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Author Topic: Greece, Synod condemns Mass in modern Greek  (Read 21954 times) Average Rating: 0
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mike
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« on: April 16, 2010, 02:23:10 PM »

Quote
The Greek-Orthodox Synod has condemned the Mass in modern language officiated in the diocese of Nicopolis, claiming that it puts ''the Church's unity'' at risk. Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis, in the northern region of Epirus, a long time ago authorised the translation of the Mass from liturgical Greek (close to the ancient Greek language and once spoken by the upper classes) into modern or ''popular'' Greek. Because, he justified his decision, ''otherwise the faithful don't understand the holy liturgy''. But the Synod has ruled that translating the holy texts is forbidden; it is only allowed ''as an exception and after the authorisation'' of the Church. In the absence of a joint version, according to the orthodox leaders, a spontaneous and causal translation of the liturgy ''could jeopardise the Church's unity''. The Synod has taken its decision despite the fact that Meletio seems to enjoy the support of his believers and has obtained the official support of other bishops.

source


What? There aren't any official translations of the DL into the modern Greek?

edit:


I hope that "forbidden translating" is in the imagination of the editor.
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« Reply #1 on: April 16, 2010, 02:34:23 PM »

AS my Baba would say, "Boze Moi!"
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« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2010, 04:01:57 PM »

Quote
The Greek-Orthodox Synod has condemned the Mass in modern language officiated in the diocese of Nicopolis, claiming that it puts ''the Church's unity'' at risk. Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis, in the northern region of Epirus, a long time ago authorised the translation of the Mass from liturgical Greek (close to the ancient Greek language and once spoken by the upper classes) into modern or ''popular'' Greek. Because, he justified his decision, ''otherwise the faithful don't understand the holy liturgy''. But the Synod has ruled that translating the holy texts is forbidden; it is only allowed ''as an exception and after the authorisation'' of the Church. In the absence of a joint version, according to the orthodox leaders, a spontaneous and causal translation of the liturgy ''could jeopardise the Church's unity''. The Synod has taken its decision despite the fact that Meletio seems to enjoy the support of his believers and has obtained the official support of other bishops.

source


What? There aren't any official translations of the DL into the modern Greek?

edit:


I hope that "forbidden translating" is in the imagination of the editor.
No, it's not. Blood has been shed over the issue.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olga_Constantinovna_of_Russia#.22Evangelika.22_controversy
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« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2010, 04:21:56 PM »

It is hard for me, as a second generation American who lived through my church's transition from Church Slavonic to English to fully understand this type of argument about the spoken word. To me, not to express the beauty of the Liturgy in a language the faithful really understand is akin to holding the doors open for Evangelical missionaries to raid the fields.
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« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2010, 05:10:31 PM »

This i frankly find stupid. I am currently reading a book written by a Greek Orthodox Priest, it's a wonderful book. However, in it, someone asks about why services are done in Greek (with some English) instead of in English. He replies essentially that the service is most beautiful and spiritual in Greek, and that the tradition of the Church has been to keep the Liturgy in Greek since that is the Liturgical language of the Church...

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people. Back in the day, the Roman Empire spoke Greek, and that was the common language (much like English today) and so it made sense that the Liturgy was in Greek throughout much of the Roman Empire. Yet to somehow insinuate that Greek is the "Liturgical Language" of the Church is extremely false, unhistorical and frankly, a very Western (and even very Islamic) attitude.

I don't know if this article is correct or not, but if it is correct that Modern Greek has been banned, then that is a bad sign. We aren't Old Roman Catholics (who insisted on the use of Latin because of it's "holiness") and we aren't Muslims (who refuse to translate the Qur'an because any other language is less holy & less correct)...

Same goes for Old Church Slavonic, if the people don't speak it, then what is the point? We might as well translate the Liturgy into Shakespearean English and have all services done in this fashion because it's more beautiful than our modern English...

The point of the service is not to merely be "beautiful" and to provide aesthetics. The point of the service is the edification of the attendees. edification is not as possible if the people have no clue what is being said and what they are actually praying.
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« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2010, 05:16:15 PM »

This i frankly find stupid. I am currently reading a book written by a Greek Orthodox Priest, it's a wonderful book. However, in it, someone asks about why services are done in Greek (with some English) instead of in English. He replies essentially that the service is most beautiful and spiritual in Greek, and that the tradition of the Church has been to keep the Liturgy in Greek since that is the Liturgical language of the Church...

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people. Back in the day, the Roman Empire spoke Greek, and that was the common language (much like English today) and so it made sense that the Liturgy was in Greek throughout much of the Roman Empire. Yet to somehow insinuate that Greek is the "Liturgical Language" of the Church is extremely false, unhistorical and frankly, a very Western (and even very Islamic) attitude.

I don't know if this article is correct or not, but if it is correct that Modern Greek has been banned, then that is a bad sign. We aren't Old Roman Catholics (who insisted on the use of Latin because of it's "holiness") and we aren't Muslims (who refuse to translate the Qur'an because any other language is less holy & less correct)...

Same goes for Old Church Slavonic, if the people don't speak it, then what is the point? We might as well translate the Liturgy into Shakespearean English and have all services done in this fashion because it's more beautiful than our modern English...

The point of the service is not to merely be "beautiful" and to provide aesthetics. The point of the service is the edification of the attendees. edification is not as possible if the people have no clue what is being said and what they are actually praying.

I'm all for using the original language of the Church, but then I already speak Aramaic Tongue.....m'shiiHaa qaam!
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2010, 05:42:35 PM »

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people.

The tradition of not allowing translations is almost as old. The evolution of Church Slavonic in the early second millennium is a case in point: the Slavonic languages had greatly diverged from the texts Ss. Cyril and Methodius produced, but instead of updating the texts to reflect the new vernacular, the Slavic churches made some superficial updates to Old Church Slavonic and came up with an artificial language that no one spoke, all for the sake of "(small t) tradition" and "(ethnic) unity".

A few hundred years ago the Russian Orthodox Church made admirable efforts to translate the gospel in the languages of its subjects. St Stephan of Perm brought Christianity to the Komi people and translated the gospels into their language. The Alaskan missionaries did the same for the Inuit. Yet it has been centuries now since the Komi liturgical texts were banned, and Mari and Chuvash villagers are turning to Lutheranism because local Orthodox priests regularly mock their languages.

On the other hand, I can understand to some degree suspicion of Bible translations. The current pressure for Bible translations is overwhelmingly from Protestant organizations who want people to read the Scriptures and then question the Church. It's no surprise that the kneejerk reaction is to resist translation entirely.
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2010, 06:17:42 PM »

I think we're missing the point on this, y'all.  We're arguing about the decision to forbid the translation of the Liturgy to modern Greek and missing the real objection that this translation, as necessary and good as it may have been, was undertaken unilaterally and didn't have the approval of the whole synod.  It appears that the synod of the Orthodox Church in Greece wants the work of translating the Liturgy to be carried out for the whole of the Church of Greece according to the approval of the synod and not by just one bishop in his own diocese.  Now we can certainly question this resistance to such decision-making by one individual ruling bishop for his own local church, but I think it more accurate to argue over this than over the issue of liturgical translation in and of itself.
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« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2010, 01:36:30 AM »

Look at the Roman Church!
Are they doing better now that Latin was don away with almost completely?
Keep the Koine where it is now, and whoever wants to learn or understand more will have plenty of other means to do so.
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« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2010, 01:47:55 AM »

Look at the Roman Church!
Are they doing better now that Latin was don away with almost completely?
Keep the Koine where it is now, and whoever wants to learn or understand more will have plenty of other means to do so.
I don't think the Roman Catholics should be a model no matter what they do (whether it's pre or post reforms). The Roman Catholic Church is a heretical group and they have been since they split from our Church. They originally held to just having services in Latin, and this proved to be horrible to the faith of the people, in fact, it proved to be oppressive and detrimental to their faith, it was for the better that their Church finally got rid of it. If people don't understand the Liturgy, then it has no purpose other than for performance sake, and once it becomes just a performance, then it's importance is no greater than any concert or even any contemporary western worship service..

I would argue that it is blatant heresy to say that the Liturgy is performance and for simply beauty sake... That was even the argument of non-Orthodox like Isabel Hapgood, and unfortunately, some non-learned Orthodox took to these heretical ideas and completely misunderstood the entire point of the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2010, 02:49:41 AM »

If I'm not mistaken, the Serbians already celebrate liturgy mostly in Serbian with Church Slavonic only in fewer parts, why couldn't the Greeks do the same? I understand that the decision was wrong in that the synod wasn't consulted (am I understanding this correctly?), but why is there a stigma to translating Old Greek Text to Modern?
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« Reply #11 on: April 17, 2010, 03:02:09 AM »

How do you answer these questions?  Did Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis have the authority to translate the Liturgy to Modern Greek for his diocese, or does this decision fall solely under the purview of the entire synod of the Greek Orthodox Church?  Where does the reach of the synod's authority end and the authority of the local bishop begin?  Does the synod's interest in having one liturgical language for all of Greece--be that ancient liturgical Greek or modern Greek, the distinction is irrelevant--override Bishop Meletio's interest in having Liturgies celebrated in his own diocese in the language of the people?
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« Reply #12 on: April 17, 2010, 03:29:23 AM »

Quote
they originally held to just having services in Latin, and this proved to be horrible to the faith of the people, in fact, it proved to be oppressive and detrimental to their faith, it was for the better that their Church finally got rid of it.
Really?
I don't believe that.
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« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2010, 03:38:46 AM »

claiming that it puts ''the Church's unity'' at risk.

Son of a gun! Better if fanatics leave Church.
It's a very sad news  Sad
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« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2010, 03:40:37 AM »

claiming that it puts ''the Church's unity'' at risk.

Son of a gun! Better if fanatics leave Church.
It's a very sad news  Sad
What's that sad?
Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?
Not that I know of.
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« Reply #15 on: April 17, 2010, 03:44:19 AM »

Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?

Unfortunately no. And I hate this position. Only Catholics and Protestants serve in Russian language and that's why we loose people who don't understand the language of anceint Bulgarians (Church Slavonic).
Even priests don't understand it!!!
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« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2010, 08:21:07 AM »

Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?

Unfortunately no. And I hate this position. Only Catholics and Protestants serve in Russian language and that's why we loose people who don't understand the language of anceint Bulgarians (Church Slavonic).
Even priests don't understand it!!!

I agree with you. You can see the fruits of that with the proliferation of Ukrainian Baptist communities, not only in Ukraine, but within emigre communities here. Even though both the UOC and UGCC churches in the States have been using vernacular, English and Ukrainian, these people were already lost when they got here.
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« Reply #17 on: April 17, 2010, 08:33:04 AM »

Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?

Unfortunately no. And I hate this position. Only Catholics and Protestants serve in Russian language and that's why we loose people who don't understand the language of anceint Bulgarians (Church Slavonic).
Even priests don't understand it!!!

Church Slavonic is certainly not the language of ancient Bulgarians. There are opponents of using Church Slavonic in Bulgaria who say that it was invented in Russia.
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2010, 08:53:49 AM »

never mind.
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« Reply #19 on: April 17, 2010, 09:18:56 AM »

How do you answer these questions?  Did Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis have the authority to translate the Liturgy to Modern Greek for his diocese, or does this decision fall solely under the purview of the entire synod of the Greek Orthodox Church?  Where does the reach of the synod's authority end and the authority of the local bishop begin?  Does the synod's interest in having one liturgical language for all of Greece--be that ancient liturgical Greek or modern Greek, the distinction is irrelevant--override Bishop Meletio's interest in having Liturgies celebrated in his own diocese in the language of the people?

Certainly the transition to the spoken language is within the purview of the Synod. One of the agenda items in the States for the EA will no doubt be an effort to standardize our multiplicity of English translations that have developed over the past seventy five years.
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« Reply #20 on: April 17, 2010, 09:33:26 AM »

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people.

The tradition of not allowing translations is almost as old. The evolution of Church Slavonic in the early second millennium is a case in point: the Slavonic languages had greatly diverged from the texts Ss. Cyril and Methodius produced, but instead of updating the texts to reflect the new vernacular, the Slavic churches made some superficial updates to Old Church Slavonic and came up with an artificial language that no one spoke, all for the sake of "(small t) tradition" and "(ethnic) unity".

Quite true. Except one could say it is just as old, perhaps even older. For at least the first 200 years (and then slowly decreasing over the next 100 or so), the church of Rome celebrated its services in Greek, despite the fact that few common folk understood it. Educated people did, of course. But, as the church expanded through social outreach, especially during plagues and because of the consistent rescue of exposed babies, there was an increasing number of illiterate members.

Several years ago, I tried running the numbers. I can't remember the exact outcome, but there's no doubt that the numerical majority of Orthodox Christians who ever lived worshiped in a language they did not speak in daily life. And, if you measure by centuries, that's been true for the majority (i.e. at least 51%) of centuries in the majority of Orthodox lands.
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« Reply #21 on: April 17, 2010, 09:54:13 AM »

To me, not to express the beauty of the Liturgy in a language the faithful really understand is akin to holding the doors open for Evangelical missionaries to raid the fields.

I agree completely.
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« Reply #22 on: April 17, 2010, 09:57:21 AM »

Church Slavonic is certainly not the language of ancient Bulgarians. There are opponents of using Church Slavonic in Bulgaria who say that it was invented in Russia.

LOL Cheesy
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« Reply #23 on: April 17, 2010, 10:03:28 AM »

the UOC and UGCC

 Huh I don't understand it
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« Reply #24 on: April 17, 2010, 10:04:37 AM »

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people.

The tradition of not allowing translations is almost as old. The evolution of Church Slavonic in the early second millennium is a case in point: the Slavonic languages had greatly diverged from the texts Ss. Cyril and Methodius produced, but instead of updating the texts to reflect the new vernacular, the Slavic churches made some superficial updates to Old Church Slavonic and came up with an artificial language that no one spoke, all for the sake of "(small t) tradition" and "(ethnic) unity".

Quite true.

Actually, not true at all.

The problem with trying to reconstruct Old Slavonic is that the scribes did update the texts with their vernacular.  The authorative grammar of Old Slavonic, Lunt discusses this:
http://books.google.com/books?id=7BXJgfIo_fYC&pg=PA5&dq=Lunt+Slavonic+scribes&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22day%22&f=false
That is how the Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Moravian, Romanian (yes, Romanian), Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonians recensions of Church Slavonic came about (something Lunt also touches on).

Quote
Except one could say it is just as old, perhaps even older. For at least the first 200 years (and then slowly decreasing over the next 100 or so), the church of Rome celebrated its services in Greek, despite the fact that few common folk understood it.

At the time (as shown by graffitti, remarks by the educated classes, etc.) Greek was the first language of much, if not most, of the population of Rome due to the influx of slaves, immigrants from Magna Graecia, etc. and the outflux of the Latin Roman citizens to govern and colonize the empire.  Classical Latin was restricted to the citizens (now a ruling minority) in the city: it was an artificial standard (like BBC English) that even the native stock of the lower classes had trouble with. From the available evidence, it seems the early bishops of Rome were all (except St. Peter) Greek speaking (I think GOARCH published a book on the "Greek Popes").  Things changed only in the time of Pope Victor I, who started the switch to Latin.  But then, he came from North Africa, where Greek, as we know from graffitti, comments of the educated, etc. was a rareity.


Quote
Educated people did, of course. But, as the church expanded through social outreach, especially during plagues and because of the consistent rescue of exposed babies, there was an increasing number of illiterate members.

Most of whom were Greek speaking. In particular the Christians (and Jews, btw).

Quote
Several years ago, I tried running the numbers. I can't remember the exact outcome, but there's no doubt that the numerical majority of Orthodox Christians who ever lived worshiped in a language they did not speak in daily life.

Are you talking the basilolect, the "high" form of the language, or a different, ecclesiastical language altogether?

Quote
And, if you measure by centuries, that's been true for the majority (i.e. at least 51%) of centuries in the majority of Orthodox lands.
So the Holy Spirit wasted His time on Pentacost.
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« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2010, 10:06:31 AM »

Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?

Unfortunately no. And I hate this position. Only Catholics and Protestants serve in Russian language and that's why we loose people who don't understand the language of anceint Bulgarians (Church Slavonic).
Even priests don't understand it!!!

Church Slavonic is certainly not the language of ancient Bulgarians. There are opponents of using Church Slavonic in Bulgaria who say that it was invented in Russia.
Some truth to that: the other Slavonic Churches adopted the Russian recension as modified in Kiev, and dropped their own.
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« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2010, 10:07:52 AM »

the UOC and UGCC

 Huh I don't understand it

In the United States, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC). I am sorry for using the shorthand as I forget from time to time that many of us are not from the United States.
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« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2010, 10:08:43 AM »

claiming that it puts ''the Church's unity'' at risk.

Son of a gun! Better if fanatics leave Church.
It's a very sad news  Sad
What's that sad?
Does your own Church allow liturgies in the vernacular?
Not that I know of.
Hristos a inviate!

Augustin, your own Church does. At least for Romanians.
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« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2010, 10:11:03 AM »

This post has been deemed irrelevant to the thread discussion and its content is hereby deleted as per forum policy. http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,26522.0.html 

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« Reply #29 on: April 17, 2010, 10:17:18 AM »

I think we're missing the point on this, y'all.  We're arguing about the decision to forbid the translation of the Liturgy to modern Greek and missing the real objection that this translation, as necessary and good as it may have been, was undertaken unilaterally and didn't have the approval of the whole synod.  It appears that the synod of the Orthodox Church in Greece wants the work of translating the Liturgy to be carried out for the whole of the Church of Greece according to the approval of the synod and not by just one bishop in his own diocese.  Now we can certainly question this resistance to such decision-making by one individual ruling bishop for his own local church, but I think it more accurate to argue over this than over the issue of liturgical translation in and of itself.
This is part of a larger issue of the "Language Question" in Greece.  I am not sure that the reference to "unity' just means CoG, but also the rest of the branches of the Greek Church (C'ple, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus). Back when the standard language was archaic, that was one thing, but not that that has been abandoned for nearly 40 years, it is quite another. Even in the school in Jerusalem, they teach the Arabs modern Greek, which doesn't mean they can understand the services.  This is somewhat an existential question for the Greeks to decide, but it seems the Holy Synod has either a) made its decision, but not admitting that, or b) ignoring the question, which means it will errupt later.
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« Reply #30 on: April 17, 2010, 10:35:20 AM »

The problem with trying to reconstruct Old Slavonic is that the scribes did update the texts with their vernacular.  The authorative grammar of Old Slavonic, Lunt discusses this:
http://books.google.com/books?id=7BXJgfIo_fYC&pg=PA5&dq=Lunt+Slavonic+scribes&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22day%22&f=false
That is how the Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Moravian, Romanian (yes, Romanian), Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonians recensions of Church Slavonic came about (something Lunt also touches on).

Academic linguistics and common speech are two different things, I would say. In the case of Romanians, for example, they were complaining they didn't understand the "Romanian" Church Slavonic.

At the time (as shown by graffitti, remarks by the educated classes, etc.) Greek was the first language of much, if not most, of the population of Rome due to the influx of slaves, immigrants from Magna Graecia, etc. and the outflux of the Latin Roman citizens to govern and colonize the empire.  Classical Latin was restricted to the citizens (now a ruling minority) in the city: it was an artificial standard (like BBC English) that even the native stock of the lower classes had trouble with.

Yes, Latin was an upper class thing and Greek was much more common, but, especially among slaves who constituted such a large part of the church, it was not necessarily spoken well. In this period, the Romans stole a LOT of their slaves from the barbarian areas of Asia, especially among the Phrygians, but also from among the other barbarian groups that spoke their own languages. More importantly, there's evidence that there were several generations in which the use of Greek vs. vernacular was indeed disputed. Can't find the article now, but it was in the Journal of Early Christian Studies a few years ago.

Aside from any of that -- as you indicated lower in your post -- there is the issue of basilolect. Some Phrygian who probably had a 1,000 word Greek vocabulary, enough to know when his master wanted him to empty chamber pots, dig up the rotting fish that was buried in the yard to make sure it was extra tasty, or scribble same common phrases in the catacombs like "My daughter, rest in peace," didn't understand the subjunctive purpose clause or the genitive absolute used in the Anaphora during the Liturgy, much less the sermon that employed the best in rhetorical tropes and figures.

From the available evidence, it seems the early bishops of Rome were all (except St. Peter) Greek speaking (I think GOARCH published a book on the "Greek Popes").  Things changed only in the time of Pope Victor I, who started the switch to Latin.  But then, he came from North Africa, where Greek, as we know from graffitti, comments of the educated, etc. was a rareity.

Yes. It's quite clear the church leadership spoke and wrote educated Greek in worship, correspondence, theological discourse, etc.

Quote
Several years ago, I tried running the numbers. I can't remember the exact outcome, but there's no doubt that the numerical majority of Orthodox Christians who ever lived worshiped in a language they did not speak in daily life.

Are you talking the basilolect, the "high" form of the language, or a different, ecclesiastical language altogether?

For the purposes of comprehension, there isn't much of a difference. However, I don't think it's ever become a different language altogether, either in the case of Greek or the various Church Slavonics -- all that is required is a little study and attention -- but it ain't what people use over the dinner table, especially because most of the faithful throughout the ages have had about a fourth grade education at best.
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« Reply #31 on: April 17, 2010, 11:01:47 AM »

I am no linguist but I would invite our Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Bulgarian, Polish etc... readers to respond to your claim regarding Church Slavonic, " However, I don't think it's ever become a different language altogether, either in the case of Greek or the various Church Slavonics -- all that is required is a little study and attention -- but it ain't what people use over the dinner table, especially because most of the faithful throughout the ages have had about a fourth grade education at best." While there are words and phrases that may be similar in modern language and verse to Old Slavonic, I recall being told as I grew up that Old Slavonic is as similar to modern spoken languages as, for example, modern Italian or Spanish are to old Latin. If I am incorrect, I am willing to stand corrected.

Frankly, as to the Slavs, I have few, if any friends or family who regularly or even, irregularly converse in Slovak or Rusyn or Ukrainian or whatever language their ancestors spoke, around the home here in America. My parents could speak the old language, but as I grew up they did it infrequently and by the end of their long lives hardly at all. English is our tongue now in the United States.
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2010, 11:07:42 AM »

This i frankly find stupid. I am currently reading a book written by a Greek Orthodox Priest, it's a wonderful book. However, in it, someone asks about why services are done in Greek (with some English) instead of in English. He replies essentially that the service is most beautiful and spiritual in Greek, and that the tradition of the Church has been to keep the Liturgy in Greek since that is the Liturgical language of the Church...

As as said, that attitude is very frankly, quite stupid. The tradition of the Church has consistently been to translate it's services into the language of the people. Back in the day, the Roman Empire spoke Greek, and that was the common language (much like English today) and so it made sense that the Liturgy was in Greek throughout much of the Roman Empire. Yet to somehow insinuate that Greek is the "Liturgical Language" of the Church is extremely false, unhistorical and frankly, a very Western (and even very Islamic) attitude.

I don't know if this article is correct or not, but if it is correct that Modern Greek has been banned, then that is a bad sign. We aren't Old Roman Catholics (who insisted on the use of Latin because of it's "holiness") and we aren't Muslims (who refuse to translate the Qur'an because any other language is less holy & less correct)...

Same goes for Old Church Slavonic, if the people don't speak it, then what is the point? We might as well translate the Liturgy into Shakespearean English and have all services done in this fashion because it's more beautiful than our modern English...

The point of the service is not to merely be "beautiful" and to provide aesthetics. The point of the service is the edification of the attendees. edification is not as possible if the people have no clue what is being said and what they are actually praying.

I'm all for using the original language of the Church, but then I already speak Aramaic Tongue.....m'shiiHaa qaam!

Exactly! I don't get all this recent talk about ethnocentrism, nationalism, and "getting back to our ancestral christian roots" when in fact Jesus and the Apostles were all Aramaic speaking JEWS! If a requirement to become Orthodox is also to adopt a foreign language and foreign culture, due to some "historical lineage of tradition" argument, then shouldn't we all become Jews and learn Aramaic?

It's funny that the E.P. (and others like the M.P. to differing degrees) speak of "mother cultures" or the "universality" of a quite specific culture and worldview, but ironically these arguments always seem to stop short of the actual culture and language that Jesus lived and breathed. Which to me seems the logical regression to get to, if indeed we're going to talk about a cultures and languages in terms of "sacredness" or holiness.

For the record I'm not anti Greek, I'm learning the language, I can chant in it, etc. And I think there are good reasons to use Greek for specific hymns, for historical continuity, etc etc. But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend. Not to mention such an idea does give credence to the idea that religious hierarchies are mainly about power and keeping us little folks out of the loop. Smiley (even if that's not true, it's hard to argue it's not the case when Churches begin forbidding the use of living spoken languages)

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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2010, 11:31:36 AM »

In reference to the above post:
Do you really see all these calls for reform coming from "little people"?
Not really. They come from above, as well. Perhaps they are just populist.
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2010, 11:51:27 AM »

m'shiiHaa qaam!

As I remember it's "Christ is risen"?

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« Reply #35 on: April 17, 2010, 02:10:47 PM »

But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend.

Agree.

It does, though, touch upon one of my big pet peeves in the GOA: this multi-translation business.  We've got a handful of Liturgy books. 2-3 Holy Week books.  Each one uses a different translation of everything - it's a hodge-podge.  Some, irritatingly enough, don't even translate things completely in a very obvious way (like the work of one translator where in English the petition prays for ".. and the American Nation" but in Greek it prays for "... and the Hellenic and American Nations").  We allow individuals to translate to their own preferences, despite their not actually being all that qualified to produce a translation, and then permit it to continue as a business venture. 

We should get 20 of our best minds working on 1 translation - of the services, menaia, etc.  (6-7 people with thorough knowledge of Liturgical and N.T. Greek {not just "I took some classes," but more like "I'm qualified to teach at a Graduate Level in a prestigious university}, 6-7 with thorough knowledge of the English language, and 6-7 Liturgists).  Until we do, it will always seem (on the large-scale) like we're not taking this very seriously.
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« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2010, 02:18:59 PM »

But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend.

Agree.

It does, though, touch upon one of my big pet peeves in the GOA: this multi-translation business.  We've got a handful of Liturgy books. 2-3 Holy Week books.  Each one uses a different translation of everything - it's a hodge-podge.  Some, irritatingly enough, don't even translate things completely in a very obvious way (like the work of one translator where in English the petition prays for ".. and the American Nation" but in Greek it prays for "... and the Hellenic and American Nations").  We allow individuals to translate to their own preferences, despite their not actually being all that qualified to produce a translation, and then permit it to continue as a business venture. 

We should get 20 of our best minds working on 1 translation - of the services, menaia, etc.  (6-7 people with thorough knowledge of Liturgical and N.T. Greek {not just "I took some classes," but more like "I'm qualified to teach at a Graduate Level in a prestigious university}, 6-7 with thorough knowledge of the English language, and 6-7 Liturgists).  Until we do, it will always seem (on the large-scale) like we're not taking this very seriously.

Perhaps this is an issue that our Bishops will begin to address in the EA?
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« Reply #37 on: April 17, 2010, 02:45:02 PM »

How do you answer these questions?  Did Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis have the authority to translate the Liturgy to Modern Greek for his diocese, or does this decision fall solely under the purview of the entire synod of the Greek Orthodox Church?  Where does the reach of the synod's authority end and the authority of the local bishop begin?  Does the synod's interest in having one liturgical language for all of Greece--be that ancient liturgical Greek or modern Greek, the distinction is irrelevant--override Bishop Meletio's interest in having Liturgies celebrated in his own diocese in the language of the people?

Certainly the transition to the spoken language is within the purview of the Synod.
Meaning that an individual bishop has not the authority to translate the Liturgy to the spoken language for the benefit of his own diocese?
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« Reply #38 on: April 17, 2010, 02:55:37 PM »

I think we're missing the point on this, y'all.  We're arguing about the decision to forbid the translation of the Liturgy to modern Greek and missing the real objection that this translation, as necessary and good as it may have been, was undertaken unilaterally and didn't have the approval of the whole synod.  It appears that the synod of the Orthodox Church in Greece wants the work of translating the Liturgy to be carried out for the whole of the Church of Greece according to the approval of the synod and not by just one bishop in his own diocese.  Now we can certainly question this resistance to such decision-making by one individual ruling bishop for his own local church, but I think it more accurate to argue over this than over the issue of liturgical translation in and of itself.
This is part of a larger issue of the "Language Question" in Greece.  I am not sure that the reference to "unity' just means CoG, but also the rest of the branches of the Greek Church (C'ple, Alexandria, Jerusalem, Cyprus). Back when the standard language was archaic, that was one thing, but not that that has been abandoned for nearly 40 years, it is quite another. Even in the school in Jerusalem, they teach the Arabs modern Greek, which doesn't mean they can understand the services.  This is somewhat an existential question for the Greeks to decide, but it seems the Holy Synod has either a) made its decision, but not admitting that, or b) ignoring the question, which means it will errupt later.
What decision?  That the Liturgy in Greece is not to be translated to Modern Greek, or that Bishop Meletio rebelled against the authority of the synod by unilaterally conducting the work of translation for his own diocese?  AISI, translation is not the real issue here.  The real issue is the boundary between synodal authority and the right of the local bishop to rule his own diocese.  (Kinda like the issue at the root of the American Civil War:  state rights vs. the authority of the federal government.)
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« Reply #39 on: April 17, 2010, 03:09:41 PM »

How do you answer these questions?  Did Bishop Meletio of Nicopolis have the authority to translate the Liturgy to Modern Greek for his diocese, or does this decision fall solely under the purview of the entire synod of the Greek Orthodox Church?  Where does the reach of the synod's authority end and the authority of the local bishop begin?  Does the synod's interest in having one liturgical language for all of Greece--be that ancient liturgical Greek or modern Greek, the distinction is irrelevant--override Bishop Meletio's interest in having Liturgies celebrated in his own diocese in the language of the people?

Certainly the transition to the spoken language is within the purview of the Synod.
Meaning that an individual bishop has not the authority to translate the Liturgy to the spoken language for the benefit of his own diocese?

 I don't know the answer. But - I think it goes to the heart of what autocephaly means, particularly as we begin  the EA's and the road to a self ruling American Church. Is the Greek problem any different than say if post EA determining a new canonical order, an ethnic Serbian bishop in say, a Diocese of Des Moines directs that only Church Slavonic be used in his Diocese and an Albanian bishop in a Diocese of Los Cruces directs -no, no, no --- only Albanian. What purpose does the Synod then serve and is that really any different than the question coming from Greece. I don't know. Perhaps a seminary graduate or an academi could enlighten us.
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« Reply #40 on: April 17, 2010, 05:43:32 PM »

I agree Fr. George.   This exists in every jurisdiction.   The "old" translation never disappears.   Thus you have at least 2-3 translations within each jurisdiction.   Liturgists are rarely employed in such translations.   There is no reason to be saying 12 different versions of the Creed, and we even see two different versions of the Lord's prayer (if you include the translation of the OCA diocese of the south).   Which is it: is it "our all-holy immaculate and most-blessed Lady Theotokos" or is it "our most holy most pure...etc."   Furthermore, we have "Theotokos" vs. "Birthgiver of God" vs. "Mother of God" in various translations, and as I recall "God-bearer" in another translation.   We all, furthermore, have "cuts" in which our special services leave out substantial material peculiar to the feast but retain repetitious material that was said in the 3 services preceding.     

But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend.

Agree.

It does, though, touch upon one of my big pet peeves in the GOA: this multi-translation business.  We've got a handful of Liturgy books. 2-3 Holy Week books.  Each one uses a different translation of everything - it's a hodge-podge.  Some, irritatingly enough, don't even translate things completely in a very obvious way (like the work of one translator where in English the petition prays for ".. and the American Nation" but in Greek it prays for "... and the Hellenic and American Nations").  We allow individuals to translate to their own preferences, despite their not actually being all that qualified to produce a translation, and then permit it to continue as a business venture. 

We should get 20 of our best minds working on 1 translation - of the services, menaia, etc.  (6-7 people with thorough knowledge of Liturgical and N.T. Greek {not just "I took some classes," but more like "I'm qualified to teach at a Graduate Level in a prestigious university}, 6-7 with thorough knowledge of the English language, and 6-7 Liturgists).  Until we do, it will always seem (on the large-scale) like we're not taking this very seriously.
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« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2010, 05:46:00 PM »

I agree Fr. George.   This exists in every jurisdiction.   The "old" translation never disappears.   Thus you have at least 2-3 translations within each jurisdiction.   Liturgists are rarely employed in such translations.   There is no reason to be saying 12 different versions of the Creed, and we even see two different versions of the Lord's prayer (if you include the translation of the OCA diocese of the south).   Which is it: is it "our all-holy immaculate and most-blessed Lady Theotokos" or is it "our most holy most pure...etc."   Furthermore, we have "Theotokos" vs. "Birthgiver of God" vs. "Mother of God" in various translations, and as I recall "God-bearer" in another translation.   We all, furthermore, have "cuts" in which our special services leave out substantial material peculiar to the feast but retain repetitious material that was said in the 3 services preceding.     

But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend.

Agree.

It does, though, touch upon one of my big pet peeves in the GOA: this multi-translation business.  We've got a handful of Liturgy books. 2-3 Holy Week books.  Each one uses a different translation of everything - it's a hodge-podge.  Some, irritatingly enough, don't even translate things completely in a very obvious way (like the work of one translator where in English the petition prays for ".. and the American Nation" but in Greek it prays for "... and the Hellenic and American Nations").  We allow individuals to translate to their own preferences, despite their not actually being all that qualified to produce a translation, and then permit it to continue as a business venture. 

We should get 20 of our best minds working on 1 translation - of the services, menaia, etc.  (6-7 people with thorough knowledge of Liturgical and N.T. Greek {not just "I took some classes," but more like "I'm qualified to teach at a Graduate Level in a prestigious university}, 6-7 with thorough knowledge of the English language, and 6-7 Liturgists).  Until we do, it will always seem (on the large-scale) like we're not taking this very seriously.

Unfortunately part of the problem is trying to force the English to fit the chant patterns that one uses. I hate to bring it up, but the problems our Byzantine Catholic friends have faced in the past few years with attempts to force fit language into traditional Rusyn chant make me tremble a bit at the thought of our having to go through a similar process.
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« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2010, 05:55:04 PM »

Actually, not true at all. The problem with trying to reconstruct Old Slavonic is that the scribes did update the texts with their vernacular.  The authorative grammar of Old Slavonic, Lunt discusses this:
http://books.google.com/books?id=7BXJgfIo_fYC&pg=PA5&dq=Lunt+Slavonic+scribes&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22day%22&f=false
That is how the Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Moravian, Romanian (yes, Romanian), Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonians recensions of Church Slavonic came about (something Lunt also touches on).

The variants of Old Church Slavonic that show similarities to local vernaculars are due to scribes unintentionally altering the texts of Cyril and Methodius in the process of copying. There was never a conscious effort to provide liturgical texts in the vernacular. The Church Slavonic that eventually arose out of the copying tradition is, in spite of some superficial changes, a representation of Old Macedonian and Old Bulgarian (the treatment of VRC groups, demonstrative pronouns, certain lexical items and so forth) even when used in Russian churches. Church Slavonic is completely artificial, and its evolution is a perfect example of how the Church, even centuries back, was very afraid of creating authentically local expressions of liturgical texts.
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« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2010, 05:59:39 PM »

Actually, not true at all. The problem with trying to reconstruct Old Slavonic is that the scribes did update the texts with their vernacular.  The authorative grammar of Old Slavonic, Lunt discusses this:
http://books.google.com/books?id=7BXJgfIo_fYC&pg=PA5&dq=Lunt+Slavonic+scribes&cd=1#v=onepage&q=%22day%22&f=false
That is how the Russian, Ukrainian, Byelorussian, Moravian, Romanian (yes, Romanian), Serbian, Croatian, Bulgarian and Macedonians recensions of Church Slavonic came about (something Lunt also touches on).

The variants of Old Church Slavonic that show similarities to local vernaculars are due to scribes unintentionally altering the texts of Cyril and Methodius in the process of copying. There was never a conscious effort to provide liturgical texts in the vernacular. The Church Slavonic that eventually arose out of the copying tradition is, in spite of some superficial changes, a representation of Old Macedonian and Old Bulgarian (the treatment of VRC groups, demonstrative pronouns, certain lexical items and so forth) even when used in Russian churches. Church Slavonic is completely artificial, and its evolution is a perfect example of how the Church, even centuries back, was very afraid of creating authentically local expressions of liturgical texts.

So this is a defense against using a modern liturgical language today?
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« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2010, 06:02:38 PM »

I agree Fr. George.   This exists in every jurisdiction.   The "old" translation never disappears.   Thus you have at least 2-3 translations within each jurisdiction.   Liturgists are rarely employed in such translations.   There is no reason to be saying 12 different versions of the Creed, and we even see two different versions of the Lord's prayer (if you include the translation of the OCA diocese of the south).   Which is it: is it "our all-holy immaculate and most-blessed Lady Theotokos" or is it "our most holy most pure...etc."   Furthermore, we have "Theotokos" vs. "Birthgiver of God" vs. "Mother of God" in various translations, and as I recall "God-bearer" in another translation.   We all, furthermore, have "cuts" in which our special services leave out substantial material peculiar to the feast but retain repetitious material that was said in the 3 services preceding.     

But when it comes down to issues of theology, I cannot think of any sound reason to forbid the use of ANY modern language in favor of a language only the highly educated can truly comprehend.

Agree.

It does, though, touch upon one of my big pet peeves in the GOA: this multi-translation business.  We've got a handful of Liturgy books. 2-3 Holy Week books.  Each one uses a different translation of everything - it's a hodge-podge.  Some, irritatingly enough, don't even translate things completely in a very obvious way (like the work of one translator where in English the petition prays for ".. and the American Nation" but in Greek it prays for "... and the Hellenic and American Nations").  We allow individuals to translate to their own preferences, despite their not actually being all that qualified to produce a translation, and then permit it to continue as a business venture. 

We should get 20 of our best minds working on 1 translation - of the services, menaia, etc.  (6-7 people with thorough knowledge of Liturgical and N.T. Greek {not just "I took some classes," but more like "I'm qualified to teach at a Graduate Level in a prestigious university}, 6-7 with thorough knowledge of the English language, and 6-7 Liturgists).  Until we do, it will always seem (on the large-scale) like we're not taking this very seriously.

Unfortunately part of the problem is trying to force the English to fit the chant patterns that one uses. I hate to bring it up, but the problems our Byzantine Catholic friends have faced in the past few years with attempts to force fit language into traditional Rusyn chant make me tremble a bit at the thought of our having to go through a similar process.

But that is why we have so many liturgical chant traditions.   Lesser and greater Znammeny, Kievan, Serbian, Romanian, Georgian, Obikhod.   The chant was revised to fit the language.  But as the Bulgarians have shown, this is not even necessary.   Slavonic was able to be put beautifully to even Byzantine chant.   We have terrible English translations that are not even accurate.  Nonetheless, we have many English translations that have been put perfectly to other chant traditions, most of which were done either by the OCA or by the Antiochians.   Too bad the rest of us don't use some of these instead of trying to reinvent the wheel.
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