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Author Topic: Greece, Synod condemns Mass in modern Greek  (Read 22221 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2010, 06:12:42 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.

I know, I was trained by my father in Slavonic with the Rusyn 'prostopinije'/plain chant. To this day at the Paschal Matins, I will include singing both Svitisja, svitisja and Anhel vopijasce (The Angel Cried and Shine, Shine...) in both English and Slavonic. The Paschal Canon flows much easier in Slavonic, but I am probably the last person in my parish to be able to sing it so what is the point? Even though I am a supporter of English, I do get nostalgic from time to time.
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« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2010, 06:21:26 PM »

So this is a defense against using a modern liturgical language today?

I don't think he means it as such. It's more of a historical correction, just for the sake of honesty or accuracy. There are some modern publications that make broad generalizations like "The Orthodox Church has always translated everything into the vernacular..." and, once you scratch the surface beyond a Conciliar Press tract, it just ain't so.

Now, what that means for the present age is another matter. What it tells me is that some of the things we take for granted as THE most important thing -- or THE sign of spiritual vitality -- aren't necessarily so; and that the way we measure Orthodoxy today (have your read the Ascetical Homilies of St. Issac the Syrian?) say a lot more about us than about Orthodoxy. My wife's godmother's father never "understood" the Liturgy, never read a sentence of the Holy Fathers in his life, and couldn't tell you the significance of "homoousion" in the Creed, but when the Communists came to his village and asked him where the priest was hiding, he wouldn't tell them, so they hanged him in front of his kids. That's been Orthodoxy for most of its history.
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« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2010, 06:43:42 PM »

So this is a defense against using a modern liturgical language today?

I don't think he means it as such. It's more of a historical correction, just for the sake of honesty or accuracy. There are some modern publications that make broad generalizations like "The Orthodox Church has always translated everything into the vernacular..." and, once you scratch the surface beyond a Conciliar Press tract, it just ain't so.

Now, what that means for the present age is another matter. What it tells me is that some of the things we take for granted as THE most important thing -- or THE sign of spiritual vitality -- aren't necessarily so; and that the way we measure Orthodoxy today (have your read the Ascetical Homilies of St. Issac the Syrian?) say a lot more about us than about Orthodoxy. My wife's godmother's father never "understood" the Liturgy, never read a sentence of the Holy Fathers in his life, and couldn't tell you the significance of "homoousion" in the Creed, but when the Communists came to his village and asked him where the priest was hiding, he wouldn't tell them, so they hanged him in front of his kids. That's been Orthodoxy for most of its history.

Surely that is so, whether Orthodoxy came through the old world uninterrupted, or was detoured for a few centuries by the Unia prior to the return to Orthodoxy by many in America. Many of the Austro-Hungarian emigres didn't at first use terminology in America to describe their church in terms of being Orthodox or Greek Catholic, but in their own language they knew it as 'our church' and when  Rome tried to change it, they voted with their feet  if necessary, one way or the other!
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« Reply #48 on: April 17, 2010, 06:59:43 PM »

I think this translation issue is an interesting question. I happen to go to a Greek parish where most of the people there spak better Greek than English. I, on the other hand, barely understand any Greek. However, I can read and understand Koine, making me the only--the ONLY--layperson in the parish who can follow the Liturgy.

The dilemma is, Greek is the language of the New Testament as well as the theology of the Ecumenical Councils. So I am really for retaining the use of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and other parts of the services that everyone understands anyway in Greek because of the nuances of theological meaning. But I do not understand why people insist on doing the parts that people do not understand (esp the Readings) in ancient Greek. I believe that we should strongly encourage and provide the means for learning scriptural and liturgical languages like Koine, Aramaic and Hebrew, but why, why, why do people refuse to understand anything? Perhaps it's just because they don't know what they're missing....
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« Reply #49 on: April 17, 2010, 07:03:18 PM »

I think this translation issue is an interesting question. I happen to go to a Greek parish where most of the people there spak better Greek than English. I, on the other hand, barely understand any Greek. However, I can read and understand Koine, making me the only--the ONLY--layperson in the parish who can follow the Liturgy.

The dilemma is, Greek is the language of the New Testament as well as the theology of the Ecumenical Councils. So I am really for retaining the use of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and other parts of the services that everyone understands anyway in Greek because of the nuances of theological meaning. But I do not understand why people insist on doing the parts that people do not understand (esp the Readings) in ancient Greek. I believe that we should strongly encourage and provide the means for learning scriptural and liturgical languages like Koine, Aramaic and Hebrew, but why, why, why do people refuse to understand anything? Perhaps it's just because they don't know what they're missing....

I have no problem with parishes of Greek heritage retaining the use of Greek for parts of the Liturgy if that is what they want to do, but I hope that you are not suggesting that it become normative for all of the parishes which are not of Greek heritage. I understand that you appreciate and understand the nuances of the Koine, but I hope that others aren't for preserving its usage for nostalgic reasons alone.
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« Reply #50 on: April 17, 2010, 07:27:35 PM »

I think this translation issue is an interesting question. I happen to go to a Greek parish where most of the people there spak better Greek than English. I, on the other hand, barely understand any Greek. However, I can read and understand Koine, making me the only--the ONLY--layperson in the parish who can follow the Liturgy.

The dilemma is, Greek is the language of the New Testament as well as the theology of the Ecumenical Councils. So I am really for retaining the use of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and other parts of the services that everyone understands anyway in Greek because of the nuances of theological meaning. But I do not understand why people insist on doing the parts that people do not understand (esp the Readings) in ancient Greek. I believe that we should strongly encourage and provide the means for learning scriptural and liturgical languages like Koine, Aramaic and Hebrew, but why, why, why do people refuse to understand anything? Perhaps it's just because they don't know what they're missing....

I have no problem with parishes of Greek heritage retaining the use of Greek for parts of the Liturgy if that is what they want to do, but I hope that you are not suggesting that it become normative for all of the parishes which are not of Greek heritage. I understand that you appreciate and understand the nuances of the Koine, but I hope that others aren't for preserving its usage for nostalgic reasons alone.

I'm certainly not suggesting anything for non-Greek parishes, nor am I in favor of mostly-English liturgies at my own particular parish, since so many people here do not understand English well. I suppose that I am simply trying to point out the dilemma of Greek churches--both in America and in Greece--that are faced with the choice of either understanding the Liturgy or abandoning the language that most of Christian doctrine was built on. I understand that for parishes of a Slavonic background, it may be a different issue. The reasons for Greeks to continue using liturgical Greek are, in my opinion, a little different from the reasons for Russian/Eastern European parishes to continue using Slavonic, or for Antiochian parishes to continue using Arabic. Everyone's situation is a little different.

Nostalgia is exactly the problem, at least where I am. I think it is healthy to retain some use of the ancient languages, but when it becomes a disservice to the people, that is crossing the line. In short, I am all for the use of the vernacular, but I am not in favor of the total abolition of the ancient languages either.
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« Reply #51 on: April 17, 2010, 07:48:00 PM »

I think this translation issue is an interesting question. I happen to go to a Greek parish where most of the people there spak better Greek than English. I, on the other hand, barely understand any Greek. However, I can read and understand Koine, making me the only--the ONLY--layperson in the parish who can follow the Liturgy.

The dilemma is, Greek is the language of the New Testament as well as the theology of the Ecumenical Councils. So I am really for retaining the use of the Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and other parts of the services that everyone understands anyway in Greek because of the nuances of theological meaning. But I do not understand why people insist on doing the parts that people do not understand (esp the Readings) in ancient Greek. I believe that we should strongly encourage and provide the means for learning scriptural and liturgical languages like Koine, Aramaic and Hebrew, but why, why, why do people refuse to understand anything? Perhaps it's just because they don't know what they're missing....

I have no problem with parishes of Greek heritage retaining the use of Greek for parts of the Liturgy if that is what they want to do, but I hope that you are not suggesting that it become normative for all of the parishes which are not of Greek heritage. I understand that you appreciate and understand the nuances of the Koine, but I hope that others aren't for preserving its usage for nostalgic reasons alone.

I'm certainly not suggesting anything for non-Greek parishes, nor am I in favor of mostly-English liturgies at my own particular parish, since so many people here do not understand English well. I suppose that I am simply trying to point out the dilemma of Greek churches--both in America and in Greece--that are faced with the choice of either understanding the Liturgy or abandoning the language that most of Christian doctrine was built on. I understand that for parishes of a Slavonic background, it may be a different issue. The reasons for Greeks to continue using liturgical Greek are, in my opinion, a little different from the reasons for Russian/Eastern European parishes to continue using Slavonic, or for Antiochian parishes to continue using Arabic. Everyone's situation is a little different.

Nostalgia is exactly the problem, at least where I am. I think it is healthy to retain some use of the ancient languages, but when it becomes a disservice to the people, that is crossing the line. In short, I am all for the use of the vernacular, but I am not in favor of the total abolition of the ancient languages either.

I would say that you and I are in basic agreement then on this subject.
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« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2010, 10:55:55 PM »

It is a delicate balance.  Even with English there is an ongoing battle between "modern English" and "traditional English" as we see in various liturgical translations.   People "get used to" one translation or the other, which poses a problem with new translations, which do not replace, but simply are piled onto a list of various options different from the church down the street.       
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« Reply #53 on: April 18, 2010, 12:01:35 AM »

It is a delicate balance.  Even with English there is an ongoing battle between "modern English" and "traditional English" as we see in various liturgical translations.   People "get used to" one translation or the other, which poses a problem with new translations, which do not replace, but simply are piled onto a list of various options different from the church down the street.       

I still cannot recite the Creed in English at my parish because everyone is reciting a different translation from how I know it, and the translation people recite is different from the translation in the pew cards, which is different from the translation in the Liturgy book. I just stick to the Greek, but no one else quite understands the Greek. Hence the pressing need for an authoritative translation.
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« Reply #54 on: April 18, 2010, 12:37:46 AM »

I think that the GOC is just trying to preserve the purity of their faith amongst Greek speaking peoples by insisting on using the language which has, for all times been the vehicle for expressing and promoting that faith.  The Koine Greek is an "upper class" type of Greek, but it isn't unintelligible to modern Greek speakers.  The use of English versus an old world liturgical language in churches that we often times face in America really isn't comparable to what the GOC is trying to promote.

Also, while it may be true that various Christians sectarians might play on the issue of archaic language in liturgical worship to make converts, this alone probably isn't the only reason why Orthodox people choose leave the Church and go over to their side.  Just look at the large numbers of people that the RCC have lost to sectarians in recent years, and they have used the vernacular in their liturgy since the mid 60's.

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« Reply #55 on: April 18, 2010, 12:50:33 AM »

The translation of the creed by +Soterios of Toronto, and the Holy Cross translation, both read, "of one essence with the Father",  yet my ears perked up one Sunday when the translation the parish recited was "consubstantial with the Father." While not wrong ("substance = essence"), it was interesting they were working from a translation from the Latin (!)

Kind of reminds me of the plethora of versions of Psalm 50 that are out there. The Antiochian Little Red Book is the KJV, Holy Cross prayer book (English) appears to use the RSV, my beloved Catholic Douay bible reads "in sins [pl.] did my mother conceive me", which Holy Transfiguration follows as well as the OSB ("in sins my mother bore me"). Meanwhile, I've just come across the recently published Slavic Orthodox Psalter, which is yet another LXX translation for the stack.

Regarding the Novus Ordo Missae and Vatican II, my view is that there is nothing wrong with providing a liturgy in the vernacular. It's all the other things that went along with it that were problematic (new mass text with "dynamic" translations, mass facing people, folk music etc..). Had they left the Tridentine Mass alone and rendered it in a sacral and formal-equivalent vernacular, and stayed true to the Latin chant tradition and the traditional hymns (perhaps borrowing a few from the Anglicans), there would have been far fewer problems. Do not forget that the Dalmatians of Croatia were celebrating the Liturgy of St. Peter in Church Slavonic for centuries. Even the Latin-rite wasn't Latin only.
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« Reply #56 on: April 18, 2010, 01:50:57 AM »

Fortunately, in order to sympathise with the wishes of the Synod, there is no need for me to wrap my head around all the arguments or comment on whether the reasons the Church of Greece gives for its decision have any merit.  Since I understand the basilect used by my church, it is easy to compare it with spoken Arabic.  I cannot imagine "khudu kulu, haada huw'wi jismi/jasadi l'li byin'kisir minshaankun lamaghfirtil-khataaya" replacing (and being even chanted in a proper tone) "khuthu kulu, haatha huwa jasadi al'lathi yuksaru min ajlikum limaghfiratil khataaya".  Out of the bloody question, unless one hasn't the most basic sense of hearing to realise how awful the former sounds.
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« Reply #57 on: April 18, 2010, 03:05:34 AM »

The translation of the creed by +Soterios of Toronto, and the Holy Cross translation, both read, "of one essence with the Father",  yet my ears perked up one Sunday when the translation the parish recited was "consubstantial with the Father." While not wrong ("substance = essence"), it was interesting they were working from a translation from the Latin (!)

Kind of reminds me of the plethora of versions of Psalm 50 that are out there. The Antiochian Little Red Book is the KJV, Holy Cross prayer book (English) appears to use the RSV, my beloved Catholic Douay bible reads "in sins [pl.] did my mother conceive me", which Holy Transfiguration follows as well as the OSB ("in sins my mother bore me"). Meanwhile, I've just come across the recently published Slavic Orthodox Psalter, which is yet another LXX translation for the stack.

Regarding the Novus Ordo Missae and Vatican II, my view is that there is nothing wrong with providing a liturgy in the vernacular. It's all the other things that went along with it that were problematic (new mass text with "dynamic" translations, mass facing people, folk music etc..). Had they left the Tridentine Mass alone and rendered it in a sacral and formal-equivalent vernacular, and stayed true to the Latin chant tradition and the traditional hymns (perhaps borrowing a few from the Anglicans), there would have been far fewer problems. Do not forget that the Dalmatians of Croatia were celebrating the Liturgy of St. Peter in Church Slavonic for centuries. Even the Latin-rite wasn't Latin only.


VII demonstrated the problem of long overdue changes opening the floodgates, because they were overdue, to all sorts of unnecessary changes. As Tocqueville said, corrupt regimes are never so vulnerable to fall as when they try to reform themselves. For similiar reasons, although mandated clerical celibacy has got to go, now cannot be the time. I was glad to see on CAF that the Traditionalists would rather see a Tridentine Mass in the vernacular than a Novus Ordo in Latin.
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« Reply #58 on: April 18, 2010, 03:07:52 AM »

almasiiHu qaam!
Fortunately, in order to sympathise with the wishes of the Synod, there is no need for me to wrap my head around all the arguments or comment on whether the reasons the Church of Greece gives for its decision have any merit.  Since I understand the basilect used by my church, it is easy to compare it with spoken Arabic.  I cannot imagine "khudu kulu, haada huw'wi jismi/jasadi l'li byin'kisir minshaankun lamaghfirtil-khataaya" replacing (and being even chanted in a proper tone) "khuthu kulu, haatha huwa jasadi al'lathi yuksaru min ajlikum limaghfiratil khataaya".  Out of the bloody question, unless one hasn't the most basic sense of hearing to realise how awful the former sounds.
Then then, we wouldn't abandon al-fuSHaa for colloquial in our formal needs now, would we?
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« Reply #59 on: April 18, 2010, 04:04:11 AM »

almasiiHu qaam!
Fortunately, in order to sympathise with the wishes of the Synod, there is no need for me to wrap my head around all the arguments or comment on whether the reasons the Church of Greece gives for its decision have any merit.  Since I understand the basilect used by my church, it is easy to compare it with spoken Arabic.  I cannot imagine "khudu kulu, haada huw'wi jismi/jasadi l'li byin'kisir minshaankun lamaghfirtil-khataaya" replacing (and being even chanted in a proper tone) "khuthu kulu, haatha huwa jasadi al'lathi yuksaru min ajlikum limaghfiratil khataaya".  Out of the bloody question, unless one hasn't the most basic sense of hearing to realise how awful the former sounds.
Then then, we wouldn't abandon al-fuSHaa for colloquial in our formal needs now, would we?
Is that apparent attempt at a passive-aggressive response supposed to mean anything? Huh
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« Reply #60 on: April 18, 2010, 07:00:25 AM »

Fortunately, in order to sympathise with the wishes of the Synod, there is no need for me to wrap my head around all the arguments or comment on whether the reasons the Church of Greece gives for its decision have any merit.  Since I understand the basilect used by my church, it is easy to compare it with spoken Arabic.  I cannot imagine "khudu kulu, haada huw'wi jismi/jasadi l'li byin'kisir minshaankun lamaghfirtil-khataaya" replacing (and being even chanted in a proper tone) "khuthu kulu, haatha huwa jasadi al'lathi yuksaru min ajlikum limaghfiratil khataaya".  Out of the bloody question, unless one hasn't the most basic sense of hearing to realise how awful the former sounds.

Many people feel that way, so translation is always a difficult pastoral challenge. Nowadays, the vast majority of Orthodox churches in the world do not use the vernacular, but the people in them have grown up hearing and chanting hymns which they love. Since those hymns never change, some people have come to understand the ecclesiastical language, while others have memorized the hymns by rote, and, even if they don't understand everything, they still have years of prayerful memories built upon them, so they don't like things to change.

Since I can chant anything in English in the proper tones, I do 50% English. Usually, that's fine, especially at a service like Vespers or Orthros, where a good chunk is variable and the people don't necessarily have the whole thing memorized. But during the Akathist to the Theotokos, for example, I did 50% English and many in attendance asked: "Why did you do so much in English? Everyone here knows it in Greek." I doubt everyone "understands" it in Greek, but that's still how they "know" it.
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« Reply #61 on: April 18, 2010, 02:32:02 PM »

almasiiHu qaam!
Then then, we wouldn't abandon al-fuSHaa for colloquial in our formal needs now, would we?

Haq'qan qaam.

Laa twaakhizni ya khooy, ma`leish t`edli n'nu'Ta mar'ra taanyeh: ma fhimt `aleik mleeH.  Shoo b'tu'Sud b'formal needs'?  There are of course registers within `aam'miy'yeh, and 'posh' vernacular sometimes substitutes for FuS'Ha in certain high-profile situations, but even that remains sounding awkward within a liturgical environment.  Sorry if I'm not able to follow what you mean to say.
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« Reply #62 on: April 18, 2010, 05:33:34 PM »

almasiiHu qaam!
Then then, we wouldn't abandon al-fuSHaa for colloquial in our formal needs now, would we?

Haq'qan qaam.

Laa twaakhizni ya khooy, ma`leish t`edli n'nu'Ta mar'ra taanyeh: ma fhimt `aleik mleeH.  Shoo b'tu'Sud b'formal needs'?  There are of course registers within `aam'miy'yeh, and 'posh' vernacular sometimes substitutes for FuS'Ha in certain high-profile situations, but even that remains sounding awkward within a liturgical environment.  Sorry if I'm not able to follow what you mean to say.

almasiiHu qaam!

LOL.  khooy.  LOL. Syrians.

There are different registers, as there once was in Greek.  Since the Church hiearchy brought the Church into disrepute by embracing the Junta, as the Junta brought Kathareuousa and by extension these upper registers into disrepute enforcing them with a vengence, I am that the Church is further undermining the links between it and the Greek people, as the Greeks no longer speak in such registers. There are fading more and more into the past, and it seems that the hiearchy wants to fall back with them.  This is the opposite to Arabic, where the colloquials are bending to fuSHa.
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« Reply #63 on: April 18, 2010, 06:58:50 PM »

There are different registers, as there once was in Greek.  Since the Church hiearchy brought the Church into disrepute by embracing the Junta, as the Junta brought Kathareuousa and by extension these upper registers into disrepute enforcing them with a vengence, I am that the Church is further undermining the links between it and the Greek people, as the Greeks no longer speak in such registers.

Can you clarify the term, registers, in the above context?  Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #64 on: April 18, 2010, 07:20:30 PM »

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.

Amen!

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*
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« Reply #65 on: April 18, 2010, 07:30:05 PM »

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.

Amen!

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*

How dare you suggest such a thing! Go join Vatican II, you heretic!!! police >:O

No, just kidding. What exactly do you mean? What is the difference between your suggestion and simply doing the Liturgy in English?
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« Reply #66 on: April 18, 2010, 07:34:31 PM »

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
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« Reply #67 on: April 18, 2010, 07:47:18 PM »

It is a delicate balance.  Even with English there is an ongoing battle between "modern English" and "traditional English" as we see in various liturgical translations.   People "get used to" one translation or the other, which poses a problem with new translations, which do not replace, but simply are piled onto a list of various options different from the church down the street.       

I still cannot recite the Creed in English at my parish because everyone is reciting a different translation from how I know it, and the translation people recite is different from the translation in the pew cards, which is different from the translation in the Liturgy book. I just stick to the Greek, but no one else quite understands the Greek. Hence the pressing need for an authoritative translation.

A very good example.   There are so many parishes where what is said is different from the pew books, in part because the choir's translation in the music is different.   But with something so basic as the creed, there really is no excuse for the ridiculous amounts of translations flying about. 
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« Reply #68 on: April 18, 2010, 07:48:29 PM »

There are different registers, as there once was in Greek.  Since the Church hiearchy brought the Church into disrepute by embracing the Junta, as the Junta brought Kathareuousa and by extension these upper registers into disrepute enforcing them with a vengence, I am that the Church is further undermining the links between it and the Greek people, as the Greeks no longer speak in such registers.

Can you clarify the term, registers, in the above context?  Thanks.   Smiley

A set of features that mark a form of the language as a higher (according to the standardized norms) or lower (usually closer to what is usually spoken in normal convesation). In English, for instance, the use of "thou," "ye," the use of the ending of "-th" for verbs for the 3rd singular, the use of preposition compounds like "thereo,f" "wherefor," "therin," etc. which mark that language as Elizabethan, the language used for religious texts up until recently.  In Greek, like English, the "higher" archaic form has been officialy abandoned as the standard language.
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« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2010, 07:51:07 PM »

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
Byzantine chant seems also very much adaptable to the Romance languages as well. At least I perceive it that way.
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« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2010, 07:56:27 PM »

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
Byzantine chant seems also very much adaptable to the Romance languages as well. At least I perceive it that way.
same prosodic features.  Arabic doesn't fit in as well.
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« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2010, 08:00:40 PM »

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
Your "very small minority" is an exclusive one into which I'm not likely to find my way  Smiley. Other than that, you've made some really good points. Being in a small Antiochian parish, Byzantine chant works best. We simply don't have the numbers to use the polyphonic Slavic tones effectively. So the few of us who are available have been trying our best to do it as close to properly as we can. Unfortunately, our priest has no background whatsoever in Byzantine chant and often "suggests" arrangements that he has created that even with the little I know, do not fit the general pattern. His idea is that if it is close, and sounds good to him, it's what we will use. He and I have clashed occasionally; I know I need to defer to him, but at the same time, I'm really trying to use our differences as a learning opportunity for both of us. I'm learning to pick my battles. Kazan is our default and we're generally comfortable with that. Once in a while, we'll change a bit of wording to reflect a more natural English style.

I know I (and no one else in my parish) will never be able to reproduce the microtones of Greek and Middle Eastern chanters. That simply isn't going to happen. So accommodations have to be made. This is where I agree with you that change will occur organically. Some things will just happen in their own time; eventually new patterns and "rules" will emerge and there will be a North American style of chant alongside Byzantine and Slavic. Some melodic patterns will have to change to be sure that the words in English will be the message.

There certainly is enough "McDonald's culture" in me to want the change to happen today, but you are so very right about letting the process take its own course without forcing it along.
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« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2010, 08:01:20 PM »

I get so frustrated with my choir director who refuses to change things into English claiming we'd have to "re-write" the music. I think to myself, "The OCA and Antiochians seem to have functioned just fine without having to re-write the music!"

Just out of curiosity, does anyone know if there have there been any attempts to write an "American" Liturgy? I mean, I would assume that as long as the music was acappella and conformed with the theology of the Church, there is no reason why the Liturgy should have to be in either a Slavonic or Byzantine style.

*braces herself and prepares to be called a heretic for such a suggestion*

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
Byzantine chant seems also very much adaptable to the Romance languages as well. At least I perceive it that way.
same prosodic features.  Arabic doesn't fit in as well.

English is tricky for Byz chant. St. Anthony's Monastery in Arizona is doing a huge translation project of the liturgical misic into English. It's not perfect, but it's the best I've seen by a long, long shot.
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« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2010, 08:15:38 PM »

How dare you suggest such a thing! Go join Vatican II, you heretic!!! police >:O

No, just kidding. What exactly do you mean? What is the difference between your suggestion and simply doing the Liturgy in English?

What I would like to see happen in my parish (where the Liturgy is currently sung 20% Ukrainian, 80% English) is for the entire thing to be sung in English. Our current choir director (who has been directing for 6 years at our parish) has been introducing more and more Ukrainian hymns lately, and I see that as moving backwards, rather than forwards. (We have fewer and fewer people in our parish who even understand Ukrainian. Why continue to use it? Even the old folks are asking for more English.)

In regards to the second part of my post, the OCA and Antiochian successfully took Slavonic and Antiochian chant and just translated the lyrics from Church Slavonic and Arabic to English. This was an important and needed first step.

What I am asking is has any American composers written an Orthodox Liturgy implementing American-style music? (Acapella of course.)

I am not saying that we should replace all existing music with "American music." I'm just asking if any has been written.

I mean, would it be un-canonical to write the Thrice Holy Hymn in an acapella Gospel/Spiritual style? (I'm just tossing ideas around. Not suggesting a revolution.)

Why change it?  It's not broken, don't fix it.  I balk at any suggestion that because we are Americans we have to have "our own" style when it comes to anything.  Besides, if you look historically at what happened in places such as Russia or Serbia or Bulgaria, their own liturgical style developed organically over centuries.  What you are suggesting seems to boil down to a bunch of scholars, musicians and priests sitting in a room generating ideas for a new liturgy that best reflects American sympathies.   That is not organic; it is artificial and will really rob us of our heritage.  I, for one, have no problem whatsoever with being an American in an old-world church.

I am not trying to create a revolution. Yes, it happened organically in the Slavic countries, but in order for it to happen, someone at one point had to sit down and say "Ya know, I'm kind of tired of the Thrice Holy Hymn in this here Greek-Style. I think I'm going to write it in a style that reflects the Russian style of music a little more." Wink

All I am asking is if any American Orthodox composers have taken the same initiative. Nobody is asking anyone to throw out the choir books. Wink

Having said that, I have to agree with the choir director.  Byzantine chant is for the Greek and Arabic languages; it doesn't really work well with English.  The Kazan project has some good and accessible pieces but the English itself is of such archaic quality that chanting it really doesn't work.  I favor chanting of MORE Greek and Arabic during the services.  Unfortunately, I am in a very small minority.
[/quote]

Um, I hate to break it to you, but Ukrainians are not Greek. (I'm used to being called Russian, but never been called Greek! lol) Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy Cheesy

Furthermore, we currently use a large percentage of English in our Liturgy, and the OCA has successfully translated all of the hymns into English. What frustrates me is that he is trying to ADD more Ukrainian hymns under the arguement that the hymns would have to be re-written to accomodate English lyrics. This is not true.

Ukrainians use polyphonic chant. We use Western notation in our music. It would not be difficult to take the Ukrainian words out and replace them with English words.

In Byzantine chant, the length of a note is determined by the length of the word. (Or that's how it was explained to me.) Ukrainian chant is not like that. The length of the note is as long as the composer wants it to be. It has nothing to do with how many syllables are in the word.

So while I see your arguement for English in Byzantine Chant, it really doesn't work the same way with us Slavs.
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« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2010, 08:28:52 PM »

Quote
I am not trying to create a revolution. Yes, it happened organically in the Slavic countries, but in order for it to happen, someone at one point had to sit down and say "Ya know, I'm kind of tired of the Thrice Holy Hymn in this here Greek-Style. I think I'm going to write it in a style that reflects the Russian style of music a little more.
"
Actually no chanting styles were born out of  conscious effort to create something original and nationally representative (these are very modern developments). They were rather born of "unsuccessful/failed", albeit sincere attempts at rendering a style seen as normative within the specific condition of a certain place.
The psaltic modes, influenced by all sorts of folk melodies/modes etc gave birth to all these plethora of local chanting styles: znamenny, prostopinie, poianie, Transylvanian etc.
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« Reply #75 on: April 18, 2010, 08:33:08 PM »

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« Reply #76 on: April 18, 2010, 08:38:17 PM »

Is this some kind of sick joke? You want to replace Byzantine Chant with this semi-erotic devil-worshipping "spiritual" garbage?!?!

While I agree that gospel music isn't appropriate for liturgy, as liturgical chant is all about calm, clarity of the sung text and suppression of the individual's own recitative style, I wouldn't put "spiritual" in quotes like that and deprecate by extension the faith of those Christians. I've heard several American Orthodox priests testify to the sincerity of the worshippers as evidenced in Southern Gospel music and Black Spirituals. They may be heterodox and their traditions are not appropriate for the Orthodox Church, but they aren't all sex-obsessed devil worshippers. Their zeal could be a great boon for Orthodoxy once they are brought to the true Church.

Furthermore, a musical style inappropriate for liturgical use may nonetheless praise Christ outside of church. A great many Romanian and Bulgarian pious songs have Christian texts but melodies going back thousands of years (the colinde that Bartók transcribed are a fine example). Clearly indigenous musical transcriptions may be baptized and praise God, and the folk musics of American southerners should be no different.
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« Reply #77 on: April 18, 2010, 08:43:31 PM »

Quote
I mean, would it be un-canonical to write the Thrice Holy Hymn in an acapella Gospel/Spiritual style?

Is this some kind of sick joke? You want to replace Byzantine Chant with this semi-erotic devil-worshipping "spiritual" garbage?!?! Chant--whether it be Byzantine, Znammeny, Coptic, or Gregorian, is chant. It is not music like "gospel" music is music. It is prayer enlivened with melodic tones. It vanquishes the passions and troubles of the soul, orients one towards the grace of God, drives one into humility and repentence. It is part of Step 19 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a spiritual discipline like fasting and prayer. It uses pleasing melodies to teach us the doctrines that would otherwise taste bitter to us.

And you want to replace it with what?!?!

*he looses his mind. "Get a grip," he tells himself.*

Are you intentionally trying to be mean and sarcastic or am I just reading your tone wrong?

Please re-read my posts. I am not trying to replace anything! Furthermore, not all of the Orthodox world currently uses your precious Byzantine Chant, nor does all of the Orthodox world find it pleasing to the ear. (Including those within the Greek community. I know plenty of Greeks who can't stand Byzantine chant, and they are pious Orthodox Christians!)

I used Gospel/Spiritual style as an example because it is a truly "American" style of music. I could have chosen to use Gershwin, Copland, or Bernstein as an example, however I couldn't think of any acapella pieces they had written. (Nor are they known to be writers of sacred music.)

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

Again, I am not telling anyone to throw out their choir books. I am not suggesting a Revolution. I am not telling anyone to change anything.

Sheesh. There's no need to be mean-spirited about this. It's just a question. If you can't answer me in a polite manner, don't answer me at all.
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« Reply #78 on: April 18, 2010, 08:46:46 PM »

Is this some kind of sick joke? You want to replace Byzantine Chant with this semi-erotic devil-worshipping "spiritual" garbage?!?!

While I agree that gospel music isn't appropriate for liturgy, as liturgical chant is all about calm, clarity of the sung text and suppression of the individual's own recitative style, I wouldn't put "spiritual" in quotes like that and deprecate by extension the faith of those Christians. I've heard several American Orthodox priests testify to the sincerity of the worshippers as evidenced in Southern Gospel music and Black Spirituals. They may be heterodox and their traditions are not appropriate for the Orthodox Church, but they aren't all sex-obsessed devil worshippers. Their zeal could be a great boon for Orthodoxy once they are brought to the true Church.

Furthermore, a musical style inappropriate for liturgical use may nonetheless praise Christ outside of church. A great many Romanian and Bulgarian pious songs have Christian texts but melodies going back thousands of years (the colinde that Bartók transcribed are a fine example). Clearly indigenous musical transcriptions may be baptized and praise God, and the folk musics of American southerners should be no different.

Well, I don't mean that they are sex-obsessed or unspiritual, but that sort of music in the context of the Divine Liturgy would be. Talk about a step backwards. I, a passionate sinner, would never judge those people, but I have no problem judging whose music is or is not appropriate for prayer.
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« Reply #79 on: April 18, 2010, 08:47:44 PM »

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

The late 19th century saw Russian composers writing liturgical music in the style of Western classical music. Think about Rachmaninov's Vespers. In the 1970s, the Finnish Orthodox Church commissioned a vigil from the contemporary composer Einojuhani Rautavaara. The resulting controversy across world Orthodoxy in these cases was so large that I cannot imagine a friendly reception to Americans writing music for liturgical use in their own style.
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« Reply #80 on: April 18, 2010, 08:50:57 PM »

Quote
I mean, would it be un-canonical to write the Thrice Holy Hymn in an acapella Gospel/Spiritual style?

Is this some kind of sick joke? You want to replace Byzantine Chant with this semi-erotic devil-worshipping "spiritual" garbage?!?! Chant--whether it be Byzantine, Znammeny, Coptic, or Gregorian, is chant. It is not music like "gospel" music is music. It is prayer enlivened with melodic tones. It vanquishes the passions and troubles of the soul, orients one towards the grace of God, drives one into humility and repentence. It is part of Step 19 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a spiritual discipline like fasting and prayer. It uses pleasing melodies to teach us the doctrines that would otherwise taste bitter to us.

And you want to replace it with what?!?!

*he looses his mind. "Get a grip," he tells himself.*
Like this?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSvU39fdYyA
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« Reply #81 on: April 18, 2010, 08:53:21 PM »

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I mean, would it be un-canonical to write the Thrice Holy Hymn in an acapella Gospel/Spiritual style?

Is this some kind of sick joke? You want to replace Byzantine Chant with this semi-erotic devil-worshipping "spiritual" garbage?!?! Chant--whether it be Byzantine, Znammeny, Coptic, or Gregorian, is chant. It is not music like "gospel" music is music. It is prayer enlivened with melodic tones. It vanquishes the passions and troubles of the soul, orients one towards the grace of God, drives one into humility and repentence. It is part of Step 19 of the Ladder of Divine Ascent. It is a spiritual discipline like fasting and prayer. It uses pleasing melodies to teach us the doctrines that would otherwise taste bitter to us.

And you want to replace it with what?!?!

*he looses his mind. "Get a grip," he tells himself.*

Are you intentionally trying to be mean and sarcastic or am I just reading your tone wrong?

Please re-read my posts. I am not trying to replace anything! Furthermore, not all of the Orthodox world currently uses your precious Byzantine Chant, nor does all of the Orthodox world find it pleasing to the ear. (Including those within the Greek community. I know plenty of Greeks who can't stand Byzantine chant, and they are pious Orthodox Christians!)

I used Gospel/Spiritual style as an example because it is a truly "American" style of music. I could have chosen to use Gershwin, Copland, or Bernstein as an example, however I couldn't think of any acapella pieces they had written. (Nor are they known to be writers of sacred music.)

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

Again, I am not telling anyone to throw out their choir books. I am not suggesting a Revolution. I am not telling anyone to change anything.

Sheesh. There's no need to be mean-spirited about this. It's just a question. If you can't answer me in a polite manner, don't answer me at all.


I am sorry about the tone of my last post. I hate it too when I go out on a limb and get it from all sides from other posters. I would like nothing better, however, than for a hard ad fast line to be drawn between Church music and secular music.

I also do not think Copland or Gershwin would be any more appropriate than gospel or spiritual. It is all secular music.
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« Reply #82 on: April 18, 2010, 08:59:46 PM »

I deleted the post. I lost it, and I apologize. I do not think there is *anything* wrong with this sort of music. I was speaking in hyperbole to make a point. I am only saying that it does not have a place in the Liturgy. I know that sounds harsh, but there is a reason it has been done the way it has been done for centuries.
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« Reply #83 on: April 18, 2010, 09:02:17 PM »

I am sorry about the tone of my last post. I hate it too when I go out on a limb and get it from all sides from other posters. I would like nothing better, however, than for a hard ad fast line to be drawn between Church music and secular music.

I also do not think Copland or Gershwin would be any more appropriate than gospel or spiritual. It is all secular music.

*deep sigh* *face palm*

I am not suggesting Copland or Gershwin is appropriate. Please stop taking me so literally. *bangs head against wall*

What I am suggesting is that an American writes an Orthodox hymn that is appropriate for Church that is not in Slavic or Byzantine style.

I mean, at some point the Slavic style became distinct and separate from Byzantine style. That style at some point in some way had to based on the way that Slavic folk songs were written. (Otherwise, what would be the reference for the Slavic style?) Obviously they were changed and modified for Church, as they should be. Not all American music is full of sex and emotion. Some is quite beautiful and sacred.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i-X4IJzkNM

(I am not suggesting the above be included in the Divine Liturgy. I am merely showing that there is some beautiful sacred American music.)

Somehow I think the larger point I am trying to make is being lost on the details.


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« Reply #84 on: April 18, 2010, 09:05:26 PM »

I am sorry about the tone of my last post. I hate it too when I go out on a limb and get it from all sides from other posters. I would like nothing better, however, than for a hard ad fast line to be drawn between Church music and secular music.

I also do not think Copland or Gershwin would be any more appropriate than gospel or spiritual. It is all secular music.

*deep sigh* *face palm*

I am not suggesting Copland or Gershwin is appropriate. Please stop taking me so literally. *bangs head against wall*

What I am suggesting is that an American writes an Orthodox hymn that is appropriate for Church that is not in Slavic or Byzantine style.

I mean, at some point the Slavic style became distinct and separate from Byzantine style. That style at some point in some way had to based on the way that Slavic folk songs were written. (Otherwise, what would be the reference for the Slavic style?) Obviously they were changed and modified for Church, as they should be. Not all American music is full of sex and emotion. Some is quite beautiful and sacred.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9i-X4IJzkNM

(I am not suggesting the above be included in the Divine Liturgy. I am merely showing that there is some beautiful sacred American music.)

Somehow I think the larger point I am trying to make is being lost on the details.




Very well, that works fine. I am not a stickler for any particular tradition, Byzantine or otherwise. I am simply concerned about losing the proper ethos that is essential to the proper celebration of the Liturgy. Perhaps we are in agreement.
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« Reply #85 on: April 18, 2010, 09:07:52 PM »

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

Yes, it has been done. In the GOA, there are parishes with choirs who sing music in the Divine Liturgy that has been composed by this or that (Greek)-American composer. Some of it is elaborate, multi-part harmony -- even with rounds -- and it has very, very little to do with the Byzantine hymn that it is theoretically based on. Steals the melody here and there.
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« Reply #86 on: April 18, 2010, 09:09:12 PM »

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

The late 19th century saw Russian composers writing liturgical music in the style of Western classical music. Think about Rachmaninov's Vespers.
In reality, the majority of Rachmaninoff's Vespers and All-Night Vigil was not his original creation.  He merely arranged melodies that had been in use in the Russian Orthodox Church for many years.  His setting of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chryosostom is actually more of an original composition than the All-Night Vigil.
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« Reply #87 on: April 18, 2010, 09:14:41 PM »

What I am asking is "Would it be uncanonical for an American composer to write an acapella piece of choral music that is not in the Slavic or Byzantine style of chant?" Could it be used in Liturgy? Has this been done?

Yes, it has been done. In the GOA, there are parishes with choirs who sing music in the Divine Liturgy that has been composed by this or that (Greek)-American composer. Some of it is elaborate, multi-part harmony -- even with rounds -- and it has very, very little to do with the Byzantine hymn that it is theoretically based on. Steals the melody here and there.
One parish in my home town is like that.  Virtually everything they sing is in the Byzantine chant, yet they'll sing Tikey Zes's four-part setting of Soma Christou (Receive the Body of Christ) during Communion of their Sunday Paschaltide Liturgies.  Such a beautiful (and appropriate) work of music that I've often visited that church during a Sunday of Paschaltide just to hear their choir sing it.
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« Reply #88 on: April 18, 2010, 09:41:25 PM »

Very well, that works fine. I am not a stickler for any particular tradition, Byzantine or otherwise. I am simply concerned about losing the proper ethos that is essential to the proper celebration of the Liturgy. Perhaps we are in agreement.

Thank you, I'm glad we came to an understanding. Smiley
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« Reply #89 on: April 18, 2010, 10:02:55 PM »

The OCA has arranged polyphonic Kievan and Znammeny chant using Western notation for many years in English. We in ACROD have arranged the Rusyn plainchant in English, not only for Liturgy but vespers, matins and other services in the eight tones and sung them liturgically for years. It works well for both of us and in many of our Churches we still honor the Slavonic, while predominately being English. Most of our choirs have adapted the traditionanal Slavic masterpieces to English for years.
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