Just in from Russia:http://www.interfax-religion.com/print.php?act=news&id=4087
Divine service fragments to be read in modern Russian, Russian Orthodox Church's
Moscow, December 19, Interfax - The Russian Orthodox Church's representative
under the European International Institutions, Bishop Hilarion of Vienna and
Austria believes the time has come to reform the liturgical language partly.
¡It is impossible to abandon Slavonic and translate the whole divine service
into Russian. However, certain fragments of the service can be read in Russian.
For instance, psalms, epistles of the apostles and the Gospels¢, Bishop Hilarion
stated in an interview published in NG-Religii newspaper.
He thinks that ¡most complicated festival canons¢ can also be read in Russian.
It is necessary to organize prayer meetings for youth after divine services, to
explain words of prayers pronounced at the service and to distribute texts of
the services in Slavonic with parallel Russian translation.
¡We should balance rational conservatism with creative attitude to the church
practice. If our parishioners do not understand the words of prayers, it is a
very grave problem and it should be addressed¢, the Moscow Patriarchate¢s
According to him, ¡man of the street¢ is kept back from the Church by various
¡linguistic, cultural, psychological and other¢ barriers and clergy does not ¡do
enough¢ to help a person overcome them.
Bishop Hilarion reminded that Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia had
given the clergy a ¡missionary task¢ to make people understand the point of the
¡Until the task is completed, the question of liturgical language will be on the
agenda¢, the Russian Orthodox Church¢s representative believes.