into different languages or (b) build the youth on a solid foundation within the Church and the Holy Spirit then we lose them entirely precisely because as you say, time changes things.  For Sola Scripture Protestants, what concerns them is that the Tradition seems to change, mature, and grow with us.  This is true by the way, but the Tradition evolves in the Holy Spirit to change and grow and mature along with ourselves who are continually living in this same process of growth as humans.  The Tradition is rooted in the continuity of Church history, and it grows with us.  We translate things to accommodate how we are growing as a Body of Christ, incorporating other cultures and peoples into this holistic Organism.  When we try to transmit our mother tongue languages to the next generations we are not trying to burden or hinder them, rather we are trying to empower and enfranchise them to better understand the Tradition, and as our reverend Metropolitan told our youth at a meeting last year, "You do not want to become Ethiopian ferenj (foreigner) in your own culture, in your own homeland, to your own people."   

Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
What's wrong with translating the body of Tradition? That was what was done in Ethiopia from Coptic to Ge'ez was it not? And before that in Egypt from Greek to Coptic and then Arabic. Why not do it from Ge'ez to Amharic and all the regional languages? I feel like monks and nuns in Monasteries and Convents have enough time on their hands for such an endeavor.

Not necessarily anything in particular, but it seems like A LOT more work than getting a few kids to learn their parents' language, after all, if we translate everything, in the process we actually cement the generational divide much more so than we bridge the gap :)



stay blessed,
habte selassie
And what about getting the kids to learn a language even their parents do not understand?

Then it sounds like we are getting way ahead of ourselves and the parents and grandparents have a little something to work on too ;)

Let me reiterate, I am not opposed to translating, however I think in the intentions folks have about translations in the context of this thread, I'd say they are a bandaid more so than a long term solution.  What happens when Spanish or Chinese overtakes English as the dominant world language? Do we all suddenly switch to these languages? We can get very carried away with using translations as a quick fix, but they are not such effectively.  What folks fail to understand in their analysis is that today English is just another language like the languages the Church has used in the past.  So it is not a magical language.  It will not solve all our problems, indeed logistically it has the propensity to create several more.  So my point is we should more carefully and directly address the actual problems, rather then just trying to use language as some kind of panacea.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 26, 2012, 03:12:46 PM
I did of my own free will find a parish where the majority of the liturgy is said in church-slavonic and when we monthly more or less have services in my native tongue (norwegian). I am fine with that. In many ways, there are two parish groups (not neccecarely always a good thing), but i accept it and will in time (if..God wills it) attempt to learn russian so i can communicate with the russians too.

Would i want all liturgy in my native tongue? No. Why? Because i knowlingly found a russian-orthodox parish knowing that the languages there were and is, russian and church slavonic. I am happy with that being so. It is a tradition and i do not wish to change that.

Changing things for the sake of changing makes my gut go bananas.

But how many people are like you?  This is the same issue with the Latins and those who prefer the Latin and the old Mass than the new Mass in the vernacular.  I'm not saying you are wrong, but are we missing the opportunity here to proclaim the Gospel to all nations?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 03:24:02 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


But how many people are like you?  This is the same issue with the Latins and those who prefer the Latin and the old Mass than the new Mass in the vernacular.  I'm not saying you are wrong, but are we missing the opportunity here to proclaim the Gospel to all nations?

That is a matter of opinion.  Further, a lot of converts bring this evangelical vibe into the Church, I know I did.  However, the Church taught me by experience that She is very busy taking care of the spiritual and emotional needs of the Faithful and baptized who've strayed away, let alone to be so concerned with changing the Church for the nations needs.  If God brings them to us, good and fine, we will work with the best as we are able by Grace.  However, we shouldn't hurt our own parishes out of the preparation for visitors, we are neglecting the family to be hospitable to the visitors, and that hurts EVERYONE mutually.  Further, you mentioned the Gospels, and indeed, I'm not quite sure we are debating about translating the Bible or the Gospels or the Scriptures, rather the Liturgy and the Tradition.  The Bible is readily available in many languages, and indeed many of our fathers should also begin to integrate English into their sermons and teachings, but I'm not quite sure that is the same thing as changing the Liturgy around for the sake of a handful of potential converts.  If we are talking about our own youth who are baptized cradles but Americans, well, again, I think that just changing the language to appease the needs of young folks is noble but self-defeating.  Rather, we need to integrate our youth into the parish and Church life, and if in the parish there are other languages then English, then these youth need to be on top of their language development to help their social development within the Church.  Its not about theology, its about life and living together as a community.  When we focus on English this way, sometimes we actually divide the Church more than we unify and bring it together.  Remember, we don't want to have separate English and other language speaking Orthodox parishes, where the young folks go to one and the older folks go to another, that is worse than before!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 03:26:06 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


But how many people are like you?  This is the same issue with the Latins and those who prefer the Latin and the old Mass than the new Mass in the vernacular.  I'm not saying you are wrong, but are we missing the opportunity here to proclaim the Gospel to all nations?

That is a matter of opinion.  Further, a lot of converts bring this evangelical vibe into the Church, I know I did.  However, the Church taught me by experience that She is very busy taking care of the spiritual and emotional needs of the Faithful and baptized who've strayed away, let alone to be so concerned with changing the Church for the nations needs.  If God brings them to us, good and fine, we will work with the best as we are able by Grace.  However, we shouldn't hurt our own parishes out of the preparation for visitors, we are neglecting the family to be hospitable to the visitors, and that hurts EVERYONE mutually.  Further, you mentioned the Gospels, and indeed, I'm not quite sure we are debating about translating the Bible or the Gospels or the Scriptures, rather the Liturgy and the Tradition.  The Bible is readily available in many languages, and indeed many of our fathers should also begin to integrate English into their sermons and teachings, but I'm not quite sure that is the same thing as changing the Liturgy around for the sake of a handful of potential converts.  If we are talking about our own youth who are baptized cradles but Americans, well, again, I think that just changing the language to appease the needs of young folks is noble but self-defeating.  Rather, we need to integrate our youth into the parish and Church life, and if in the parish there are other languages then English, then these youth need to be on top of their language development to help their social development within the Church.  Its not about theology, its about life and living together as a community.  When we focus on English this way, sometimes we actually divide the Church more than we unify and bring it together.  Remember, we don't want to have separate English and other language speaking Orthodox parishes, where the young folks go to one and the older folks go to another, that is worse than before!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
I'm not sure if I would call nourishing our youth with spiritual food they can digest "appeasing" them.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Jonathan on September 26, 2012, 03:57:53 PM
Let me reiterate, I am not opposed to translating, however I think in the intentions folks have about translations in the context of this thread, I'd say they are a bandaid more so than a long term solution.  What happens when Spanish or Chinese overtakes English as the dominant world language? Do we all suddenly switch to these languages? We can get very carried away with using translations as a quick fix, but they are not such effectively.  What folks fail to understand in their analysis is that today English is just another language like the languages the Church has used in the past.  So it is not a magical language.  It will not solve all our problems, indeed logistically it has the propensity to create several more.  So my point is we should more carefully and directly address the actual problems, rather then just trying to use language as some kind of panacea.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

Of course, prayer should be in the vernacular, whatever that is. No one is making English out to be a holy or magical language that is the solution to all problems. It is the vernacular, here and now. The Church has always prayed in the vernacular. Languages coming to be held up as holy or to be preserved because of their use in the Church, whehter slavic, Coptic, Ge'ez, whatever, is the deviation. We're not arguing for change in Orthodox practice. We're arguing for upholding the Orthodox tradition of praying in the vernacular. 1 Cor 14:15. This notion that it is a small work to teach all North Americans Coptic, or Greek, or Ge'ez, depending on what Orthodox jurisdiction they make contact with, is absurde. The Gospel is not to be held on to, it is to be proclaimed, to be offered to all. It doesn't matter if they want to take it or not, that is God's business. What matters is that we are responsible for freely giving what we have freely received. If we fail to do that, we will be judged. Whole generations are leaving churches that pray in a language that is not theirs. You can call them lazy for leaving, or we can do our duty to offer to them, just as St. Cyril the great offered to the Egyptians when he translated the Liturgy into to Coptic vernacular, just as St. Yared offered to the Ethiopians. It is not change, it is upholding the unchanging norm of the Church.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 04:05:20 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Of course, prayer should be in the vernacular, whatever that is. No one is making English out to be a holy or magical language that is the solution to all problems. It is the vernacular, here and now. The Church has always prayed in the vernacular. Languages coming to be held up as holy or to be preserved because of their use in the Church, whehter slavic, Coptic, Ge'ez, whatever, is the deviation. We're not arguing for change in Orthodox practice. We're arguing for upholding the Orthodox tradition of praying in the vernacular. 1 Cor 14:15. This notion that it is a small work to teach all North Americans Coptic, or Greek, or Ge'ez, depending on what Orthodox jurisdiction they make contact with, is absurde. The Gospel is not to be held on to, it is to be proclaimed, to be offered to all. It doesn't matter if they want to take it or not, that is God's business. What matters is that we are responsible for freely giving what we have freely received. If we fail to do that, we will be judged. Whole generations are leaving churches that pray in a language that is not theirs. You can call them lazy for leaving, or we can do our duty to offer to them, just as St. Cyril the great offered to the Egyptians when he translated the Liturgy into to Coptic vernacular, just as St. Yared offered to the Ethiopians. It is not change, it is upholding the unchanging norm of the Church.

As I've stated, in our Ethiopian Liturgy, Saint Yared's musical notation does not readily adapt to Amharic, English or otherwise, hence why the Church has not changed it.  The petition prayers and indeed even parts of the Anaphora have already been translated in vernaculars.  However, we maintain a solid Ge'ez Liturgy through out its majority because we believe that the song of the prayer is the most solid and nourishing of the spiritual foods, and to translate this is to change the recipe :)




But how many people are like you?  This is the same issue with the Latins and those who prefer the Latin and the old Mass than the new Mass in the vernacular.  I'm not saying you are wrong, but are we missing the opportunity here to proclaim the Gospel to all nations?

That is a matter of opinion.  Further, a lot of converts bring this evangelical vibe into the Church, I know I did.  However, the Church taught me by experience that She is very busy taking care of the spiritual and emotional needs of the Faithful and baptized who've strayed away, let alone to be so concerned with changing the Church for the nations needs.  If God brings them to us, good and fine, we will work with the best as we are able by Grace.  However, we shouldn't hurt our own parishes out of the preparation for visitors, we are neglecting the family to be hospitable to the visitors, and that hurts EVERYONE mutually.  Further, you mentioned the Gospels, and indeed, I'm not quite sure we are debating about translating the Bible or the Gospels or the Scriptures, rather the Liturgy and the Tradition.  The Bible is readily available in many languages, and indeed many of our fathers should also begin to integrate English into their sermons and teachings, but I'm not quite sure that is the same thing as changing the Liturgy around for the sake of a handful of potential converts.  If we are talking about our own youth who are baptized cradles but Americans, well, again, I think that just changing the language to appease the needs of young folks is noble but self-defeating.  Rather, we need to integrate our youth into the parish and Church life, and if in the parish there are other languages then English, then these youth need to be on top of their language development to help their social development within the Church.  Its not about theology, its about life and living together as a community.  When we focus on English this way, sometimes we actually divide the Church more than we unify and bring it together.  Remember, we don't want to have separate English and other language speaking Orthodox parishes, where the young folks go to one and the older folks go to another, that is worse than before!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
I'm not sure if I would call nourishing our youth with spiritual food they can digest "appeasing" them.

I am not sure that just translating the Tradition or the Liturgy is going to make the spiritual food any more digestible in the first place! Rather as Apostle Paul has explained with this same metaphor, that

Quote
And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; 3 for you are still carnal.

If we do nothing to help the youth mature and grow as a community, they remain babes in Christ, even if we force feed them solid foods which their spiritual capacities are yet able to digest! We have to carry them along and help them to grow into spiritual adulthood, that requires constant and diligent efforts on our parts to explain things, to integrate them into the parish community, to involve them, but language is only a single facet of this process, it is not necessarily the lynch pin.

Further like in Hebrews 5

Quote
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

We as their mentors and teachers must give them the milk first, not force feed them solid foods. We must help them to grow and mature as  Apostle Paul has said, "who by reason have use of their senses exercised to discern both good and evil."  We have to keep up on this exercise, that means effort.  If language is part of that effort, fine, but there is a lot more to do than just translate texts and give them to the kids and say, "Here you go, now you should stay in the Church."  They are not yet mature enough spiritually to even realize that what we'd be giving them is food, they'd be unable to digest it! This will only give them a spiritual stomach ache which will make them all the more wary ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 26, 2012, 04:09:36 PM
Additionally, as other churches have experienced, (such as the Greeks, for example), it's really not enough to simply try to teach the language to all the children, if they are not using it on a daily basis. I know many Americans of Greek heritage who know only a few words, despite having been forced to attend Greek school every week.

I agree that we absolutely must minister to our parish communities and the peoples' needs, but surely that is not all that we are called to do?

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 04:17:23 PM

As I've stated, in our Ethiopian Liturgy, Saint Yared's musical notation does not readily adapt to Amharic, English or otherwise, hence why the Church has not changed it.  The petition prayers and indeed even parts of the Anaphora have already been translated in vernaculars.  However, we maintain a solid Ge'ez Liturgy through out its majority because we believe that the song of the prayer is the most solid and nourishing of the spiritual foods, and to translate this is to change the recipe :)


Except the recipe was already changed when the liturgy was translated to to Ge'ez. If that was fine, then why not change the recipe again?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 04:27:00 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As I've stated, in our Ethiopian Liturgy, Saint Yared's musical notation does not readily adapt to Amharic, English or otherwise, hence why the Church has not changed it.  The petition prayers and indeed even parts of the Anaphora have already been translated in vernaculars.  However, we maintain a solid Ge'ez Liturgy through out its majority because we believe that the song of the prayer is the most solid and nourishing of the spiritual foods, and to translate this is to change the recipe :)


Except the recipe was already changed when the liturgy was translated to to Ge'ez. If that was fine, then why not change the recipe again?

Again, the liturgical language of Ge'ez is not just a spoken language or an alphabet, but a system of corresponding syllabic musical notation.  In the Ethiopian experience, we have yet to find a system to readily adapt this musical system to any other language.  That being said, our Fathers have felt that the sound is as integrally a part of the crucially Holy recipe as is the words themselves.  From my direct experience with the Ethiopian Liturgy in particular, I can agree.  So we have indeed translated some prayers and readings of our Liturgy into vernaculars, but the core prayers and songs have been maintained across 1400 years of Ethiopian history.  If 1400 years of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual Ethiopians didn't have a problem with this transmission and process, why should we suddenly change it because of the American experience? Americans are soft about languages, Africans LOVE learning new languages. Maybe the American experience can benefit by adapting to the Ethiopian experience of respecting the Ge'ez liturgy? After all, the Ethiopian Church has already more than compromised and translated so much into English, why can't English speakers also then compromise and match the efforts of the Church by trying to learn the Ge'ez liturgy? And again, from my experience as an American, its really not that difficult, its a matter of effort more than intellectual capacity or absorption, because I of all peoples am typically American and therefore typically terrible with learning new languages ;)

Let me reiterate, I am not entirely opposed to translating things into vernaculars (the Liturgy aside), however I am wary of folks who believe this is a quick fix or a panacea, and in all my meetings and discussions with many folks about this issue, that seems to be a common sentiment. Language is only a small part of what we need to do to integrate Americanized youth and Americans in to the Church, but again it isn't necessarily the lynch pin which will unburden the entire process.  We still got A LOT of work to do on the ground day in and day out as a community.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 26, 2012, 04:28:26 PM
Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.
I didn't know he spoke Ge'ez and used to be an Oriental Orthodox theologian.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 04:30:29 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As I've stated, in our Ethiopian Liturgy, Saint Yared's musical notation does not readily adapt to Amharic, English or otherwise, hence why the Church has not changed it.  The petition prayers and indeed even parts of the Anaphora have already been translated in vernaculars.  However, we maintain a solid Ge'ez Liturgy through out its majority because we believe that the song of the prayer is the most solid and nourishing of the spiritual foods, and to translate this is to change the recipe :)


Except the recipe was already changed when the liturgy was translated to to Ge'ez. If that was fine, then why not change the recipe again?

Again, the liturgical language of Ge'ez is not just a spoken language or an alphabet, but a system of corresponding syllabic musical notation.  In the Ethiopian experience, we have yet to find a system to readily adapt this musical system to any other language.  That being said, our Fathers have felt that the sound is as integrally a part of the crucially Holy recipe as is the words themselves.  From my direct experience with the Ethiopian Liturgy in particular, I can agree.  So we have indeed translated some prayers and readings of our Liturgy into vernaculars, but the core prayers and songs have been maintained across 1400 years of Ethiopian history.  If 1400 years of multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, multi-lingual Ethiopians didn't have a problem with this transmission and process, why should we suddenly change it because of the American experience? Americans are soft about languages, Africans LOVE learning new languages. Maybe the American experience can benefit by adapting to the Ethiopian experience of respecting the Ge'ez liturgy? After all, the Ethiopian Church has already more than compromised and translated so much into English, why can't English speakers also then compromise and match the efforts of the Church by trying to learn the Ge'ez liturgy? And again, from my experience as an American, its really not that difficult, its a matter of effort more than intellectual capacity or absorption, because I of all peoples am typically American and therefore typically terrible with learning new languages ;)

Let me reiterate, I am not entirely opposed to translating things into vernaculars (the Liturgy aside), however I am wary of folks who believe this is a quick fix or a panacea, and in all my meetings and discussions with many folks about this issue, that seems to be a common sentiment. Language is only a small part of what we need to do to integrate Americanized youth and Americans in to the Church, but again it isn't necessarily the lynch pin which will unburden the entire process.  We still got A LOT of work to do on the ground day in and day out as a community.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

Edit: I'm not saying completely change the music system, but surely you can modify it to be compatible with the vernacular? That's what happened in India at least, we took the Syriac Modal system and modified it to be more "Indian".
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 04:45:00 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Marcus Garvey taught us a tree without its roots is dead, we have to cultivate the branches and remind them of their roots, even as Apostle Paul suggests in Romans 11.
I didn't know he spoke Ge'ez and used to be an Oriental Orthodox theologian.

No but you can cut the facetious scoffing, because the Honorable Marcus Garvey did imbue quite a bit of wisdom, in particular to this issue. Again, we are arguing the same things, that the tree must be in contact with the root, however we are discussing the approach and methodology for achieving this connection.  My premise is (a) just translating languages alone can't do this, if that were the case, why has it not exactly worked out for the Catholics or Protestants and (b) in our own Ethiopian experience we can't readily change things as other jurisdictions can, it is far more complicated than that.

Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

Edit: I'm not saying completely change the music system, but surely you can modify it to be compatible with the vernacular? That's what happened in India at least, we took the Syriac Modal system and modified it to be more "Indian".

There is nothing wrong with it, except for (a) it doesn't work in any other language but Ge'ez because it is a syllabic musical notation system which can't be modified because the syllables have to match and (b) our Fathers have considered the musical notation as sacred in the Tradition as the words themselves, so asking us to change the music would be as sacrilegious as just asking us to change the words :)

Please understand I mean no disrespect to other jurisdictions, but in our Ethiopian experience we simply can't do what others do, we have different circumstances and histories which we are duty bound to respect. During the 20th century we began to readily translate what could be don into vernaculars, and our contemporary fathers discovered the same wisdom our forefathers had in regards to the Ge'ez liturgical system, that it simply couldn't be adapted. So again, we have plenty of prayers and readings in vernaculars, just not the entirety of the Liturgy proper.  Lord have His mercy, is that not compromise enough?


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 26, 2012, 04:45:45 PM
Language may not be the lynch-pin, but it's certainly important. It's difficult to see how you can integrate anyone into anything if they don't understand what you are saying to them.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 26, 2012, 04:47:18 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

Edit: I'm not saying completely change the music system, but surely you can modify it to be compatible with the vernacular? That's what happened in India at least, we took the Syriac Modal system and modified it to be more "Indian".

There is nothing wrong with it, except for (a) it doesn't work in any other language but Ge'ez because it is a syllabic musical notation system which can't be modified because the syllables have to match and (b) our Fathers have considered the musical notation as sacred in the Tradition as the words themselves, so asking us to change the music would be as sacrilegious as just asking us to change the words :)

Please understand I mean no disrespect to other jurisdictions, but in our Ethiopian experience we simply can't do what others do, we have different circumstances and histories which we are duty bound to respect. During the 20th century we began to readily translate what could be don into vernaculars, and our contemporary fathers discovered the same wisdom our forefathers had in regards to the Ge'ez liturgical system, that it simply couldn't be adapted. So again, we have plenty of prayers and readings in vernaculars, just not the entirety of the Liturgy proper.  Lord have His mercy, is that not compromise enough?


stay blessed,
habte selassie



There's nothing wrong with any of it, except that in a generation or two, no one will be able to understand it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 04:49:10 PM
our Fathers have considered the musical notation as sacred in the Tradition as the words themselves, so asking us to change the music would be as sacrilegious as just asking us to change the words :)

Yet your fathers changed the music to fit the vernacular of their time (Ge'ez), were they wrong to do so?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 26, 2012, 04:53:29 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


But how many people are like you?  This is the same issue with the Latins and those who prefer the Latin and the old Mass than the new Mass in the vernacular.  I'm not saying you are wrong, but are we missing the opportunity here to proclaim the Gospel to all nations?

That is a matter of opinion.  Further, a lot of converts bring this evangelical vibe into the Church, I know I did.  However, the Church taught me by experience that She is very busy taking care of the spiritual and emotional needs of the Faithful and baptized who've strayed away, let alone to be so concerned with changing the Church for the nations needs.  If God brings them to us, good and fine, we will work with the best as we are able by Grace.  However, we shouldn't hurt our own parishes out of the preparation for visitors, we are neglecting the family to be hospitable to the visitors, and that hurts EVERYONE mutually.  Further, you mentioned the Gospels, and indeed, I'm not quite sure we are debating about translating the Bible or the Gospels or the Scriptures, rather the Liturgy and the Tradition.  The Bible is readily available in many languages, and indeed many of our fathers should also begin to integrate English into their sermons and teachings, but I'm not quite sure that is the same thing as changing the Liturgy around for the sake of a handful of potential converts.  If we are talking about our own youth who are baptized cradles but Americans, well, again, I think that just changing the language to appease the needs of young folks is noble but self-defeating.  Rather, we need to integrate our youth into the parish and Church life, and if in the parish there are other languages then English, then these youth need to be on top of their language development to help their social development within the Church.  Its not about theology, its about life and living together as a community.  When we focus on English this way, sometimes we actually divide the Church more than we unify and bring it together.  Remember, we don't want to have separate English and other language speaking Orthodox parishes, where the young folks go to one and the older folks go to another, that is worse than before!

stay blessed,
habte selassie

No, I did not talk about the Bible.  I talked about the Gospel.  The Gospel is proclaimed in the Liturgy.  It is through the Divine Liturgy that we experience the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.  If people feel alienated by it, how can we say it is indeed the Kingdom?  St. Paul did bring the faith to the culture of the Gentiles.  I'm not saying we should abandon the ethnic parishes for the immigrants, but we also have the responsibility to evangelize the locals.  As the article that started this thread states, we are to support those ethnic communities.  But the reality is that the Church also has that responsibility of evangelizing all other people, not just its current membership.  And how do you do this if everyone else is a foreigner to the local church?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 04:57:19 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


No, I did not talk about the Bible.  I talked about the Gospel.  The Gospel is proclaimed in the Liturgy.  It is through the Divine Liturgy that we experience the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth.  If people feel alienated by it, how can we say it is indeed the Kingdom?  St. Paul did bring the faith to the culture of the Gentiles.  I'm not saying we should abandon the ethnic parishes for the immigrants, but we also have the responsibility to evangelize the locals.  As the article that started this thread states, we are to support those ethnic communities.  But the reality is that the Church also has that responsibility of evangelizing all other people, not just its current membership.  And how do you do this if everyone else is a foreigner to the local church?

I think I have more than explained myself and the position of the Ethiopian Church on this matter, I am finished with it.  I am not trying to convince folks in other jurisdictions NOT to translate things, just to better understand why in the context of the Liturgy Ethiopians simply can't! Further, I can only reiterate one last time, just translating languages will not solve our problems which is a community disconnect.  It is a very American approach to assume that if folks can read something, that they will suddenly do such.  In my experience, that is hardly the case. There must be a BILLION Bibles sitting dusty on American shelves, very often completely unread.  It takes effort more so than any language to build community, and if we want to both integrate our youth and also our neighbors, we have to match more effort than just a translate and stand back and watch approach.  Language is only a facet of this process.  In the Ethiopian experience, it is a facet that we have particular obstacles towards which we can only work around, which we can't change.  

Further, from my own direct experience, it doesn't take an all-English Church for us Orthodox Christians to "evangelize" our neighbors, it takes an increasing effort on our parts.  Maybe the reality is folks just want to make it easier on themselves, but the easy way is not always what bearing our Crosses is all about :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 26, 2012, 04:58:53 PM
our Fathers have considered the musical notation as sacred in the Tradition as the words themselves, so asking us to change the music would be as sacrilegious as just asking us to change the words

Kinda heretical and breaking the 1st commandment.

I wonder whether any cradles can confirm that. Hiwot?

Yet your fathers changed the music to fit the vernacular of their time (Ge'ez), were they wrong to do so?

He is a convert. His fathers have never heard of Ge'ez.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 26, 2012, 05:10:19 PM

He is a convert. His fathers have never heard of Ge'ez.
Are you related to all the fathers of the Orthodox Church?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 26, 2012, 07:20:08 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

...

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on September 27, 2012, 12:13:37 AM
Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

They are not his fathers.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on September 27, 2012, 12:15:57 AM
While that could be theologically reasonable option I don't think the fuss is about theology. People would still feel alien since they wouldn't understand all of the service.

My assumption here, though, is that those who don't understand are in a minority, and that the majority of the congregation would feel alienated were the whole service done in English.

The problem is that we cannot simply speak of congregations which exist, in the present tense, but should think about those which might potentially exist were the language of the liturgy readily understood.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 08:36:36 AM
The problem is that we cannot simply speak of congregations which exist, in the present tense, but should think about those which might potentially exist were the language of the liturgy readily understood.

You need a middle ground, though. If you alienate existing congregations there will be no church for the future ones either. What I think is a great shame is that almost every sizeable Greek church, at least here, has a Greek school attached to it, yet the children only learn modern Greek. I think liturgical Greek, with emphasis on the Divine Liturgy, should be made part of the syllabus in all Greek schools (I actually think it should be taught in all churches, regardless of jurisdiction, but the Greeks certainly have no excuse not to teach it).
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 09:01:10 AM
Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

They are not his fathers.
??? Just because he is not related to them, does that make them less his spiritual fathers?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 27, 2012, 09:25:17 AM
Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

They are not his fathers.
??? Just because he is not related to them, does that make them less his spiritual fathers?

Since when "forefathers" mean "spiritual fathers?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 09:34:31 AM
Your forefathers went to the trouble of creating a completely new music system so that they could celebrate the Divine Eucharist in their native language. What's wrong with doing that for today's languages?

They are not his fathers.
??? Just because he is not related to them, does that make them less his spiritual fathers?

Since when "forefathers" mean "spiritual fathers?
From Webster.

Forefather: a person of an earlier period and common heritage.

The common heritage being The Orthodox Faith.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: JoeS2 on September 27, 2012, 09:45:27 AM
Most of the parishioners in our parish are the older folks and babies.  Where did the youth go?  Teenagers, high schoolers?  Understandably, the college bound kids are away and may be attending Orthodox services where they go to school, but there is a gap that is very noticable that being the younger adults.  We now have a contingent of Russian immigrants who attend a Slavonic Service early on Sunday morning prior to the regular English service later on.  Again, it is attended by older folks and a few babies.  I guess, like everything else, it will take time for these things to be ironed out.  But, we need to address our youth more to get them back to church.  We have Sunday school which helps but only up to high school level.  I know in my younger years church didnt occupy my life like it does today.  This may be the case.  All churches are experiencing similar problems of attendance.  Of course, the youth today have more distractions to steal their attention from church.  This may be the major factor in all this.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 27, 2012, 10:11:20 AM
The problem is that we cannot simply speak of congregations which exist, in the present tense, but should think about those which might potentially exist were the language of the liturgy readily understood.

You need a middle ground, though. If you alienate existing congregations there will be no church for the future ones either. What I think is a great shame is that almost every sizeable Greek church, at least here, has a Greek school attached to it, yet the children only learn modern Greek. I think liturgical Greek, with emphasis on the Divine Liturgy, should be made part of the syllabus in all Greek schools (I actually think it should be taught in all churches, regardless of jurisdiction, but the Greeks certainly have no excuse not to teach it).

You speak as if it is a given that Liturgical Greek must remain. I would think that with a little bit of effort, the liturgical (read ancient) languages that we have can yield to the vernacular: Slavonic to Bulgarian, Serbia, Russian, Ukrainian; liturgical Greek to modern Greek, etc... That said, of all liturgical languages, obviously our theologians must be fluent and our priests should be knowledgeable in Greek, not because of its liturgical use but because the New Testament was written in it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Agia Marina on September 27, 2012, 10:14:53 AM
and yea i think they are "whining" and i dislike the whining, no them really, although some of them. no just kidding.

I see more posts from you in this thread than anyone else. Maybe you are the one whining...

No im not whining.

whining is:
why i gota go to church at 8am and they gota go 10am.
why do i have to learn anotheres customs when mine is the best.
why do i have to listen to it in you r language when i speek english.

thats what whining (anyway u spell it) is my firend!
Amen  :angel:
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 10:23:14 AM
You speak as if it is a given that Liturgical Greek must remain.

In the diaspora, not must, but will for quite a while yet. In Greece and Cyprus, however, I do think it's a question of must. First of all, I've never met a Greek who actually wants the Liturgy in modern Greek, secondly I do think it is important that the original language of the Liturgy remains alive somewhere.

Quote
That said, of all liturgical languages, obviously our theologians must be fluent and our priests should be knowledgeable in Greek, not because of its liturgical use but because the New Testament was written in it.

Not just the New Testament, but also all our liturgical material (with the exception of more modern local feasts and saints), the vast majority of our patristic literature, etc. I do not think learning Greek should only be encouraged among academic theoelogians, but all Christians. Expecting any fluency would of course be far fetched, but basic knowledge is certainly possible if enough emphasis is put on it. Every mosque teaches Arabic, every synagogue Hebrew, why not Greek in every church? While we do not put the same emphasis on language as those faiths, I think we should put far more emphasis on it than we do now, and should encourage all who are able to learn.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 27, 2012, 10:31:55 AM
Regarding the concept of liturgical languages, may I wonder if this concept is contrary to the Scriptures? I say this because the following passage from Acts 2 makes me think that God prefers people to hear the good news in their own languages:

"1 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. 4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (languages) as the Spirit enabled them.

5 Now there were staying in Jerusalem God-fearing Jews from every nation under heaven. 6 When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. 7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 27, 2012, 10:33:51 AM
Every mosque teaches Arabic, every synagogue Hebrew, why not Greek in every church? While we do not put the same emphasis on language as those faiths, I think we should put far more emphasis on it than we do now, and should encourage all who are able to learn.

Muslim consider Arabic to be God's language.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: JoeS2 on September 27, 2012, 10:45:18 AM
Every mosque teaches Arabic, every synagogue Hebrew, why not Greek in every church? While we do not put the same emphasis on language as those faiths, I think we should put far more emphasis on it than we do now, and should encourage all who are able to learn.

Muslim consider Arabic to be God's language.

God is an Arab?  ;D
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 10:57:07 AM
Muslim consider Arabic to be God's language.

So do I, it's beautiful. But our lot fell with Greek, so, as far as languages go, learning that one will yield the most fruit for us Christians.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on September 27, 2012, 11:03:19 AM
Muslim consider Arabic to be God's language.

So do I, it's beautiful. But our lot fell with Greek, so, as far as languages go, learning that one will yield the most fruit for us Christians.

I think it's most useful to learn Greek, but it has never had much place in the slavic tradition.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 11:04:08 AM
Muslim consider Arabic to be God's language.

So do I, it's beautiful. But our lot fell with Greek, so, as far as languages go, learning that one will yield the most fruit for us Christians.
Says who? Even the Apostles went and preached in the native language of their fold.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 11:21:17 AM
Says who? Even the Apostles went and preached in the native language of their fold.

Indeed they did, and so should we. But that doesn't change the fact that our Scriptures, liturgies, the majority of our patristic texts, etc. were written in Greek and that learning Greek would be of tremendous benefit to anyone wanting greater insight into any of those. The Greek language is part of the common heritage, not just of us Orthodox, but of all Christians and knowledge of it is a great blessing.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 27, 2012, 11:22:32 AM
All languages are Christian languages. All languages will yield fruit, so long as there are people who will use them to spread and live the Orthodox faith. This thread just keeps getting stranger and stranger... :-\
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 11:26:24 AM
All languages are Christian languages. All languages will yield fruit, so long as there are people who will use them to spread and live the Orthodox faith.

Indeed, but the Scriptures were not originally written in all languages, nor did the early Fathers write their works in all languages. Have I suggested only Greek should be used in the Liturgy, or in preaching, or in religious study?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on September 27, 2012, 11:33:56 AM
Sorry, Orthodox11, I should have made it more clear that I meant that as a general comment, not a response to your posts in particular. I certainly have no problem with the learning and teaching of Greek, or Aramaic (and Syriac), or even Hebrew for that matter (though Hebrew studies can be a bit of an issue, since they are often unduly influenced by Judaizing Christians and/or Zionist Jews). 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 11:35:32 AM
Says who? Even the Apostles went and preached in the native language of their fold.

Indeed they did, and so should we. But that doesn't change the fact that our Scriptures, liturgies, the majority of our patristic texts, etc. were written in Greek and that learning Greek would be of tremendous benefit to anyone wanting greater insight into any of those. The Greek language is part of the common heritage, not just of us Orthodox, but of all Christians and knowledge of it is a great blessing.
That doesn't make it "Holy", just useful.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 27, 2012, 11:36:33 AM
God is an Arab?  ;D

According to them, Arabic is His native tongue.

Indeed they did, and so should we. But that doesn't change the fact that our Scriptures, liturgies, the majority of our patristic texts, etc. were written in Greek

Or Hebrew, or Aramaic, or Latin, or Church Slavonic...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 11:49:28 AM
That doesn't make it "Holy", just useful.

I don't believe I stated anywhere that Greek was a holy, or holier, language.

Or Hebrew, or Aramaic, or Latin, or Church Slavonic...

Those are all useful languages to learn, but they're not comparable to Greek. We don't use the Hebrew Old Testament, but the Greek LXX (the original Hebrew of which is lost to us), the Aramaic NT is translated from the Greek. Many Fathers wrote in Latin and Syriac, but the corpus of Greek patristic texts, particularly the ones Orthodox make regular reference to, is far larger. While several canons, hymns, akathists, etc. have been composed in Church Slavonic, they represent a very small part of our liturgical tradition, and concern for the most part local feasts and customs of the Slavic churches, while those common to the whole Church were all composed in Greek.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: BoredMeeting on September 27, 2012, 11:53:33 AM
As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on September 27, 2012, 12:08:22 PM
As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.
^This, although Im not a cradle.

If my parish were not in English, I'd probably be agnostic by now.

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: MarkosC on September 27, 2012, 12:21:06 PM
with a little bit of effort, the liturgical (read ancient) languages that we have can yield to the vernacular: Slavonic to Bulgarian, Serbia, Russian, Ukrainian; liturgical Greek to modern Greek, etc... That said, of all liturgical languages, obviously our theologians must be fluent and our priests should be knowledgeable in Greek, not because of its liturgical use but because the New Testament was written in it.

Unforunately, I have to disagree with this.   The original Greek used in the Menaion and Triodion, I am told, is not only dissimilar to modern Greek (though how easy it is to learn is a matter Greeks debate - from my little experience with modern Greek, it's not even like learning Chaucer.  And IMO, the Greek school system needs to teach Byzantine, Attic, and Homeric Greek), but is not ancient street Greek.  These were written by learned men, who wrote in learned, sometimes deliberately archaic poetic styles.  Moreover, they often use very precise thelogical terms and concepts which today are not encountered outside of graduate theology programs.  

Moreover, back when these were written, most people did not speak literary Greek to others unless one was very educated.  Nor did people demand that speeches be given in street Greek - indeed, they expected elevated speech, and found rhetoric, even if some had a hard time understanding it, a form of entertainment.  And we are told that violent street debates would take place on whether or not the Son is unoriginate and co-beginningless with the Father.  

I'm all for translation if there's a legitimate pastoral need, as judged ultimately by the presbyterate and episcopate.  Here in the US IMO at least partial translation is necessary.

But I will not use dumbed down translations, or incompetent translations that have a shaky grasp of theology, no sense of the original and no grasp of liturgical English*.  Incompetence is rife in my experience, especially since each jurisdiction believes it needs its own texts and since there are few people who have made the effort to acquire the necessary skills.

Markos

* by liturgical English I mean the 1661 Prayerbook and the 1611 Authorized Bible - in terms of literary quality, note necessarily thees and thous.   Nothing I've seen outside of Anglicanism - to include what I've seen in Orthodox and Latin Catholic worship - is in the same solar system.  
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 12:21:46 PM
Sorry, Orthodox11, I should have made it more clear that I meant that as a general comment, not a response to your posts in particular.

My bad, sorry.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 12:24:24 PM
And IMO, the Greek school system needs to teach Byzantine, Attic, and Homeric Greek), but is not ancient street Greek.   

Katharevousa was taught until fairly recently. Those who grew up learning katharevousa find the transition to liturgical Greek fairly easy. The Greek of the Liturgy or New Testament is much closer to Katharevousa than it is to Attic and Homeric.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 12:30:17 PM
That doesn't make it "Holy", just useful.

I don't believe I stated anywhere that Greek was a holy, or holier, language.

You compared it to the way Muslims view Arabic and Jews view Hebrew.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on September 27, 2012, 12:32:33 PM
You compared it to the way Muslims view Arabic and Jews view Hebrew.

I did not. I said very clearly that we do not view languages the same way those groups do. The comparison I made was to mosques teaching Arabic and synagogues teaching Hebrew. If they can pull it off, why can't we?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 27, 2012, 12:41:57 PM
If they can pull it off, why can't we?

They have better reasons for that. They learn "God's language" and Greek is not such.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 27, 2012, 12:44:09 PM
with a little bit of effort, the liturgical (read ancient) languages that we have can yield to the vernacular: Slavonic to Bulgarian, Serbia, Russian, Ukrainian; liturgical Greek to modern Greek, etc... That said, of all liturgical languages, obviously our theologians must be fluent and our priests should be knowledgeable in Greek, not because of its liturgical use but because the New Testament was written in it.

Unforunately, I have to disagree with this.   The original Greek used in the Menaion and Triodion, I am told, is not only dissimilar to modern Greek (though how easy it is to learn is a matter Greeks debate - from my little experience with modern Greek, it's not even like learning Chaucer.  And IMO, the Greek school system needs to teach Byzantine, Attic, and Homeric Greek), but is not ancient street Greek.  These were written by learned men, who wrote in learned, sometimes deliberately archaic poetic styles.  Moreover, they often use very precise thelogical terms and concepts which today are not encountered outside of graduate theology programs.  

Moreover, back when these were written, most people did not speak literary Greek to others unless one was very educated.  Nor did people demand that speeches be given in street Greek - indeed, they expected elevated speech, and found rhetoric, even if some had a hard time understanding it, a form of entertainment.  And we are told that violent street debates would take place on whether or not the Son is unoriginate and co-beginningless with the Father.  

I'm all for translation if there's a legitimate pastoral need, as judged ultimately by the presbyterate and episcopate.  Here in the US IMO at least partial translation is necessary.

But I will not use dumbed down translations, or incompetent translations that have a shaky grasp of theology, no sense of the original and no grasp of liturgical English*.  Incompetence is rife in my experience, especially since each jurisdiction believes it needs its own texts and since there are few people who have made the effort to acquire the necessary skills.

Markos

* by liturgical English I mean the 1661 Prayerbook and the 1611 Authorized Bible - in terms of literary quality, note necessarily thees and thous.   Nothing I've seen outside of Anglicanism - to include what I've seen in Orthodox and Latin Catholic worship - is in the same solar system.  

I am aware that many folks in the various traditions (let's just concentrate on liturgical Greek and Slavonic for now) feel the same way that you do. While there well may be some mistranslations and therefore incorrect theological content, I submit to you that the effort would be worthwhile in the long run, especially if care is taken not to offend one's linguistic sensibilities too much. I am coming from the perspective of the mission, which I take to be the Great Commission. I think therefore that being precise and eloquent is a minor consideration when they hamper the mission. So, by all means let us strive to be as precise and eloquent as we can be in the translations (let us not hurry and do a sloppy job), but let us switch over to the vernacular for the common work and worship of the Church. I strongly support the necessity of having a strong group of specialists who will continue to preserve the liturgical languages to inform our worship and ensure that the vernacular captures the original.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2012, 01:28:02 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.

Then couldn't better instruction and teaching been made available without necessarily changing the Liturgy? See, that is what the OP is about, not integrating English in general into the Church, but more specifically going All-English  Liturgy.  In my opinion, EVEN if we had EVERY single piece of text, prayer, or song in the Church meticulously in English, teenagers and young adults would STILL drowned it out as background noise and would still walk away if we don't increase our efforts to actually, directly, and dynamically work with our young people.  Language is not a magic bullet, but to change certain aspects of Tradition to accommodate a bunch of kids, well that is not exactly what Tradition is about.  I have already made the case quite clear as to why the Ethiopian Church can't do this.  Indeed, we do have several of the prayers and readings made in Vernaculars, from Amharic and Tigrenya to English, but again, at every Liturgy, be it the Divine Liturgy or a Liturgy at Baptism, there are chants in Ge'ez which folks are obliged to learn.  This is the history and culture of the Ethiopian Church, and it is part of our unique circumstances within the Orthodox world.  Ge'ez is not "God's language" but we do hold Saint Yared's complicated system of musical notation to be divinely inspired, and we therefore have no aspirations to change that and since it doesn't readily adapt to languages outside of Ge'ez, Ge'ez it is ;)


Since when "forefathers" mean "spiritual fathers?



I never used the term forefathers, I fully implied spiritual fathers.  I would equally have referred to Russian, Greek, Egyptian, Armenian, Indian, Latin, or Syriac fathers as "our Fathers" because I revere clergy.  Thanks for trying to make it an Orthodox integrity peeing contest.  I understand your concern with me being a convert, but you are more than free to check it out for yourself there are some delightful articles on JSTOR which discuss the evolution of Saint Yared's musical notation system.  

(http://yacob.org/ethio-ruby/use-cases/ZimarieWemewasit/4Rows/ZimarieWemewasitPage68i2-600dpi.png)

Here is another source (http://yacob.org/ethio-ruby/) like Levar Burton always says, "You don't have to take my word for it."

(http://wellsy.files.wordpress.com/2009/08/reading-rainbow-300x262.jpg?w=594)

stay  blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 27, 2012, 02:54:10 PM
our Fathers have considered the musical notation as sacred in the Tradition as the words themselves, so asking us to change the music would be as sacrilegious as just asking us to change the words

Kinda heretical and breaking the 1st commandment.

I wonder whether any cradles can confirm that. Hiwot?



Absolutely heretical! And nowhere do the Ethiopian Fathers have ever expressed such a sentiment, not even one that is remotely close to it. Lord have Mercy! Habte Silasse for the love of God refrain from projecting your own fetish on to the Orthodox Church! Nowhere do any of the Fathers equate musical notation as sacred as the Words of the Liturgy EVER! , the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church existed before St. Yared came into the picture , with all the DL, Scripture in short all things included in Holy Tradition, St. Yared was able to introduce his music into the Church because the Church was open and willing to use all those things that will serve in preaching the Gospel of the Lord, after St. Yared many many music has been composed in the Church, the Dance has evolved and it was added to it by people like Aleka Tekle, in what is now called ‘yetekle aquaquam’ , even the DL ‘s music is different among regions , debra abay is not the same as the one of Shewa, or that one of serenkula Qidase.
 You keep on saying that in the Ethiopian Orthodox Tradition the entire DL is not/ cannot be translated into other languages, that is simply Not true. Every part of the DL has been translated into Amharic, Tigrina, and Oromiffa. One of the Parishes I used to go to in Addis as a child, always used Amharic only in the Sunday DL service, for the entirety of the DL. Due to its proximity to the main universities in Addis, it used to be the most packed Church where the college students go to, the fact that  it happened  to have excellent Sunday school program was also one of the attraction for the youth. They did not sing the DL, because the music is made for the Geez, that did not stop the Church Fathers to know the importance of having a DL service in the language of the people. For those who wanted to hear the mix liturgical languages they could go to the weekday liturgy. Even then the percentage throughout the City of Addis in the usage of Geez and Amharic has always been 25% and 75% respectively. What does that tell us? While we know the importance of preserving the language the music etc, we never elevate them above the great Commission that Our Lord has given the Catholic Orthodox Church! Never ever ever!!! The day we say otherwise it is the day we cease being Christians, and have fallen into idolatry!


The irony of hearing people say stuf like this on behalf of  Ethiopians is that Ethiopians are the ones who have benefited incredibly as a result of intense labor of translations by our Holy Fathers who were mostly Copts, and Syrians and Greeks ,evangelizers of Ethiopia  so Ethiopian Christians know first and foremost the value of translations as we have our most elevated and revered saints are those saints who have engaged in the translation of the DL, the Holy Scripture etc. St. Yared was one of the students of the Nine saints who saw the importance of having DL, Scripture, Church Music all of it being in the spoken language of the people. St. Yared did not hold his language geez to be superior than the language of his holy fathers whose language were Coptic, Greek, Syriac. Not at all, he like them understood of the need to experience the DL without any linguistic barrier, nor did St Frumentius ( a Syrian Greek) , or the Nine Saints  impose their language onto the Ethiopians they evangelized, instead they learnt the language of the country and poured their very life into bringing the Gospel to the common people of Ethiopia in their own language. No Ethiopian Orthodox Christian would dare to claim that language is greater than the words of the Gospel, or the musical notas are unchangeable as the words of the DL. That kind of fetish has its own name, and the Church does not have any place for such fetish.perhaps  musemums and preservation centers might accommodate such fetish so far as I know, the Church of the Living Christ has no such Tradition.


It is not because the Church has come to the English speaking world that the usage of language other than Geez started to be used in the DL, rather it is within Ethiopia herself that the Orthodox Church started to use translations , mainly into Amharic and Tigrigna languages, so nearly all spiritual documents and scriptures are  translated into these two languages. The basic principle behind all these actions being  the commandment that the Lord gave the Church, to bring the Good News and Salvation to all Men , the Church must act with the same urgency and joy of the first century. The same Orthodox Tradition followed those who immigrated into the English speaking world, so now we have the entire DL translated into English. So it is no longer the question of can it be translated, obviously it has already been translated. The question is can it be chanted for the entire DL, the answer is of course it can. The music nota although at the moment has not been adopted for the Amharic or the Tigrigna or the English, it does not mean that it is impossible for it to be adopted in the future, to deny that possibility  would be ridiculous. It will require a combined effort of secular and church musicians to make a universal music that easily crosses over different languages and God willing it will be done as it has been done for other hymns of the church.


English is starting to be used in some of the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches partly, although the English Text translation of the DL is used to accompany every DL service via books and projectors , however on a more positive note, One wonderful priest I know recently e-mailed me to let me know that his Orthodox Tewahedo parish now serves DL two Sundays of the month entirely in English. I was in tears when I read his email. The fact that he is a cradle orthodox who can serve in Geez, Amharic, Tgirigna and English makes him one of a kind. Not to mention that he is highly educated College Professor who minsters to the youth the best way he could and I mean he gives it his all with such humility love and dedication. His parish teaches the youth the language of their heritage, DL in geez, and DL in English as part of the Sunday school program which actually also has Friday night language lessons. These types of efforts are the ones that are following the Orthodox Tradition of the Fathers, not those who say this language and this music is our heritage and we must keep it at all costs. The historically proven Orthodox Path of the Fathers  serves the Church that’s ever young( not only by age of the cradles but by the presence of the called by the Spirit Catechumens, and the Newly Illumined converts )while at the same time preserving the  Orthodox Tradition of building on  firm foundation, thereby along the way contributing to the growth of a Christianized culture, the enrichment of custom and tradition, as all things become Christianized and beautified by the presence of Christ as Orthodox Christians of all races and ethnicities and languages , live out their Orthodox Christian Faith, Faithfully! For that to happen the Holy Spirit has initiated the Church by the lifting of the language barrier, that was a tool of stopping work in Babylon, the very method that was used to divide is now used to gather all nations into Christ, The Holy Spirit allowed the apostles to speak to each man in that assembly in his mother tongue the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Those that came into Judaism from all nations seeking the God Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Israel, on that beautiful day of the birth of the Church, the Holy Spirit gathered all men in Christ, for the Glory of the Father. He was found by those who sought him truly! At once on the very day of the Pentecost the Church was established as a Catholic Church! The Children of Noah, sought to reach God with their buildings and language was used as a barrier to stop their foolishness, the Holy Spirit used Language to bring all men to a life in communion with God. Yet even today people are tempted to erect  the tower of their cultural, linguistic, historical pride before Christ and His Church. Ultimately Those that are not  working for Christ while in the Church, they are working against Christ,and they that gather without Christ scatter. To humanity Nothing is as important as the Gospel of Jesus Christ, no that does not mean the bible. And what is this Africans vs. Americans in the love of language yada yada that I am seeing? That is quickly followed by marks garvey speech, about roots and so forth, we all know where this is coming from and where it is leading, This leaven of the heretics hides itself in so many disguises, I will say it again the Church is Catholic, save your racial regional politics where it belongs that sickness will never get legitimacy in the Orthodox Church. The Gospel is for All Mankind. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is not a racial or a regional Church. If she must trace her roots and indulge in such foolishness then she traces it to Palestine lol to a Jewish Man. Great is the Wisdom of the Lord!



So in the end  our Tradition has always been engaged in doing whatever is necessary even to the point of death to proclaim the Gospel to ALL Mankind, we go the Same Path our Holy Patriarchs have walked in, All are welcome to the Kingdom of God, All are welcome to the bosom of their Mother the Church, All must hear the Good News of our Salvation!  In fact we come from a tradition that says  this :

Philippians 1 15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.c 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

In the end we care that the Church minsters for everyone within and for all outside who are willing to listen simply because..
Matthew 28: 18-20 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

And the apostle gives witness
Galatians 3:26-28 26You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, 27for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.



I have said my piece , I do not have the time to reply anytime soon.


Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: pious1 on September 27, 2012, 03:04:24 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if people want to go to a liturgy where the service is guaranteed to be in English and more American with little to no old school ethnic flat, isn't that what the OCA is? I never understood the arguments people have for English only liturgies and an ending to the tight ethnic groups that turn off many converts. That is who the OCA appeals to and as a result, the OCA i believe is either the largest Orthodox body in the US or 2nd largest after the Greek Orthodox Church. Let the ethnic parishes remain ethnic and those who feel uncomfortable in an ethnic parish, go to the OCA. Please someone tell me what is wrong with my line of thinking.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on September 27, 2012, 03:10:40 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if people want to go to a liturgy where the service is guaranteed to be in English and more American with little to no old school ethnic flat, isn't that what the OCA is? I never understood the arguments people have for English only liturgies and an ending to the tight ethnic groups that turn off many converts. That is who the OCA appeals to and as a result, the OCA i believe is either the largest Orthodox body in the US or 2nd largest after the Greek Orthodox Church. Let the ethnic parishes remain ethnic and those who feel uncomfortable in an ethnic parish, go to the OCA. Please someone tell me what is wrong with my line of thinking.

The OCA is 2nd based an the article below, which is an article on a study done in 2004

http://www.antiochian.org/content/five-interesting-facts-report-released-noted-researcher
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2012, 03:14:53 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

They did not sing the DL, because the music is made for the Geez, that did not stop the Church Fathers to know the importance of having a DL service in the language of the people.

The crux of the argument here which you so simply proved the point.  The Liturgy CAN'T be properly sung in any language but Ge'ez, and I may be a purist about it, but all the priests I roll with and the literature I've consulted has suggested that singing the Liturgy is very important.  Personally, I would feel weird in a parish that didn't sing the Liturgy in the manner of Saint Yared, but if I was misinformed about this matter I humbly apologize for any misconceptions.

If I should clarify ,then I shall, but in every of the several Ethiopian parishes I attend or network with here in the US, the Liturgy is CHANTED in Ge'ez, and the Scriptures are read in Amharic, and the petition prayers and litanies and the Anaphora prayers are spoken in Amharic, but again, we still have Ge'ez chanted in for at least 60%.  This has been my experience, and I personally had to LEARN Ge'ez to chant and sing along.  When I asked my own Fathers about why I had to learn Ge'ez, and when we've discussed English liturgies (which of course we have also been working towards, but Ge'ez and English, not entirely English) they have always explained to me it comes down to preserving the music. Why is Yared a Saint exactly if his music was not divinely inspired?


Quote
St. Yared did not hold his language geez to be superior than the language of his holy fathers whose language were Coptic, Greek, Syriac.

Never implied that, rather I am discussing the ዜማ, not the written texts, nor the Gospels, nor the spoken prayers, but the chants.



Quote
It is not because the Church has come to the English speaking world that the usage of language other than Geez started to be used in the DL, rather it is within Ethiopia herself that the Orthodox Church started to use translations , mainly into Amharic and Tigrigna languages, so nearly all spiritual documents and scriptures are  translated into these two languages.

Yes, this is true, but I understood that much like all the Ethiopian Liturgies which I've attended that the chanted parts were still in Ge'ez to follow the musical notation, and the spoken prayers or readings are in the vernacular.  I never pretended that the Ethiopian Church doesn't use dozens of vernaculars, we are talking specifically about the chant.


Quote
it does not mean that it is impossible for it to be adopted in the future, to deny that possibility  would be ridiculous. It will require a combined effort of secular and church musicians to make a universal music that easily crosses over different languages and God willing it will be done as it has been done for other hymns of the church.

I also didn't suggest this, rather that considering how merciless complex and intricate the musical notation system is that it seems like a tall order :)

Quote
English is starting to be used in some of the Orthodox Tewahedo Churches partly, although the English Text translation of the DL is used to accompany every DL service via books and projectors , however on a more positive note,

Yes of course, how else could a native English speaker like myself learn the Ge'ez chanted / spoken Amharic Liturgy in the first place?

Quote
That is quickly followed by marks garvey speech, about roots and so forth, we all know where this is coming from and where it is leading, This leaven of the heretics hides itself in so many disguises, I will say it again the Church is Catholic,

You were aware that the Honorable Marcus Garvey was a devout Catholic right?

 
Quote
save your racial regional politics where it belongs that sickness will never get legitimacy in the Orthodox Church.

Haha, what a laugh, you realize I am a white man right? How exactly am I pushing racial regional politics which by definition would reject myself from the equation ;)

 
Quote
The Gospel is for All Mankind. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church is not a racial or a regional Church. If she must trace her roots and indulge in such foolishness then she traces it to Palestine lol to a Jewish Man. Great is the Wisdom of the Lord!

Amen!

Perhaps my obvious bias is that the Ethiopian parishes I attend focus on Liturgical purity and therefore CHANT the Liturgy.  If I have caused confusion here, my mistake, I can only testify what I have been taught by my priests and the Ethiopian community I have become a part of.  We are all Christians here, and we are learning from each other each new day.  

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 27, 2012, 03:21:09 PM
Correct me if I'm wrong, but if people want to go to a liturgy where the service is guaranteed to be in English and more American with little to no old school ethnic flat, isn't that what the OCA is? I never understood the arguments people have for English only liturgies and an ending to the tight ethnic groups that turn off many converts. That is who the OCA appeals to and as a result, the OCA i believe is either the largest Orthodox body in the US or 2nd largest after the Greek Orthodox Church. Let the ethnic parishes remain ethnic and those who feel uncomfortable in an ethnic parish, go to the OCA. Please someone tell me what is wrong with my line of thinking.

Definitely support our ethnic parishes.  But the other issue is how do the non-ethnic Churches take root?  Ethnic parishes get established quickly during periods of mass migration of certin ethnic people.  But the concern also is converts, how do we get them into our parishes enough to form their own parish?  The OCA in my area started this way, they got into this ethnic-non-ethnic battle with the local ROC and they formed their own mission parish with blessing from their Bishop.  It took years to build the parish up, even some time before they got a priest.  But a quarter of a century later they have a thriving parish.  But many areas may not have these.  The OCA aren't just going to start building parishes if there are no Orthodox Christians in the area interested in going to their parishes.  In fact, some OCA parishes even referted to an ethnic parish because most Orthodox in the area are of an ethnic group.  But the issue with the language is really more about Evangelizing others.  So where do we start if not the ethnic parishes?  Some of them has to make accomodations for non-ethnic people.  And once the converts have grown they can move out and form their own parish.  But someone has to plant the seeds for this.  You can't expect the OCA to just randomlly open parishes and hope for the best.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 27, 2012, 03:22:48 PM
Hiwot amazing as usually.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 27, 2012, 03:53:46 PM
habtesilasse, , the crux of the argument was not whether or not the DL should be sung, it was about needing an all English Liturgy and the need for using the spoken language of the people.

we all know the music does not translate well outside of the geez as it is, there is no argument there however  you were pontificating over how the notas were as sacred as the words,  and even said the fathers believe it to be so.

if what you have said was only that the notas make it difficult to adopt to other languages , none of the arguments would have existed , you have said plenty in the name of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, that is quite contrary to the Church's Tradition.

 as to you being white,you can be green , it does not matter, what matters is when you insinuate that such and such church needs to stick to its roots  quoting a certain Markus ,which roots was Markus talking about?hmm? the spiritual roots of Orthodoxy? hmm? the fetish of the exotic has lured many, the self proclaimed enlightened hippies of various races, had got it in their minds that certain people need to act a certain way to assert and maintain the purity of a certain identity. sorry some of us do not buy that filth. the joke is when someone says stuff like you said,' but i am white how can i say this' its like some blacks say some racial slur and think its okay because they are black too lol its just too funny to hear.

as to discussing the zema, you used the zema to denounce the need for using the vernacular in the DL, when the orthodox challenged your position rightfully so, you retreated into an idolatrous statements just to hold on to the fetish, rather than Serve Christ's Commandment to His Church. that you have done it claiming the Church Father's as authority is quite astounding.

you then move on to give a demeaning lecture about the potential converts in America, etc. I have no time to go into each points now, everyone can read what you wrote so far, and they are trying to educate you in the best way they can: what the Orthodox Tradition is about. the Crux of the Argument is closely tied to the Great Commission of the Church of Christ.  

take whatever position you chose.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2012, 04:01:32 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

habtesilasse, , the crux of the argument was not whether or not the DL should be sung, it was about needing an all English Liturgy and the need for using the spoken language of the people.

That is not at all what I was talking about. I was talking about why the Liturgy is sung in Ge'ez, and explaining that it was more than just a matter of preference, it was a logistical reality.  I admit I was not aware that there were Liturgies which were NOT chanted in Ge'ez, but I have never experienced them.

Quote
we all know the music does not translate well outside of the geez as it is, there is no argument there however..

THANK YOU  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z9DDDj_JdMA) ;)

However Michal Kalina clearly didn't know that, hence why I had to explain such..


Quote
as to discussing the zema, you used the zema to denounce the need for using the vernacular in the DL, when the orthodox challenged your position rightfully so, you retreated into an idolatrous statements just to hold on to the fetish, rather than Serve Christ's Commandment to His Church. that you have done it claiming the Church Father's as authority is quite astounding.

How did I do that exactly when I mentioned specifically and several times that in our Liturgy the prayers that are spoken and the scriptures that are read are in vernaculars, but the chanted and sung portions are rightfully in Ge'ez  :P

such as here
Indeed, we do have several of the prayers and readings made in Vernaculars, from Amharic and Tigrenya to English, but again, at every Liturgy, be it the Divine Liturgy or a Liturgy at Baptism, there are chants in Ge'ez which folks are obliged to learn.  This is the history and culture of the Ethiopian Church, and it is part of our unique circumstances within the Orthodox world.  Ge'ez is not "God's language" but we do hold Saint Yared's complicated system of musical notation to be divinely inspired,

Also check reply #149 and reply #152 :)
Quote
you then move on to give a demeaning lecture about the potential converts in America, etc. I have no time to go into each points now, everyone can read what you wrote so far, and they are trying to educate you in the best way they can: what the Orthodox Tradition is about. the Crux of the Argument is closely tied to the Great Commission of the Church of Christ.  
That is your opinion and you are free to have it, but a lot of other folks were quite happy to agree with my posts about increasing our efforts to integrate our youth and converts into the parish network actively and directly.  My argument is and has always been that we can't just translate things, sit back and watch the Church grow.  We have to WORK at it. The WORK is more important than the translations by a long shot! We can disagree, but I didn't find anything demeaning in my post, neither did others here, and honestly I am truly sorry you feel that way :(



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 27, 2012, 04:14:26 PM
habteselassie you think the other orthodox in here do not understand that musical notas are difficult to translate from Greek to English etc. they know and they have gone through that also. but you acted as if because we say st. yared was guided by the Holy Spirit when he composed his music that others can not be guided by the Holy Spirit to integrate the Amharic and the English to fit the established musical tradition.

you are the one who did not know that others know of such problems yet they focus on the real issue of ministering to the youth and to the possible converts among the people in the country of immigration,accomplishing the main mission of the Church is at the heart of their concern and their discussion, not to pontificate about their musical notas  and/or belittle the good intention of the possible converts.

ps. you are wrong, singing is done in ge'ez alone, however chanting can be done in amharic as well, which makes it a good percentage of the DL in most EOTCs

another edit, your last paragraph is so funny lol what exactly is translating and making sure the youth are educated and formed in the Gospel in the language they understand qualify as? a waste of time? what qualifies as work to you? going to the park may be?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2012, 04:21:08 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

habteselassie you think the other orthodox in here do not understand that musical notas are difficult to translate from Greek to English etc. they know and they have gone through that also. but you acted as if because we say st. yared was guided by the Holy Spirit when he composed his music that others can not be guided by the Holy Spirit to integrate the Amharic and the English to fit the established musical tradition.
I didn't mean to suggest that it can't happen, I was merely explaining why it hasn't happened yet :)

Also please see reply #200

Quote from: habteselassie
Quote

it does not mean that it is impossible for it to be adopted in the future, to deny that possibility  would be ridiculous. It will require a combined effort of secular and church musicians to make a universal music that easily crosses over different languages and God willing it will be done as it has been done for other hymns of the church.

I also didn't suggest this, rather that considering how merciless complex and intricate the musical notation system is that it seems like a tall order

 :P

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 04:31:42 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

habteselassie you think the other orthodox in here do not understand that musical notas are difficult to translate from Greek to English etc. they know and they have gone through that also. but you acted as if because we say st. yared was guided by the Holy Spirit when he composed his music that others can not be guided by the Holy Spirit to integrate the Amharic and the English to fit the established musical tradition.
I didn't mean to suggest that it can't happen, I was merely explaining why it hasn't happened yet :)

Also please see reply #200

Quote from: habteselassie
Quote

it does not mean that it is impossible for it to be adopted in the future, to deny that possibility  would be ridiculous. It will require a combined effort of secular and church musicians to make a universal music that easily crosses over different languages and God willing it will be done as it has been done for other hymns of the church.

I also didn't suggest this, rather that considering how merciless complex and intricate the musical notation system is that it seems like a tall order

 :P

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I'll ask one more time, why can't the hierarchs employ some monks to create a new system of music for Amharic or English? If the Ge'ez system can't be imported, then it is their duty to create a new one. That has been the Orthodox Tradition for many centuries now.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 27, 2012, 04:36:49 PM
as you can see , what you have said has caused quite a stir, from all directions, but now that you have effectively backpedaled on all the things relevant to the main disccusion , that you have suggested and insinuated,canceling out one of your arguments with another, we are good. the air has been cleared.

thank you.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on September 27, 2012, 04:38:50 PM
my brother sheenji, you have asked an excellent question, and made an excellent statement as well. ;D
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 27, 2012, 04:56:05 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I'll ask one more time, why can't the hierarchs employ some monks to create a new system of music for Amharic or English? If the Ge'ez system can't be imported, then it is their duty to create a new one. That has been the Orthodox Tradition for many centuries now.

That is out of my hands, neither I or Sister Hiwot qualify as such hierarchs, all I can testify is my own experience.  Again, when I asked why I had to learn Ge'ez, it was explained to me that Ge'ez is the system employed for the chants.  Hiwot has confirmed this in reply #193 and reply #203.  I can't explain why the Fathers haven't worked on something different, I can only just explain what the Fathers have already done or in this case, haven't done yet  :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 27, 2012, 05:08:18 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



I'll ask one more time, why can't the hierarchs employ some monks to create a new system of music for Amharic or English? If the Ge'ez system can't be imported, then it is their duty to create a new one. That has been the Orthodox Tradition for many centuries now.

That is out of my hands, neither I or Sister Hiwot qualify as such hierarchs, all I can testify is my own experience.  Again, when I asked why I had to learn Ge'ez, it was explained to me that Ge'ez is the system employed for the chants.  Hiwot has confirmed this in reply #193 and reply #203.  I can't explain why the Fathers haven't worked on something different, I can only just explain what the Fathers have already done or in this case, haven't done yet  :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Maybe all it will take is for someone to ask their bishop. They are (usually) not unreasonable people so I'm sure at least one Bishop will be willing to compose liturgical music for use by those unfamiliar with Ge'ez.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on September 27, 2012, 08:57:39 PM
As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.

This is why I felt the need to point out that the Ethiopian fathers are not Habte's fathers (not because I wanted to give the guy a hard time, but because I wanted to underscore that his atypical).

The above is a typical experience of "cradle" Orthodox Christians in so-called diaspora, and I can assure you that things are much worse here in Australia than they are in the States.

There is not a single English-only parish in our archdiocese. Not one.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on September 28, 2012, 11:02:50 AM
The hymnology of our Church and the Divine Liturgy itself have always had a didactic component. Before the invention of the printing press, people would hear the Bible and theology in the hymns and Liturgy.

If they can't understand the language (many do not, more will not as time passes, because for good or ill, this is a primarily English-speaking country) that component is lost.
The Greeks have made intensive efforts to teach the language to their children with really very little success.
This is reality - perhaps not the way some would want it, but it is reality.
And it is also what the Church has always done - after all we have numerous examples throughout history from Sts. Cyril and Methodios to St. Herman of our church translating the services into the common language, the vernacular, of the people.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 28, 2012, 11:18:06 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.

This is why I felt the need to point out that the Ethiopian fathers are not Habte's fathers (not because I wanted to give the guy a hard time, but because I wanted to underscore that his atypical).
That I can both respect, understand, and relate too :)

Please let me reiterate what my point has been since page 2.  In our Ethiopian jurisdiction, we have the Liturgy in Ge'ez and mixed in with the recited prayers and readings in vernaculars.  The sung portion is in Ge'ez.  To address BoredMeeting's point, I agree that if our youth do not understand the Church they will leave.  However, from my direct experience working with youth in our parish for several years now, I can say that the Liturgy and hymns simply aren't enough to replace a good and thorough catechism.   So as I said initially in the first pages, we can't just translate things and hope for the best, we have to increase our actual efforts teaching, explaining, and networking our youth to integrate them socially into the parish life.  Kids respons much better to the direct attention :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on September 28, 2012, 12:25:28 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.

This is why I felt the need to point out that the Ethiopian fathers are not Habte's fathers (not because I wanted to give the guy a hard time, but because I wanted to underscore that his atypical).
That I can both respect, understand, and relate too :)

Please let me reiterate what my point has been since page 2.  In our Ethiopian jurisdiction, we have the Liturgy in Ge'ez and mixed in with the recited prayers and readings in vernaculars.  The sung portion is in Ge'ez.  To address BoredMeeting's point, I agree that if our youth do not understand the Church they will leave.  However, from my direct experience working with youth in our parish for several years now, I can say that the Liturgy and hymns simply aren't enough to replace a good and thorough catechism.   So as I said initially in the first pages, we can't just translate things and hope for the best, we have to increase our actual efforts teaching, explaining, and networking our youth to integrate them socially into the parish life.  Kids respons much better to the direct attention :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Yeah, I have to disagree. So much of our Theology and Christology is encapsulated in the Liturgy, that when it is properly translated, it becomes the perfect catechism.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 28, 2012, 12:30:42 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Yeah, I have to disagree. So much of our Theology and Christology is encapsulated in the Liturgy, that when it is properly translated, it becomes the perfect catechism.

I am not denying that.  In fact, one of the focuses of my Sunday School work is precisely to explain and teach about the Liturgy. Further, I encourage our youth to attend most frequently, while getting there as early as possible to experience the mystery.  However, again, just standing them in the Church isn't necessarily enough, our youth today need it to be taught and explained as well as experienced so they can make sense of what they are experiencing and what is expected of them.  The Tradition is dense and complex, we can't expect young people just to figure it out for themselves.  I am not trying to diminish the significance of the Liturgy, rather enhance it through education and integration.

stay blessed,\
habte Selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 28, 2012, 12:34:01 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Yeah, I have to disagree. So much of our Theology and Christology is encapsulated in the Liturgy, that when it is properly translated, it becomes the perfect catechism.

I am not denying that.  In fact, one of the focuses of my Sunday School work is precisely to explain and teach about the Liturgy. Further, I encourage our youth to attend most frequently, while getting there as early as possible to experience the mystery.  However, again, just standing them in the Church isn't necessarily enough, our youth today need it to be taught and explained as well as experienced so they can make sense of what they are experiencing and what is expected of them.  The Tradition is dense and complex, we can't expect young people just to figure it out for themselves.  I am not trying to diminish the significance of the Liturgy, rather enhance it through education and integration.

stay blessed,\
habte Selassie

We can do all for Gods with us.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 28, 2012, 01:44:23 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


We can do all for Gods with us.

Amen!

So by God's Grace lets aim for our ALL and not cut it short in any aspect :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on September 28, 2012, 03:13:31 PM
It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on September 28, 2012, 04:12:54 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?

Amen! What is so good and pleasant as brothers dwelling together in harmony as the Psalmist wrote..

Yes but I would also add that  4A would be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons and a 4B that extensive catechism should be implemented.  Also a point 5 should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on September 28, 2012, 05:18:11 PM
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

In Cyprus, whether weekday or Sunday, church begins 6:30am and it does not seem to effect numbers whatsoever. I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

I presume you mean Orthros starts at 6:30?  Cool, this suggests that Divine Liturgy finishes at least at 9:00 with homily (assuming they take the standard abbreviations normally seen in Greek usage).  FWIW, Orthros begins every day at 7AM at St. Dimitrios in Thessaloniki (services finishing around 10:30 if Divine Liturgy is celebrated).    I don't notice that Orthros attendance is any less there than anywhere else, meaning that time is not necessarily a pastoral impediment.  

http://www.inad.gr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111 (http://www.inad.gr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111)

Of course, early Orthros+Liturgy is not quite what some people advocating two liturgies are advocating - rather, two Divine Liturgies (I know of few places outside ROCOR that do all services seperately and bilingually), effectively creating two parishes in the same building.  

Yes, it is Orthros that begins at 6:30.  I have not been to Cyprus since 2004, but have 5 former parishioners who currently live there.  The younger people and others with a Saturday night-life simply don't go.  It is the same in South America.  As Archbishop Jeremiah told me, his Liturgy is later in the morning and more people come as the result of it (than they did when he had it earlier) because of the later bed-times of people on Saturday.  In America, we have people who like to sleep in a bit.  While I would prefer a Liturgy start time between 8am and 9am in the morning and more in accord with the Typikon, it would be far fewer people. 

BTW @LBK, while I agree that it is a matter of priorities, is it not better to have a more full Church later?  Anywhere in the US that has two priests and two liturgies has a more full church in the later liturgy.  This indicates a preference to the latter. 
 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 28, 2012, 05:54:06 PM
As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.
^This, although Im not a cradle.

If my parish were not in English, I'd probably be agnostic by now.

PP
I wouldn't be agnostic, but I certainly wouldn't be active in any church.  We speak very little Greek, just enough to make a person want to learn it, so it's up to the individual.  On feast days, being Pan, our priest will have portions done in each language of whomever is in attendance (Russian, Serbian, Greek, etc).  It's very nice.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 29, 2012, 06:05:47 AM
Please, stop saying the Liturgy is in Russian...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 29, 2012, 06:21:35 AM
Please, stop saying the Liturgy is in Russian...
Who said it was in Russian?

If you meant me, I was speaking of jurisdiction.  If not me, carry on good sir!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 29, 2012, 07:19:20 AM
No jurisdiction has Liturgies in Russian apart from 2-3 parishes in Russia.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 29, 2012, 08:32:58 AM
No jurisdiction has Liturgies in Russian apart from 2-3 parishes in Russia.

But they are Russian jurisdictions, yes?  (ROCOR, etc.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Tommelomsky on September 29, 2012, 09:25:10 AM
Yes. The liturgy is in church slavonic mostly. In my parish it is sometimes also with parts in native tongue. But not that often.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on September 29, 2012, 12:07:07 PM
(http://thenewoniondome.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/churchsign2.jpg)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Tommelomsky on September 29, 2012, 02:54:41 PM
But response to those who wonder: no,many are not like me. A few fellow countrymen/women that wonder about converting has the approach that everything should be in the native tongue and pointing to that this is not Russia. I dislike the argument, but respect it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on September 29, 2012, 05:21:33 PM
No jurisdiction has Liturgies in Russian apart from 2-3 parishes in Russia.

But they are Russian jurisdictions, yes?  (ROCOR, etc.)

And they do not use Russian in services at all.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on September 29, 2012, 08:28:41 PM
No jurisdiction has Liturgies in Russian apart from 2-3 parishes in Russia.

But they are Russian jurisdictions, yes?  (ROCOR, etc.)

And they do not use Russian in services at all.
And I never said they did, but it really is not important and is taking away from the thread.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Dominika on September 30, 2012, 01:28:21 PM
First of all, in USA there should be one autocephalus Orthodox Church. For potential converts it would be easier to identify themselves with such organisation, than with ethnic-national Church jurisdictions. But that's obvious.

I'm for liturgical languages, but only in case if it's quite, let's say, natural for the community, if it has origin in it. E.g. for Slavs Church Slavonic, for Greeks koine, for Ethiopians Geez etc. The own liturgical language it's a great treasure, but the case of USA is different, because Americans are a mix of different nations and ethnicity, so the language of future American Orthodox Church should be English. Sure, if quite large percent of the parishioners wanted to introduce their ethnic or liturgical languages, it should be done. And if it's 50-50, no way: two Liturgies on Sunday and on feasts mixed services. Certainly, there would be division between cradle and convert, but at least some initiatives and services would be held together.

Some potential converts, in type of Hyperdox Herman, liturgical language could be an attractive thing that would bring this person up to Orthodoxy. But I think the majority of Americans would like to understand all the things that are said in church. I think in USA liturgical language could be maintained for some occasions e.g. great feasts or e.g for troparions and irmoses- all this stuff it's repeated a few times during one liturgical day (even during one Liturgy), so one time it could be chanted in e.g Greek and second time in English. I've heard quite a lot of recordings from various Orthodox parishes in USA and I think quite a lot of them (probably mainly Antiochians) does it in this way.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on October 01, 2012, 12:03:01 PM
Quote
First of all, in USA there should be one autocephalus Orthodox Church. For potential converts it would be easier to identify themselves with such organisation, than with ethnic-national Church jurisdictions. But that's obvious.

I'm for liturgical languages, but only in case if it's quite, let's say, natural for the community, if it has origin in it. E.g. for Slavs Church Slavonic, for Greeks koine, for Ethiopians Geez etc. The own liturgical language it's a great treasure, but the case of USA is different, because Americans are a mix of different nations and ethnicity, so the language of future American Orthodox Church should be English. Sure, if quite large percent of the parishioners wanted to introduce their ethnic or liturgical languages, it should be done. And if it's 50-50, no way: two Liturgies on Sunday and on feasts mixed services. Certainly, there would be division between cradle and convert, but at least some initiatives and services would be held together.

Some potential converts, in type of Hyperdox Herman, liturgical language could be an attractive thing that would bring this person up to Orthodoxy. But I think the majority of Americans would like to understand all the things that are said in church. I think in USA liturgical language could be maintained for some occasions e.g. great feasts or e.g for troparions and irmoses- all this stuff it's repeated a few times during one liturgical day (even during one Liturgy), so one time it could be chanted in e.g Greek and second time in English. I've heard quite a lot of recordings from various Orthodox parishes in USA and I think quite a lot of them (probably mainly Antiochians) does it in this way
^This.

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on October 01, 2012, 12:17:43 PM
First of all, in USA there should be one autocephalus Orthodox Church. For potential converts it would be easier to identify themselves with such organisation, than with ethnic-national Church jurisdictions. But that's obvious.

I'm for liturgical languages, but only in case if it's quite, let's say, natural for the community, if it has origin in it. E.g. for Slavs Church Slavonic, for Greeks koine, for Ethiopians Geez etc. The own liturgical language it's a great treasure, but the case of USA is different, because Americans are a mix of different nations and ethnicity, so the language of future American Orthodox Church should be English. Sure, if quite large percent of the parishioners wanted to introduce their ethnic or liturgical languages, it should be done. And if it's 50-50, no way: two Liturgies on Sunday and on feasts mixed services. Certainly, there would be division between cradle and convert, but at least some initiatives and services would be held together.

Some potential converts, in type of Hyperdox Herman, liturgical language could be an attractive thing that would bring this person up to Orthodoxy. But I think the majority of Americans would like to understand all the things that are said in church. I think in USA liturgical language could be maintained for some occasions e.g. great feasts or e.g for troparions and irmoses- all this stuff it's repeated a few times during one liturgical day (even during one Liturgy), so one time it could be chanted in e.g Greek and second time in English. I've heard quite a lot of recordings from various Orthodox parishes in USA and I think quite a lot of them (probably mainly Antiochians) does it in this way.
Why should Americans be able to understand the Liturgy but Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians can't? Everyone seems to forget that these "Liturgical" languages where once the vernaculars of the Church, which is why the Liturgy was conducted in those languages to begin with.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 01, 2012, 12:32:47 PM
Why should Americans be able to understand the Liturgy but Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians can't? Everyone seems to forget that these "Liturgical" languages where once the vernaculars of the Church, which is why the Liturgy was conducted in those languages to begin with.

Because the primary language of the country that the Russians, Greeks and Ethiopians are living in (and in many cases, have chosen to live in) is English.
The services were originally translated into what are now "liturgical" languages because they were the languages of the people.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on October 01, 2012, 12:35:39 PM
Until liturgies are done in English and there is one Orthodox Church in America (please keep the "we are one!" drivel away. The public doesnt see us this way), it will always be considered, "Oh thats the <insert nationality here> Church."

PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on October 01, 2012, 12:46:38 PM
The sad truth is that the general American public will think it is a church of X ethnicity so long as the majority of the people in it are of X ethnicity or cultural background, and it will probably not be possible for those that are less European in origin to shake this perception of their churches (sorry to make it sound like a racial thing, but in this case that might not be too far from the truth). Again, the liturgy is overwhelmingly in English where I am, but the fact that I am the only non-Middle Easterner who regularly attends makes me seem weird; it does not make the church seem open, which is of course the entire point of using the de facto language of the land in the first place.

So in a way, we are in a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation, because other people who have visited have still found it culturally alienating despite the language being English, simply because the Coptic culture does take a while to get used to. I think there is more to this question than just language. Much more.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on October 01, 2012, 12:49:48 PM
Why should Americans be able to understand the Liturgy but Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians can't? Everyone seems to forget that these "Liturgical" languages where once the vernaculars of the Church, which is why the Liturgy was conducted in those languages to begin with.

Because the primary language of the country that the Russians, Greeks and Ethiopians are living in (and in many cases, have chosen to live in) is English.
The services were originally translated into what are now "liturgical" languages because they were the languages of the people.
Which is exactly what I'm trying to say...
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 01, 2012, 01:22:47 PM
First of all, in USA there should be one autocephalus Orthodox Church. For potential converts it would be easier to identify themselves with such organisation, than with ethnic-national Church jurisdictions. But that's obvious.

I'm for liturgical languages, but only in case if it's quite, let's say, natural for the community, if it has origin in it. E.g. for Slavs Church Slavonic, for Greeks koine, for Ethiopians Geez etc. The own liturgical language it's a great treasure, but the case of USA is different, because Americans are a mix of different nations and ethnicity, so the language of future American Orthodox Church should be English. Sure, if quite large percent of the parishioners wanted to introduce their ethnic or liturgical languages, it should be done. And if it's 50-50, no way: two Liturgies on Sunday and on feasts mixed services. Certainly, there would be division between cradle and convert, but at least some initiatives and services would be held together.

Some potential converts, in type of Hyperdox Herman, liturgical language could be an attractive thing that would bring this person up to Orthodoxy. But I think the majority of Americans would like to understand all the things that are said in church. I think in USA liturgical language could be maintained for some occasions e.g. great feasts or e.g for troparions and irmoses- all this stuff it's repeated a few times during one liturgical day (even during one Liturgy), so one time it could be chanted in e.g Greek and second time in English. I've heard quite a lot of recordings from various Orthodox parishes in USA and I think quite a lot of them (probably mainly Antiochians) does it in this way.
Why should Americans be able to understand the Liturgy but Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians can't? Everyone seems to forget that these "Liturgical" languages where once the vernaculars of the Church, which is why the Liturgy was conducted in those languages to begin with.

Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 01, 2012, 01:25:35 PM
Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.

Learning a new language takes time, and mastering conversational English is not going to be enough to understand liturgical texts, especially when they're sung.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: orthonorm on October 01, 2012, 01:37:35 PM
(http://thenewoniondome.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/churchsign2.jpg)

Nice!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 01, 2012, 01:38:16 PM
Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.

Learning a new language takes time, and mastering conversational English is not going to be enough to understand liturgical texts, especially when they're sung.

I think, though, that it has been pointed out before that the liturgical languages are not ones that Russians, Greeks, Ethiopians etc. speak on a daily basis.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 01, 2012, 01:40:47 PM
I think, though, that it has been pointed out before that the liturgical languages are not ones that Russians, Greeks, Ethiopians etc. speak on a daily basis.

No, but ones they grew up hearing and are familiar with.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on October 01, 2012, 01:42:31 PM
First of all, in USA there should be one autocephalus Orthodox Church. For potential converts it would be easier to identify themselves with such organisation, than with ethnic-national Church jurisdictions. But that's obvious.

I'm for liturgical languages, but only in case if it's quite, let's say, natural for the community, if it has origin in it. E.g. for Slavs Church Slavonic, for Greeks koine, for Ethiopians Geez etc. The own liturgical language it's a great treasure, but the case of USA is different, because Americans are a mix of different nations and ethnicity, so the language of future American Orthodox Church should be English. Sure, if quite large percent of the parishioners wanted to introduce their ethnic or liturgical languages, it should be done. And if it's 50-50, no way: two Liturgies on Sunday and on feasts mixed services. Certainly, there would be division between cradle and convert, but at least some initiatives and services would be held together.

Some potential converts, in type of Hyperdox Herman, liturgical language could be an attractive thing that would bring this person up to Orthodoxy. But I think the majority of Americans would like to understand all the things that are said in church. I think in USA liturgical language could be maintained for some occasions e.g. great feasts or e.g for troparions and irmoses- all this stuff it's repeated a few times during one liturgical day (even during one Liturgy), so one time it could be chanted in e.g Greek and second time in English. I've heard quite a lot of recordings from various Orthodox parishes in USA and I think quite a lot of them (probably mainly Antiochians) does it in this way.
Why should Americans be able to understand the Liturgy but Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians can't? Everyone seems to forget that these "Liturgical" languages where once the vernaculars of the Church, which is why the Liturgy was conducted in those languages to begin with.

Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.
I was talking about Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians in their respective home countries, places that Dominika proposed should retain the old "liturgical" language.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on October 01, 2012, 01:42:54 PM
I think, though, that it has been pointed out before that the liturgical languages are not ones that Russians, Greeks, Ethiopians etc. speak on a daily basis.

No, but ones they grew up hearing and are familiar with.
But are still incomprehensible to them.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 01, 2012, 01:50:38 PM
But are still incomprehensible to them.

The older Greeks who would struggle with English grew up learning Katharevousa in school and would certainly not find the Divine Liturgy 'incomprehensible'.

A large proportion of my parish, for example, came to England following the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus when they lost their homes. Despite being here for almost half a century, many still struggle with English beyond simple conversation. Not only would this portion of the congregation feel totally lost if only English was used in the Liturgy, the readers and chanters would be unable to read and chant in English. I also know our bishop and deacon would have to leave were they expected to do everything in English...they simply don't have the language skills needed. To say "they live in the UK, they should be able to speak English" just isn't realistic.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 01, 2012, 01:51:02 PM
Until liturgies are done in English and there is one Orthodox Church in America (please keep the "we are one!" drivel away. The public doesnt see us this way), it will always be considered, "Oh thats the <insert nationality here> Church."

PP

And for a long time thereafter, St. Sava's will always be the Serbian church, St. Volodmyr the Ukrainian, St. Vladimir the Russian one, St. Harambolas the Greek one and so on........ English as the Liturgical language is far more important in my mind than the 'one Church' solves all mindset.... And yes we are One and it is NOT drivel.... and where appropriate, dual languages will have to be retained. Time will heal all...God doesn't work at our pace after all...

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Dominika on October 01, 2012, 02:13:49 PM
But are still incomprehensible to them.
I was talking about Russians, Greeks, and Ethiopians in their respective home countries, places that Dominika proposed should retain the old "liturgical" language.

I can give example from my Church. So, in Polish Orthodox Church that I belong Church Slavonic is used. It has something in common with Polish and Serbian so it doesn't sound strange or completely incomprehensible to me. The more I listen to it, the more I understand. Polish language hasn't had much in common with Orthodoxy for centuries so it's very difficult to give the deep and true content of the liturgical texts. Furthermore, Polish is not so rich as Church Slavonic. I have especially difficulties to translate my favourite hymn - Paschal Canon - into Polish; the translations that are used are not so good

So, if there are some translations (not for liturgical use, but to know "more or less" the content), you attend regularly church services and listen to them carefully, you can get the idea from all the prayers and even (paradoxically) understand them better and deeper. I don't know how much is Geez similar to Amharaic and koine to today's Greek, but I suppose it's quite similar situation.

But all this stuff it's not in strict connection with the topic, because as I've mentioned, USA it's a separate case.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: BoredMeeting on October 01, 2012, 02:33:19 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


As a cradle Orthodox in America, I can assure you that growing up listening to a language that we couldn't understand left us completely uneducated in the Orthodox faith. Most of the children who grew up in my home parish have left the faith they could not understand.

Then couldn't better instruction and teaching been made available without necessarily changing the Liturgy?

Could it have been? Yes of course. Was it? No. Why not? Beats me, I was just a kid who couldn't understand anything being said around him.

Language is not magic bullet, but it can be one additional obstacle if it can't be understood.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 01, 2012, 02:43:26 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?

Amen! What is so good and pleasant as brothers dwelling together in harmony as the Psalmist wrote..

Yes but I would also add that  4A would be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons and a 4B that extensive catechism should be implemented.  Also a point 5 should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I agree with all of the additions. May I add another consideration? Assuming that the jurisdictions in the United States have the Great Commission as their mission, and not the preservation of their particular ethnic language and culture, I propose that Item number 1 should read:

1. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: DanM on October 01, 2012, 08:04:23 PM
Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.

Learning a new language takes time, and mastering conversational English is not going to be enough to understand liturgical texts, especially when they're sung.

Speaking as someone who has sung OCS without knowing anything about Slavic languages, who used to attend Latin language Masses without really knowing the Latin and who still listens to music sung in other languages, I can say without reservation that the narrow focus of any liturgical language is much easier to grasp than the impossibly wide requirements of conversational language.  As W. Somerset Maughm advised, only learn enough of a language to read the classics of the language and the menu; the horrendous task of learned conversation is not worth the trouble for most people.  I think e.g. that if I were thrust into any European country, it would take me a year or so to be comfortable with the Divine Liturgy in a randomly chosen language, but it would be highly unlikely that I would acquire native fluency in the same period of time.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Nikolaostheservant on October 01, 2012, 10:59:40 PM
@4:43 he talks about speaking the language of the people, to spread the Gospel.

He also talks abt the ethnicity of churches, how they were afraid that they were going to change the faith and take away, the Greek part of the Greek orthodox. Important cause we/u see only from our own perspective, usually. this shows you the others perspective.

anyone debating here should watch this, its the 3d part of a 3pt series. Just watch this one or even better watch it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StKUp4sepLQ

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 01, 2012, 11:47:41 PM
Why can't they understand the Liturgy?  If they are in America (or Canada) they should understand English anyway.

Learning a new language takes time, and mastering conversational English is not going to be enough to understand liturgical texts, especially when they're sung.

But that would be easier than the other way around.  Greeks (for example) can easily learn English while they are living in the US (or Canada), than non-Greeks learning Greek while in the US or Canada.  I stayed in Hong Kong for 3 months for work and I've learned a fair bit of Cantonese which today I can't remember anymore (this was 12 years ago).  It was easy to learn because that is how everyone talked.  Even just figuring out what one is saying sometimes is so easy, just being immersed in that culture so fully.  But there are a lot of native Cantonese speakers here where I am but it is not the same.  It is not the language of the land.

If at that, the English Liturgy can also help them settle in their new land, rather than keep them in their old land where they no longer live.  We always have problems integrating immigrants into society.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 02:15:20 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 It is not the language of the land.

If at that, the English Liturgy can also help them settle in their new land, rather than keep them in their old land where they no longer live.  We always have problems integrating immigrants into society.

Maybe I am biased by living in Los Angeles, which is America's new international city, but in our area there is not "language of the land."  Is it English? Sort of, true, a lot of folks learn and speak English, most in fact, but no body but a minority of certain folks feel so strongly that English is the language.  There are plenty of signs, storefronts, churches, TV broadcasts, radio programs, etc etc in a plethora of "foreign" languages.  In that regard, most folks here do not really think of languages being one or the other of the land.  A lot of folks speak Spanish, a lot of folks speak English, a lot of folks speak both, but a lot of folks speak other languages too.  Further, this whole "settle in their new land" and "acculturation" is a divisive issue in our communities, our city and metropolitan area tend to support, value, and indeed thrive under cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity.  Further, because of our uniquely immense urban sprawl, we also do not have as many "ethnic neighborhoods" instead many folks are integrated (sort of) and spread out across the city.  On my block alone we got Egyptians, Mexicans, Salvadorians, Armenians, Koreans, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, white folks, even an Ethiopian family ;)


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 02, 2012, 02:17:55 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

 It is not the language of the land.

If at that, the English Liturgy can also help them settle in their new land, rather than keep them in their old land where they no longer live.  We always have problems integrating immigrants into society.

Maybe I am biased by living in Los Angeles, which is America's new international city, but in our area there is not "language of the land."  Is it English? Sort of, true, a lot of folks learn and speak English, most in fact, but no body but a minority of certain folks feel so strongly that English is the language.  There are plenty of signs, storefronts, churches, TV broadcasts, radio programs, etc etc in a plethora of "foreign" languages.  In that regard, most folks here do not really think of languages being one or the other of the land.  A lot of folks speak Spanish, a lot of folks speak English, a lot of folks speak both, but a lot of folks speak other languages too.  Further, this whole "settle in their new land" and "acculturation" is a divisive issue in our communities, our city and metropolitan area tend to support, value, and indeed thrive under cultural, ethnic, and linguistic diversity.  Further, because of our uniquely immense urban sprawl, we also do not have as many "ethnic neighborhoods" instead many folks are integrated (sort of) and spread out across the city.  On my block alone we got Egyptians, Mexicans, Salvadorians, Armenians, Koreans, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, white folks, even an Ethiopian family ;)


stay blessed,
habte selassie

It is pretty much the same in Vancouver.  Probably Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi or Tagalog might be spoken more often than English in the streets of Vancouver.  But at the end of the day, it is the common language of all.  Filipinos speak to Indians in English, Indians speak to Chinese in English, etc.  Despite the diversity of languages brought by immigrants the common language of all is the language of the land, which is English.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 02:23:10 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is pretty much the same in Vancouver.  Probably Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi or Tagalog might be spoken more often than English in the streets of Vancouver.  But at the end of the day, it is the common language of all.  Filipinos speak to Indians in English, Indians speak to Chinese in English, etc.  Despite the diversity of languages brought by immigrants the common language of all is the language of the land, which is English.

True, but in some aspects this is changing.  After all, a BILLION people speak Spanish, and over a BILLION people speak Cantonese, so it is reasonably to hypothesize that in some short time in the future English might not be the dominant one.  Again, in LA its not necessarily that folks don't speak English, its that folks are not quite adamant that in our area we necessarily have or need any particular "language of the land" and in some circles it stinks of "love it or leave it" which in this area provokes a lot of jeering.  Not that I am saying that was your insinuation, folks from Vancouver make love or leave it Americans look like dinosaurs and it is the dinosaur vibe that folks in LA are starting strongly to discard ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 02, 2012, 03:27:39 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!



It is pretty much the same in Vancouver.  Probably Cantonese, Mandarin, Punjabi or Tagalog might be spoken more often than English in the streets of Vancouver.  But at the end of the day, it is the common language of all.  Filipinos speak to Indians in English, Indians speak to Chinese in English, etc.  Despite the diversity of languages brought by immigrants the common language of all is the language of the land, which is English.

True, but in some aspects this is changing.  After all, a BILLION people speak Spanish, and over a BILLION people speak Cantonese, so it is reasonably to hypothesize that in some short time in the future English might not be the dominant one.  Again, in LA its not necessarily that folks don't speak English, its that folks are not quite adamant that in our area we necessarily have or need any particular "language of the land" and in some circles it stinks of "love it or leave it" which in this area provokes a lot of jeering.  Not that I am saying that was your insinuation, folks from Vancouver make love or leave it Americans look like dinosaurs and it is the dinosaur vibe that folks in LA are starting strongly to discard ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie

No, only a small percentage of Chinese speak Cantonese.   Cantonese is a dialect, not the national language of China.  Mandarin is the national language of China, and even then not everyone in China speaks Mandarin.  In fact, most Chinese would speak their own provincial dialect and not speak Mandarin.  So it is false to claim that there would be 1 billion people speaking a unified Chinese tongue.  That is not true at all.

Same with India.  They do not have a unified tongue.

English is still the most common language of all.  And even if these peoples would speak their language among themselves, they would need to speak English to reach out to people of other ethnicity and nationalities.  That is what this thread is all about.  If a parish wants to evangelize others and be more than just an ethnic parish, then English is really the way to go.  At least in North America.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 02, 2012, 05:04:55 AM
@4:43 he talks about speaking the language of the people, to spread the Gospel.

He also talks abt the ethnicity of churches, how they were afraid that they were going to change the faith and take away, the Greek part of the Greek orthodox. Important cause we/u see only from our own perspective, usually. this shows you the others perspective.

anyone debating here should watch this, its the 3d part of a 3pt series. Just watch this one or even better watch it all.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StKUp4sepLQ



Nikolaostheservant , Wonderful!! ;D  a good and Faithful servant must labor in the service of his Master, multiplying the talent that was given to him. not in burying it and giving excuses why he was disobedient and worked against his Master's will. Matthew 25:22-23 .
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 02, 2012, 05:18:22 AM


Quote
Assuming that the jurisdictions in the United States have the Great Commission as their mission, and not the preservation of their particular ethnic language and culture, I propose that Item number 1 should read:

1. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
[/quote]

most excellent summation, dear Carl,  in cases like this just hearing about such opinions gives me hope.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: primuspilus on October 02, 2012, 07:15:15 AM
Quote
It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
Sounds like a winner to me. I wonder why the Assembly of Bishops are not so quick?  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


PP
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 02, 2012, 08:17:48 AM
Quote
It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
Sounds like a winner to me. I wonder why the Assembly of Bishops are not so quick?  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


PP

Carl's summation is on the money and I suspect he would agree with my observation that the problem really is not one of the hierarchy. Most of the bishops I have known in the United States over the years (across all jurisdictional and ethnic lines) would endorse these points with little objection. The problem really is 'on the ground' with recalcitrant (and often highly opinionated and non-obedient) clergy and laity who view the liturgical life of the Church more in the nature of an inorganic museum piece rather than an organic, living experience.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 02, 2012, 09:48:00 AM
Further, because of our uniquely immense urban sprawl, we also do not have as many "ethnic neighborhoods" instead many folks are integrated (sort of) and spread out across the city.  On my block alone we got Egyptians, Mexicans, Salvadorians, Armenians, Koreans, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, white folks, even an Ethiopian family ;)

And what one language do you all have in common in the US, so that you can communicate with and understand one another?

Could it be English...?

(I worked as the human resource manager of a large commercial bakery that was a "little U.N." in terms of ethnicities. We had Somalis, Serbs, Nigerians, Ethiopians, Hispanics, Russians and homegrown Americans.
The one common language that we all used was English.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 02, 2012, 09:53:21 AM
Quote
It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
Sounds like a winner to me. I wonder why the Assembly of Bishops are not so quick?  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


PP

Carl's summation is on the money and I suspect he would agree with my observation that the problem really is not one of the hierarchy. Most of the bishops I have known in the United States over the years (across all jurisdictional and ethnic lines) would endorse these points with little objection. The problem really is 'on the ground' with recalcitrant (and often highly opinionated and non-obedient) clergy and laity who view the liturgical life of the Church more in the nature of an inorganic museum piece rather than an organic, living experience.

I am of two minds on how the hierarchs would feel about the summary of our discussion so far. I do think that most would indeed agree in an academic setting. However, I think that those who agree would keep quiet if they are in a group with those who would oppose the summary. What I am trying to say is that this issue is not high enough in importance amongst the hierarchy because I do not think that the Great Commission is the highest goal or mission for most hierarchs. There are historical reasons for this of course but I believe that most hierarchs are not avid evangelists.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 02, 2012, 10:37:39 AM
Quote
It looks like we are arriving at a common position. I will try to put on the table what I think I have heard so far:

1. All English services are absolutely necessary.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

Is this about right?
Sounds like a winner to me. I wonder why the Assembly of Bishops are not so quick?  :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:


PP

Carl's summation is on the money and I suspect he would agree with my observation that the problem really is not one of the hierarchy. Most of the bishops I have known in the United States over the years (across all jurisdictional and ethnic lines) would endorse these points with little objection. The problem really is 'on the ground' with recalcitrant (and often highly opinionated and non-obedient) clergy and laity who view the liturgical life of the Church more in the nature of an inorganic museum piece rather than an organic, living experience.

I am of two minds on how the hierarchs would feel about the summary of our discussion so far. I do think that most would indeed agree in an academic setting. However, I think that those who agree would keep quiet if they are in a group with those who would oppose the summary. What I am trying to say is that this issue is not high enough in importance amongst the hierarchy because I do not think that the Great Commission is the highest goal or mission for most hierarchs. There are historical reasons for this of course but I believe that most hierarchs are not avid evangelists.

You are probably correct in that most Bishops have to be first and foremost political animals - not spiritual ones (at least most of them....) and they relate to what is the trend on the ground at the parish level and with their diocesan financial supporters - (yes, we do need money to run the Church)..... In a closed setting, with the proper cigars, wine or scotch, they would likely all agree but give you the big old ' but....we do have to deal with realities...' I try to refrain from cynicism, but it is tough...There is a difference between cynicism and seeing conspiracies
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 01:09:55 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I honestly feel sometimes we are taking this Great Commission thing in too much of a Protestant mentality.  Our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel of our experience, but that traditionally has not necessarily been through the process of written languages.  The way we share the Gospel of the Great Commission is as my spiritual-father always reiterates, "We demonstrate our love for Christ in the way we treat each other."  The Commission then is less about converting or exposing people to the Church, but simply being a loving, compassionate, and active part of our neighbors and communities.  We should be focused on LIVING our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.  We should be living our values so ostensibly that folks simply pause and ask us, "Why are YOU so happy this morning? Why are you so helpful? Why are you so polite?"  Often this has very little to do with theology, prayers, or Liturgies.


No, only a small percentage of Chinese speak Cantonese.   Cantonese is a dialect, not the national language of China.  Mandarin is the national language of China, and even then not everyone in China speaks Mandarin.  In fact, most Chinese would speak their own provincial dialect and not speak Mandarin.  So it is false to claim that there would be 1 billion people speaking a unified Chinese tongue.  That is not true at all.

Same with India.  They do not have a unified tongue.

English is still the most common language of all.  And even if these peoples would speak their language among themselves, they would need to speak English to reach out to people of other ethnicity and nationalities.  That is what this thread is all about.  If a parish wants to evangelize others and be more than just an ethnic parish, then English is really the way to go.  At least in North America.

Yes that was a Freudian slip of sorts, I entirely meant Mandarin :)

In the Bay Area they have delightful dual immersion programs where black kids from Oakland and the ValleyJoe (Vallejo) are speaking and reading fluent and conversational Manadrin in both attempts to better integrate their large Chinese populations, and further get kids prepared for the idea of speaking a different language that may lead the world in the coming generations.  We in the US simply take for granted that EVERYBODY else in the world seems to not mind learning English.  Even if subtly, it still deeply reflects a sense of cultural chauvinism if not out right racism in some more extreme "love it or leave it" fringes of our society.  Keep in mind that in America WE don't even have an official language, rather we freely offer things in one of 25 or more.
Further, because of our uniquely immense urban sprawl, we also do not have as many "ethnic neighborhoods" instead many folks are integrated (sort of) and spread out across the city.  On my block alone we got Egyptians, Mexicans, Salvadorians, Armenians, Koreans, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, white folks, even an Ethiopian family ;)


And what one language do you all have in common in the US, so that you can communicate with and understand one another?

Could it be English...?

(I worked as the human resource manager of a large commercial bakery that was a "little U.N." in terms of ethnicities. We had Somalis, Serbs, Nigerians, Ethiopians, Hispanics, Russians and homegrown Americans.
The one common language that we all used was English.)


Depends on where you are, here in California at government agencies you can get official forms in one of a dozen recognized languages, and in the federal government it says 25, but I've heard they have paperwork available in literally hundreds of languages!  

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 02, 2012, 02:28:22 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I honestly feel sometimes we are taking this Great Commission thing in too much of a Protestant mentality.  Our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel of our experience, but that traditionally has not necessarily been through the process of written languages.  The way we share the Gospel of the Great Commission is as my spiritual-father always reiterates, "We demonstrate our love for Christ in the way we treat each other."  The Commission then is less about converting or exposing people to the Church, but simply being a loving, compassionate, and active part of our neighbors and communities.  We should be focused on LIVING our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.  We should be living our values so ostensibly that folks simply pause and ask us, "Why are YOU so happy this morning? Why are you so helpful? Why are you so polite?"  Often this has very little to do with theology, prayers, or Liturgies.


No, only a small percentage of Chinese speak Cantonese.   Cantonese is a dialect, not the national language of China.  Mandarin is the national language of China, and even then not everyone in China speaks Mandarin.  In fact, most Chinese would speak their own provincial dialect and not speak Mandarin.  So it is false to claim that there would be 1 billion people speaking a unified Chinese tongue.  That is not true at all.

Same with India.  They do not have a unified tongue.

English is still the most common language of all.  And even if these peoples would speak their language among themselves, they would need to speak English to reach out to people of other ethnicity and nationalities.  That is what this thread is all about.  If a parish wants to evangelize others and be more than just an ethnic parish, then English is really the way to go.  At least in North America.

Yes that was a Freudian slip of sorts, I entirely meant Mandarin :)

In the Bay Area they have delightful dual immersion programs where black kids from Oakland and the ValleyJoe (Vallejo) are speaking and reading fluent and conversational Manadrin in both attempts to better integrate their large Chinese populations, and further get kids prepared for the idea of speaking a different language that may lead the world in the coming generations.  We in the US simply take for granted that EVERYBODY else in the world seems to not mind learning English.  Even if subtly, it still deeply reflects a sense of cultural chauvinism if not out right racism in some more extreme "love it or leave it" fringes of our society.  Keep in mind that in America WE don't even have an official language, rather we freely offer things in one of 25 or more.
Further, because of our uniquely immense urban sprawl, we also do not have as many "ethnic neighborhoods" instead many folks are integrated (sort of) and spread out across the city.  On my block alone we got Egyptians, Mexicans, Salvadorians, Armenians, Koreans, Chinese, Persians, Portuguese, white folks, even an Ethiopian family ;)


And what one language do you all have in common in the US, so that you can communicate with and understand one another?

Could it be English...?

(I worked as the human resource manager of a large commercial bakery that was a "little U.N." in terms of ethnicities. We had Somalis, Serbs, Nigerians, Ethiopians, Hispanics, Russians and homegrown Americans.
The one common language that we all used was English.)


Depends on where you are, here in California at government agencies you can get official forms in one of a dozen recognized languages, and in the federal government it says 25, but I've heard they have paperwork available in literally hundreds of languages!  

stay blessed,
habte selassie


You meet your Korean or Persian neighbor on the street. You wish to talk to him/her about an important neighborhood issue. However you do not speak Korean or Persian and they do not speak any of the languages you do - except English, which whether someone has said it is "official" (whatever that means) or not, is the language that is the common language of the people in the United States.

Having government documents translated into other languages is a courtesy, not a requirement.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 02:37:45 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Having government documents translated into other languages is a courtesy, not a requirement.

That is no accurate.  The US Federal Government does not have an officially recognized language. This is a legal requirement to avoid discrimination against Americans who do not speak English.  The government does not do this as a courtesy, but as an essential logistical strategy and further a matter of cultural relevancy.  Some Americans disagree with this and are pushing for an English-only official language status, and these folks are indeed free to their opinions and to advocate for them, but at this point time, America is officially a multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual society.

When you say "common language" my entire premise is that in the American experience this fluctuates and changes by time and place.  In the late-19th century it was not uncommon for many Americans in the mid-west to only speak German.  Today in Los Angeles you are more likely to here people of ALL races speaking Spanish than English.  In the neighborhood of my Ethiopian parish, the corner donut shop is run by a lovely Cambodian family who originally came here speaking very little English, and harshly accented at that.  They do indeed speak English more fluently now, but want to take a guess of what language they also learned and use far more frequently on a daily basis in their storefront? That is right, Spanish ;)

To answer your question about Koreans, if I meet Korean neighbors who do not speak English (like my friends grandparents when I was in high school) I do my best to be polite and speak the Universal language of awkward miming and gestures, avoiding the American faux pas of speaking louder.  I don't hold it against such folks if they don't speak English, that's not my business really.  It would be great if they could speak English and we could better communicate, but I don't feel that if they don't it is any hindrance to my local community, if anything I value it highly for the cultural diversity and added flavor.  You should see some of the languages our local high school offers, its like the UN!

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 02, 2012, 03:43:58 PM
It would be great if they could speak English and we could better communicate

I rest my case.

Wouldn't it be great if we could understand one another better?

How can we best accomplish that? Shall we all learn Korean and Persian and Spanish? Pick three languages or four? Who decides?
Or,
perhaps we could all learn English, the primary language of our country as immigrants have historically done.

(Btw, you mention schools - are all classes taught in all languages, or are ESL students given extra help and classes to help them become more fluent and confident in the primary language of the country that their parents or grandparents probably chose to live in?)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 03:52:40 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It would be great if they could speak English and we could better communicate

I rest my case.

Wouldn't it be great if we could understand one another better?

How can we best accomplish that? Shall we all learn Korean and Persian and Spanish? Pick three languages or four? Who decides?
Or,
perhaps we could all learn English, the primary language of our country as immigrants have historically done.


(Btw, you mention schools - are all classes taught in all languages, or are ESL students given extra help and classes to help them become more fluent and confident in the primary language of the country that their parents or grandparents probably chose to live in?)

Quote
but I don't feel that if they don't it is any hindrance to my local community, if anything I value it highly for the cultural diversity and added flavor.

Please don't quote me out of context :)

You mentioned primary, and while at the moment it is English, lets not pretend that can't change or evolve, and further, that is again a regional matter.  ESL is indeed a complex issue, but there are debatable strategies, I personally favor dual-immersion programs which mutually reinforce BOTH languages, building on people's first language skills and enhancing to concept of cultural relevancy.  As I said, you are indeed free to your opinions, and I am equally obliged to respect them kindly, but we can still discuss them in a substantive manner.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 02, 2012, 04:23:33 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It would be great if they could speak English and we could better communicate

I rest my case.

Wouldn't it be great if we could understand one another better?

How can we best accomplish that? Shall we all learn Korean and Persian and Spanish? Pick three languages or four? Who decides?
Or,
perhaps we could all learn English, the primary language of our country as immigrants have historically done.


(Btw, you mention schools - are all classes taught in all languages, or are ESL students given extra help and classes to help them become more fluent and confident in the primary language of the country that their parents or grandparents probably chose to live in?)

Quote
but I don't feel that if they don't it is any hindrance to my local community, if anything I value it highly for the cultural diversity and added flavor.

Please don't quote me out of context :)

You mentioned primary, and while at the moment it is English, lets not pretend that can't change or evolve, and further, that is again a regional matter.  ESL is indeed a complex issue, but there are debatable strategies, I personally favor dual-immersion programs which mutually reinforce BOTH languages, building on people's first language skills and enhancing to concept of cultural relevancy.  As I said, you are indeed free to your opinions, and I am equally obliged to respect them kindly, but we can still discuss them in a substantive manner.

stay blessed,
habte selassie



Excuse me, I did not quote you out of context. I quoted that particular sentence because it is precisely what I have been saying.
If we are to discuss these important issues in a substantive and respectful way, then perhaps you can do me the courtesy of actually reading what I have posted.
I do not, as insinuated, disrespect people who cannot speak English or who speak limited English. If I went to Korea, I would be helpless and dependent on the kindness of English-speakers. I deplore American monolingualism.

And in my example about meeting your Korean neighbors, I specifically said that you wanted to discuss an important neighborhood issue with them. Perhaps you are a much better mime than I am, but I wonder if you could effectively communicate that there was a mandatory evacuation or a fire in their building or a man with a gun in their place of business by miming.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 02, 2012, 10:05:03 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Excuse me, I did not quote you out of context. I quoted that particular sentence because it is precisely what I have been saying.
If we are to discuss these important issues in a substantive and respectful way, then perhaps you can do me the courtesy of actually reading what I have posted.
I do not, as insinuated, disrespect people who cannot speak English or who speak limited English. If I went to Korea, I would be helpless and dependent on the kindness of English-speakers. I deplore American monolingualism.

And in my example about meeting your Korean neighbors, I specifically said that you wanted to discuss an important neighborhood issue with them. Perhaps you are a much better mime than I am, but I wonder if you could effectively communicate that there was a mandatory evacuation or a fire in their building or a man with a gun in their place of business by miming.


Yes, actually you did but...


OK, obviously we are mutually reading too much into each other's replies, so let me apologize up front if I've upset you.  I must clarify, we do not agree with what you quoted, hence why I inserted the re-quoted caveat. I did indeed read every word of your posts, and I was not trying to insinuate anything :)  I am not trying to insinuate anything about you disrespecting anyone,  in fact, the only time I mentioned respect was when I said that I am obliged to respect your opinions..

 A lot of folks, particularly here in LA in the residual aftermath and legacy of the horrifying Prop 187 era have a lot of very negative feelings about people who do not speak English in the US.  I was by no means trying to connect you to those folks, at all.  Rather, I was trying to explain why I so distance myself from those opinions.  Personally and from my heart, I feel no way if a person speaks English or if they don't.  Again, of course it would be nice on a personable and sociable level, but I have no feelings about it one way or the other.  When I interact with folks who DO NOT SPEAK English I just try my best to appreciate what I can communicate with them, through translators, through the vibes, through the Holy Spirit.  Yeah, if we're talking about a parent-teacher conference obviously that gap has to be more literally bridged, and true, if more folks spoke mutual languages than obviously many aspects of our society would roll smoother.  However and again, I personally feel no way about it one way or the other.  Further, we do NOT have an official language in the US, and while in many respects we have a common language, that is by and large regional or conditional to circumstance.  If I were to clarify, I don't believe that anyone should feel that they HAVE to learn English to live in America, or even to be an American for that matter.  

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 08:14:23 AM
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 03, 2012, 10:07:29 AM
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.

Exactly. My own grandfather, despite his family having immigrated in th 1700's, spoke a mixture of German and English at home. He didn't encounter English only until he went to school.

I was raised in the "German" Lutheran church - my former congregation up until WWII continued to have church council meetings, catechism and some services in German. As I have said before, I can still remember all the different "flavors" of Lutheranism - German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian. So I have a great deal of understanding, empathy and admiration for more recent immigrants who come here to make a new and hopefully better life for themselves and their children.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 10:27:38 AM
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.

Exactly. My own grandfather, despite his family having immigrated in th 1700's, spoke a mixture of German and English at home. He didn't encounter English only until he went to school.

I was raised in the "German" Lutheran church - my former congregation up until WWII continued to have church council meetings, catechism and some services in German. As I have said before, I can still remember all the different "flavors" of Lutheranism - German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian. So I have a great deal of understanding, empathy and admiration for more recent immigrants who come here to make a new and hopefully better life for themselves and their children.


Indeed, for the same reason Slavic tongues came into disfavor in the USA during the 20th century on account of the Boshevik revolution and the rise of the USSR, so to did German language and culture following the horrors of the two world wars.

Historians and sociologists don't use the term 'Balkanization' as a positive tribute to the peoples of the Balkans...we in the USA - regardless of our political stripes - should keep that in mind.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 10:46:12 AM
This has been a very productive discussion so far. If you don't mind, let me re-summarize, knowing full well that somebody or some committee has already developed a similar summary of recommended principles.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Note: Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on October 03, 2012, 11:12:57 AM
I doubt that many here would argue that one reason for having services in a language other than English (where English is the common language) is to have a ministry to recent immigrants. It seems to me that part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans/Canadians/Australians/etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture. True Christian ministry to immigrants should be more than an hour or two for DL on a Sunday morning. It seems to me that we Orthodox are well-positioned for this sort of ministry.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 11:30:42 AM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 03, 2012, 11:46:00 AM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented. 

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Dear Carl what can I say, you are simply wonderful!!! I have paid particular attention to your most wise correction of words and concepts,(honestly, much to my relief and delight , my heartfelt thanks there ) integration and harmonization of complementary concepts , redirection and tweaking of certain derailing elements from the most important issue at hand. wonderfully executed! once more quite an excellent summery! This has made my day today! I will say this, it is a great blessing for a parish council to have you as a member. May God bless you!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on October 03, 2012, 12:16:13 PM
Excellent list! 100% agreement over here. :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 03, 2012, 12:27:29 PM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 03, 2012, 01:26:08 PM
I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

As St. Paul said, he tries to be all things to all people.  We have to be that too and we need to find a way to cater to everyone.  I mean, look at the Roman Catholics, they have a good system of local churches and ethnic parishes or even just ethnic Masses within one parish.  I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.  But I am still on the opinion that we should cater more to the locals than the immigrants, being an immigrant myself.  There is more commonality with the language and culture of the land than a foreign language and culture.  There can only be so many Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, etc. in North America.  But everyone who comes here is expected to blend in to the local culture because we all live in a common land.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 03, 2012, 01:30:49 PM
I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

As St. Paul said, he tries to be all things to all people.  We have to be that too and we need to find a way to cater to everyone.  I mean, look at the Roman Catholics, they have a good system of local churches and ethnic parishes or even just ethnic Masses within one parish.  I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.  But I am still on the opinion that we should cater more to the locals than the immigrants, being an immigrant myself.  There is more commonality with the language and culture of the land than a foreign language and culture.  There can only be so many Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, etc. in North America.  But everyone who comes here is expected to blend in to the local culture because we all live in a common land.

As has been mentioned before, part of your response is also though answering the question of more local flavor, such as living in california where if we were honest, the predomanent language of many of our area churches is Spanish.  So who are we really catering to?  and how much are we making this argument about AMERICA as a whole and how much are we really following the Orthodox model, which has consistantly been to go into an area, take on the culture & christianize it.  Cyril & Methodios did it, Alex Toth did it, etc. etc. etc.  St. Herman, etc. etc. etc.  Just because we missed the boat on actually reaching out to american americans (or even native americans for that matter) doesn't mean we backlash & do things wierd now that we have the chance.  rather every community should reach out to its individual & unique atmosphere around it.  Wouldn't that be the perfect & most orthodox solution?  actually bringing christ to our communities?  ALL of them?  both the ones who are there & the ones who are not? 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: orthonorm on October 03, 2012, 01:36:19 PM
I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.

It's not a temple. And you can do more than Liturgy in the parish per day, if the parish has more than one altar.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 03, 2012, 01:37:34 PM
I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.

It's not a temple. And you can do more than Liturgy in the parish per day, if the parish has more than one altar.

Some would not agree on this like the Orthodox I know.  But yeah, I am aware of it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Marc1152 on October 03, 2012, 02:31:40 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 03, 2012, 02:34:42 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

This is not true at least in the one case I have.  Though I've heard of ethnic parishes which are more Westernized than the latinized Eastern Catholic parishes.  It definitely is not just a language thing.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 03, 2012, 02:34:56 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  Many times a lot of converts and even younger cradles get caught up in the Evangelical examples of other Christian groups here in the US or Europe, and they and begin to over-emphasize the Great Commission.  Yes, the Church has been commissioned to save the ENTIRE universe, as the Universal Church.  However, this process is more gradual I think that Americans in particular realize.  My head-priest for example, points out rightfully that it is the Church which changed the overtly homosexual culture of the Roman world towards a more chaste and sacred approach to sexuality.  At the beginning the the Church (1st century), the world was as comfortably homosexual as it was heterosexual.  In our communities we were not favorable to this.  We didn't run out through Rome like the Westboro Baptists, rather, slowly, patiently, systematically by the Holy Spirit our Church grew and grew.  As we grew, more and more people were pushed by the COMPUNCTION of the Holy Spirit to avoid and reject homosexuality in their own individual lives.  We didn't have to have a platform or a campaign, rather we just had to continually EXIST across four centuries of time until the entire world flipped the script. However, that process was obviously gradual, if it took several HUNDRED years to complete.  In our society today, it is the same.  The world wasn't largely Christian until even after the Schism!  So that is a thousand years there..

So what, are we going to suddenly and spiritually radically change America and Europe today in a generation's time? That is naive to the reality and historiography of the Church.  Rather, we need to stay focused day by day with the situations and circumstances that God affords us.  That means working on the internal Church, and being as inviting to outsiders as  possible.  However, I personally NEVER feel that the Commission suddenly prioritizes proselytizing over caring for the needs of the Faithful.  The Faithful MUST come first and foremost, and considering the Church is a spiritual hospital, we got a lot of sick folks recovering in Her sanctuary.  So we need to be continually focused on our internal developments, our "craddles" and also our converts, but not necessarily on going outside and gaining any more.  After all, often our parishes have a lot of dirty laundry we've yet to deal with, so until we really get our own houses in order, should we really be so interested in inviting company over?

In my ministry in the Sunday School program and young adult programs, I focus steadily on the needs of our own parishioners.  When I interact at the Church, my focus is the needs of Her members.  I try to help out the ladies in the Kitchen, I try to clean up the building when I see something dirty or out of place, if my elders need a hand its quickly out-stretched, if my clergies need me, no questions asked.  Simply put, very often I am TOO busy to be concerned about what is going on outside.  Does that mean I neglect those in my community outside of Church? Of course not, every moment I am steadily building community and love with my neighbors and compatriots here.  However, that love isn't a ploy to lure them to our Church, its just how I interact with my fellow men and women in the world.  My two-cents, the Great Commission is about giving LOVE, HOPE, SUPPORT, and EFFORT to help our neighbors and communities on a personable level.  We help out, we do favors, we lend a helping hand, we offer a shoulder to cry on, we give handshakes and high-fives, we tip our caps to folks on the street, we simply smile to each other as we meet..

If we stay busy loving our communities rather than preaching to them, over the next thousand years perhaps we will again change the face of the entire world :)

That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

I have never really heard of an Orthodox focus on ministering to Jewish communities.  If anything, at least in our Ethiopian (and I'd guess Russian) jurisdictions, we sort of have the opposite thing going on.  This idea is very new to me, could you please clarify or elaborate and share a bit more, I am very curious.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 03:23:58 PM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented. 

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Dear Carl what can I say, you are simply wonderful!!! I have paid particular attention to your most wise correction of words and concepts,(honestly, much to my relief and delight , my heartfelt thanks there ) integration and harmonization of complementary concepts , redirection and tweaking of certain derailing elements from the most important issue at hand. wonderfully executed! once more quite an excellent summery! This has made my day today! I will say this, it is a great blessing for a parish council to have you as a member. May God bless you!

Thank you Hiwot. I would not have pursued this had it not been for the encouragement proffered by you and others. May God grant you many years!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 03, 2012, 03:24:32 PM
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

this is the commandment of the Lord not a choice, or not something we can slice and dice, or try to down play. he is not talking about organising a socialising event. he is commanding his church to go and bring the Good News to all nations and to make them disciples by baptizing them in the Name of the Holy Trinity! there is no minimizing this, for this reason He himself has come. the prophets and the apostles and the entire Apostolic Church has engaged in the proclamation of the Gospel of Salvation. to invite all into Life, into the Sacramental Life of the Church. to drink from the water of Life and Live. this is the call of Wisdom! how can all men inside and outside can they believe if they can not hear, how can they hear if there are none who would tell them. but even so the commandment of our Lord is the Great commission, Great because He himself commanded His Church to labor towards this Great end( making men enter into communion with the Life of The Holy Trinity!) promising His Help. A church that neglects the Great Commission will face the consequence of the disobedience of the commandment of the Lord. the Great commission does not exclude those inside, no it holds them in it strengthens them nurtures them and makes them fruitful. it is a false dichotomy that is being created here where there is none. all that are invited are invited into the sacramental life of the Church into one body not two. Our Lord says, the baptised disciples need to live a life of obedience to everything he has commanded, that is the life of every christian is it not? you see how he combines all the commandments in the Great Commission? we need not treat the church as a museum , we need not treat her as a civic center or socializing center either, although the church has a social aspect to her, she is much more than that. she is the Body of Christ! it is for  and through Christ she labors, to fulfil the Will of the Father in the Spirit. all the good work we can employ by ourselves mean nothing if we are not fulfilling his will that he has commanded us to fulfil. it only serves our ego, elevates our pride and makes our fall that much catastrophic.

the so called protestant style whatever, that is such a hogwash! the church is the Church of the Apostles ! those that preached the Gospel of the Lord, whose work even today shines in the four corners of the world! the Church has always been Apostolic engaged in her Apostolic mission. if protestants read the bible should we abandon it? if protestants called the name of Jesus should we stop calling His Name? if Protestants preached their faith should we stop preaching? should the apostles have simply existed and lived a quite life in their community go to the social events and hang out and wait for people to ask them what they believe in ? a false dichotomy again. we do both with earnestness and sincerity of living out our Faith in the Sacramental Life of the Church. we live out our faith we preach our faith, all in harmony. we do not ignore our Lord's commandment nor exchange it by what we think is best.

Is it a choice then or a commandment? The great apostle of the Lord answers:

6For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:6

so what shall we say ?

14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10: 14-17
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 03:29:55 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 03:35:53 PM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Great idea! How about adding Recommendation 3, something like:

"While the Lord gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He also tasked us to tend to "...the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:6). The latter task is particularly important in the West where many of our Orthodox, particularly cradle ones, have left the Holy Orthodox Church and become our lost sheep. Parishes should have special ministry to the lost Orthodox sheep: proactive measures that are especially important with adolescents, as well as outreach to those who have become nominal Orthodox, those who do not attend any church, and those who have joined other faith communities."
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 03:41:58 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 03, 2012, 03:45:32 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 03:46:22 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 03:48:59 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

I don't have the numbers, but that is probably true, BUT in ACROD and the OCA we have been pretty much all English for the last thirty or forty years and I suspect that an honest priest or Bishop from either of these jurisdictions would note about the same loss of young people at about the same age. So I wouldn't necessarily blame the Greeks on this one. I think it goes to the third point of Carl in his most recent post.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 03, 2012, 04:04:30 PM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Indeed!!!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on October 03, 2012, 04:07:50 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 04:15:27 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 03, 2012, 04:23:59 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 03, 2012, 04:24:58 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.

(http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/1079ishot.com/files/2012/07/3932.jpeg)

No, not at all, y'all just can't seem to get an NBA team (Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Pacers, Cavs I'm looking at y'all)  to win a Championship again since the 1980s ;)


stay blessed,
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 04:28:26 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.

(http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/1079ishot.com/files/2012/07/3932.jpeg)

No, not at all, y'all just can't seem to get an NBA team (Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Pacers, Cavs I'm looking at y'all)  to win a Championship again since the 1980s ;)


stay blessed,

2008 Celtics? They did play at TG Garden in Beantown, didn't they?   ;) :D
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 03, 2012, 04:54:59 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!

I know! I knew there was some loss but I have to say I was shocked by the 60%. And hey, I don't attribute it all to language and I'm not saying that all-English would be a cure-all.

It just seems like "common" sense.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Hiwot on October 03, 2012, 05:05:00 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!

I know! I knew there was some loss but I have to say I was shocked by the 60%. And hey, I don't attribute it all to language and I'm not saying that all-English would be a cure-all.

It just seems like "common" sense.

I understand what you mean, the language is not all of the problem nor is it the sol solution but it is a major part of both. and I agree with all your previous points as well. it is quite simple really, finding the common denominator in regards to language among all the different ethnicity's involved and using that common language of communication is way effective and efficient than anythingelse. I could not agree more with you my sis. God bless you!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Marc1152 on October 03, 2012, 05:21:30 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

Right, it often means adopting a Protestant like ethos rather than the piety more usual for Orthodox. What is usual of course can vary from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction..

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 03, 2012, 05:48:51 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

Right, it often means adopting a Protestant like ethos rather than the piety more usual for Orthodox. What is usual of course can vary from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction..



Since more parishes within the old Rust Belt are  predominately cradle Orthodox, I would argue that we have little 'Protestant like' influence. Perhaps the congregational structure of church management which has polluted all of American Orthodoxy is a Protestant influenced thing, but I really don't get your point about piety. If you were to accuse us of having a more 'Catholic' like piety - stemming among the Slavs at least from their close historical relationship with the Roman church through the centuries of the Unia that is one thing, but I don't see the Protestant ethos.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on October 03, 2012, 05:52:14 PM
Am I the only one that sees no connection between the liturgical language and assimilation?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: akimori makoto on October 03, 2012, 06:10:42 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 03, 2012, 06:13:53 PM
Am I the only one that sees no connection between the liturgical language and assimilation?

 ;)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 03, 2012, 06:21:52 PM
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 03, 2012, 10:34:30 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

That is what I've been saying :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: orthonorm on October 03, 2012, 10:45:41 PM
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

It was a double whammy: Protestant ethos.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 04, 2012, 08:19:29 AM
That is what I've been saying :)

One thing I think would be very helpful is to make catechism mandatory also for infant baptisms. Making the parents and/or godparents go through an educational programme similar to what is expected of an adult catechumen would be a very good way to (re)catechise those generations which are normally absent from Church. Baptism, at least in the Greek community, is such a firmly rooted social institution that few would be put off were such a thing put in place. In thoroughly secular Norway, committed atheists happily send their children to bi-weekly catechism over a 6month period in order to have them confirmed at age 14. If they can put up with it, so can the Orthodox, I'm sure. In any case, my experience has been that uncatechised teenagers and young adults are surprisingly keen to learn once they realise that the information is available to them. The faith is there even if the interest in Church is not.

I think measures such as that one would be far more effective than simply having liturgy in English (though that is also important).
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 04, 2012, 09:15:58 AM
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

(btw, I have native English-speakers, native Ukrainian/Russian and native Farsi/Arabic speakers in my class. We all speak English in class, however, since it's the only language we have in common.  ;))
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 04, 2012, 09:26:31 AM
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

(btw, I have native English-speakers, native Ukrainian/Russian and native Farsi/Arabic speakers in my class. We all speak English in class, however, since it's the only language we have in common.  ;))

This is true, but in our small ACROD family, if you attend a Diocesan event or a parish celebration or a pastor's anniversary of ordination and/or wedding the connections among those who were part of the ENTIRE parish experience - including strong family connections and observance of our traditions - is amazing - and, if you think about it not a surprise. I suspect the same observation may be made across the board of our many jurisdictions.

If you factor families heavily involved in the parish, the local Diocese, organizations like FOCA, ACRY, GOYA, SOYA etc, youth camps like Camp Nazareth, Antiochian Village, GOA and other camps across the country, OCF, activities at monasteries and so on... and ask those with links to most of even ALL of these to stand at your next parish function, you will see a correlation between those who are active on the parish level and whose extended families remain part of the church when they relocate. I saw this just this past weekend at the 50th anniversary of the pastor and his wife at a suburban Philadelphia parish when those with such connections were asked to stand after a video retrospective.

The lost sheep are an important component of our mission and, if you think about it, not really separate and distinct from our responsibilities under the Great Commission.

For most of us, being an integral part of the Orthodox Church is not being proficient in our 'poklons' (deep bows), our knowledge of the Rudder and our ability to quote the Fathers. In fact for most of us, such things are really on the periphery. How we treat our loved ones, our neighbors and each other in the context of the local Church is the key. For others, the rest is 'icing' on the cake and the 'icing' doesn't always make for a tastier cake.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: katherineofdixie on October 04, 2012, 09:29:16 AM
Okay, so how to we involve the lost sheep in the life of the parish?

Probably it's like a lot of other things - it's personal.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 04, 2012, 09:50:19 AM
Heck, if I knew the answer to that one, I would writing best sellers, not posting online!

That one has stumped most of the wonderful folks I have known over the years. And even within any family, if you have four kids, you will be lucky to keep two in the faith. I just don't know. We were lucky but in my wife's family only one of four. Yet all three of my adult children are active in the Church. Go figure.

But the constant bickering among us and the sense among some priests and laity that we have to be visibly 'odd' to be effective and 'authentic' is probably part of the problem. I know, call me a 'modernist' on that one.... but I doubt that the Church of the 4th, 7th, 10th, 15th or 19th centuries would 'look' or 'sound' the 'same' as our modern parishes to a would be time traveller. I think that the Church would 'feel' the same, but as to 'looking' the same - I doubt it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 04, 2012, 10:13:50 AM
Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

Sunday school, retreats, summer camps, etc. are all wonderful - sadly in the UK we hardly have any of that stuff - but they're only attended by people who are already somehow involved with church. The baptism thing would target those people who would never come to any of those.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 04, 2012, 11:20:48 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

(btw, I have native English-speakers, native Ukrainian/Russian and native Farsi/Arabic speakers in my class. We all speak English in class, however, since it's the only language we have in common.  ;))

I don't think any of us have been suggesting a lack of catechism, rather I think that we just need increase  our efforts continually in this direction. I sincerely applaud  :) :) :)  that you are picking up the ball to teach in your parish, and this is the core of our successes, the involvement of our parishioners.  So just keep doing what your doing, and like all of us teachers, day in and day out try to do it better and better.

We just need to increase the efficacy, advocacy, dynamic impact of our existing programs, in my opinion especially towards inclusion and social integration into parish life.  I think that we already do a good job of teaching what the Church is and what the Church does, so now in our Sunday Schools and youth programs lets build on our successes by steadily integrating our young adults into doing things in the Church (Liturgy, altar service, choir, councils, committees, ministries, etc etc)

As with ALL youth, even in secular school environments, kids look to the adults to model what the future and community expects from them.  Often young folks simply have no exposure to many things, so what we can do both as educators in our parishes and even just as parishioners is be the mentors demonstrate tangible examples of what the youth can do.  

Okay, so how to we involve the lost sheep in the life of the parish?

Probably it's like a lot of other things - it's personal.

We directly and at an individual level council and console them to include them back into the fold.  This is why I personally feel that social integration is so important, it provides a mechanism for inclusion.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on October 04, 2012, 12:29:10 PM

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

I like the point made earlier about requiring parents and godparents to go through a catechetical study. What you are doing does provide well for the young people, but unless this in reinforced in and by the family, its value is limited.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 04, 2012, 04:07:22 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

I like the point made earlier about requiring parents and godparents to go through a catechetical study. What you are doing does provide well for the young people, but unless this in reinforced in and by the family, its value is limited.

That is how a lot of Catholic parishes roll ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on October 04, 2012, 04:44:37 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

I like the point made earlier about requiring parents and godparents to go through a catechetical study. What you are doing does provide well for the young people, but unless this in reinforced in and by the family, its value is limited.

That is how a lot of Catholic parishes roll ;)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
If it's the good and healthy parishes, then I guess they're onto a good thing! (I never was RC - or investigated it with a view to becoming so.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 04, 2012, 06:31:16 PM
That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

I have never really heard of an Orthodox focus on ministering to Jewish communities.  If anything, at least in our Ethiopian (and I'd guess Russian) jurisdictions, we sort of have the opposite thing going on.  This idea is very new to me, could you please clarify or elaborate and share a bit more, I am very curious.


stay blessed,
habte selassie

I don't know for sure if they do, but I would imagine that in Jerusalem they SHOULD but the political climate does not allow them to.  My whole point with it is that we should be holistic.  Minister to everyone.  Do the great commission AND go after the lost sheep of israel...in every sense of the words. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 04, 2012, 07:28:19 PM
http://theoniondome.com/2012/01/30/greek-priest-sent-to-bed-without-supper-for-translating-liturgy/

ATHENS HEIGHTS – In a move that surprised exactly no one (except perhaps Mr. Stanley Majors of Pretoria, South Africa), Father Irmanos Spartopolis of Athens Heights, Greece was sent to his room without supper by His Grace Bishop SPARTOS Irmopolis for translating the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom into modern Greek.

Editted for our copyright rules - MK
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 04, 2012, 07:40:04 PM
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Great idea! How about adding Recommendation 3, something like:

"While the Lord gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He also tasked us to tend to "...the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:6). The latter task is particularly important in the West where many of our Orthodox, particularly cradle ones, have left the Holy Orthodox Church and become our lost sheep. Parishes should have special ministry to the lost Orthodox sheep: proactive measures that are especially important with adolescents, as well as outreach to those who have become nominal Orthodox, those who do not attend any church, and those who have joined other faith communities."

It sounds great...I just almost wondering if at this point we're being pedantic.  I more agree with Hiwot's assessment that we're creating false dichotomies.  Yet, at the same time we LIVE in those dichotamies, yet we don't have to!  It's a lot of back & forth for me.  But in general it sounds great! 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on October 04, 2012, 07:41:42 PM
http://theoniondome.com/2012/01/30/greek-priest-sent-to-bed-without-supper-for-translating-liturgy/

ATHENS HEIGHTS – In a move that surprised exactly no one (except perhaps Mr. Stanley Majors of Pretoria, South Africa), Father Irmanos Spartopolis of Athens Heights, Greece was sent to his room without supper by His Grace Bishop SPARTOS Irmopolis for translating the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom into modern Greek.

Editted for our copyright rules - MK


Ooops, apologies.  I did include the copyright tag to make it clear who owns it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 04, 2012, 07:41:59 PM
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!

We have a young Ethiopian man who comes to our church b/c it's in English.  The saddest part is he had no idea we were not in communion until I invited him to lunch & "broke the news".  He still comes every sunday.  That's how much the english means to him.  just thought it was an interesting story.  
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 04, 2012, 07:43:54 PM
That is what I've been saying :)

One thing I think would be very helpful is to make catechism mandatory also for infant baptisms. Making the parents and/or godparents go through an educational programme similar to what is expected of an adult catechumen would be a very good way to (re)catechise those generations which are normally absent from Church. Baptism, at least in the Greek community, is such a firmly rooted social institution that few would be put off were such a thing put in place. In thoroughly secular Norway, committed atheists happily send their children to bi-weekly catechism over a 6month period in order to have them confirmed at age 14. If they can put up with it, so can the Orthodox, I'm sure. In any case, my experience has been that uncatechised teenagers and young adults are surprisingly keen to learn once they realise that the information is available to them. The faith is there even if the interest in Church is not.

I think measures such as that one would be far more effective than simply having liturgy in English (though that is also important).

This is such an awesome idea!  I kind of feel silly for not thinking of it myself!   :-[
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 05, 2012, 12:50:09 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


We have a young Ethiopian man who comes to our church b/c it's in English.  The saddest part is he had no idea we were not in communion until I invited him to lunch & "broke the news".  He still comes every sunday.  That's how much the english means to him.  just thought it was an interesting story.  

Sometimes people leave parishes because of cultural and personality clashes, even within their own cultures and communities. However, at an even simpler scenario, have you asked him if there is even an Ethiopian parish nearby?

In fact, as part of this discussion, we should all realize that even if young people gripe about language, often times what actually and more forcefully pushes them away is not the language barrier, but many times personality clashes and internal conflicts over misunderstandings.  The language becomes the ostensible grievance but it can be just a symbol or the last straw of a larger iceberg of a problem.  This all the more is why I so strongly emphasize bullet point addition 5, social integration and direct ministering to get to the real issues day to day at an individual level.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 06, 2012, 12:11:07 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


We have a young Ethiopian man who comes to our church b/c it's in English.  The saddest part is he had no idea we were not in communion until I invited him to lunch & "broke the news".  He still comes every sunday.  That's how much the english means to him.  just thought it was an interesting story.  

Sometimes people leave parishes because of cultural and personality clashes, even within their own cultures and communities. However, at an even simpler scenario, have you asked him if there is even an Ethiopian parish nearby?

In fact, as part of this discussion, we should all realize that even if young people gripe about language, often times what actually and more forcefully pushes them away is not the language barrier, but many times personality clashes and internal conflicts over misunderstandings.  The language becomes the ostensible grievance but it can be just a symbol or the last straw of a larger iceberg of a problem.  This all the more is why I so strongly emphasize bullet point addition 5, social integration and direct ministering to get to the real issues day to day at an individual level.

stay blessed,
habte selassie

There is an Ethiopian church the next exit on the freeway & they even have a bishop there.  Nothing in English though. 

I agree about the iceberg scenario, but in the case of this man he really just wanted English & through that he found a home in our parish.  Did that heal some other things he was going through? Sure! But I don't think that's why he really came to us.  He came to us in order to connect.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on October 06, 2012, 12:28:49 PM
Sometimes a gripe about language really is a gripe about language. Yeah, there's probably other stuff too, but when there's something you can do about it (e.g., translating the text into a language that the people understand), you should do that, and not assume that they're really mad about something else, so you'll work on that instead of the thing they've asked for. Again, I consider myself very lucky in this regard, but if it were instead Arabic 90% and English 10%, I might still attend the liturgy every so often, but I probably wouldn't have converted, because there would be no way for me to be catechized if it were overwhelmingly in a language I barely understand. Compromise is the key. Teach the congregation the traditional language of the liturgy, sure, but teach them the faith and the language in the language that they are fluent in. There really isn't any way around it, as this is the flip-side of the "Egyptians don't become monolingual English speakers whenever a white person comes to visit" reality I pointed out earlier, which is really just common sense: non-Amharic speakers don't magically become Amharic-speakers just because they go to church, much less Ge'ez speakers.

In a perfect world, those who are committed to preserving this aspect of church life would dedicate themselves to it in proportion to their talent for it or interest in it. That's why I'm doing my thesis on Coptic, in fact, as that is what is natural in that way for a linguist who is also a Coptic Orthodox Christian. But I also recognize that for the majority of people who ever go to church, that's an arcane and probably a bit odd thing to focus on, as the riches of the Church, first and foremost found in its faith which is one even if its expressions are many, are not dependent on or confined to one culture or language. The Armenians translated the Syriac liturgy, the Ethiopians the anaphoras received by them from Egypt, and now the Egyptians and others alike are doing the work of bringing that tradition forward to the English, Spanish, French, Luo, Japanese, etc.-speaking world. We would not in the least condemn them for that, and so the translation of the liturgy into English for English-speaking Habeshi-Americans should be seen in the same light: Meeting people where they are, with the faith that deeply resonates across all human cultures.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 06, 2012, 01:24:38 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


There is an Ethiopian church the next exit on the freeway & they even have a bishop there.  Nothing in English though.  

I agree about the iceberg scenario, but in the case of this man he really just wanted English & through that he found a home in our parish.  Did that heal some other things he was going through? Sure! But I don't think that's why he really came to us.  He came to us in order to connect.

So this fellow doesn't speak Amharic then?

Sometimes a gripe about language really is a gripe about language. Yeah, there's probably other stuff too, but when there's something you can do about it (e.g., translating the text into a language that the people understand), you should do that, and not assume that they're really mad about something else, so you'll work on that instead of the thing they've asked for.
I

I am not pretending language barriers don't exist, what I am trying to get at is again dispelling this notion that language is a magic bullet.  Personally, its hard for me to imagine folks leaving their cradle parishes over language gaps, even if they exist, because it takes A LOT of self-assertion to leave a person's social support system and family networks.  You and me both surely can understand this as converts.  So, yes, there indeed A LOT of Ethiopian young adults who feel language is a bit of a hindrance, however, from my experience interacting with them at many levels, a lot of cultural and personal conflicts drive their grievances more than just language alone, hence the iceberg.  The iceberg doesn't minimalize any particular aspect under another, rather asks to address the entirety of the problem, which may always be more complicated than just language.  So we can address the language issues WHILE also working on the social and personal ones too, the complete package.



stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 06, 2012, 02:30:56 PM
^ not that I know of! Honestly, I never asked
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 06, 2012, 02:39:27 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

^ not that I know of! Honestly, I never asked

No offense brother, but how can you suggest it is even a language barrier issue in the first place, if you never even asked?  :police:


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on October 06, 2012, 02:53:50 PM
So this fellow doesn't speak Amharic then?

What if he was a non-Amhara? What if he wanted English because he doesn't speak any Ethiopian language/is "Westernized"/Americafied? I agree with your point that Serb should've asked before presuming a language issue, but there are other presumptions we should be careful about, too. ;)

Quote
I am not pretending language barriers don't exist, what I am trying to get at is again dispelling this notion that language is a magic bullet.
 

True enough. I think I've argued the same in this thread, or if I haven't, I meant to.

Quote
Personally, its hard for me to imagine folks leaving their cradle parishes over language gaps, even if they exist, because it takes A LOT of self-assertion to leave a person's social support system and family networks.  You and me both surely can understand this as converts.  So, yes, there indeed A LOT of Ethiopian young adults who feel language is a bit of a hindrance, however, from my experience interacting with them at many levels, a lot of cultural and personal conflicts drive their grievances more than just language alone, hence the iceberg.
 

Well, language itself is a cultural thing, so I don't think it's necessarily advisable or even possible to separte the two. Did anyone speak "Montenegrin" before the 2000s?

Quote
The iceberg doesn't minimalize any particular aspect under another, rather asks to address the entirety of the problem, which may always be more complicated than just language.  So we can address the language issues WHILE also working on the social and personal ones too, the complete package.


Indeed. I apologize if my response seemed like it was disagreeing with this idea. I think we're in agreement. My only point was that sometimes language issues are language issues, e.g., solvable by appeal to whatever the person needs, and not something else that may be related to it. If my priest uses an Arabic word that I don't know while switching to Arabic summarize for the benefit of those who do not follow the English sermon, I will ask him after liturgy about the significance of that word. Once I get the answer, my initial quandary is satisfied, even if it may produce further questions. Sometimes it really is about language, and not about personal alienation from the church or whatever.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 06, 2012, 02:59:30 PM
Because I asked him "why are you going to our church, a Greek church, when there's an Ethiopian one down the road?"  He said "because I talked to the priest there & he refused to have any English in the service, so I knew I had to go somewhere that would provide that & you guys were the first."

Seemed fairly straightforward to me.  Never asked him, about Amharic , because i didnt know it existed until you mentioned it .... So...  :police:

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

^ not that I know of! Honestly, I never asked

No offense brother, but how can you suggest it is even a language barrier issue in the first place, if you never even asked?  :police:


stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 06, 2012, 03:05:48 PM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Thank you dzheremi, we agree completely in all regards able.

Because I asked him "why are you going to our church, a Greek church, when there's an Ethiopian one down the road?"  He said "because I talked to the priest there & he refused to have any English in the service, so I knew I had to go somewhere that would provide that & you guys were the first."

Seemed fairly straightforward to me.  Never asked him, about Amharic , because i didnt know it existed until you mentioned it .... So...  :police:


That is unfortunate.  As a native-English speaker in an Ethiopian parish with ZERO Liturgical services in English, all I could say to a person in his situation is he should have hung in there.  In many Ethiopian parishes English-only speakers are an extreme fringe and minority.  MANY folks do indeed speak English quite fluently, but there are not enough folks who do not understand Amharic to warrant English services.  It has been explained to me that Ethiopian Tradition limits parishes to a single Liturgy a day, and so we make it count so to speak.  If there were increasingly more folks who needed and therefore asked for English, it just might become necessary.  However, if these folks all kindly leave the parish, they effectively solve the problem by creating a new problem.  If folks are insistent on changing the Liturgy into English, they need to (a) stand and be counted and (b) stick it out Sunday after Sunday in their parishes and get active so their voices are heard.  The parish will take care of the needs of her own in time, but they need to stick around there to receive the help :)

So I would tell that person if he expressed the same grievance in my parish as I do to others at my parish who also ask for English, that they need to stick it out until the numbers become effective.  We can't change the Liturgy on account of the needs of half a dozen people in a parish of 500-600 each Sunday, simply put that would be selfish.  If these folks continue to grow and build a consensus what they need will materialize, but if they abandon the field, they've already forfeited the game.

Just a note on language and liturgy:

Quote
Worship is not essentially an intellectual process- not a thinking exercise: it is an activity.. If the language being used is difficult to understand, you are completely free to concentrate on you presence, and this can be achieved by concentrating on staying in your body.  During prayer in the Orthodox tradition, we are encouraged to go deeper and deeper into our bodies, to be physically more and more present.  The sign of the cross and prostrations are elements of this tradition.  We are actually better off than angels, who are constantly present, even though they have no physical bodies such as ours to help them.

If the language used is not what you prefer and you have no power to change that, the only authentic thing to do is to accept the fact.  That may have some hidden benefit also, as we saw earlier in this chapter.  Once a distraction is accepted completely, it ceases to be a distraction.  In other words, once you have accepted the language being used, with all its benefits and draw backs, then you can go back to being in the presence of God. So long as you listen to your mind complaining, you might as well be at Safeway or the public library.  The minute you accept everything, you are free to be in the presence of God once more."
Bread and Water, Oil and Wine Father Meletios Webber

This is not a criticism against vernacular languages, rather some sagely wisdom and advice from a delightful father is both an English-native convert and who has served in non-English speaking ethnic parishes :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 06, 2012, 11:40:41 PM
I have never, ever, ever understood those who view the necessity to primarily, or even exclusively, use dead languages in honor of a Living God - whether that language is Latin, Koine Greek, Church Slavonic or whatever. (I can't and won't speak to the OO as I have little reference points and I don't know what is, or what is not a spoken language there.)   Seriously, I just do not get it. I understand and fully support keeping some reference points to the old ways, like singing something familiar like Christos Voskrese, Christos Anesti or the Trisagion hymn  but to somehow argue that only through the use of a dead language can one fully appreciate or participate in the life of the Church is just something I do not get.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: dzheremi on October 07, 2012, 01:24:41 AM
I don't think anyone's arguing that, though. Or if they are, I haven't read their posts correctly. An argument can perhaps be made for the preservation of liturgical tongues as part of the overall preservation of the faith as it has been passed down (i.e., its modes; cf. my earlier point that Coptic chant would not exist as it does in English had it not first existed in Coptic, so Coptic is not superfluous even if it is hardly used in any particular liturgy). In the way that the Alexandrian Church did not jettison Greek completely in its transition to Coptic (there are still hymns that are entirely in Greek), it needn't abandon Coptic completely when transitioning to English, Spanish, Xhosa, Flemmish, or whatever. There are some hymns that, rhythmically/syllabically, fit the original much better than they do English or Arabic, but I wouldn't even say that's an excuse to not translate them; if anything, it's a call for better translations and/or musical settings. I don't think anything is truly untranslatable (the faith got to us in the first place somehow, and it wasn't because everybody became magically proficient in Greek, Syriac, Coptic, or Latin), but everything must be adapted so as to resonate with the people.

Ideally, since I recognize a need for balance in such things, I would love to see Coptic preserved to whatever degree within English-translated hymns, as here: Coptic Saturday Theotokia in Coptic and English by 'Heritage of the Coptic Orthodox Church' Choir, Canada (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IysyAc5WO_g)

The Coptic very easily establishes the rhythm of the chant, and thus the English is nicely adapted to it (something which is not easy to do; we've had many a "Hiteni" (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9FkAryTWIqs) fall apart here in Albuquerque because not every setting of it fits English syllable structure and the cadence that is natural for that language, which is itself not really an obvious property for our Egyptian-born deacons and priests, just like how some of the twists and turns of the Arabic in the liturgy still surprise me and cause me to make mistakes, even with about 14 months of attendance under my belt at this point).  
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 01:23:47 AM
So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage? 

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Thank you dzheremi, we agree completely in all regards able.

Because I asked him "why are you going to our church, a Greek church, when there's an Ethiopian one down the road?"  He said "because I talked to the priest there & he refused to have any English in the service, so I knew I had to go somewhere that would provide that & you guys were the first."

Seemed fairly straightforward to me.  Never asked him, about Amharic , because i didnt know it existed until you mentioned it .... So...  :police:


That is unfortunate.  As a native-English speaker in an Ethiopian parish with ZERO Liturgical services in English, all I could say to a person in his situation is he should have hung in there.  In many Ethiopian parishes English-only speakers are an extreme fringe and minority.  MANY folks do indeed speak English quite fluently, but there are not enough folks who do not understand Amharic to warrant English services.  It has been explained to me that Ethiopian Tradition limits parishes to a single Liturgy a day, and so we make it count so to speak.  If there were increasingly more folks who needed and therefore asked for English, it just might become necessary.  However, if these folks all kindly leave the parish, they effectively solve the problem by creating a new problem.  If folks are insistent on changing the Liturgy into English, they need to (a) stand and be counted and (b) stick it out Sunday after Sunday in their parishes and get active so their voices are heard.  The parish will take care of the needs of her own in time, but they need to stick around there to receive the help :)

So I would tell that person if he expressed the same grievance in my parish as I do to others at my parish who also ask for English, that they need to stick it out until the numbers become effective.  We can't change the Liturgy on account of the needs of half a dozen people in a parish of 500-600 each Sunday, simply put that would be selfish.  If these folks continue to grow and build a consensus what they need will materialize, but if they abandon the field, they've already forfeited the game.

Just a note on language and liturgy:

Quote
Worship is not essentially an intellectual process- not a thinking exercise: it is an activity.. If the language being used is difficult to understand, you are completely free to concentrate on you presence, and this can be achieved by concentrating on staying in your body.  During prayer in the Orthodox tradition, we are encouraged to go deeper and deeper into our bodies, to be physically more and more present.  The sign of the cross and prostrations are elements of this tradition.  We are actually better off than angels, who are constantly present, even though they have no physical bodies such as ours to help them.

If the language used is not what you prefer and you have no power to change that, the only authentic thing to do is to accept the fact.  That may have some hidden benefit also, as we saw earlier in this chapter.  Once a distraction is accepted completely, it ceases to be a distraction.  In other words, once you have accepted the language being used, with all its benefits and draw backs, then you can go back to being in the presence of God. So long as you listen to your mind complaining, you might as well be at Safeway or the public library.  The minute you accept everything, you are free to be in the presence of God once more."
Bread and Water, Oil and Wine Father Meletios Webber

This is not a criticism against vernacular languages, rather some sagely wisdom and advice from a delightful father is both an English-native convert and who has served in non-English speaking ethnic parishes :)

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: HabteSelassie on October 08, 2012, 01:31:13 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!

So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage? 

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly



Its not primarily about heritage, what if that is the parish or jurisdiction he was Baptized into? Should folks not respect their Baptism?

Its not necessarily about heritatge, but what I am saying is that folks have to understand that if they want their communities to move, they have to be there in force to move their communities.  So however the cake is sliced, if folks within the Ethiopian parish want English services, they have to represent and hold it down and build a grass-roots consensus.  It takes work, what else can I say? As an native-English speaking member of several simultaneous committees, I can of course say it is hard, but that is the pragmatic reality of what it takes.  The Church is very much a social institution, and organization of people.  One person's voice is not more than the majority, and when English speakers are visibly present and their needs are visually  obvious, such will occur.  Have you ever twisted it to not also think about how even native-English speakers need to be concerned about the same spiritual needs of the majority of other-language speaking members of the parish?  Again, I am only talking in this instance about specifically the ETHIOPIAN jurisdiction.  We have a lot of things available in English to fill in plenty of gaps, including powerpoints of the Liturgy following perfectly along in  Ge'ez, Amharic and English.  If folks can't pick up their effort in the meantime, what honestly can they expect? Like I tell my students, in life you get what you give.

stay blessed,
habte selassie
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 01:40:44 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!

So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage? 

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly



 Have you ever twisted it to not also think about how even native-English speakers need to be concerned about the same spiritual needs of the majority of other-language speaking members of the parish?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I have personally never done any such thing, much less twisted much of anything ever.  To your point though, this is one of the things that frustrate me the most about pro-English talk.  It's "English or bust" with no real concern about the other members of the parish.  I truly think there is a way to make it all work.  Not necessarily everyone happy, but really do something to appease everyone.  But then again, I'm just an assistant, so obedience before personal whims. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on October 08, 2012, 04:53:21 AM
This is such an awesome idea!  I kind of feel silly for not thinking of it myself!   :-[

If you ever decide to implement it, I look forward to hearing how it goes.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on October 08, 2012, 04:57:35 AM
If I'm in Spain, I speak Spanish.  If in Japan, Japanese.  If in China, Chinese.  Why is it so difficult to speak English in America since that is the primary language?

I thought one of the missions of Christianity was to spread it through the world.  It's tough if no one understands what you're saying.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 08, 2012, 08:02:42 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!

So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage? 

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly



 Have you ever twisted it to not also think about how even native-English speakers need to be concerned about the same spiritual needs of the majority of other-language speaking members of the parish?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I have personally never done any such thing, much less twisted much of anything ever.  To your point though, this is one of the things that frustrate me the most about pro-English talk.  It's "English or bust" with no real concern about the other members of the parish.  I truly think there is a way to make it all work.  Not necessarily everyone happy, but really do something to appease everyone.  But then again, I'm just an assistant, so obedience before personal whims. 

I would urge our non-Slav brothers to speak with some of their OCA or ACROD priests and parish council members who are long term members, probably over sixty years of age for some advice. It was a common experience in most of our parishes to have had English gradually supplant the Slavonic over the course of a generation, beginning for many in the 1960's and coming to the point of nearly 'all English' by the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's. In ACROD at least, and in many OCA 'old time' parishes, there is still a vestigial use of Slavonic such as the choir singing some responses in  Slavonic, Christmas kolady, congregational responses of Christos Voskrese, the Christmas Troparion and Many Years.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Schultz on October 08, 2012, 09:27:02 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!

So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage? 

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly



 Have you ever twisted it to not also think about how even native-English speakers need to be concerned about the same spiritual needs of the majority of other-language speaking members of the parish?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I have personally never done any such thing, much less twisted much of anything ever.  To your point though, this is one of the things that frustrate me the most about pro-English talk.  It's "English or bust" with no real concern about the other members of the parish.  I truly think there is a way to make it all work.  Not necessarily everyone happy, but really do something to appease everyone.  But then again, I'm just an assistant, so obedience before personal whims. 

I would urge our non-Slav brothers to speak with some of their OCA or ACROD priests and parish council members who are long term members, probably over sixty years of age for some advice. It was a common experience in most of our parishes to have had English gradually supplant the Slavonic over the course of a generation, beginning for many in the 1960's and coming to the point of nearly 'all English' by the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's. In ACROD at least, and in many OCA 'old time' parishes, there is still a vestigial use of Slavonic such as the choir singing some responses in  Slavonic, Christmas kolady, congregational responses of Christos Voskrese, the Christmas Troparion and Many Years.


This is pretty much how it's done in my parish, although it must be pointed out that it was founded 72 years ago as the "English" daughter of the local MP parish.  From my understanding, it wasn't "All English, All the time" from the get-go but was gradually shifted in that direction so that nowadays, we have a few vestiges of Slavonic left as podkarpatska noted. 

And we have immigrant Russians, Ukrainians and Romanians (most of whom have little to no English) in our parish even though the first two have parishes which have services entirely in their respective native tongues within walking distance of my parish.  They like the English because they know the liturgy in their native tongue and having it in English is helping them learn the lingua franca of their new home.

Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 08, 2012, 10:56:19 AM
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our and Savior Jesus Christ!

So here's what I got from your post, but it could be a gross misinterpretation:

You would like for this man to go back to a church where he is not spiritually, pastorally, theologically or actually fed, in any way, just for the sake of heritage?  

Correct me if I understood you incorrectly



 Have you ever twisted it to not also think about how even native-English speakers need to be concerned about the same spiritual needs of the majority of other-language speaking members of the parish?

stay blessed,
habte selassie

I have personally never done any such thing, much less twisted much of anything ever.  To your point though, this is one of the things that frustrate me the most about pro-English talk.  It's "English or bust" with no real concern about the other members of the parish.  I truly think there is a way to make it all work.  Not necessarily everyone happy, but really do something to appease everyone.  But then again, I'm just an assistant, so obedience before personal whims.  

I would urge our non-Slav brothers to speak with some of their OCA or ACROD priests and parish council members who are long term members, probably over sixty years of age for some advice. It was a common experience in most of our parishes to have had English gradually supplant the Slavonic over the course of a generation, beginning for many in the 1960's and coming to the point of nearly 'all English' by the mid to late 1970's and early 1980's. In ACROD at least, and in many OCA 'old time' parishes, there is still a vestigial use of Slavonic such as the choir singing some responses in  Slavonic, Christmas kolady, congregational responses of Christos Voskrese, the Christmas Troparion and Many Years.


This is pretty much how it's done in my parish, although it must be pointed out that it was founded 72 years ago as the "English" daughter of the local MP parish.  From my understanding, it wasn't "All English, All the time" from the get-go but was gradually shifted in that direction so that nowadays, we have a few vestiges of Slavonic left as podkarpatska noted.  

And we have immigrant Russians, Ukrainians and Romanians (most of whom have little to no English) in our parish even though the first two have parishes which have services entirely in their respective native tongues within walking distance of my parish.  They like the English because they know the liturgy in their native tongue and having it in English is helping them learn the lingua franca of their new home.



A tough pill for some to swallow is that always in the shadow of the old Metropolia and ACROD through at least the 1970's were our Greek Catholic cousins of the Ruthenian BCC.  As they slowly implemented English beginning in the late 1950's, many across the street (us - the Orthodox) were curious and followed suit - or vice versa! After all we were always 'boasting' that unlike the 'Romans' we used 'vernacular' in our Church - even though no one really spoke or understood Slavonic without a side by side prayerbook as a guide - the first English ones being printed in the 1930's and 1940's even though no one yet sang in English . (the Chlib Duse/Our Daily Bread printed by Vestal Publishing in Perth Amboy was a fixture at both Metropolia and ACROD parishes back in the day.)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: vamrat on October 08, 2012, 11:09:32 AM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Schultz on October 08, 2012, 12:29:57 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: vamrat on October 08, 2012, 01:28:12 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 02:07:21 PM
This is such an awesome idea!  I kind of feel silly for not thinking of it myself!   :-[

If you ever decide to implement it, I look forward to hearing how it goes.

I do too actually.  I really can't believe we've never really thought about it or had serious conversation about it. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 02:09:57 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

Exactly my point as well.

As for creating problems that don't exist...try wearing the priest hat for a while. 

Ever think that when people ask for everything to be in english, yet there are people in their church who clearly do not speak english, that the request is petty & selfish? 

Just trying to brainstorm here. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Schultz on October 08, 2012, 02:23:36 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

I can agree with that.  I've no problem with "services for immigrants," so to speak, but I strongly believe that services in English (and Spanish in certain parts of the country) must be an integral part of an American Orthodox church. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 02:30:20 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

I can agree with that.  I've no problem with "services for immigrants," so to speak, but I strongly believe that services in English (and Spanish in certain parts of the country) must be an integral part of an American Orthodox church. 

Totally agree with this.  I just think there's GOT to be a way to appeal to EVERYONE. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: vamrat on October 08, 2012, 04:59:42 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

Exactly my point as well.

As for creating problems that don't exist...try wearing the priest hat for a while. 

Ever think that when people ask for everything to be in english, yet there are people in their church who clearly do not speak english, that the request is petty & selfish? 

Just trying to brainstorm here. 

My issue is that I just don't want to see this issue dogmatized.  If some churches have a problem then it would be good for them to talk it over with their Bishops or even brainstorm ideas amongst themselves.  I have no horror stories from my church about people not being able to understand things or divisions based on ethnic lines.  I think that having both Slavonic and English frequently used and a priest who can speak English, Serbian, and Russian is a great benefit for our parish.  I recognize the importance of having a priest who can speak English in the US so he can communicate with "lost sheep" or convertsi.  We also enjoy the fact that we have a priest who knows his congregation well enough that he can gauge how much English and how much Slavonic to use in any given service.  We also have a congregation that knows enough that thye can get by whichever language is being used.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 08, 2012, 05:13:39 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

Exactly my point as well.

As for creating problems that don't exist...try wearing the priest hat for a while. 

Ever think that when people ask for everything to be in english, yet there are people in their church who clearly do not speak english, that the request is petty & selfish? 

Just trying to brainstorm here. 

My issue is that I just don't want to see this issue dogmatized.  If some churches have a problem then it would be good for them to talk it over with their Bishops or even brainstorm ideas amongst themselves.  I have no horror stories from my church about people not being able to understand things or divisions based on ethnic lines.  I think that having both Slavonic and English frequently used and a priest who can speak English, Serbian, and Russian is a great benefit for our parish.  I recognize the importance of having a priest who can speak English in the US so he can communicate with "lost sheep" or convertsi.  We also enjoy the fact that we have a priest who knows his congregation well enough that he can gauge how much English and how much Slavonic to use in any given service.  We also have a congregation that knows enough that thye can get by whichever language is being used.

I don't know where your parish is, but I suspect that most parishes have no need for a priest fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian etc... Better to have a priest capable of being a pastor, one who trained in liturgics, some theology and possessing a great deal of counseling, organizational and human relation skills along with a forgiving nature.

Between the 'convert' parishes in the OCA and the old line former Metropolia parishes there are few communities outside of perhaps the major cities where any significant, non-English speaking immigrant or first generation population is present. I know this is true in ACROD and I suspect that this is also the case in the UOC.  I can't speak for the non-Slavic experience as I have no real contact with the non-Slavic Orthodox except on a neighborly basis in my community.

I hate to say it, but in the end, I think that in 21st century America, excepting for the small number of areas where Slavic speaking immigrants have settled in the last two decades, the attachment to any conversational use of for example, Russian, Ukrainian or Serbian is more of a cultural thing than a religious necessity. The use of Slavonic in most (formerly) Slavic parishes is a throwback or homage to the past and not a practical necessity.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: vamrat on October 08, 2012, 05:41:25 PM
I think if a town is large enough to have more than one Church there is no reason that some should not be in English and others in another language.  We have some recent immigrants that go to the all-English Antiochian church in town and others that go to the half-Slavonic Serbian church.  I notice that a lot of people jump back and forth between our two churches as well.  Basically, my view on the matter is, why make problems when none exist?  If the people are happy and services to God are being performed, why make an issue of it?  Now if there is a problem then deal with it, of course, but dealing with nonexistent problems is one of our American peculiarities, methinks. 

Which people are we talking about?  Those who are in the Church or those who desperately need it for salvation?  It seems to me that this attitude can lead to evangelistic stagnation and most definitely does not fulfill the Great Commission.

Note, I'm not saying YOU have that attitude, just that it can become a real problem.

I realize that Christ said the Good Shepherd will leave the other sheep to go find the lost sheep, but I reckon there can be some level of balance between the two that we must strive for.  The Good Shepherd can do both at once, we have to work at it.

Exactly my point as well.

As for creating problems that don't exist...try wearing the priest hat for a while. 

Ever think that when people ask for everything to be in english, yet there are people in their church who clearly do not speak english, that the request is petty & selfish? 

Just trying to brainstorm here. 

My issue is that I just don't want to see this issue dogmatized.  If some churches have a problem then it would be good for them to talk it over with their Bishops or even brainstorm ideas amongst themselves.  I have no horror stories from my church about people not being able to understand things or divisions based on ethnic lines.  I think that having both Slavonic and English frequently used and a priest who can speak English, Serbian, and Russian is a great benefit for our parish.  I recognize the importance of having a priest who can speak English in the US so he can communicate with "lost sheep" or convertsi.  We also enjoy the fact that we have a priest who knows his congregation well enough that he can gauge how much English and how much Slavonic to use in any given service.  We also have a congregation that knows enough that thye can get by whichever language is being used.

I don't know where your parish is, but I suspect that most parishes have no need for a priest fluent in Russian, Ukrainian, Serbian etc... Better to have a priest capable of being a pastor, one who trained in liturgics, some theology and possessing a great deal of counseling, organizational and human relation skills along with a forgiving nature.

Between the 'convert' parishes in the OCA and the old line former Metropolia parishes there are few communities outside of perhaps the major cities where any significant, non-English speaking immigrant or first generation population is present. I know this is true in ACROD and I suspect that this is also the case in the UOC.  I can't speak for the non-Slavic experience as I have no real contact with the non-Slavic Orthodox except on a neighborly basis in my community.

I hate to say it, but in the end, I think that in 21st century America, excepting for the small number of areas where Slavic speaking immigrants have settled in the last two decades, the attachment to any conversational use of for example, Russian, Ukrainian or Serbian is more of a cultural thing than a religious necessity. The use of Slavonic in most (formerly) Slavic parishes is a throwback or homage to the past and not a practical necessity.

You are missing my point.  All I am saying is, we don't need language to be dogmatized.  I'm not saying every church needs to have a multilingual priest, I'm just saying that if this is one of his "talents" as it were, why not utilize it? 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 08, 2012, 06:22:41 PM
^ Language has never been dogmatized in the Orthodox Church, so why would it be so now? I agree, if there is a need for services in the 'old' languages, of course it should be met. However, many - and I don't mean you - tend to elevate the 'old' languages to a level of veneration approaching 'dogma' and that is where I have a problem. Keep in mind, I learned to read and chant in Slavonic long before I could chant in English and although we rarely use Slavonic, just point me to the page and it's off to the races. I love singing in Slavonic and I understand that it is for reasons of nostalgia, memories of loved ones who have passed on etc....

It's funny, LBK will offer the correct statement that we shouldn't be tied to old interior Church paintings etc.. which are not truly icons just for sentimental reasons or because we have venerated them for centuries...I have an internal problem with that which I recognize, yet I offer a similar point of view on the equally emotional issue of language, I suspect that our attachments to these things probably stem from the same internal source - sort of like cooking smells reminding one of one's mother or grandmother..... In think in the final analysis, neither of these issues should become an insurmountable barrier to faith for any of us. Sorry if I sound conflicted, but I suppose I am.....
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on October 08, 2012, 06:55:31 PM
^ Language has never been dogmatized in the Orthodox Church, so why would it be so now? I agree, if there is a need for services in the 'old' languages, of course it should be met. However, many - and I don't mean you - tend to elevate the 'old' languages to a level of veneration approaching 'dogma' and that is where I have a problem. Keep in mind, I learned to read and chant in Slavonic long before I could chant in English and although we rarely use Slavonic, just point me to the page and it's off to the races. I love singing in Slavonic and I understand that it is for reasons of nostalgia, memories of loved ones who have passed on etc....

It's funny, LBK will offer the correct statement that we shouldn't be tied to old interior Church paintings etc.. which are not truly icons just for sentimental reasons or because we have venerated them for centuries...I have an internal problem with that which I recognize, yet I offer a similar point of view on the equally emotional issue of language, I suspect that our attachments to these things probably stem from the same internal source - sort of like cooking smells reminding one of one's mother or grandmother..... In think in the final analysis, neither of these issues should become an insurmountable barrier to faith for any of us. Sorry if I sound conflicted, but I suppose I am.....

I agree with Vamrat in general, and I'll only add for Podkarpatska that if you even look through this thread, you will see JUST how dogmatic people are about this subject & English in general. 

I will also mention another caveat to this.  The real argument IS that we need to be open to all languages & serve as many people as possible.  Period.  I think that obviously English is the language that everyone should share, as the language of the majority in america, but if you have a Spanish neighborhood around you, that should be considered, as part of our church life, but also throw in Greek for the old ladies in the front
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on October 08, 2012, 09:03:35 PM
In my hometown there is a Greek parish which only speaks Greek.  Very few attend the liturgy.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: podkarpatska on October 08, 2012, 09:13:28 PM
^ Language has never been dogmatized in the Orthodox Church, so why would it be so now? I agree, if there is a need for services in the 'old' languages, of course it should be met. However, many - and I don't mean you - tend to elevate the 'old' languages to a level of veneration approaching 'dogma' and that is where I have a problem. Keep in mind, I learned to read and chant in Slavonic long before I could chant in English and although we rarely use Slavonic, just point me to the page and it's off to the races. I love singing in Slavonic and I understand that it is for reasons of nostalgia, memories of loved ones who have passed on etc....

It's funny, LBK will offer the correct statement that we shouldn't be tied to old interior Church paintings etc.. which are not truly icons just for sentimental reasons or because we have venerated them for centuries...I have an internal problem with that which I recognize, yet I offer a similar point of view on the equally emotional issue of language, I suspect that our attachments to these things probably stem from the same internal source - sort of like cooking smells reminding one of one's mother or grandmother..... In think in the final analysis, neither of these issues should become an insurmountable barrier to faith for any of us. Sorry if I sound conflicted, but I suppose I am.....

I agree with Vamrat in general, and I'll only add for Podkarpatska that if you even look through this thread, you will see JUST how dogmatic people are about this subject & English in general. 

I will also mention another caveat to this.  The real argument IS that we need to be open to all languages & serve as many people as possible.  Period.  I think that obviously English is the language that everyone should share, as the language of the majority in america, but if you have a Spanish neighborhood around you, that should be considered, as part of our church life, but also throw in Greek for the old ladies in the front

Ah - being dogmatic as opposed to something being dogmatized....  I think I missed that distinction in my earlier replies. Of course, I think the three of us really have no disagreement on this point at all.... There are some, and more than a few are clergy, who take a ridiculous, absolutist view of this. I remember a priest who nearly drove my in-laws parish into the ground by 'banning' ALL Slavonic, claiming it was the Bishop's directive. Of course, he failed to count on my reporting such nonsense back to the Chancery. The funny thing is that when he managed to pilfer a few Greek families seeking English, he told the choir director to learn Christos Anesti after telling him the year before not to sing Christos Voskrese - only Christ is Risen....
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Wilma on December 16, 2012, 07:24:26 PM
The Holy Spirit wouldnt have given the ability to speak in tongues if God didnt want His message to be delivered in the language of the people. We can respect an honor each others cultural believes without forgetting that in order to transmit a message one must share a common language.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: biro on December 16, 2012, 08:20:27 PM
The Holy Spirit wouldnt have given the ability to speak in tongues if God didnt want His message to be delivered in the language of the people. We can respect an honor each others cultural believes without forgetting that in order to transmit a message one must share a common language.

Yeah, because speaking a common language is bad, and people who speak English should go somewhere else. Faith is about ethnicity, and nobody should ever have to learn something.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: TheMathematician on December 16, 2012, 11:19:57 PM
The Holy Spirit wouldnt have given the ability to speak in tongues if God didnt want His message to be delivered in the language of the people. We can respect an honor each others cultural believes without forgetting that in order to transmit a message one must share a common language.

Yeah, because speaking a common language is bad, and people who speak English should go somewhere else. Faith is about ethnicity, and nobody should ever have to learn something.

Biro, i think that she was saying the same thing you were, and saying that doing things in English is a good thing, and should be done. (could be wrong though)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: biro on December 16, 2012, 11:30:36 PM
If you say so.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: theistgal on December 17, 2012, 12:34:21 AM
She was, biro.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on December 17, 2012, 01:55:42 AM
The Holy Spirit wouldnt have given the ability to speak in tongues if God didnt want His message to be delivered in the language of the people. We can respect an honor each others cultural believes without forgetting that in order to transmit a message one must share a common language.

Yeah, because speaking a common language is bad, and people who speak English should go somewhere else. Faith is about ethnicity, and nobody should ever have to learn something.

I agree.  It should be the ethnicity of the land, not some foreign ethnicity though.  So don't be Russian or Greek or Ukrainian in Canada or America.  Here we should worship as Canadians or Americans.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on December 17, 2012, 05:45:21 AM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Wilma on December 17, 2012, 06:24:05 AM
She was, biro.

That's what I meant. My apologies for the confusion, English is my 2nd language and Sometimes I can't express exactly what I want. But yes, we should br able to understand the Liturgy so it should offered in a common language. If I go to PR I expect to hear it in Spanish, in Russia in whatever language they speak, and in US in English. Im blessed with an English parish although there are 24 different nationalities in it. We all recite the Lord's Prayer in our mother tongues; it takes longer than in any other parish but it helps you make the Liturgy something personal.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 06:57:44 AM
So don't be Russian or Greek or Ukrainian in Canada or America. 

(http://themovierat.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/dictator1.jpg)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on December 17, 2012, 08:39:11 AM
I agree.  It should be the ethnicity of the land, not some foreign ethnicity though.  So don't be Russian or Greek or Ukrainian in Canada or America.  Here we should worship as Canadians or Americans.

Then you should worship like those mega churches do, since that is the only form of "worship" that's purely American.

The Divine Liturgy developed in the "Old World", in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople. Can't have that, of course.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: biro on December 17, 2012, 10:13:06 AM
She was, biro.

That's what I meant. My apologies for the confusion, English is my 2nd language and Sometimes I can't express exactly what I want. But yes, we should br able to understand the Liturgy so it should offered in a common language. If I go to PR I expect to hear it in Spanish, in Russia in whatever language they speak, and in US in English. Im blessed with an English parish although there are 24 different nationalities in it. We all recite the Lord's Prayer in our mother tongues; it takes longer than in any other parish but it helps you make the Liturgy something personal.

Forgive me. I was probably out of line.

It's hard, in a large parish with lots of different folks, to make something that suits everyone. Maybe more parishes could make simple paper copies of booklets with service scripts in different languages. There are diocesan sites where you can download and then print the liturgy or whatever you need. My parish makes a few copies of Orthros every week. That helps.

Again, sorry I got all ticked. I think I'll have some tea.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Wilma on December 17, 2012, 10:50:01 AM
She was, biro.

That's what I meant. My apologies for the confusion, English is my 2nd language and Sometimes I can't express exactly what I want. But yes, we should br able to understand the Liturgy so it should offered in a common language. If I go to PR I expect to hear it in Spanish, in Russia in whatever language they speak, and in US in English. Im blessed with an English parish although there are 24 different nationalities in it. We all recite the Lord's Prayer in our mother tongues; it takes longer than in any other parish but it helps you make the Liturgy something personal.

Forgive me. I was probably out of line.

It's hard, in a large parish with lots of different folks, to make something that suits everyone. Maybe more parishes could make simple paper copies of booklets with service scripts in different languages. There are diocesan sites where you can download and then print the liturgy or whatever you need. My parish makes a few copies of Orthros every week. That helps.

Again, sorry I got all ticked. I think I'll have some tea.


No problem, I understand. Could you share the link to those sites where one can download the Liturgy, please? Although in my parish everything is in English, I'm still having difficulties following Liturgy. I think I'm getting better, but having everything printed out could help me, and my family, a lot! Thanks in advance.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 17, 2012, 10:56:57 AM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why do you think the the Fathers chose Koine Greek and Old Church Slavonic in the first place?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 17, 2012, 10:58:19 AM
I agree.  It should be the ethnicity of the land, not some foreign ethnicity though.  So don't be Russian or Greek or Ukrainian in Canada or America.  Here we should worship as Canadians or Americans.

The Divine Liturgy developed in the "Old World", in the Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.

Then why did Sts. Cyrill and Methodius translate the Liturgy at all?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: biro on December 17, 2012, 11:02:43 AM
http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/

Wilma, if your parish is ACROD, this may help. This site has some documents and things to help with Church Slavonic. I hope it is helpful to you.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on December 17, 2012, 11:07:51 AM
Why do you think the the Fathers chose Koine Greek and Old Church Slavonic in the first place?

Old Church Slavonic was never a spoken language, but one artificially constructed specifically for the purpose of liturgical translation, retaining much of the grammatical features of the original Greek texts. While it shows a concern for intelligibility, it also shows a preference for precision over the spoken vernacular.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 17, 2012, 11:17:10 AM
Why do you think the the Fathers chose Koine Greek and Old Church Slavonic in the first place?

Old Church Slavonic was never a spoken language, but one artificially constructed specifically for the purpose of liturgical translation, retaining much of the grammatical features of the original Greek texts. While it shows a concern for intelligibility, it also shows a preference for precision over the spoken vernacular.

However, it was still mutually intelligible with the Late Common Slavic which was spoken at the time. At least according to the UT Austin Linguistics Research Center (http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/eieol/ocsol-0-X.html).

The point is, they used the language because people could understand it. Otherwise, they could have stuck with Koine.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on December 17, 2012, 11:28:09 AM
The point is, they used the language because people could understand it. Otherwise, they could have stuck with Koine.

Indeed, I just wanted to make the distinction between liturgical language and the spoken vernacular.


I wonder, though, what the approach of the early Church would have been had the literacy rate been 99% and if liturgical books could be mass produced at a very low cost.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on December 17, 2012, 11:45:19 AM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why? And would that extend to Dutch also? In Romania the Liturgy is in Romanian. It's somewhat old fashioned Romanian but it's perfectly intelligible even if, like me, you only speak Romanian as a second language. It's certainly not worse than Elizabethan English (which is the form of English I prefer in church, but then I grew up with that not to mention in an area where thee and thou are still parts of normal speech). Why on earth would you prefer that the liturgy be unintelligible? We used to attend a 100% Greek liturgy because we had no other choice but I would have gone considerably out of my way to attend an English or Romanian one if I could have. In fact I now do - driving 40 minutes each way to attend a liturgy my family can actually understand rather than walking 5 minutes from my house to get to a Greek parish.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 17, 2012, 11:47:08 AM
The point is, they used the language because people could understand it. Otherwise, they could have stuck with Koine.

Indeed, I just wanted to make the distinction between liturgical language and the spoken vernacular.

Then we see eye to eye.  :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Wilma on December 17, 2012, 11:52:06 AM
http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/

Wilma, if your parish is ACROD, this may help. This site has some documents and things to help with Church Slavonic. I hope it is helpful to you.

Thanks a lot!
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on December 17, 2012, 12:42:18 PM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why? And would that extend to Dutch also? In Romania the Liturgy is in Romanian. It's somewhat old fashioned Romanian but it's perfectly intelligible even if, like me, you only speak Romanian as a second language. It's certainly not worse than Elizabethan English (which is the form of English I prefer in church, but then I grew up with that not to mention in an area where thee and thou are still parts of normal speech). Why on earth would you prefer that the liturgy be unintelligible? We used to attend a 100% Greek liturgy because we had no other choice but I would have gone considerably out of my way to attend an English or Romanian one if I could have. In fact I now do - driving 40 minutes each way to attend a liturgy my family can actually understand rather than walking 5 minutes from my house to get to a Greek parish.

James

In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extend true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 12:48:21 PM
I wonder, though, what the approach of the early Church would have been had the literacy rate been 99% and if liturgical books could be mass produced at a very low cost.

Tradeswomen at the market were arguing about the number of Christ's wills and barbers were asking their clients about the origins of the Son. I couldn't go much worse.

In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extant true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.

We could use Mongolian. It will be even more mysterious.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on December 17, 2012, 12:51:37 PM
Ah yes, that was not my point.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Orthodox11 on December 17, 2012, 12:57:02 PM
In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extant true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.

When I go to the monastery in Essex, I hear the same English translation of the Liturgy Elder Sophrony would have heard when he was alive. He will undoubtedly be canonised (many, inc. everyone on Mount Athos, say he'll be called St. Sophrony the Great) and numbered among the Fathers. I doubt that particular translation will survive unchanged over centuries, but hopefully at some point a decent English translation will come about that stands the test of time, much like the KJV and BCP, with which the future saints of the English speaking world will come to be associated.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: biro on December 17, 2012, 01:00:00 PM
http://www.orthodoxepubsoc.org/

Wilma, if your parish is ACROD, this may help. This site has some documents and things to help with Church Slavonic. I hope it is helpful to you.

Thanks a lot!

You're welcome. :)
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on December 17, 2012, 01:03:56 PM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why? And would that extend to Dutch also? In Romania the Liturgy is in Romanian. It's somewhat old fashioned Romanian but it's perfectly intelligible even if, like me, you only speak Romanian as a second language. It's certainly not worse than Elizabethan English (which is the form of English I prefer in church, but then I grew up with that not to mention in an area where thee and thou are still parts of normal speech). Why on earth would you prefer that the liturgy be unintelligible? We used to attend a 100% Greek liturgy because we had no other choice but I would have gone considerably out of my way to attend an English or Romanian one if I could have. In fact I now do - driving 40 minutes each way to attend a liturgy my family can actually understand rather than walking 5 minutes from my house to get to a Greek parish.

James

In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extend true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.

No, it doesn't, except in the sense Michal was mocking. I've been there and done that and believe me that none of the (genuine) Mystery is lost in the Divine Liturgy by it being in a language I can understand. The understanding, however, is certainly lost when the Liturgy is in a language that is unintelligible and that seems to me far more important than any romantic idea of hearing the words the Fathers heard. If you do stick to this, in my view misguided, belief and have children I hope you have them learn Koine and/or Church Slavonic alongside their mother tongue. It doesn't surprise me one bit when I hear that non-Greek speaking children of Greek immigrants leave the church as they grow up. For them its always been a mystery - and not in a good way.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: choy on December 17, 2012, 01:53:45 PM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why? And would that extend to Dutch also? In Romania the Liturgy is in Romanian. It's somewhat old fashioned Romanian but it's perfectly intelligible even if, like me, you only speak Romanian as a second language. It's certainly not worse than Elizabethan English (which is the form of English I prefer in church, but then I grew up with that not to mention in an area where thee and thou are still parts of normal speech). Why on earth would you prefer that the liturgy be unintelligible? We used to attend a 100% Greek liturgy because we had no other choice but I would have gone considerably out of my way to attend an English or Romanian one if I could have. In fact I now do - driving 40 minutes each way to attend a liturgy my family can actually understand rather than walking 5 minutes from my house to get to a Greek parish.

James

In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extend true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.

No, it doesn't, except in the sense Michal was mocking. I've been there and done that and believe me that none of the (genuine) Mystery is lost in the Divine Liturgy by it being in a language I can understand. The understanding, however, is certainly lost when the Liturgy is in a language that is unintelligible and that seems to me far more important than any romantic idea of hearing the words the Fathers heard. If you do stick to this, in my view misguided, belief and have children I hope you have them learn Koine and/or Church Slavonic alongside their mother tongue. It doesn't surprise me one bit when I hear that non-Greek speaking children of Greek immigrants leave the church as they grow up. For them its always been a mystery - and not in a good way.

James

Also, the Fathers understood the language back then.  We don't today.  I am sort of miffed by this desire fo "mystery" in the language.  Isn't God mysterious enough for us that we need to pray mysterious with human language?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on December 17, 2012, 01:59:06 PM
When Jesus was not understood by His hearers, it was due to a spiritual matter, not a linguistic one.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on December 17, 2012, 06:47:37 PM
I don't know if I said it before but in Russia they don't use Russian in the liturgy and in Greece they use koine Greek which is probably largely unintelligable to the average parishioner. I would rather have a liturgy in Greek or Church Slavonic than one in English.

Why? And would that extend to Dutch also? In Romania the Liturgy is in Romanian. It's somewhat old fashioned Romanian but it's perfectly intelligible even if, like me, you only speak Romanian as a second language. It's certainly not worse than Elizabethan English (which is the form of English I prefer in church, but then I grew up with that not to mention in an area where thee and thou are still parts of normal speech). Why on earth would you prefer that the liturgy be unintelligible? We used to attend a 100% Greek liturgy because we had no other choice but I would have gone considerably out of my way to attend an English or Romanian one if I could have. In fact I now do - driving 40 minutes each way to attend a liturgy my family can actually understand rather than walking 5 minutes from my house to get to a Greek parish.

James

In the Greek liturgy you hear the same words and chants that the Church Fathers and many of the saints heard. The same is to a lesser extend true for the Slavonic liturgy and the Latin mass. It adds to the mystery, I think.

Mystery vs understanding???? Such a hard choice.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on December 17, 2012, 07:30:59 PM
^It is a hard choice, especially considering that modern English is farther from the Greek than middle English.  And yet, when people don't know what is being said... What good is mystery without prayer with understanding, as St. Paul states that we ought have.  I myself am torn. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 17, 2012, 07:49:43 PM
^It is a hard choice, especially considering that modern English is farther from the Greek than middle English.  And yet, when people don't know what is being said... What good is mystery without prayer with understanding, as St. Paul states that we ought have.  I myself am torn. 

I still think there's a case to be made that if you KNOW the liturgy you can experience it in ANY language & still feel the grace of God & participate fully.  I've been to a Georgian Liturgy & had no problem knowing what I was praying for & when to do things. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 07:51:50 PM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 17, 2012, 07:58:44 PM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 08:00:37 PM
Are we talking about real or at least possible situations?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 17, 2012, 08:02:10 PM
Are we talking about real or at least possible situations?

i've done this before.  How's that for an answer.   ;) ;D
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 08:07:08 PM
I've never seen that in real.

Even if there was such a possibility I would say active learning is more efficient than some lectures.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on December 17, 2012, 08:16:35 PM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?

Right, I have had to do this with the Lord's Prayer.  I asked my population what they think of each clause (in the middle English).  They just didn't know.  So I went through it with them in the Greek and English.  They were appreciative of the fact that "daily" does not quite express the supersubstantial (hyperessential) bread that we ask to receive from God. 

I am glad that you have done this with the Liturgy.  However, I am assuming that the majority of the parish was not there for the Saturday lessons.  That being said, most priests have not even done this, and the people are clueless on anything but the "general feeling."     
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 17, 2012, 08:16:44 PM
I've never seen that in real.

Even if there was such a possibility I would say active learning is more efficient than some lectures.

that's why I recommended teaching liturgies.  

Obviously I agree with the consensus that praying in one's own language is the best.  However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.  That's how we ended up with the Erasmian pronunciation.  ugh.  
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on December 17, 2012, 08:19:45 PM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?
Learning the structure of the Liturgy, even including the meaning behind all of its parts, is not a particularly difficult task. But what about all the other services - many of which, for example during Holy Week, that come up only once a year? What about all the hymns and readings of the Epistles and Gospels? You can know the structure of the Liturgy, but alone, it is a form without substance.

Michał Kalina is completely right. I have attended liturgies in languages unknown to me and been able to follow adequately because I know the structure from frequent and, I trust, deepening experience in English. But I have no idea what some of the hymns were - I might guess, as a example, "Troparion for the patron saint", but what would I learn? how would I benefit?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 17, 2012, 08:27:50 PM

that's why I recommended teaching liturgies. 

With all due respect Father, what percent of your parish comes to the teaching liturgies you offer on Saturdays?


Obviously I agree with the consensus that praying in one's own language is the best.  However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.  That's how we ended up with the Erasmian pronunciation.  ugh. 

I don't think anyone suggested the total eradication of Liturgical languages. Perhaps once a month or so is fine but IMO for more continuous use, some variant of the vernacular is best.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 08:29:12 PM
However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.

Why? What is the reason for their existence?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Father H on December 17, 2012, 08:49:30 PM
I've never seen that in real.

Even if there was such a possibility I would say active learning is more efficient than some lectures.

that's why I recommended teaching liturgies.  

Obviously I agree with the consensus that praying in one's own language is the best.  However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.  That's how we ended up with the Erasmian pronunciation.  ugh.  

But the original languages ARE spoken, in Greece, for example.  I suppose if Greece and Cyprus and Constantinople and Alexandria and Jerusalem and Antioch/Damascus, etc. were completely obliterated with regard to Greek; and if Bulgaria, Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, etc. were wiped off the map of Orthodoxy with regard to Slavonic; then this would be our concern in America.     
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 17, 2012, 08:56:17 PM
Bulgaria uses Bulgarian, Serbia mostly uses Serbian.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 01:02:06 AM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?
Learning the structure of the Liturgy, even including the meaning behind all of its parts, is not a particularly difficult task. But what about all the other services - many of which, for example during Holy Week, that come up only once a year? What about all the hymns and readings of the Epistles and Gospels? You can know the structure of the Liturgy, but alone, it is a form without substance.

Michał Kalina is completely right. I have attended liturgies in languages unknown to me and been able to follow adequately because I know the structure from frequent and, I trust, deepening experience in English. But I have no idea what some of the hymns were - I might guess, as a example, "Troparion for the patron saint", but what would I learn? how would I benefit?

I'm always conflicted about these things.  I have felt the grace of god in languages I've never heard, in liturgy.  But is that the goal of liturgy? Donatism heresies leave us with a no. 

I don't have complete answers, and I wonder if its a disservice for me to answer yours one by one. 

But I will if you want me to!?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 01:07:15 AM

that's why I recommended teaching liturgies. 

With all due respect Father, what percent of your parish comes to the teaching liturgies you offer on Saturdays?

LoL!  Less than half a percent.  My goal is obviously to grow that number

Also we have a "children's sermon" where we focus exclusively on teaching the liturgy, during liturgy.


I don't think anyone suggested the total eradication of Liturgical languages. Perhaps once a month or so is fine but IMO for more continuous use, some variant of the vernacular is best.

I kind of like this idea.  Food for thought
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 01:08:50 AM
However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.

Why? What is the reason for their existence?

At the very least in our case to be plugged into the gospel & the prayers of the liturgy that are in the language they were actually written in.

Would you like a further explanation?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Fr.Aidan on December 18, 2012, 01:27:48 AM
I notice that throughout much or most of the first thousand years of Christianity, the faith was spread to all sorts of tribes, tongues, and people, with every bit of the service being in a language which was not their own. This was never thought, back then, to represent a barrier to evangelization. Think of it: hordes of Irish monks travelling all across Europe, planting churches, converting heathen, baptizing hundreds of people, planting monasteries, and completely transforming the culture -- all in Latin, a foreign language not even cognate to their own (Gaelic). But they did speak the universal language of asceticism and love for men's souls.

If we had that kind of love and ascetic fire, we wouldn't need fancy churches, good reference books, or the English language, to be hugely successful all across America.

But, for us lazybones, I suppose whatever saves face is what we'll focus on.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 01:29:31 AM
I notice that throughout much or most of the first thousand years of Christianity, the faith was spread to all sorts of tribes, tongues, and people, with every bit of the service being in a language which was not their own. This was never thought, back then, to represent a barrier to evangelization. Think of it: hordes of Irish monks travelling all across Europe, planting churches, converting heathen, baptizing hundreds of people, planting monasteries, and completely transforming the culture -- all in a foreign language. But with the universal language of asceticism and of love for men's souls.

If we had that kind of love and ascetic fire, we wouldn't need fancy churches, good reference books, or the English language, to be hugely successful all across America.

But whatever saves face...

I like this point as well
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Kerdy on December 18, 2012, 02:45:27 AM
I notice that throughout much or most of the first thousand years of Christianity, the faith was spread to all sorts of tribes, tongues, and people, with every bit of the service being in a language which was not their own. This was never thought, back then, to represent a barrier to evangelization. Think of it: hordes of Irish monks travelling all across Europe, planting churches, converting heathen, baptizing hundreds of people, planting monasteries, and completely transforming the culture -- all in a foreign language. But with the universal language of asceticism and of love for men's souls.

If we had that kind of love and ascetic fire, we wouldn't need fancy churches, good reference books, or the English language, to be hugely successful all across America.

But whatever saves face...

I like this point as well
The only problem is Orthodoxy spread, in large part, as a result of using the local languages.  Also, in that time, in those places, trade was key and to trade, one needed to know a variety of languages.  A skill no longer valued or really required in daily life.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 02:49:02 AM
As in most things, it's a lot of "both/and"
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: mike on December 18, 2012, 04:40:41 AM
However, I don't think that should come at the expense of losing the original languages.  those languages should not be left to a bunch of scholars.

Why? What is the reason for their existence?

At the very least in our case to be plugged into the gospel & the prayers of the liturgy that are in the language they were actually written in.

I really don't see how it's valuable from the Orthodox POV.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on December 18, 2012, 11:35:00 AM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?
Learning the structure of the Liturgy, even including the meaning behind all of its parts, is not a particularly difficult task. But what about all the other services - many of which, for example during Holy Week, that come up only once a year? What about all the hymns and readings of the Epistles and Gospels? You can know the structure of the Liturgy, but alone, it is a form without substance.

Michał Kalina is completely right. I have attended liturgies in languages unknown to me and been able to follow adequately because I know the structure from frequent and, I trust, deepening experience in English. But I have no idea what some of the hymns were - I might guess, as a example, "Troparion for the patron saint", but what would I learn? how would I benefit?

I'm always conflicted about these things.  I have felt the grace of god in languages I've never heard, in liturgy.  But is that the goal of liturgy? Donatism heresies leave us with a no. 

I don't have complete answers, and I wonder if its a disservice for me to answer yours one by one. 

But I will if you want me to!?
Thank you for your honesty. What do you mean by "always conflicted about these things"?

Just to keep the record straight: I do believe there is a role for maintaining some knowledge of the ancient liturgical languages (OK, Slavonic is only semi-ancient  :D). But it is a limited role - mostly scholarly. Any translations into modern languages ought to be made from those earlier languages. In my opinion, it would be dangerous to translate from say, English into Portuguese, then from Portuguese into Guaraní, then from Guaraní into Hungarian, etc. Here in the North American Antiochian Church, we have texts in English that have gone through multiple translations - various combinations of Greek, Arabic, and Slavonic - leaving us with some texts that look like those monstrosities you get when you use a computer translation back and forth between languages (although that is fun to do  ;D).

I also agree that there is a beauty in the original languages that is difficult to recreate in translation. That is true in many situations. As a simple example, I took a university course in French composition about twenty years ago. I wrote one composition that received a high mark, but later when I tried to translate it into English, I couldn't get it to say exactly what it did in French - even though I was the author of the original and they were my own thoughts! It's also somewhat akin to our preferring an opera in its original language. However, in many opera houses, there will be a screen that gives a translation. Somehow, I don't think that's likely in our churches.

The preaching of the Gospel - including our worship - must be as clear as possible. It is true that even our native language will often fail to communicate adequately, but that is more likely a spiritual problem than a linguistic one. At that point, we must let the Holy Spirit do His work.

I don't think either of us (or any other person) has the complete answer. The best we can do is continue in discussion.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: serb1389 on December 18, 2012, 10:41:02 PM
But firstly, you need to somehow get to know it.

let me throw a theory out at you:

your priest takes you into his office & explains the liturgy to you, in detail.

Or even another theory: the priest does teaching liturgies in the modern language on Saturdays, so people learn, but does the ancient languages on sundays. 

thoughts?
Learning the structure of the Liturgy, even including the meaning behind all of its parts, is not a particularly difficult task. But what about all the other services - many of which, for example during Holy Week, that come up only once a year? What about all the hymns and readings of the Epistles and Gospels? You can know the structure of the Liturgy, but alone, it is a form without substance.

Michał Kalina is completely right. I have attended liturgies in languages unknown to me and been able to follow adequately because I know the structure from frequent and, I trust, deepening experience in English. But I have no idea what some of the hymns were - I might guess, as a example, "Troparion for the patron saint", but what would I learn? how would I benefit?

I'm always conflicted about these things.  I have felt the grace of god in languages I've never heard, in liturgy.  But is that the goal of liturgy? Donatism heresies leave us with a no. 

I don't have complete answers, and I wonder if its a disservice for me to answer yours one by one. 

But I will if you want me to!?
Thank you for your honesty. What do you mean by "always conflicted about these things"?

Just to keep the record straight: I do believe there is a role for maintaining some knowledge of the ancient liturgical languages (OK, Slavonic is only semi-ancient  :D). But it is a limited role - mostly scholarly. Any translations into modern languages ought to be made from those earlier languages. In my opinion, it would be dangerous to translate from say, English into Portuguese, then from Portuguese into Guaraní, then from Guaraní into Hungarian, etc. Here in the North American Antiochian Church, we have texts in English that have gone through multiple translations - various combinations of Greek, Arabic, and Slavonic - leaving us with some texts that look like those monstrosities you get when you use a computer translation back and forth between languages (although that is fun to do  ;D).

I also agree that there is a beauty in the original languages that is difficult to recreate in translation. That is true in many situations. As a simple example, I took a university course in French composition about twenty years ago. I wrote one composition that received a high mark, but later when I tried to translate it into English, I couldn't get it to say exactly what it did in French - even though I was the author of the original and they were my own thoughts! It's also somewhat akin to our preferring an opera in its original language. However, in many opera houses, there will be a screen that gives a translation. Somehow, I don't think that's likely in our churches.

The preaching of the Gospel - including our worship - must be as clear as possible. It is true that even our native language will often fail to communicate adequately, but that is more likely a spiritual problem than a linguistic one. At that point, we must let the Holy Spirit do His work.

I don't think either of us (or any other person) has the complete answer. The best we can do is continue in discussion.

I like that last line a lot, and wholeheartedly agree.

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it. 
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on December 19, 2012, 09:54:51 AM

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it. 
If what you're talking about is having the required vocabulary within English or other modern language then we have no disagreement. In fact, we English-speakers are privileged with a language that easily acquires and assimilates new words, whether coined from earlier constructions or introduced from other languages.

And yes, I do believe that it is quite appropriate for the Church to use a specialized vocabulary for worship. That is not unusual. It's done all the time for many activities - look, for example, at the vocabulary needed to play almost any sport; consider the changes in vocabulary that have come about since computers became common. We adapt well. The examples of Greek terms you give above really do have no equivalent in English, so cannot be translated with the proper nuances. Even our having to learn these new words forces us to examine our faith and understand the depth of it. A dumbed down faith does no one any good.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: sheenj on December 19, 2012, 12:28:56 PM

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it. 
The examples of Greek terms you give above really do have no equivalent in English, so cannot be translated with the proper nuances.

I'll give you Logos and Homoousious, but I fail to see the difference between the Greek Theotokos and the English Godbearer. If there is an English equivalent that properly conveys the meaning of a Greek word, why not use it?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on December 19, 2012, 12:37:08 PM

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it.  
The examples of Greek terms you give above really do have no equivalent in English, so cannot be translated with the proper nuances.

I'll give you Logos and Homoousious, but I fail to see the difference between the Greek Theotokos and the English Godbearer. If there is an English equivalent that properly conveys the meaning of a Greek word, why not use it?

Godbearer is not the same as Theotokos, at least not as I understand the term. Birthgiver of God would be but Godbearer could just as easily mean someone who carried God as someone who gave birth to God so to me the term would seem far too ambiguous. I think Mother of God would be preferrable to that even taking into account the way some misconstrue what that means. We don't use Theotokos in DL because we use the Romanian Născătoare de Dumnezeu, which translates exactly as Birthgiver of God.

James
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: Cyrillic on December 19, 2012, 12:43:02 PM
Godbearer could be used as a translation for Θεοφόρος, the nickname of St. Ignatius of Antioch, as well.
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: genesisone on December 19, 2012, 12:47:47 PM

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it.  
The examples of Greek terms you give above really do have no equivalent in English, so cannot be translated with the proper nuances.

I'll give you Logos and Homoousious, but I fail to see the difference between the Greek Theotokos and the English Godbearer. If there is an English equivalent that properly conveys the meaning of a Greek word, why not use it?

Godbearer is not the same as Theotokos, at least not as I understand the term. Birthgiver of God would be but Godbearer could just as easily mean someone who carried God as someone who gave birth to God so to me the term would seem far too ambiguous. I think Mother of God would be preferrable to that even taking into account the way some misconstrue what that means. We don't use Theotokos in DL because we use the Romanian Născătoare de Dumnezeu, which translates exactly as Birthgiver of God.

James
I quite agree. And even the term "Birthgiver" I've never heard outside an Orthodox context, so using it would still require explanations. It might work, but when English can easily assimilate "Theotokos", why coin the word "Birthgiver"?
Title: Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
Post by: jmbejdl on December 19, 2012, 12:53:30 PM

As for always being conflicted, I understand that argument for modern languages & totally agree that we shouldn't have a mindless worship.  HOWEVER when entire volumes and entire segments of church history are dedicated to specific words such as Logos, and Homoousios, Theotokos, etc. to me it is a tragedy to lose these all-important words from our WORSHIP, just for the sake of modern understanding.  I just think there's a better way to do it.  
The examples of Greek terms you give above really do have no equivalent in English, so cannot be translated with the proper nuances.

I'll give you Logos and Homoousious, but I fail to see the difference between the Greek Theotokos and the English Godbearer. If there is an English equivalent that properly conveys the meaning of a Greek word, why not use it?

Godbearer is not the same as Theotokos, at least not as I understand the term. Birthgiver of God would be but Godbearer could just as easily mean someone who carried God as someone who gave birth to God so to me the term would seem far too ambiguous. I think Mother of God would be preferrable to that even taking into account the way some misconstrue what that means. We don't use Theotokos in DL because we use the Romanian Născătoare de Dumnezeu, which translates exactly as Birthgiver of God.

James
I quite agree. And even the term "Birthgiver" I've never heard outside an Orthodox context, so using it would still require explanations. It might work, but when English can easily assimilate "Theotokos", why coin the word "Birthgiver"?

Either term would require explanation, I agree, but either term would also work and be preferable to either Mother of God or Godbearer. Most of us are used to Theotokos, though, so I'm not suggesting we change it. It was merely meant to illustrate how Godbearer isn't really equivalent to Theotokos.

James