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Author Topic: Greece, Synod condemns Mass in modern Greek  (Read 22170 times) Average Rating: 0
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Robb
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« Reply #90 on: April 18, 2010, 11:43:31 PM »

Does the ACROD use the OCA style translation or the Byzantine Catholic one (The same that was used in the 1970's Byzantine book of prayer)?  I've always liked the Byzantine Catholic version of the DL (The older version, not the new "revised" one that has been forced onto a lot of parishes).  Especially moving to me is the phrase "Mother of God" which sounds more pleasant and familiar to our English speaking ears as opposed to the more theological "Theotokos" and the more strange sounding "Birth Giver of God".  
« Last Edit: April 18, 2010, 11:44:02 PM by Robb » Logged

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« Reply #91 on: April 19, 2010, 12:11:33 AM »

Especially moving to me is the phrase "Mother of God" which sounds more pleasant and familiar to our English speaking ears as opposed to the more theological "Theotokos" and the more strange sounding "Birth Giver of God". 

The neologism bogorodica must have sounded very odd to the Slavs when it was introduced by Ss. Cyril and Methodius, but it's good that it caught on. Similarly, I favour "Theotokos" or "Birthgiver of God". There's nothing wrong with the title "Mother of God", and it is used in iconography, but it doesn't give the whole story about Mary's role. The Third Ecumenical Council found that a title inextricably combining "God" and "childbirth" was necessary to keep the Nestorian heresy surpressed. Why let our defences down?
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« Reply #92 on: April 19, 2010, 02:07:50 AM »

Hey Everyone! Hristos Anesti!

Wonder how they are planning on rendering that in modern Greek... um.... you can't. Koinie Greek and modern Greek are 98% related, and many words are shared. It's not two languages. It's the modern and ancient version of the same language, so there is no issue about translating. Many of the hymns like the eight resurrectional troparia, the hymns from the octoechos for Sundays, the hymns for major saints and major feasts - including kathismata, stihira, eirmoi for the canons doxastika - are known to the average Church goer. The Holy Week hymns sung at Matins each night, especially of the last few days, and of Pascha are imprinted I'd say in the faithfuls memory and heart. Changing all that would.... it would ruin ecclesiastical life. First of all they can't be re rendered, simplifying them will just cause them to loose their depth and beauty.

The main argument for modern Greek is: Why, people don't come cause they don't understand!

People don't come because they are lazy and just would rather stay up all night partying and then sleep in on Sunday morning, in other words they don't care. Greece as a nation has been on the down hill since being freed from the Turks in 1821, one disaster after the other. Like where to begin. They brought in a Catholic monarch to rule them, and everyone went to modernize the Church and be pro Western. They eventually changed the order of services, and then the calender in 1924. In the late 70s when the social democrats took over they did away with politonics (multiple stresses in the alphabet) which only the Church retained. Result? You can still read Church texts, but with some difficulty. They also stopped teaching kids koinie Greek in school. Now everyone knows about the massive campaign the social democrats are undertaking to rid the Church from society. Taking down icons from government institutions, schools, court rooms etc, abolishing morning prayer in the schools so we don't "offend" anyone. Alls I have to say about that is this, when you come to my house, you follow my rules. They let in all those Albanians are Muslims and God knows what else, the place is going to turn out into a little Kurdistan pretty soon. The new thing now is to tax the Church to kingdom come. And people who don't know anything will say oh yes, the Greek Church is rich, owns everything, so tax it! Ok and who is going to run Greece's social program? The Government, I don't think so. The Church is welfare, food pantry line, shut in visitor, homeless shelter provider, alcoholics anonymous provider, drug helper, psychological help counselor you name it: the Orthodox Church in Greece is the backbone of the country. Rip it out, everything will collapse.

Our kids are genius. All of them have picked up either German, Italian, English, French, or Spanish. They are all bilingual. Yet for some reason the government persists in telling them that they won't be able to grasp classical Greek, which is very much related to what we speak in our daily lives. In order to "understand" classical Greek one must just pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often. Our children have a mania with listening to foreign music which they can't understand one word of, yet they tell us that our kids are 100 percent clueless and they can't even get a general gist of what is going on. Please. Obviously, "someone" is trying to use the youth's lack of Church attendance to further some sort of secret agenda to ultimately crash the Greek Church on the rocks.

The question isn't about understand, people understand whats going on. The question is to simplify the texts, so we can get all wishy washy, it will effect our theology, we will introduce some heresies too, we will add some guitars, take out the Altar put it in the middle of the Church so people can "understand" whats going on, we will do teach and learn Proskomedia (that's already being done), and maybe we'll get some girls to serve, heck maybe even a woman priest. Maybe even a woman Bishop. Hello Vatican II, and hello Church of England.

So you see... this most definitely ain't about "understanding." It's about buldozzing a 5,000 year old society and creating... something, well to put it mildly, re inventing the Soviet Union. That's to put it mildly.

I hope to translate Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos recent article on this issue, as well as the Metropolis of Pireaus recent statement on this.

Rd. Ioannis

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« Reply #93 on: April 19, 2010, 03:12:40 AM »

I've heard several American Orthodox priests testify to the sincerity of the worshippers as evidenced in Southern Gospel music and Black Spirituals.

Gospel music and Negro Spirituals (you'll pardon me: the old name has an attractively classic ring to it) are things much too different to occupy the same sentence.  I've never come to like the former--or to shake off an acute feeling of annoyance when listening to it--but the latter often reaches the level of the sublime.  Gospel had to face opposition from the old guard in black churches when it started to emerge.


Very nice opening; the black Americans were really the Russians of that country, weren't they, with that basso profundo range of voice.  But jazz had to kick in to this one eventually.  Oh well.

I'm reminded of how humorous it was when Sinatra sang a jazzed up version of Old Man River.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 03:16:40 AM by SamB » Logged
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« Reply #94 on: April 19, 2010, 03:35:11 AM »

"Once a Russian called Fr Tobias, who lived in the skete, came to the vigil and revealed to Fr Gideon that he was bored because he did not understand anything in the service. Fr Gideon consoled him: ‘It doesn’t matter: don’t grieve because you don’t understand. Sit in your stall, keep praying and don’t be troubled because you don’t understand. Look at a ship on the sea, there are various passengers on it: Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Arabs. They don’t understand each other but they’re on the same ship, sitting down together, and the ship will take them all to the port. So it is with the Church; it doesn’t matter who is in it, whether they understand or not, the Church will take them all to the port of the Kingdom of Heaven."

- From Elder Gideon the Greek (9 1896) in Lives of Nineteenth Century Athonite Ascetics of Piety by Hieromonk Antony of the Holy Mountain, Jordanville 1988.
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« Reply #95 on: April 19, 2010, 03:51:48 AM »

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

 Smiley
May I speak further on the subject?

I think there seems to be three main musical options for parishes in America:
1. Classical chant. Advantage: the most austere and prayerful form of music. Disadvantage: so many chanters like to show off. When they do, it only comes across to the people as medieval-sounding garble. This truly is diabolical! Translation is also an issue, but not so much as the chant-o-phobes like to think.
2. Choirs with four-part harmonies. Nothing like a beautiful, emotional, stirring, dramatic four-part chorus to distance the people from the Liturgy and make them spectators. In my parish, the choir does this, and congregation does not even sing the Christos Anesti or the Holy Friday Lamantations anymore, because it is impossible to sing along with a multi-part harmony. I would hate to see ths practice spread.
3. Something like Handmaiden is saying, perhaps simplified forms of the traditional melodies put into Western minor scales. (Major scales in church have a tendency to sound like Walt Disney music.) This could be done by either chanters or choirs. It would make the music more accessible to people and encourage congregational singing, without sacrificing the austerity of the traditional chants. I can already hear parishioners complaining about how ugly it sounds. I do not care. Worship is worship, prayer is prayer, and four-part harmonies/medieval garble are usually neither, as nice as they might sound to some people.
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« Reply #96 on: April 19, 2010, 04:33:39 AM »

LOL.  khooy.  LOL. Syrians.

Allah, Allah, ei da l'bit'oulo, ya khooya?  LOL  We don't really use it so much as akhi to have it qualify as a quintessentially Syrian word.  In fact it is more closely associated with you lot who speak Egyptian: 'ya khooya'.  

Quote
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.

Modern political manipulation, engineering, and interference in language is a disheartening affair--and smacks of hubris.  To think a form of language can be associated with an actual political regime is almost surreal, I find.  There is something ironic in that if in Arabic we could associate a form of language to political currents, at least taking the Lebanese context as our perspective, things would be the reverse of Greece.  The 'Right' (e.g. Lebanese Maronite Phalangists), would claim Lebanese `Aam'miy'yeh for its banner, playing the populist Η γλώσσα ΤΟΥ ΛΑΟΥ!!! populist card, whereas the 'Left' would have the greater respect for katharevousa Arabic.

In the end of things, the Greeks have lost their diglossia which in my view is a blessing that always makes the language more dynamic and gives it multiple registers as well as expands the mind and strengthens the faculty of communication from a young age, giving one access to understanding different contexts of speech.  I detest particularly the politicised rhetoric that creates a polarised dichotomy between the two registers and disregards that they are two ends of a full spectrum that enrichens the language, not only in speech, but in music and song as well.  (The late Iraqi Naazim il-Ghazaali liked to sing classical poetry and then segue into a song in full Iraqi colloquial.)  This is somewhat off topic for the thread, but I would like to post a few videos illustrating the two forms of the language and how they can mix.  The following comes from something I've written before to a contact of mine:

I have two videos of him [Baasil il-Assad] that demonstrate the multiple overlapping registers of Arabic I mentioned to you before, neither pure katharevousa nor pure dimotiki:
 
He is speaking about equestrianism here in high register (i.e. educated class) dimotiki mixed in with the occasional slip of Fus'hah (i.e. katharevousa), but pronounced in a dimotiki manner (e.g. 'haakatha' being pronounced 'haakaza'--the dimotiki word itself would be 'heik'):
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KZJOOU5buPE
 
Here he is, but this time speaking the inverse of the above: mostly katharevousa with a relaxed dimotiki 'sound' (accent) and pronunciation (and also the occasional slip of a dimotiki word).
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pwXn5j0AdVo
 
Here is his father, the late president.  Full katharevousa speech and tone, but there is still that small lingering demotiki 'z' in place of Fus'ha 'th', but other than that, this is real Fus'ha.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KarP9Ov5tUI
 
Now, the two extremes: the full blown educated class katharevousa (with virtually no instance of dimotiki pronunciation and nary a hint of a provincial accent) vs. the 'rustic' dimotiki of a Lebanese aristocrat and politician.
 
Katharevousa: the incumbent Syrian president in an Al-Jazeera interview:
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IaqzXX2WTck
 
And this is the scion of one of the important Lebanese Maronite aristocratic families, Suleiman Franjiy'yeh--the man's tongue is quite sharp (had you only heard the hilarious insult he made by way of innuendo towards the Maronite Patriarch commenting on his libido), and his talk is as provincial as you can expect from a mountain aristocrat whose clan doesn't come from the city.  If a movement to abolish Fus'ha ever arose, it would come from the Lebanese, no doubt.  
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhoBuTS_ZrA
 
And here's Aoun's what I like to call 'angry-military-general-style demotiki'.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WC1eeE7_6A
 
One must love this man's temper; he yells 'shut up' at the very end: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cf22nzmCoyg

No, Lebanese generals certainly do not talk like this (Daffy Duck speaking katharevousa as my Greek friend describes him). LOL

One final bonus for those who like linguistic comparisons.  The sound of Biblical Hebrew pronounced by an Ashkenazi vs. a Yemenite.
 
Ashkenazi Hebrew (with a hint of American accent):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Q9Q7AFZlS4
 
Yemenite Hebrew (skip directly to 7:05)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yP9RKfU7hJA
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 04:40:54 AM by SamB » Logged
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« Reply #97 on: April 19, 2010, 05:41:41 AM »

First of all they can't be re rendered, simplifying them will just cause them to loose their depth and beauty.

A simple but still important point.  Semantic value, or the way the mind grasps the meaning or perceives the depth of even the most basic words, often can be tied to something as basic as the phonetic structure of the word, and this sensitivity heightens in musical verse.  (Take the simplest of things, relative pronouns: one form in the colloquial: l'li, whereas classical has multisyllabic inflected forms that come alive in verse, including forms for the dual: al'lathi, al'lati, al'lathaani etc.)  This is why we have synonyms for words, that even though can mean on the whole the same thing will still carry their own nuances simply on the merits of the way they sound out.  Also, with archaic synonyms present in the liturgical tongue even for the most basic concepts, the most common phrases are able to take on a weightier meaning in the way that one in the habit of saying the Jesus prayer comes upon a stronger connexion with what the words of the prayer say by constant repetition.  Also, in the liturgical language one might find full expressive quality in things as small as short particles.  The classical Arabic in'na, very frequently used and absent in the colloquial, has a nuance that makes it a challenge to translate into English, almost like 'it is so, that...' encapsulated in one disyllabic word.  In'na alone adds tremendous declarative and narrative (and initial rhythmic) force on its own.

An example concerning the phonetic factor: liturgical Arabic has more vowels intertwined within the consonantal structure of a word than is the case with the colloquial.  Take the hymn Fotizou H nea Ierousalim, Rejoice O New Jerusalem, and from it the line 'and you o pure one, Bearer of God, rejoice in the resurrection of your Son'.  Before 'rejoice' the chant has normally reached a musical climax and begins a firm resolution with the imperative 'rejoice' which in colloquial is fraHi, whereas in liturgical Arabic it is IfraHi--both quite similar to each other here as can be seen.  In non-musical reciting, the stress is on the antepenult 'if', but in chant, it becomes the secondary stress, but provides the essential momentum in a tri-syllabic word to carry the force of the imperative towards the ultimate 'Hi'.  So the classical 'if' both provides a stronger punctuation carrying imperative force, which would be lacking in the colloquial version of the word, and by adding an extra syllable, providing momentum that allows for the full stress on the final syllable.  Writing this out in words, it looks utterly convoluted, but the mind understands it perfectly on the subconscious level.
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« Reply #98 on: April 19, 2010, 07:25:21 AM »

"Once a Russian called Fr Tobias, who lived in the skete, came to the vigil and revealed to Fr Gideon that he was bored because he did not understand anything in the service. Fr Gideon consoled him: ‘It doesn’t matter: don’t grieve because you don’t understand. Sit in your stall, keep praying and don’t be troubled because you don’t understand. Look at a ship on the sea, there are various passengers on it: Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Arabs. They don’t understand each other but they’re on the same ship, sitting down together, and the ship will take them all to the port. So it is with the Church; it doesn’t matter who is in it, whether they understand or not, the Church will take them all to the port of the Kingdom of Heaven."

- From Elder Gideon the Greek (9 1896) in Lives of Nineteenth Century Athonite Ascetics of Piety by Hieromonk Antony of the Holy Mountain, Jordanville 1988.

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« Reply #99 on: April 19, 2010, 07:32:48 AM »

Unless I'm very mistaken, has not the Orthodox church already decided the opposite of the current Greek Synod? specifically when Sts Cyril and Methodios got into big trouble with the Romans for their translation efforts, and the Latins argued that there were only 3 sacred languages vis Hebrew, Greek and Latin, and the Greek church and all the Orthodox said "no way" and supported the holy saints. Has not the Orthodox church repeatedly argued *for vernacular translation* in every new language and done exactly that throughout 2000 years of history.

If we read the holy fathers and their exposition on Pentecost and languages what do they teach? Do they teach translation or not?? Really, I suspect that the issue here is more about Greek church unity rather than the translation issue per se. And unity is very important. So whoever's (Ialmisry's?) question a few pages back about the authority of the bishop is very relevant.

Does anyone know any precedents about the limits to bishop's authority in this issue?

It is sad to see so many argue for what is essentially a RC "sacred language" viewpoint and forget the whole Sts Cyril and Methodios lesson.

And Handmaidenof God is right to ask what she asks- especially since such musical adaptation has been happening for 2000 years as well. Any serious student of the Orthodox liturgy will recognise changes with time, just look at musical developments even in the Byzantine and Russian traditions. This whole romantic notion of an "unchanging perfect 300AD form of Orthodoxy" is worrying actually. It denies the human dimension of the Church, which is ultimately a subtle form of the docetic heresy, which we need to be very wary of. Orthodoxy is NOT about preserving the past unchanged, but communicating it to each generation. The content of the Creed stays the same, but the language that over 80% of Orthodox say it in is NOT Greek any longer.

Change needs to be done sensibly in light of the past, yes, but still change must happen.

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« Reply #100 on: April 19, 2010, 07:46:01 AM »

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

 Smiley
May I speak further on the subject?

I think there seems to be three main musical options for parishes in America:
1. Classical chant. Advantage: the most austere and prayerful form of music. Disadvantage: so many chanters like to show off. When they do, it only comes across to the people as medieval-sounding garble. This truly is diabolical! Translation is also an issue, but not so much as the chant-o-phobes like to think.
2. Choirs with four-part harmonies. Nothing like a beautiful, emotional, stirring, dramatic four-part chorus to distance the people from the Liturgy and make them spectators. In my parish, the choir does this, and congregation does not even sing the Christos Anesti or the Holy Friday Lamantations anymore, because it is impossible to sing along with a multi-part harmony. I would hate to see ths practice spread.
3. Something like Handmaiden is saying, perhaps simplified forms of the traditional melodies put into Western minor scales. (Major scales in church have a tendency to sound like Walt Disney music.) This could be done by either chanters or choirs. It would make the music more accessible to people and encourage congregational singing, without sacrificing the austerity of the traditional chants. I can already hear parishioners complaining about how ugly it sounds. I do not care. Worship is worship, prayer is prayer, and four-part harmonies/medieval garble are usually neither, as nice as they might sound to some people.

Um, the Slavs have been using Choirs with four part harmonies for centuries. Seems to work for us just fine. The music is beautiful, accessible, and not everything is in a minor scale. They are simple harmonies that the faithful can sing along with, and do sing along with the choir. (And none of it sounds Disney-ish.)

If you take everything and put it in a minor scale, then every song will sound like we are in mourning.

At the risk of being called a heretic again, the West has already set forth a model of sacred music in the Gregorian chant of the Catholic Church.

***I AM NOT SAYING THE ORTHODOX CHURCH SHOULD ADOPT GREGORIAN CHANT***

What I am saying is, that it has already been proven that Western chant can be written, it can be sacred, non-emotive, and can be quite beautiful.
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« Reply #101 on: April 19, 2010, 08:10:52 AM »

Hey Everyone! Hristos Anesti!

Wonder how they are planning on rendering that in modern Greek... um.... you can't. Koinie Greek and modern Greek are 98% related,

Can't be 98% related (I think you mean identical). For one thing, the modern Greek has dropped its dative, and has to use pariphrastic constructions instead. Btw, the language in the Church and the high forms of Katharevousa are not Koine, they are Attic, even worse.

Quote
and many words are shared.

but don't necessarily mean the same thing. "Androgynos" means "man and wife" in the one, and "hermaphrodite" in the other.

Quote
It's not two languages. It's the modern and ancient version of the same language, so there is no issue about translating.

Oh? You obviously understand English.  Read this:
Quote
Hwæt! We Gardena         in geardagum,
þeodcyninga,         þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas         ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scefing         sceaþena þreatum,
It's English too.


Quote
Many of the hymns like the eight resurrectional troparia, the hymns from the octoechos for Sundays, the hymns for major saints and major feasts - including kathismata, stihira, eirmoi for the canons doxastika - are known to the average Church goer.

I've had Muslims who could recite the whole Quran for me in Arabic, not understanding a word.

Quote
The Holy Week hymns sung at Matins each night, especially of the last few days, and of Pascha are imprinted I'd say in the faithfuls memory and heart. Changing all that would.... it would ruin ecclesiastical life. First of all they can't be re rendered, simplifying them will just cause them to loose their depth and beauty.

So you are saying that Modern Greek has no depth nor beauty?

Quote
The main argument for modern Greek is: Why, people don't come cause they don't understand!

People don't come because they are lazy and just would rather stay up all night partying and then sleep in on Sunday morning, in other words they don't care.

so we provide them a reason so they don't have to come up with excuses.

Quote
Greece as a nation has been on the down hill since being freed from the Turks in 1821,

Never heard of the Turkocratia as the good ol' days.

Quote
one disaster after the other. Like where to begin. They brought in a Catholic monarch to rule them, and everyone went to modernize the Church and be pro Western.

You left out, "borrowing Peter's monstrosity, the Holy Governing Synod, instead of a primate."

Quote
They eventually changed the order of services, and then the calender in 1924. In the late 70s when the social democrats took over they did away with politonics (multiple stresses in the alphabet) which only the Church retained. Result? You can still read Church texts, but with some difficulty.

Reading without them is not a problem. Only in a few cases did they settle any ambiguity.  They were done away with because of the enormous time devoted to teaching them in school, for no productive purpose (btw, the Classical Greeks didn't have them, their mandatory use is Medieval)  Sort of like the dropping of the Ъ in Russian.

Quote
They also stopped teaching kids koinie Greek in school.

You mean teaching Koine, or teaching katharevousa? They are not the same.

Quote
Now everyone knows about the massive campaign the social democrats are undertaking to rid the Church from society. Taking down icons from government institutions, schools, court rooms etc, abolishing morning prayer in the schools so we don't "offend" anyone. Alls I have to say about that is this, when you come to my house, you follow my rules. They let in all those Albanians are Muslims and God knows what else,

like Orthodox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_Orthodox

Just yesterday on TV there was something on an Olympian who was ethnic Greek from Albania, who had fled to Greece.

Quote
the place is going to turn out into a little Kurdistan pretty soon.

Are we scapgoating?

Quote
The new thing now is to tax the Church to kingdom come. And people who don't know anything will say oh yes, the Greek Church is rich, owns everything, so tax it! Ok and who is going to run Greece's social program? The Government, I don't think so. The Church is welfare, food pantry line, shut in visitor, homeless shelter provider, alcoholics anonymous provider, drug helper, psychological help counselor you name it: the Orthodox Church in Greece is the backbone of the country. Rip it out, everything will collapse.

I'll agree there.

Quote
Our kids are genius. All of them have picked up either German, Italian, English, French, or Spanish. They are all bilingual. Yet for some reason the government persists in telling them that they won't be able to grasp classical Greek, which is very much related to what we speak in our daily lives.

So close and yet so far: in Arabic, the standard of Classical Arabic in Morroco is much higher than, say, Egypt, and a good reason why is the distance of Morrocan colloquial to the Standard-its foreigness makes it hard to slip into colloquial-whereas in Egypt people fall back into colloquial, which resembles the Classical but is not it.

Quote
In order to "understand" classical Greek one must just pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often.

Because that's how Homer did it.

Quote
Our children have a mania with listening to foreign music which they can't understand one word of, yet they tell us that our kids are 100 percent clueless and they can't even get a general gist of what is going on. Please. Obviously, "someone" is trying to use the youth's lack of Church attendance to further some sort of secret agenda to ultimately crash the Greek Church on the rocks.

Would that be Met. Melitio?

Quote
The question isn't about understand, people understand whats going on. The question is to simplify the texts, so we can get all wishy washy,

Like SS. Methodius and Cyril did.

Quote
it will effect our theology,

Yes, it will stop us from acting like Muslims.

Quote
we will introduce some heresies too,

Yes, the Church hasn't been the same without the Three Language heresy.

Quote
we will add some guitars,

would you be happier if it was a lyre?

Quote
take out the Altar put it in the middle of the Church so people can "understand" whats going on,

I don't know if you haven't noticed, but the Altar isn't against the wall in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Quote
we will do teach and learn Proskomedia (that's already being done),

I recall a number of people, every Sunday Church goers, having no idea about the Prosmedia.  It was like finding gold in Grandma's attic.

Quote
and maybe we'll get some girls to serve, heck maybe even a woman priest. Maybe even a woman Bishop.

My, skiing right down the slope, are you?  The pagan Greeks had women priestesses, and they spoke Classical Greek.

Quote
Hello Vatican II, and hello Church of England.

Goodbye Parthenon.

Quote
So you see... this most definitely ain't about "understanding."

This post, can't say it is.

Quote
It's about buldozzing a 5,000 year old society and creating... something, well to put it mildly, re inventing the Soviet Union.

Do you know how fossils are made?

Quote
That's to put it mildly.

I hope to translate Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos recent article on this issue, as well as the Metropolis of Pireaus recent statement on this.

Rd. Ioannis

Why translate it?  We "just [need to] pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often.' Of course, for some who attend all the services but don't speak Classical Greek, the last one is going to be difficult.
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« Reply #102 on: April 19, 2010, 08:40:41 AM »

Hey Everyone! Hristos Anesti!

Wonder how they are planning on rendering that in modern Greek... um.... you can't. Koinie Greek and modern Greek are 98% related,

Can't be 98% related (I think you mean identical). For one thing, the modern Greek has dropped its dative, and has to use pariphrastic constructions instead. Btw, the language in the Church and the high forms of Katharevousa are not Koine, they are Attic, even worse.

Quote
and many words are shared.

but don't necessarily mean the same thing. "Androgynos" means "man and wife" in the one, and "hermaphrodite" in the other.

Quote
It's not two languages. It's the modern and ancient version of the same language, so there is no issue about translating.

Oh? You obviously understand English.  Read this:
Quote
Hwæt! We Gardena         in geardagum,
þeodcyninga,         þrym gefrunon,
hu ða æþelingas         ellen fremedon.
Oft Scyld Scefing         sceaþena þreatum,
It's English too.


Quote
Many of the hymns like the eight resurrectional troparia, the hymns from the octoechos for Sundays, the hymns for major saints and major feasts - including kathismata, stihira, eirmoi for the canons doxastika - are known to the average Church goer.

I've had Muslims who could recite the whole Quran for me in Arabic, not understanding a word.

Quote
The Holy Week hymns sung at Matins each night, especially of the last few days, and of Pascha are imprinted I'd say in the faithfuls memory and heart. Changing all that would.... it would ruin ecclesiastical life. First of all they can't be re rendered, simplifying them will just cause them to loose their depth and beauty.

So you are saying that Modern Greek has no depth nor beauty?

Quote
The main argument for modern Greek is: Why, people don't come cause they don't understand!

People don't come because they are lazy and just would rather stay up all night partying and then sleep in on Sunday morning, in other words they don't care.

so we provide them a reason so they don't have to come up with excuses.

Quote
Greece as a nation has been on the down hill since being freed from the Turks in 1821,

Never heard of the Turkocratia as the good ol' days.

Quote
one disaster after the other. Like where to begin. They brought in a Catholic monarch to rule them, and everyone went to modernize the Church and be pro Western.

You left out, "borrowing Peter's monstrosity, the Holy Governing Synod, instead of a primate."

Quote
They eventually changed the order of services, and then the calender in 1924. In the late 70s when the social democrats took over they did away with politonics (multiple stresses in the alphabet) which only the Church retained. Result? You can still read Church texts, but with some difficulty.

Reading without them is not a problem. Only in a few cases did they settle any ambiguity.  They were done away with because of the enormous time devoted to teaching them in school, for no productive purpose (btw, the Classical Greeks didn't have them, their mandatory use is Medieval)  Sort of like the dropping of the Ъ in Russian.

Quote
They also stopped teaching kids koinie Greek in school.

You mean teaching Koine, or teaching katharevousa? They are not the same.

Quote
Now everyone knows about the massive campaign the social democrats are undertaking to rid the Church from society. Taking down icons from government institutions, schools, court rooms etc, abolishing morning prayer in the schools so we don't "offend" anyone. Alls I have to say about that is this, when you come to my house, you follow my rules. They let in all those Albanians are Muslims and God knows what else,

like Orthodox?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albanian_Orthodox

Just yesterday on TV there was something on an Olympian who was ethnic Greek from Albania, who had fled to Greece.

Quote
the place is going to turn out into a little Kurdistan pretty soon.

Are we scapgoating?

Quote
The new thing now is to tax the Church to kingdom come. And people who don't know anything will say oh yes, the Greek Church is rich, owns everything, so tax it! Ok and who is going to run Greece's social program? The Government, I don't think so. The Church is welfare, food pantry line, shut in visitor, homeless shelter provider, alcoholics anonymous provider, drug helper, psychological help counselor you name it: the Orthodox Church in Greece is the backbone of the country. Rip it out, everything will collapse.

I'll agree there.

Quote
Our kids are genius. All of them have picked up either German, Italian, English, French, or Spanish. They are all bilingual. Yet for some reason the government persists in telling them that they won't be able to grasp classical Greek, which is very much related to what we speak in our daily lives.

So close and yet so far: in Arabic, the standard of Classical Arabic in Morroco is much higher than, say, Egypt, and a good reason why is the distance of Morrocan colloquial to the Standard-its foreigness makes it hard to slip into colloquial-whereas in Egypt people fall back into colloquial, which resembles the Classical but is not it.

Quote
In order to "understand" classical Greek one must just pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often.

Because that's how Homer did it.

Quote
Our children have a mania with listening to foreign music which they can't understand one word of, yet they tell us that our kids are 100 percent clueless and they can't even get a general gist of what is going on. Please. Obviously, "someone" is trying to use the youth's lack of Church attendance to further some sort of secret agenda to ultimately crash the Greek Church on the rocks.

Would that be Met. Melitio?

Quote
The question isn't about understand, people understand whats going on. The question is to simplify the texts, so we can get all wishy washy,

Like SS. Methodius and Cyril did.

Quote
it will effect our theology,

Yes, it will stop us from acting like Muslims.

Quote
we will introduce some heresies too,

Yes, the Church hasn't been the same without the Three Language heresy.

Quote
we will add some guitars,

would you be happier if it was a lyre?

Quote
take out the Altar put it in the middle of the Church so people can "understand" whats going on,

I don't know if you haven't noticed, but the Altar isn't against the wall in Eastern Orthodox Churches.

Quote
we will do teach and learn Proskomedia (that's already being done),

I recall a number of people, every Sunday Church goers, having no idea about the Prosmedia.  It was like finding gold in Grandma's attic.

Quote
and maybe we'll get some girls to serve, heck maybe even a woman priest. Maybe even a woman Bishop.

My, skiing right down the slope, are you?  The pagan Greeks had women priestesses, and they spoke Classical Greek.

Quote
Hello Vatican II, and hello Church of England.

Goodbye Parthenon.

Quote
So you see... this most definitely ain't about "understanding."

This post, can't say it is.

Quote
It's about buldozzing a 5,000 year old society and creating... something, well to put it mildly, re inventing the Soviet Union.

Do you know how fossils are made?

Quote
That's to put it mildly.

I hope to translate Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos recent article on this issue, as well as the Metropolis of Pireaus recent statement on this.

Rd. Ioannis

Why translate it?  We "just [need to] pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often.' Of course, for some who attend all the services but don't speak Classical Greek, the last one is going to be difficult.

Thank you ialmisry for your point by point rebuttal. I was thinking of how to frame a reasoned response given my lack of knowledge of classical languages.Those of us not schooled in linguistics may have 'felt' we could answer, but you did it for us.  The 'Ole English' was great. Sort of like trying to read the original of Beowulf! Thanks again!
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« Reply #103 on: April 19, 2010, 09:04:06 AM »

"Once a Russian called Fr Tobias, who lived in the skete, came to the vigil and revealed to Fr Gideon that he was bored because he did not understand anything in the service. Fr Gideon consoled him: ‘It doesn’t matter: don’t grieve because you don’t understand. Sit in your stall, keep praying and don’t be troubled because you don’t understand. Look at a ship on the sea, there are various passengers on it: Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Arabs. They don’t understand each other but they’re on the same ship, sitting down together, and the ship will take them all to the port. So it is with the Church; it doesn’t matter who is in it, whether they understand or not, the Church will take them all to the port of the Kingdom of Heaven."

- From Elder Gideon the Greek (9 1896) in Lives of Nineteenth Century Athonite Ascetics of Piety by Hieromonk Antony of the Holy Mountain, Jordanville 1988.

I Corinthians 14:23


Not only this but 1 Cor. 14.14-17.   How can the people say Amen to something that is not understood?  Perhaps we can just make it silent and have the deacon respond on behalf of the people.   Wink
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« Reply #104 on: April 19, 2010, 09:24:30 AM »

This issue is rather complicated.  We are dealing with several issues here.  One is the feared disappearance of a longstanding usage of the elder Greek text.   This does relate to the other issue, as to how to apply pertinant canons, such as Apostolic Canon 34, which states that a bishop has prerogative to pastorally act within his diocese, but at the same time, with things that are matters that reach beyond the diocese he must be in accord with the synod and primate (add to this that in this case, there really is no primate, further complicating such application).   Does the issue have broader reprocussions other than just an archpastoral move within a single diocese?  If so, it is no longer an archpastoral issue, but a synodical issue, and thus properly dealt with by the synod.   The issue of traditional vs. modern language is not an easy one, and we need to pray that God continue to guide them on this issue.   Ialmisry points out correctly that, for example, Beowulf English is drastically different from King James and Shakespearian, which in turn is distinct from American Standard, which is distinct from modern.   There has to be an adequate amount of comprehension.   Beowulf English is unsatisfactory.   Even Hapgood is rough.   But again with the Greek, it is more complicated because of longstanding usage and continuity.  Nonetheless, the issue of comprehension has to be dealt with on some level, if not through change of text then through, perhaps modification of education on liturgical Greek in schools so that there can be adequate comprehension. 
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« Reply #105 on: April 19, 2010, 09:33:11 AM »

Christos Voskrese!
Thank you ialmisry for your point by point rebuttal.
No problem.
Quote
I was thinking of how to frame a reasoned response given my lack of knowledge of classical languages.Those of us not schooled in linguistics may have 'felt' we could answer,
Not everyone of us can be a pinhead or egghead.  The sense of the Faithful is as good a barometer as it ever was.  Stopped a good number of the heresies of the Theologians in their tracks.

Quote
but you did it for us.  The 'Ole English' was great. Sort of like trying to read the original of Beowulf!

LOL. So it is: here's the modern translation.
Quote
LO, praise of the prowess of people-kings
of spear-armed Danes, in days long sped,
we have heard, and what honor the athelings won!
Oft Scyld the Scefing from squadroned foes,
http://etext.virginia.edu/etcbin/toccer-new2?id=AnoBeow.sgm&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&tag=public&part=1&division=div1
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« Reply #106 on: April 19, 2010, 09:45:29 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.
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.)
AHEM!!  As an aside, and not to hijack the thread, the "issue at the root of the American Civil War" was SLAVERY - that was the "States Right" the CSA was fighting for; it was the key issue in both the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.  Where this effort to cleanse the South of its support for black chattel slavery comes from is beyond me.

Now, back to our sponsor....
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« Reply #107 on: April 19, 2010, 09:57:33 AM »

This issue is rather complicated.  We are dealing with several issues here.  One is the feared disappearance of a longstanding usage of the elder Greek text.   This does relate to the other issue, as to how to apply pertinant canons, such as Apostolic Canon 34, which states that a bishop has prerogative to pastorally act within his diocese, but at the same time, with things that are matters that reach beyond the diocese he must be in accord with the synod and primate (add to this that in this case, there really is no primate, further complicating such application).   Does the issue have broader reprocussions other than just an archpastoral move within a single diocese?  If so, it is no longer an archpastoral issue, but a synodical issue, and thus properly dealt with by the synod.   The issue of traditional vs. modern language is not an easy one, and we need to pray that God continue to guide them on this issue.   Ialmisry points out correctly that, for example, Beowulf English is drastically different from King James and Shakespearian, which in turn is distinct from American Standard, which is distinct from modern.   There has to be an adequate amount of comprehension.   Beowulf English is unsatisfactory.   Even Hapgood is rough.   But again with the Greek, it is more complicated because of longstanding usage and continuity.  Nonetheless, the issue of comprehension has to be dealt with on some level, if not through change of text then through, perhaps modification of education on liturgical Greek in schools so that there can be adequate comprehension. 
Exactly. The only reason why I come somewhat hard on the question of text modification is that, looking at things coming out in Greek, the role of Katharevousa as a productive element seems to be spent (much like the influence of French or Latin, when it was expected that every educated Englishman spoke them).  There used to be the issue of different varieties of Greek (Cypriot, for instance) for which the use of Katharevousa or Attic served to link the various communities, but with the dominance of Greece's media, Dhimotiki has appropriated that role.  I'm all for basilects and Classical forms of the language, but it seems that the Greeks have made a new choice in their basilect. It also touches on questions of authority, as you state, Father, in particular that it may come to being a pastoral concern, for which a bishop defending himself by saying "I was following the Holy Synod's orders" are not going to make a good defense before a judgement seat dreader than Nurenberg's (Goodwin alert! Goodwin alert!).
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« Reply #108 on: April 19, 2010, 10:29:09 AM »

How can the people say Amen to something that is not understood?

This is something that needs to not just be addressed by the Church in Greece, but the Church in Diaspora as well. Any parish that uses a language that is not the vernacular of the people has to be aware that the faithful will have no idea as to what is going on.

I saw this clearly illustrated to me last with with my very own father.

My Dad was raised in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church his entire life. Every time he would try to follow along in the Liturgy books, he would get lost, frustrated, put the book down, and carry along even though he did not know what was going on. (He does not speak/read/write Ukrainian, and for most of his life the Liturgy in our parish was done mostly in Ukrainian, with a little English. Only in recent years that has changed.)

He keeps telling me he wants to learn the Liturgy.

Last week I had a cold, so rather than going up in the choir I sat with him during Liturgy and tried to help him along in the service book. He kept getting lost and frustrated, but really tried to stick with it.

At one point he leaned over and said to me "Where are we?"

We had just started to sing "Otche Nash."

In my mind, since I studied a little Ukrainian (very little...very, very little) and I sing in the choir, I *know* this is the "Our Father." For a moment I was going to give him a look like "How can you not know what this is?"

Then it occurred to me, "Why should he know? He doesn't speak the language."

So I simply pointed it out to him and carried on.

This broke my heart. For over 57 years my father has been coming to Church every week, not knowing when the most fundamental prayer of our faith, the prayer given to us by Christ himself began.

And it isn't just my father but all of my relatives and many members of the parish. Heck, when I was going to the GOA Cathedral in Atlanta, I had friends who could read, write, and speak modern Greek fluently, but could not understand the Liturgy.

To keep the Liturgy in a language that the faithful cannot understand is ludicrous and goes against the mission of the Church. Why did the Holy Spirit descend upon the Apostles with the gift of tongues on Pentacost if the Gospel is to be proclaimed in one language only?

On Pascha, we exclaim "Christ is risen!" in a plethora of languages to emphasize the universal message of the Resurrection of Christ. Why then, are we ignorant of the universal message of the Gospel the other 51 weeks of the year?
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« Reply #109 on: April 19, 2010, 10:45:53 AM »

Coming from a family of priests, I can relate to Handmaiden's most recent post. My father's favorite such story involved a woman who was about 65 and a long time parishioner. (I apologize as I may have related this in the past in other discussions, but it is a good anecdotal story.)

Following the funeral of her mother (who was in her late 80's), the woman approached my father and complained about the use of English in the services. She quite emphatically told my dad that her mother taught her 'church slavish' (whatever that was) and that she 'understood' it and didn't like English.

My dad calmly and quietly asked her to explain and give him an example.

She said something like this, " Well, Father, you know that 'Svatyj Boze, Svatyj Krypkyj' song."  (i.e. The Thrice Holy Hymn)

My dad nodded in the affirmative.

She went on in triumph saying, "Well, that is obviously about Jesus leaving the crypt on Easter!"

Sigh.....

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« Reply #110 on: April 19, 2010, 11:42:32 AM »

Peter's point on, and Father HLL's eloboration of, the boundaries or freedom of action of a diocesan bishop is on point. Canon 34 does say that the diocesan bishop must not do anything of import without getting his Metropolitan's OK (in this case it would be the Holy Synod). It is clear that the diocesan bishop had not obtained the approval of the Holy Synod. What is not clear is why this issue was considered by the Holy Synod to be a matter of such import that it lays within its purview.

I would submit that language is at the heart of the identification of oneself as part of a particular nation or ethnicity. In the case of modern Greeks/Hellenes, the language may also be what bridges the history of Greeks throughout the ages. It may be that the use of an ancient version of the language means sharing of the glory that once was Greece. It may be that language is integral to the modern interpretation of Hellenism as a universal blessing, that all mankind can benefit from. Thus, I would think that any kind of deviation is a matter of import to all Greeks and/or Hellenes, be they in the Patriarchate of Constantinople or the Church of Greece, in the old country or in the barbarian lands of Australia, the Americas, and even Western Europe.  The following excerpts may be useful in understanding what I am driving at.

"The Ideals of Ancient Greece Important to All
AHEPA members are proud of the contributions the ancient Greeks gifted to Western Civilization.  As Americans, we share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy.  This is the essence of our heritage.  This is the core of our mission."
http://ahepa.org/dotnetnuke/About/Mission.aspx

"The mission of the Greek Education and Culture Committee of the Atlanta Metropolis is the preservation and promotion of the Greek language: the language of the Bible, Greek Orthodoxy and the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church; the language of our ancestors; the richest language and mother of many other languages in the world. Together with the preservation and promotion of the Greek language, the Committee's mission is the promotion of the great Greek civilization, the glorious Greek history and traditions, holy heritage and unsurpassed values for the generations of today and tomorrow."
http://www.atlanta.goarch.org/index.php?pr=Greek_Education

I think other Orthodox churches, who also use ancient forms of their national language (Russia and Bulgaria come to mind), could make similar arguments. In any case, all of these arguments would be based on more than theological or ecclesiastical reasons. We all know how important the Church was to the shedding of the Ottoman yoke in the Balkans. We all know that nascent nations do need to have something from their past that they can point to with pride. I just hope that we acknowledge these many and very important non-religious factors that have, nonetheless, become intertwined into our faith.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 11:47:03 AM by Second Chance » Logged

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« Reply #111 on: April 19, 2010, 12:04:56 PM »

For what it is worth, I came across this:
Quote
Orthodox Bishop Fan Noli, who translated into Dimotiki works of Shakespeare and Henrik Ibsen, emphasized the necessity for a people's language and recalled in his memoirs that because of Katharevousa "there were humorous scenes in a comedy and it happened that no one laughed."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_language_question#cite_note-5

Btw, for those who don't know Greek, by way of some background to this discussion:
http://books.google.com/books?id=b55B1J7I99AC&pg=PA116&dq=Medieval+and+Modern+Greek+Browning+Katharevousa&lr=&cd=1#v=onepage&q&f=false
Medieval and modern Greek By Robert Browning
is somewhat dated, but gives you the idea of the issues.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2010, 12:10:34 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #112 on: April 19, 2010, 12:26:38 PM »

Peter's point on, and Father HLL's eloboration of, the boundaries or freedom of action of a diocesan bishop is on point. Canon 34 does say that the diocesan bishop must not do anything of import without getting his Metropolitan's OK (in this case it would be the Holy Synod). It is clear that the diocesan bishop had not obtained the approval of the Holy Synod. What is not clear is why this issue was considered by the Holy Synod to be a matter of such import that it lays within its purview.

I would submit that language is at the heart of the identification of oneself as part of a particular nation or ethnicity. In the case of modern Greeks/Hellenes, the language may also be what bridges the history of Greeks throughout the ages. It may be that the use of an ancient version of the language means sharing of the glory that once was Greece. It may be that language is integral to the modern interpretation of Hellenism as a universal blessing, that all mankind can benefit from. Thus, I would think that any kind of deviation is a matter of import to all Greeks and/or Hellenes, be they in the Patriarchate of Constantinople or the Church of Greece, in the old country or in the barbarian lands of Australia, the Americas, and even Western Europe.  The following excerpts may be useful in understanding what I am driving at.

"The Ideals of Ancient Greece Important to All
AHEPA members are proud of the contributions the ancient Greeks gifted to Western Civilization.  As Americans, we share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy.  This is the essence of our heritage.  This is the core of our mission."
http://ahepa.org/dotnetnuke/About/Mission.aspx

"The mission of the Greek Education and Culture Committee of the Atlanta Metropolis is the preservation and promotion of the Greek language: the language of the Bible, Greek Orthodoxy and the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church; the language of our ancestors; the richest language and mother of many other languages in the world. Together with the preservation and promotion of the Greek language, the Committee's mission is the promotion of the great Greek civilization, the glorious Greek history and traditions, holy heritage and unsurpassed values for the generations of today and tomorrow."
http://www.atlanta.goarch.org/index.php?pr=Greek_Education

I think other Orthodox churches, who also use ancient forms of their national language (Russia and Bulgaria come to mind), could make similar arguments. In any case, all of these arguments would be based on more than theological or ecclesiastical reasons. We all know how important the Church was to the shedding of the Ottoman yoke in the Balkans. We all know that nascent nations do need to have something from their past that they can point to with pride. I just hope that we acknowledge these many and very important non-religious factors that have, nonetheless, become intertwined into our faith.

This argument can lead to a slippery slope. The devotion to the preservation of an ancient liturgical language may historically be based upon many justifications - both theological and cultural. But, can the justifications actually narrow in the minds of the faithful over the passage of time to rest exclusively upon a misplaced theological assumption?

If that is the case, one is led to an absolutist position that no modern language should ever be used to express the ancient teachings. Why then would Slavonic be excepted from such a broad conclusion? It didn't exist in the days of the Fathers, did it? What about the rubrics of the Church? Are they to reflect say, Constantinopolitan practice of 1450. or 1200 or 700 or 1959? How about pre- and post- Nikonian Russian practice? We can spin round and round until we drop thinking about these things.

In my heart, I truly believe that there is a valid place for our 'old' languages in our devotions. However, this place IMHO should not exclude the modern, spoken word as the primary means to express and propagate our Faith.
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« Reply #113 on: April 19, 2010, 12:34:46 PM »

^
I would say that we are at the slippery slope already. Last week, I watched a u-tube video of many Russian young men and women  being baptized in a river--by Evangelical pastors! In contrast, just yesterday, three heterodox couples showed up at our church. They all had favorable impressions, but I cannot help but think that had our services not been in the vernacular, they would not have stayed around after the Liturgy and socialized with us, asking many questions. BTW, four of the six visitors were Evangelicals.

I completely agree with Handmaiden and you. Sometimes, we just must make a choice between what we want and what the Lord wants.
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« Reply #114 on: April 19, 2010, 12:57:51 PM »

^
I would say that we are at the slippery slope already. Last week, I watched a u-tube video of many Russian young men and women  being baptized in a river--by Evangelical pastors! In contrast, just yesterday, three heterodox couples showed up at our church. They all had favorable impressions, but I cannot help but think that had our services not been in the vernacular, they would not have stayed around after the Liturgy and socialized with us, asking many questions. BTW, four of the six visitors were Evangelicals.

I completely agree with Handmaiden and you. Sometimes, we just must make a choice between what we want and what the Lord wants.

I do agree with you. Often we will hear some of our brothers complain about choral pieces sung in the Slavic tradition by proclaiming,      'The Church is NOT a concert hall." Neither is she a MUSEUM!

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« Reply #115 on: April 19, 2010, 02:45:16 PM »

"Once a Russian called Fr Tobias, who lived in the skete, came to the vigil and revealed to Fr Gideon that he was bored because he did not understand anything in the service. Fr Gideon consoled him: ‘It doesn’t matter: don’t grieve because you don’t understand. Sit in your stall, keep praying and don’t be troubled because you don’t understand. Look at a ship on the sea, there are various passengers on it: Greeks, Romanians, Russians, Arabs. They don’t understand each other but they’re on the same ship, sitting down together, and the ship will take them all to the port. So it is with the Church; it doesn’t matter who is in it, whether they understand or not, the Church will take them all to the port of the Kingdom of Heaven."

- From Elder Gideon the Greek (9 1896) in Lives of Nineteenth Century Athonite Ascetics of Piety by Hieromonk Antony of the Holy Mountain, Jordanville 1988.

I Corinthians 14:23
Rather than just throw up a random reference to some Bible passage, could you please tell us what this passage says and explain how it applies to this discussion?
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« Reply #116 on: April 19, 2010, 02:55:30 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.)
AHEM!!  As an aside, and not to hijack the thread, the "issue at the root of the American Civil War" was SLAVERY - that was the "States Right" the CSA was fighting for; it was the key issue in both the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850.  Where this effort to cleanse the South of its support for black chattel slavery comes from is beyond me.

Now, back to our sponsor....
I'm not as ignorant as you must think I am, since I have studied this issue a bit.  All I will say is that your assessment of the Civil War is very much debatable and that your assertion does not undermine the analogy I drew from my analysis of the war.
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« Reply #117 on: April 19, 2010, 03:03:50 PM »

And it isn't just my father but all of my relatives and many members of the parish. Heck, when I was going to the GOA Cathedral in Atlanta, I had friends who could read, write, and speak modern Greek fluently, but could not understand the Liturgy.

To keep the Liturgy in a language that the faithful cannot understand is ludicrous and goes against the mission of the Church. Why did the Holy Spirit descend upon the Apostles with the gift of tongues on Pentacost if the Gospel is to be proclaimed in one language only?

On Pascha, we exclaim "Christ is risen!" in a plethora of languages to emphasize the universal message of the Resurrection of Christ. Why then, are we ignorant of the universal message of the Gospel the other 51 weeks of the year?

The Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been working on approving a standard English translation to be used in all Churches under her Jurisdiction for the past decade. 

I recall seeing an example of the Nicene Creed in Modern Greek and I was mortified.   Shocked  However, if the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece wishes to experiment with Modern Greek translations, no one is stopping them just as no one in the USA stopped the introduction of the Revised Standard Version of the Gospel, which I personally find mortifying.   Shocked
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« Reply #118 on: April 19, 2010, 03:12:51 PM »

His Eminance Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos wrote an article a few days ago on this issue. I don't have the time to translate it fully, but I put it in google translator, and cleaned up the first part. I might be able to clean up parts 2 and 3 sometime later, but for the most part it makes sense. Oh... the English rendering of parts 2 and 3 actually illustrates pretty well the difference between ancient and modern Greek. You all know English, it's a bit clunky, but if you read it slowly you'll be able to understand whats being said.

Here goes...

Recently as never before, there is a 'Frenzy' of translations of liturgical texts and prayers, operating with unpredictable consequences.
One of the consequences, the most characteristic, is creating new hopes of the Divine Liturgy, the use of Homeric words. That is, some moves to simplify the liturgical language, others to "enrich" it in epic terms, while not realizing that the Fathers of the Church were very good at reading Homer.

I think this whole mindset needs to be addressed by the Holy Synod, because arbitrage must stop. Nowadays attempts are being made that were not undertaken during the time of the Turks, but then the level of education was low, now it is high.

There are many arguments have been raised by many against the translation of liturgical prayers, even while it was blessed by Archbishop Christodoulos as he tried to introduce a parallel reading of the Epistle and Gospel  in the vernacular language and it is well known as he realized the damage done to the unity of Church, he restored things to their old state. The new trend is likely to damage the texts of the Divine Liturgy, the holy Mysteries, and other liturgical texts by introducing them into the folk tongue. We risk seeing schisms within the Body of the Church.

Bypassing many arguments against the introduction of the demotic language into divine worship already made, I will confine myself only to emphasize that such an effort is truly deficit of Orthodox theology, not to express myself harder. It shows that there is no basic Orthodox theology, or rather with such a surface is expressed Orthodox theology, based on practical usefulness. The trend was initiated from a pastoral need, however, it selected but the easiest solution. I think that is an influence from the western scholasticism.
Basically, this idea is the "last temptation" of Christ on the Cross faced by bystanders there: "If Thou art the Son of God, save Thyself and descended from the Cross ... Let the Christ the King of Israel come down now from the Cross, so we may see and believe in Him."(Gospel of Mark).

As contemporary Jews of Christ, even the scribes and the High Priests wanted to get Christ down from the Cross to believe in Him to be the Son of God, essentially tempting Christ, so now the act of translation of liturgical texts in some way, wants to take down the knowledge of the Divine Liturgy at a reasonable level rather than experiencing the mystery of the Cross. Ignatius Brantzianinof said: "The Cross is the Cathedral Orthodox theology.”

But, as Jesus did not meet this demand and has remained on the Cross, thus saving people from death, so here, mutatis mutandis, should the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments to remain at the level of Orthodox theology, as to experience the Cross and Resurrection, and not to descend to the level of intellectualism, rationalism.
I regret that I say that, but I will try to illustrate with the following.
The Language of Symbols

Within the Divine Liturgy in addition to verbal language is the language of symbols, by which it is understood and what can not be understood by the linguistic formulation, which anyway is not enough to fully understand what exactly is going on.

The language of symbols experienced with the lighting of a candle, kissing of a sacred image, the oil lamps that give off tranquil light, the holy vessels and all that is to be found, and all that takes place in the Holy Temple, the way the Small and Great Entrances take place, the way the Presbyters and Deacons function, the way the Presbyters bless etc.

It is worthy noting that the Priest who is about to give the Apostolic blessing, that is to sign the people with the sign of the Cross, makes the Lord’s initials with his right hand, so the language of words is fulfilled with the language of symbols. There is a chance someone might see the grace contained in this blessing, as happened with a Turk, Ahmet, who did not know the Greek language, but he saw the Priest blessing and coming out of the Priest’s hands he saw the rays of Divine Grace, going from his hands to the  all the heads of the Christians that were there, except for his, something which made him believe in Christ, which in turn lead him to Baptism, after which he was martyred.

Within the Divine Liturgy only with the language of symbols can there be involved a little boy who is deaf and mute, but the same goes to us when we participate in Divine Liturgy in foreign languages that we do not understand logically. The identification of our participation in the Divine Liturgy to worship only in the verbal language, overlooking the importance of the symbolic language, in essence assumes that many categories of Christians do not participate in the Divine Liturgy.
Thus, the devaluation of the language symbols and the over appreciation the language of words in the  communion of divine worship is a serious theological problem.

The Logical Vision of Worship

The translation of prayers in order to understand the Divine Liturgy, anapodrastos leads to the view that perceived sense as a center of ecclesiastical and sacramental life, which is the logikokratia and rationalism.

Having said that, I know that another is the right reason is necessary for understanding among the people, for the formation and structure of thought in a reasonable shape, the proposals and the use of words, and another is the rationality that considers the center of all things logic and self-interpreted and even those connected with God and man.

When the Fathers of the Church, the soul is not only sensible course of action, but has other effects, such as mental energy, imagination, feeling, etc. Also, the logic is not a source of knowledge, even for human things . That is why science developed the so-called "emotional intelligence" claiming that there is within man "two minds", the logic and emotion and sees people being apolytopoii only one reason. This is demonstrated by imaging of the brain.

Also, these days we developed the so-called existential philosophy and psychology, which they consider beyond the logic there are other functions in the human person. Here lies the mistake of enlightenment, as shown later, another stream of romanticism, and later school of Chicago, who broke the authority of reason.

If this happens in human affairs, even more so in Orthodox theology. It is known that the center of the view that divine knowledge is the logic and processing done by it, created by Scholastic, and all this meticulous, rational system that we find in Thomas Aquinas and even in his «Summa Theologica».

Saturated and Varlaam by western scholasticism reached an agnosticism and even underestimate the Revelations of God and therefore thought the ancient Greek philosophers excess of the Prophets and the Apostles. Considering that the logic is the noblest part of man given by God, set in a weak position the visions of the Prophets, who believed "Our own noiseos watches.

St. Gregory grinding literally here, as they taught, the visions of the Prophets, the uncreated light seen by the students at Mount Tabor is a great revelation and manifestation of God in man. So the illiterate students was higher than the philosophers who had a strong sense.

Quote even many icons and patristic passages, like the stunning village of St. Gregory the Theologian that orthodox theology "alieftikos (as unlettered Apostles who were fishermen) and not aristotelikos. It is the classic maxim that St. "god frasai impossible noisai (= stochasthinai) and adynatoteron. We can not in logic to understand God. God revealed in the human heart and then makes sense as possible, this Revelation.

The amazing textbook of St. Gregory Palamas "On the sacredly hush 'so-called" Three triplets, thoroughly analyze the issue and has virtually guaranteed passengers.

The view that a logical understanding of liturgical texts in order to participate in divine worship and to gain knowledge of God excludes the illiterate from the worship and knowledge of God, deprive their infants, toddlers and children to worship and Holy Communion.

The western scholasticism is that led to the practice of separation of the Sacrament of Baptism by the sacrament of Confirmation and thus the sacrament of Holy Communion until puberty. The basis for this practice is that to accept the child to handle Confirmation and Holy Communion must understand the logic of what is happening.

We chrioume infants and Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, we know from our theology that infants receive the grace of God and developed before the brain and logic, and then having them act within the mental energy. Even the unborn can receive the Holy Spirit, as was done by John the Baptist, who when he was a baby was six months since the Prophet and made and Mother Profitida at St Gregory Palamas.

I feel that a thorough attempt to introduce a culture of the Orthodox Church with the translations of liturgical texts that we must understand the text reasonably be involved, which reverses the basic theological principle of double methodological knowledge, whereby otherwise known One of a created truth and otherwise know the uncreated truth, God, and part of that. In other words, no single truth about God and the world, and no single method is knowledge of God and the world as supportive of the practice of Western scholasticism.

Therefore, logikokratiki vision of Divine Worship introduces a kind of scholasticism in orthodox theology.

3. The logic and mental worship

Consequence of the above is that the worship of the Church is divided into logical worship and mental worship the man who really damage in the Church may participate together in both cults. This is the basis of Hesychasm Orthodox, the Orthodox niptikis life. According to the teachings of the holy Fathers of the Church of the human soul is rational and mentally. Hence there is a reasonable worship and mental worship.

From the tradition of the Church we know that infants have mental power, whereby they can see angels and saints, but not yet developed the logical brain, which will be refined later, as the child grows.

Thus, the Divine Liturgy is not simply to develop the logic function, but rather the development of mental functioning. That is, the translation of the apostolic blessing to the demotic language as "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you, will never to arrive in humans to understand logically What is the Grace of God, love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit, what is the Triune God and how can the grace of communion.

This knowledge is a matter of mental cardiac experience. The Apostle Paul speaks of engagement given to heart: "And the plus assurer us unto you in Christ and Christ greet God, and advancements sfragisamenos us and the engagement of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor a, 21-22 ).

After all, Christ said to His beatitudes necessary condition of pure heart for the sight of God and not the excitement of logic: "Blessed are the pure of heart that they opsontai God" (Matt. e, Cool. The same encounter, and the letters of the Apostles, which speaks to the heart as a prerequisite and basis theoptias.

It is known that when Jesus appeared to His disciples' diinoixen these synienai of the mind to the Scriptures "(Luke x, 45). The knowledge of the mystery is expressed in words is the human mind through the Revelation of God. We see clearly the wish before the Gospel: "illumination in our hearts, philanthropist, O Lord, to the knowledge of God Akiratos ing light and the eye opening of our intellectual (mind) at the preaching of the gospel I understand how ... Council For he, if the illumination of our souls and our bodies ...».

The main purpose of man is not reasonably understand the words, but to get into the depth of mystery, experience and communion emptying of the Son and Word of God through the revelation of God in the pure heart. Hence the apophatic theology is "the Golgotha of the human sense.

This means that the Divine Liturgy, which is reasonable worship, is closely connected with the mental worship. Furthermore, the kingdom of God to speak which many contemporary performers, teachers and academics, which is the manifestation and the communion of the uncreated grace of God, it is a matter of logic processing, but the case of pure mind and pure heart.

Infants, children and the saints participate in the Mass, making a mental worship may see yperkosmia dance floor, which the Saints speak, can see angels, while those based on rational understanding of the words are completely unaware of the knowledge of the mystery.

In the biography of Saint Nicholas Father Plana read that a child who had developed the mental energy he saw the Holy Father functioning Nicholas yperypsoutai to the ground, and shouted with enthusiasm to his mother. I think the kid that attended the Divine Liturgy in fact, even if they do not understand the words, while others were watching the logic simply watched. Or, to express myself in another way, I can not exclude the child from this communion of worship, because they could not understand the words. I guess that attended the Divine Liturgy more abstemious by other scholars who know the etymology and meaning of words.

The Apostle Paul writes: "the ability of us from God, who ikanosen us deacons and New Testament, my letter, but spirit; For what apoktennei letter, and the spirit gives life" (II Cor c 5-6).

Therefore, the mental worship Failure to take a deficit of Orthodox theology.

Generally, those simpler words of divine worship, even those with "high, conceptual, virtual, symbolic and emotional level" to understand logically the one hand, destroy our cultural wealth, on the other hand ignore the orthodox theology in full expression. Orthodox theology is meticulous, rational, but Disclosed mystery. And the mystery is not only logically understood.

Thus, the wording in the spirit moving through all the ascetic tradition of the Church. This means that those who hear analysis of the products and prattomenon the Divine Liturgy, it is also value preaching, the people who participate regularly in the Divine Liturgy can easily understand the letter and, above all, can get into the spirit with purity of heart and knowledge of the symbolic language of the Church.

Filokalikoi The Fathers of the 18th century, and dubbing done in various patristic texts, not daring to compile the wishes of the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, though the intellectual level of the people was low.

So, those who remain at a reasonable understanding of liturgical texts show that ignoring the orthodox theology, so when the Great Kingdom 'and my technologousi theologousi. It only needs a reasonable understanding of the texts for translation, but initiation in the life of the Church and the mystery of Christ and emptying of theosis of man.

I think we have some modern Orthodox theology and deficit reflect a theology, which is influenced by the Papal Protestant scholasticism and moralism, so arbitrary and improvise within the Church.
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« Reply #119 on: April 19, 2010, 03:26:39 PM »

His Eminance Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos wrote an article a few days ago on this issue. I don't have the time to translate it fully, but I put it in google translator, and cleaned up the first part. I might be able to clean up parts 2 and 3 sometime later, but for the most part it makes sense. Oh... the English rendering of parts 2 and 3 actually illustrates pretty well the difference between ancient and modern Greek. You all know English, it's a bit clunky, but if you read it slowly you'll be able to understand whats being said.

Here goes...

Recently as never before, there is a 'Frenzy' of translations of liturgical texts and prayers, operating with unpredictable consequences.
One of the consequences, the most characteristic, is creating new hopes of the Divine Liturgy, the use of Homeric words. That is, some moves to simplify the liturgical language, others to "enrich" it in epic terms, while not realizing that the Fathers of the Church were very good at reading Homer.

I think this whole mindset needs to be addressed by the Holy Synod, because arbitrage must stop. Nowadays attempts are being made that were not undertaken during the time of the Turks, but then the level of education was low, now it is high.

There are many arguments have been raised by many against the translation of liturgical prayers, even while it was blessed by Archbishop Christodoulos as he tried to introduce a parallel reading of the Epistle and Gospel  in the vernacular language and it is well known as he realized the damage done to the unity of Church, he restored things to their old state. The new trend is likely to damage the texts of the Divine Liturgy, the holy Mysteries, and other liturgical texts by introducing them into the folk tongue. We risk seeing schisms within the Body of the Church.

Bypassing many arguments against the introduction of the demotic language into divine worship already made, I will confine myself only to emphasize that such an effort is truly deficit of Orthodox theology, not to express myself harder. It shows that there is no basic Orthodox theology, or rather with such a surface is expressed Orthodox theology, based on practical usefulness. The trend was initiated from a pastoral need, however, it selected but the easiest solution. I think that is an influence from the western scholasticism.
Basically, this idea is the "last temptation" of Christ on the Cross faced by bystanders there: "If Thou art the Son of God, save Thyself and descended from the Cross ... Let the Christ the King of Israel come down now from the Cross, so we may see and believe in Him."(Gospel of Mark).

As contemporary Jews of Christ, even the scribes and the High Priests wanted to get Christ down from the Cross to believe in Him to be the Son of God, essentially tempting Christ, so now the act of translation of liturgical texts in some way, wants to take down the knowledge of the Divine Liturgy at a reasonable level rather than experiencing the mystery of the Cross. Ignatius Brantzianinof said: "The Cross is the Cathedral Orthodox theology.”

But, as Jesus did not meet this demand and has remained on the Cross, thus saving people from death, so here, mutatis mutandis, should the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments to remain at the level of Orthodox theology, as to experience the Cross and Resurrection, and not to descend to the level of intellectualism, rationalism.
I regret that I say that, but I will try to illustrate with the following.
The Language of Symbols

Within the Divine Liturgy in addition to verbal language is the language of symbols, by which it is understood and what can not be understood by the linguistic formulation, which anyway is not enough to fully understand what exactly is going on.

The language of symbols experienced with the lighting of a candle, kissing of a sacred image, the oil lamps that give off tranquil light, the holy vessels and all that is to be found, and all that takes place in the Holy Temple, the way the Small and Great Entrances take place, the way the Presbyters and Deacons function, the way the Presbyters bless etc.

It is worthy noting that the Priest who is about to give the Apostolic blessing, that is to sign the people with the sign of the Cross, makes the Lord’s initials with his right hand, so the language of words is fulfilled with the language of symbols. There is a chance someone might see the grace contained in this blessing, as happened with a Turk, Ahmet, who did not know the Greek language, but he saw the Priest blessing and coming out of the Priest’s hands he saw the rays of Divine Grace, going from his hands to the  all the heads of the Christians that were there, except for his, something which made him believe in Christ, which in turn lead him to Baptism, after which he was martyred.

Within the Divine Liturgy only with the language of symbols can there be involved a little boy who is deaf and mute, but the same goes to us when we participate in Divine Liturgy in foreign languages that we do not understand logically. The identification of our participation in the Divine Liturgy to worship only in the verbal language, overlooking the importance of the symbolic language, in essence assumes that many categories of Christians do not participate in the Divine Liturgy.
Thus, the devaluation of the language symbols and the over appreciation the language of words in the  communion of divine worship is a serious theological problem.

The Logical Vision of Worship

The translation of prayers in order to understand the Divine Liturgy, anapodrastos leads to the view that perceived sense as a center of ecclesiastical and sacramental life, which is the logikokratia and rationalism.

Having said that, I know that another is the right reason is necessary for understanding among the people, for the formation and structure of thought in a reasonable shape, the proposals and the use of words, and another is the rationality that considers the center of all things logic and self-interpreted and even those connected with God and man.

When the Fathers of the Church, the soul is not only sensible course of action, but has other effects, such as mental energy, imagination, feeling, etc. Also, the logic is not a source of knowledge, even for human things . That is why science developed the so-called "emotional intelligence" claiming that there is within man "two minds", the logic and emotion and sees people being apolytopoii only one reason. This is demonstrated by imaging of the brain.

Also, these days we developed the so-called existential philosophy and psychology, which they consider beyond the logic there are other functions in the human person. Here lies the mistake of enlightenment, as shown later, another stream of romanticism, and later school of Chicago, who broke the authority of reason.

If this happens in human affairs, even more so in Orthodox theology. It is known that the center of the view that divine knowledge is the logic and processing done by it, created by Scholastic, and all this meticulous, rational system that we find in Thomas Aquinas and even in his «Summa Theologica».

Saturated and Varlaam by western scholasticism reached an agnosticism and even underestimate the Revelations of God and therefore thought the ancient Greek philosophers excess of the Prophets and the Apostles. Considering that the logic is the noblest part of man given by God, set in a weak position the visions of the Prophets, who believed "Our own noiseos watches.

St. Gregory grinding literally here, as they taught, the visions of the Prophets, the uncreated light seen by the students at Mount Tabor is a great revelation and manifestation of God in man. So the illiterate students was higher than the philosophers who had a strong sense.

Quote even many icons and patristic passages, like the stunning village of St. Gregory the Theologian that orthodox theology "alieftikos (as unlettered Apostles who were fishermen) and not aristotelikos. It is the classic maxim that St. "god frasai impossible noisai (= stochasthinai) and adynatoteron. We can not in logic to understand God. God revealed in the human heart and then makes sense as possible, this Revelation.

The amazing textbook of St. Gregory Palamas "On the sacredly hush 'so-called" Three triplets, thoroughly analyze the issue and has virtually guaranteed passengers.

The view that a logical understanding of liturgical texts in order to participate in divine worship and to gain knowledge of God excludes the illiterate from the worship and knowledge of God, deprive their infants, toddlers and children to worship and Holy Communion.

The western scholasticism is that led to the practice of separation of the Sacrament of Baptism by the sacrament of Confirmation and thus the sacrament of Holy Communion until puberty. The basis for this practice is that to accept the child to handle Confirmation and Holy Communion must understand the logic of what is happening.

We chrioume infants and Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, we know from our theology that infants receive the grace of God and developed before the brain and logic, and then having them act within the mental energy. Even the unborn can receive the Holy Spirit, as was done by John the Baptist, who when he was a baby was six months since the Prophet and made and Mother Profitida at St Gregory Palamas.

I feel that a thorough attempt to introduce a culture of the Orthodox Church with the translations of liturgical texts that we must understand the text reasonably be involved, which reverses the basic theological principle of double methodological knowledge, whereby otherwise known One of a created truth and otherwise know the uncreated truth, God, and part of that. In other words, no single truth about God and the world, and no single method is knowledge of God and the world as supportive of the practice of Western scholasticism.

Therefore, logikokratiki vision of Divine Worship introduces a kind of scholasticism in orthodox theology.

3. The logic and mental worship

Consequence of the above is that the worship of the Church is divided into logical worship and mental worship the man who really damage in the Church may participate together in both cults. This is the basis of Hesychasm Orthodox, the Orthodox niptikis life. According to the teachings of the holy Fathers of the Church of the human soul is rational and mentally. Hence there is a reasonable worship and mental worship.

From the tradition of the Church we know that infants have mental power, whereby they can see angels and saints, but not yet developed the logical brain, which will be refined later, as the child grows.

Thus, the Divine Liturgy is not simply to develop the logic function, but rather the development of mental functioning. That is, the translation of the apostolic blessing to the demotic language as "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you, will never to arrive in humans to understand logically What is the Grace of God, love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit, what is the Triune God and how can the grace of communion.

This knowledge is a matter of mental cardiac experience. The Apostle Paul speaks of engagement given to heart: "And the plus assurer us unto you in Christ and Christ greet God, and advancements sfragisamenos us and the engagement of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor a, 21-22 ).

After all, Christ said to His beatitudes necessary condition of pure heart for the sight of God and not the excitement of logic: "Blessed are the pure of heart that they opsontai God" (Matt. e, Cool. The same encounter, and the letters of the Apostles, which speaks to the heart as a prerequisite and basis theoptias.

It is known that when Jesus appeared to His disciples' diinoixen these synienai of the mind to the Scriptures "(Luke x, 45). The knowledge of the mystery is expressed in words is the human mind through the Revelation of God. We see clearly the wish before the Gospel: "illumination in our hearts, philanthropist, O Lord, to the knowledge of God Akiratos ing light and the eye opening of our intellectual (mind) at the preaching of the gospel I understand how ... Council For he, if the illumination of our souls and our bodies ...».

The main purpose of man is not reasonably understand the words, but to get into the depth of mystery, experience and communion emptying of the Son and Word of God through the revelation of God in the pure heart. Hence the apophatic theology is "the Golgotha of the human sense.

This means that the Divine Liturgy, which is reasonable worship, is closely connected with the mental worship. Furthermore, the kingdom of God to speak which many contemporary performers, teachers and academics, which is the manifestation and the communion of the uncreated grace of God, it is a matter of logic processing, but the case of pure mind and pure heart.

Infants, children and the saints participate in the Mass, making a mental worship may see yperkosmia dance floor, which the Saints speak, can see angels, while those based on rational understanding of the words are completely unaware of the knowledge of the mystery.

In the biography of Saint Nicholas Father Plana read that a child who had developed the mental energy he saw the Holy Father functioning Nicholas yperypsoutai to the ground, and shouted with enthusiasm to his mother. I think the kid that attended the Divine Liturgy in fact, even if they do not understand the words, while others were watching the logic simply watched. Or, to express myself in another way, I can not exclude the child from this communion of worship, because they could not understand the words. I guess that attended the Divine Liturgy more abstemious by other scholars who know the etymology and meaning of words.

The Apostle Paul writes: "the ability of us from God, who ikanosen us deacons and New Testament, my letter, but spirit; For what apoktennei letter, and the spirit gives life" (II Cor c 5-6).

Therefore, the mental worship Failure to take a deficit of Orthodox theology.

Generally, those simpler words of divine worship, even those with "high, conceptual, virtual, symbolic and emotional level" to understand logically the one hand, destroy our cultural wealth, on the other hand ignore the orthodox theology in full expression. Orthodox theology is meticulous, rational, but Disclosed mystery. And the mystery is not only logically understood.

Thus, the wording in the spirit moving through all the ascetic tradition of the Church. This means that those who hear analysis of the products and prattomenon the Divine Liturgy, it is also value preaching, the people who participate regularly in the Divine Liturgy can easily understand the letter and, above all, can get into the spirit with purity of heart and knowledge of the symbolic language of the Church.

Filokalikoi The Fathers of the 18th century, and dubbing done in various patristic texts, not daring to compile the wishes of the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, though the intellectual level of the people was low.

So, those who remain at a reasonable understanding of liturgical texts show that ignoring the orthodox theology, so when the Great Kingdom 'and my technologousi theologousi. It only needs a reasonable understanding of the texts for translation, but initiation in the life of the Church and the mystery of Christ and emptying of theosis of man.

I think we have some modern Orthodox theology and deficit reflect a theology, which is influenced by the Papal Protestant scholasticism and moralism, so arbitrary and improvise within the Church.


A brutal translation, lol.
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« Reply #120 on: April 19, 2010, 03:26:58 PM »

His Eminance Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos wrote an article a few days ago on this issue. I don't have the time to translate it fully, but I put it in google translator, and cleaned up the first part. I might be able to clean up parts 2 and 3 sometime later, but for the most part it makes sense. Oh... the English rendering of parts 2 and 3 actually illustrates pretty well the difference between ancient and modern Greek. You all know English, it's a bit clunky, but if you read it slowly you'll be able to understand whats being said.

Here goes...

Recently as never before, there is a 'Frenzy' of translations of liturgical texts and prayers, operating with unpredictable consequences.
One of the consequences, the most characteristic, is creating new hopes of the Divine Liturgy, the use of Homeric words. That is, some moves to simplify the liturgical language, others to "enrich" it in epic terms, while not realizing that the Fathers of the Church were very good at reading Homer.

I think this whole mindset needs to be addressed by the Holy Synod, because arbitrage must stop. Nowadays attempts are being made that were not undertaken during the time of the Turks, but then the level of education was low, now it is high.

There are many arguments have been raised by many against the translation of liturgical prayers, even while it was blessed by Archbishop Christodoulos as he tried to introduce a parallel reading of the Epistle and Gospel  in the vernacular language and it is well known as he realized the damage done to the unity of Church, he restored things to their old state. The new trend is likely to damage the texts of the Divine Liturgy, the holy Mysteries, and other liturgical texts by introducing them into the folk tongue. We risk seeing schisms within the Body of the Church.

Bypassing many arguments against the introduction of the demotic language into divine worship already made, I will confine myself only to emphasize that such an effort is truly deficit of Orthodox theology, not to express myself harder. It shows that there is no basic Orthodox theology, or rather with such a surface is expressed Orthodox theology, based on practical usefulness. The trend was initiated from a pastoral need, however, it selected but the easiest solution. I think that is an influence from the western scholasticism.
Basically, this idea is the "last temptation" of Christ on the Cross faced by bystanders there: "If Thou art the Son of God, save Thyself and descended from the Cross ... Let the Christ the King of Israel come down now from the Cross, so we may see and believe in Him."(Gospel of Mark).

As contemporary Jews of Christ, even the scribes and the High Priests wanted to get Christ down from the Cross to believe in Him to be the Son of God, essentially tempting Christ, so now the act of translation of liturgical texts in some way, wants to take down the knowledge of the Divine Liturgy at a reasonable level rather than experiencing the mystery of the Cross. Ignatius Brantzianinof said: "The Cross is the Cathedral Orthodox theology.”

I'm pressed for time but 1) demotic does not=folk, and hasn't for some time now (I'd have to see the original to see what he was refering to for sure). 2) Christ spoke Aramaic, not Hebrew from the Cross, if we want to make comparisons.

I don't know of anyone who wants to put the DL in Epic verse, so I don't know what HE+ is alleging here.

Quote
But, as Jesus did not meet this demand and has remained on the Cross, thus saving people from death, so here, mutatis mutandis, should the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments to remain at the level of Orthodox theology, as to experience the Cross and Resurrection, and not to descend to the level of intellectualism, rationalism.

hocus pocus, or hoc corpus meus est?

Quote
I regret that I say that, but I will try to illustrate with the following.
The Language of Symbols

Within the Divine Liturgy in addition to verbal language is the language of symbols, by which it is understood and what can not be understood by the linguistic formulation, which anyway is not enough to fully understand what exactly is going on.

The language of symbols experienced with the lighting of a candle, kissing of a sacred image, the oil lamps that give off tranquil light, the holy vessels and all that is to be found, and all that takes place in the Holy Temple, the way the Small and Great Entrances take place, the way the Presbyters and Deacons function, the way the Presbyters bless etc.

It is worthy noting that the Priest who is about to give the Apostolic blessing, that is to sign the people with the sign of the Cross, makes the Lord’s initials with his right hand, so the language of words is fulfilled with the language of symbols. There is a chance someone might see the grace contained in this blessing, as happened with a Turk, Ahmet, who did not know the Greek language, but he saw the Priest blessing and coming out of the Priest’s hands he saw the rays of Divine Grace, going from his hands to the  all the heads of the Christians that were there, except for his, something which made him believe in Christ, which in turn lead him to Baptism, after which he was martyred.

Within the Divine Liturgy only with the language of symbols can there be involved a little boy who is deaf and mute, but the same goes to us when we participate in Divine Liturgy in foreign languages that we do not understand logically. The identification of our participation in the Divine Liturgy to worship only in the verbal language, overlooking the importance of the symbolic language, in essence assumes that many categories of Christians do not participate in the Divine Liturgy.

Excuses, not reasons, not to translate.

Quote
Thus, the devaluation of the language symbols and the over appreciation the language of words in the  communion of divine worship is a serious theological problem.

The Logical Vision of Worship

The translation of prayers in order to understand the Divine Liturgy, anapodrastos leads to the view that perceived sense as a center of ecclesiastical and sacramental life, which is the logikokratia and rationalism.

Having said that, I know that another is the right reason is necessary for understanding among the people, for the formation and structure of thought in a reasonable shape, the proposals and the use of words, and another is the rationality that considers the center of all things logic and self-interpreted and even those connected with God and man.

When the Fathers of the Church, the soul is not only sensible course of action, but has other effects, such as mental energy, imagination, feeling, etc. Also, the logic is not a source of knowledge, even for human things . That is why science developed the so-called "emotional intelligence" claiming that there is within man "two minds", the logic and emotion and sees people being apolytopoii only one reason. This is demonstrated by imaging of the brain.

Also, these days we developed the so-called existential philosophy and psychology, which they consider beyond the logic there are other functions in the human person. Here lies the mistake of enlightenment, as shown later, another stream of romanticism, and later school of Chicago, who broke the authority of reason.

If this happens in human affairs, even more so in Orthodox theology. It is known that the center of the view that divine knowledge is the logic and processing done by it, created by Scholastic, and all this meticulous, rational system that we find in Thomas Aquinas and even in his «Summa Theologica».

Saturated and Varlaam by western scholasticism reached an agnosticism and even underestimate the Revelations of God and therefore thought the ancient Greek philosophers excess of the Prophets and the Apostles. Considering that the logic is the noblest part of man given by God, set in a weak position the visions of the Prophets, who believed "Our own noiseos watches.

St. Gregory grinding literally here, as they taught, the visions of the Prophets, the uncreated light seen by the students at Mount Tabor is a great revelation and manifestation of God in man. So the illiterate students was higher than the philosophers who had a strong sense.

Quote even many icons and patristic passages, like the stunning village of St. Gregory the Theologian that orthodox theology "alieftikos (as unlettered Apostles who were fishermen) and not aristotelikos. It is the classic maxim that St. "god frasai impossible noisai (= stochasthinai) and adynatoteron. We can not in logic to understand God. God revealed in the human heart and then makes sense as possible, this Revelation.

The amazing textbook of St. Gregory Palamas "On the sacredly hush 'so-called" Three triplets, thoroughly analyze the issue and has virtually guaranteed passengers.

The view that a logical understanding of liturgical texts in order to participate in divine worship and to gain knowledge of God excludes the illiterate from the worship and knowledge of God, deprive their infants, toddlers and children to worship and Holy Communion.

The western scholasticism is that led to the practice of separation of the Sacrament of Baptism by the sacrament of Confirmation and thus the sacrament of Holy Communion until puberty. The basis for this practice is that to accept the child to handle Confirmation and Holy Communion must understand the logic of what is happening.

We chrioume infants and Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, we know from our theology that infants receive the grace of God and developed before the brain and logic, and then having them act within the mental energy. Even the unborn can receive the Holy Spirit, as was done by John the Baptist, who when he was a baby was six months since the Prophet and made and Mother Profitida at St Gregory Palamas.

I feel that a thorough attempt to introduce a culture of the Orthodox Church with the translations of liturgical texts that we must understand the text reasonably be involved, which reverses the basic theological principle of double methodological knowledge, whereby otherwise known One of a created truth and otherwise know the uncreated truth, God, and part of that. In other words, no single truth about God and the world, and no single method is knowledge of God and the world as supportive of the practice of Western scholasticism.

Therefore, logikokratiki vision of Divine Worship introduces a kind of scholasticism in orthodox theology.

Somehow I doubt the Greek would clear things up here: seems to be saying words don't matter.


Quote
3. The logic and mental worship

Consequence of the above is that the worship of the Church is divided into logical worship and mental worship the man who really damage in the Church may participate together in both cults. This is the basis of Hesychasm Orthodox, the Orthodox niptikis life. According to the teachings of the holy Fathers of the Church of the human soul is rational and mentally. Hence there is a reasonable worship and mental worship.

From the tradition of the Church we know that infants have mental power, whereby they can see angels and saints, but not yet developed the logical brain, which will be refined later, as the child grows.

Thus, the Divine Liturgy is not simply to develop the logic function, but rather the development of mental functioning. That is, the translation of the apostolic blessing to the demotic language as "the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you, will never to arrive in humans to understand logically What is the Grace of God, love of God the Father and the communion of the Holy Spirit, what is the Triune God and how can the grace of communion.

This knowledge is a matter of mental cardiac experience. The Apostle Paul speaks of engagement given to heart: "And the plus assurer us unto you in Christ and Christ greet God, and advancements sfragisamenos us and the engagement of the Spirit in our hearts" (II Cor a, 21-22 ).

After all, Christ said to His beatitudes necessary condition of pure heart for the sight of God and not the excitement of logic: "Blessed are the pure of heart that they opsontai God" (Matt. e, Cool. The same encounter, and the letters of the Apostles, which speaks to the heart as a prerequisite and basis theoptias.

It is known that when Jesus appeared to His disciples' diinoixen these synienai of the mind to the Scriptures "(Luke x, 45). The knowledge of the mystery is expressed in words is the human mind through the Revelation of God. We see clearly the wish before the Gospel: "illumination in our hearts, philanthropist, O Lord, to the knowledge of God Akiratos ing light and the eye opening of our intellectual (mind) at the preaching of the gospel I understand how ... Council For he, if the illumination of our souls and our bodies ...».

The main purpose of man is not reasonably understand the words, but to get into the depth of mystery, experience and communion emptying of the Son and Word of God through the revelation of God in the pure heart. Hence the apophatic theology is "the Golgotha of the human sense.

This means that the Divine Liturgy, which is reasonable worship, is closely connected with the mental worship. Furthermore, the kingdom of God to speak which many contemporary performers, teachers and academics, which is the manifestation and the communion of the uncreated grace of God, it is a matter of logic processing, but the case of pure mind and pure heart.

Infants, children and the saints participate in the Mass, making a mental worship may see yperkosmia dance floor, which the Saints speak, can see angels, while those based on rational understanding of the words are completely unaware of the knowledge of the mystery.

In the biography of Saint Nicholas Father Plana read that a child who had developed the mental energy he saw the Holy Father functioning Nicholas yperypsoutai to the ground, and shouted with enthusiasm to his mother. I think the kid that attended the Divine Liturgy in fact, even if they do not understand the words, while others were watching the logic simply watched. Or, to express myself in another way, I can not exclude the child from this communion of worship, because they could not understand the words. I guess that attended the Divine Liturgy more abstemious by other scholars who know the etymology and meaning of words.

The Apostle Paul writes: "the ability of us from God, who ikanosen us deacons and New Testament, my letter, but spirit; For what apoktennei letter, and the spirit gives life" (II Cor c 5-6).

Therefore, the mental worship Failure to take a deficit of Orthodox theology.

Generally, those simpler words of divine worship, even those with "high, conceptual, virtual, symbolic and emotional level" to understand logically the one hand, destroy our cultural wealth, on the other hand ignore the orthodox theology in full expression. Orthodox theology is meticulous, rational, but Disclosed mystery. And the mystery is not only logically understood.

Thus, the wording in the spirit moving through all the ascetic tradition of the Church. This means that those who hear analysis of the products and prattomenon the Divine Liturgy, it is also value preaching, the people who participate regularly in the Divine Liturgy can easily understand the letter and, above all, can get into the spirit with purity of heart and knowledge of the symbolic language of the Church.

Filokalikoi The Fathers of the 18th century, and dubbing done in various patristic texts, not daring to compile the wishes of the Divine Liturgy and the Sacraments, though the intellectual level of the people was low.

So, those who remain at a reasonable understanding of liturgical texts show that ignoring the orthodox theology, so when the Great Kingdom 'and my technologousi theologousi. It only needs a reasonable understanding of the texts for translation, but initiation in the life of the Church and the mystery of Christ and emptying of theosis of man.

I think we have some modern Orthodox theology and deficit reflect a theology, which is influenced by the Papal Protestant scholasticism and moralism, so arbitrary and improvise within the Church.

Is he propsing that the Faithful be kept on a milk diet?
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« Reply #121 on: April 19, 2010, 03:29:17 PM »

Peter's point on, and Father HLL's eloboration of, the boundaries or freedom of action of a diocesan bishop is on point. Canon 34 does say that the diocesan bishop must not do anything of import without getting his Metropolitan's OK (in this case it would be the Holy Synod). It is clear that the diocesan bishop had not obtained the approval of the Holy Synod. What is not clear is why this issue was considered by the Holy Synod to be a matter of such import that it lays within its purview.

I would submit that language is at the heart of the identification of oneself as part of a particular nation or ethnicity. In the case of modern Greeks/Hellenes, the language may also be what bridges the history of Greeks throughout the ages. It may be that the use of an ancient version of the language means sharing of the glory that once was Greece. It may be that language is integral to the modern interpretation of Hellenism as a universal blessing, that all mankind can benefit from. Thus, I would think that any kind of deviation is a matter of import to all Greeks and/or Hellenes, be they in the Patriarchate of Constantinople or the Church of Greece, in the old country or in the barbarian lands of Australia, the Americas, and even Western Europe.  The following excerpts may be useful in understanding what I am driving at.

"The Ideals of Ancient Greece Important to All
AHEPA members are proud of the contributions the ancient Greeks gifted to Western Civilization.  As Americans, we share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy.  This is the essence of our heritage.  This is the core of our mission."
http://ahepa.org/dotnetnuke/About/Mission.aspx

"The mission of the Greek Education and Culture Committee of the Atlanta Metropolis is the preservation and promotion of the Greek language: the language of the Bible, Greek Orthodoxy and the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church; the language of our ancestors; the richest language and mother of many other languages in the world. Together with the preservation and promotion of the Greek language, the Committee's mission is the promotion of the great Greek civilization, the glorious Greek history and traditions, holy heritage and unsurpassed values for the generations of today and tomorrow."
http://www.atlanta.goarch.org/index.php?pr=Greek_Education

I think other Orthodox churches, who also use ancient forms of their national language (Russia and Bulgaria come to mind), could make similar arguments. In any case, all of these arguments would be based on more than theological or ecclesiastical reasons. We all know how important the Church was to the shedding of the Ottoman yoke in the Balkans. We all know that nascent nations do need to have something from their past that they can point to with pride. I just hope that we acknowledge these many and very important non-religious factors that have, nonetheless, become intertwined into our faith.

This argument can lead to a slippery slope. The devotion to the preservation of an ancient liturgical language may historically be based upon many justifications - both theological and cultural. But, can the justifications actually narrow in the minds of the faithful over the passage of time to rest exclusively upon a misplaced theological assumption?

If that is the case, one is led to an absolutist position that no modern language should ever be used to express the ancient teachings. Why then would Slavonic be excepted from such a broad conclusion? It didn't exist in the days of the Fathers, did it? What about the rubrics of the Church? Are they to reflect say, Constantinopolitan practice of 1450. or 1200 or 700 or 1959? How about pre- and post- Nikonian Russian practice? We can spin round and round until we drop thinking about these things.

In my heart, I truly believe that there is a valid place for our 'old' languages in our devotions. However, this place IMHO should not exclude the modern, spoken word as the primary means to express and propagate our Faith.

All good points.  
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« Reply #122 on: April 19, 2010, 03:36:44 PM »

^
Sometimes, we just must make a choice between what we want and what the Lord wants.

Excellent statement.   That's the difficult part.  We have to be a people that are more than just nominal Christians in order to even consider that we must make this choice.  What God wants is not even on the radar screen for many of our people (clergy included).  We must constantly struggle and pray that God delivers us from our own reasonings.  Otherwise we will continue to be in the mess that we are in or worse. 
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« Reply #123 on: April 19, 2010, 03:37:07 PM »

Peter's point on, and Father HLL's eloboration of, the boundaries or freedom of action of a diocesan bishop is on point. Canon 34 does say that the diocesan bishop must not do anything of import without getting his Metropolitan's OK (in this case it would be the Holy Synod). It is clear that the diocesan bishop had not obtained the approval of the Holy Synod. What is not clear is why this issue was considered by the Holy Synod to be a matter of such import that it lays within its purview.

I would submit that language is at the heart of the identification of oneself as part of a particular nation or ethnicity. In the case of modern Greeks/Hellenes, the language may also be what bridges the history of Greeks throughout the ages. It may be that the use of an ancient version of the language means sharing of the glory that once was Greece. It may be that language is integral to the modern interpretation of Hellenism as a universal blessing, that all mankind can benefit from. Thus, I would think that any kind of deviation is a matter of import to all Greeks and/or Hellenes, be they in the Patriarchate of Constantinople or the Church of Greece, in the old country or in the barbarian lands of Australia, the Americas, and even Western Europe.  The following excerpts may be useful in understanding what I am driving at.

"The Ideals of Ancient Greece Important to All
AHEPA members are proud of the contributions the ancient Greeks gifted to Western Civilization.  As Americans, we share many of the values put forth by them: civic responsibility, philanthropy, education, family and individual excellence, and the ideals of democracy.  This is the essence of our heritage.  This is the core of our mission."
http://ahepa.org/dotnetnuke/About/Mission.aspx

"The mission of the Greek Education and Culture Committee of the Atlanta Metropolis is the preservation and promotion of the Greek language: the language of the Bible, Greek Orthodoxy and the Fathers of the Greek Orthodox Church; the language of our ancestors; the richest language and mother of many other languages in the world. Together with the preservation and promotion of the Greek language, the Committee's mission is the promotion of the great Greek civilization, the glorious Greek history and traditions, holy heritage and unsurpassed values for the generations of today and tomorrow."
http://www.atlanta.goarch.org/index.php?pr=Greek_Education

I think other Orthodox churches, who also use ancient forms of their national language (Russia and Bulgaria come to mind), could make similar arguments. In any case, all of these arguments would be based on more than theological or ecclesiastical reasons. We all know how important the Church was to the shedding of the Ottoman yoke in the Balkans. We all know that nascent nations do need to have something from their past that they can point to with pride. I just hope that we acknowledge these many and very important non-religious factors that have, nonetheless, become intertwined into our faith.

This argument can lead to a slippery slope. The devotion to the preservation of an ancient liturgical language may historically be based upon many justifications - both theological and cultural. But, can the justifications actually narrow in the minds of the faithful over the passage of time to rest exclusively upon a misplaced theological assumption?

If that is the case, one is led to an absolutist position that no modern language should ever be used to express the ancient teachings. Why then would Slavonic be excepted from such a broad conclusion? It didn't exist in the days of the Fathers, did it? What about the rubrics of the Church? Are they to reflect say, Constantinopolitan practice of 1450. or 1200 or 700 or 1959? How about pre- and post- Nikonian Russian practice? We can spin round and round until we drop thinking about these things.

In my heart, I truly believe that there is a valid place for our 'old' languages in our devotions. However, this place IMHO should not exclude the modern, spoken word as the primary means to express and propagate our Faith.

All good points.  

While we Orthodox twiddle around, the devil does his work and more Pentacostals baptize the churched and the unchurched in the Dneiper and elsewhere across the globe. The Theotokos surely weeps for Her Son's Church, left to the hands of man's vanity and fear.
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« Reply #124 on: April 19, 2010, 03:41:28 PM »

How can the people say Amen to something that is not understood?

This is something that needs to not just be addressed by the Church in Greece, but the Church in Diaspora as well. Any parish that uses a language that is not the vernacular of the people has to be aware that the faithful will have no idea as to what is going on.

I saw this clearly illustrated to me last with with my very own father.

My Dad was raised in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church his entire life. Every time he would try to follow along in the Liturgy books, he would get lost, frustrated, put the book down, and carry along even though he did not know what was going on. (He does not speak/read/write Ukrainian, and for most of his life the Liturgy in our parish was done mostly in Ukrainian, with a little English. Only in recent years that has changed.)

He keeps telling me he wants to learn the Liturgy.

Last week I had a cold, so rather than going up in the choir I sat with him during Liturgy and tried to help him along in the service book. He kept getting lost and frustrated, but really tried to stick with it.

At one point he leaned over and said to me "Where are we?"

We had just started to sing "Otche Nash."

In my mind, since I studied a little Ukrainian (very little...very, very little) and I sing in the choir, I *know* this is the "Our Father." For a moment I was going to give him a look like "How can you not know what this is?"

Then it occurred to me, "Why should he know? He doesn't speak the language."

So I simply pointed it out to him and carried on.

This broke my heart. For over 57 years my father has been coming to Church every week, not knowing when the most fundamental prayer of our faith, the prayer given to us by Christ himself began.

And it isn't just my father but all of my relatives and many members of the parish. Heck, when I was going to the GOA Cathedral in Atlanta, I had friends who could read, write, and speak modern Greek fluently, but could not understand the Liturgy.

To keep the Liturgy in a language that the faithful cannot understand is ludicrous and goes against the mission of the Church. Why did the Holy Spirit descend upon the Apostles with the gift of tongues on Pentacost if the Gospel is to be proclaimed in one language only?

On Pascha, we exclaim "Christ is risen!" in a plethora of languages to emphasize the universal message of the Resurrection of Christ. Why then, are we ignorant of the universal message of the Gospel the other 51 weeks of the year?

Excellent post.  Perhaps this should be submitted to the UOW.   
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« Reply #125 on: April 19, 2010, 04:29:34 PM »

Some recent anecdotes from a GOA parish:

Priest: I think I'm going to have you read the Epistle in Hebrew next week.
Me: But no one, including me, will know what I am saying.
Priest: No one knows what you are saying when you read it in Greek, either.
(No, I didn't do it, and yes, we read it in English whenever they LET us.)

Quote
In my mind, since I studied a little Ukrainian (very little...very, very little) and I sing in the choir, I *know* this is the "Our Father." For a moment I was going to give him a look like "How can you not know what this is?"

My dad can recite the Lord's Prayer and Creed in Greek, but cannot translate either.

Quote
ialmisry: ...hoc corpus meus est

It took me a minute to figure out what this meant Wink

Quote
ialmisry: Is he propsing that the Faithful be kept on a milk diet?

Not long after Holy Week, my dad was somewhat upset because someone showed him a Russian icon of the Descent into Hades. He had no idea that Orthodox believe in the Descent into Hades; he thought it was Roman Catholics only. If 10% of the Holy Week services had been a language he could understand...

Want to hear another one? A priest in Greece has the Epistle read in English. People go up to him after the Liturgy and tell him they understood the Reading for the first time in their life....
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« Reply #126 on: April 19, 2010, 04:32:54 PM »

Hey Everyone! Hristos Anesti!

Wonder how they are planning on rendering that in modern Greek... um.... you can't. Koinie Greek and modern Greek are 98% related, and many words are shared. It's not two languages. It's the modern and ancient version of the same language, so there is no issue about translating. Many of the hymns like the eight resurrectional troparia, the hymns from the octoechos for Sundays, the hymns for major saints and major feasts - including kathismata, stihira, eirmoi for the canons doxastika - are known to the average Church goer. The Holy Week hymns sung at Matins each night, especially of the last few days, and of Pascha are imprinted I'd say in the faithfuls memory and heart. Changing all that would.... it would ruin ecclesiastical life. First of all they can't be re rendered, simplifying them will just cause them to loose their depth and beauty.

The main argument for modern Greek is: Why, people don't come cause they don't understand!

People don't come because they are lazy and just would rather stay up all night partying and then sleep in on Sunday morning, in other words they don't care. Greece as a nation has been on the down hill since being freed from the Turks in 1821, one disaster after the other. Like where to begin. They brought in a Catholic monarch to rule them, and everyone went to modernize the Church and be pro Western. They eventually changed the order of services, and then the calender in 1924. In the late 70s when the social democrats took over they did away with politonics (multiple stresses in the alphabet) which only the Church retained. Result? You can still read Church texts, but with some difficulty. They also stopped teaching kids koinie Greek in school. Now everyone knows about the massive campaign the social democrats are undertaking to rid the Church from society. Taking down icons from government institutions, schools, court rooms etc, abolishing morning prayer in the schools so we don't "offend" anyone. Alls I have to say about that is this, when you come to my house, you follow my rules. They let in all those Albanians are Muslims and God knows what else, the place is going to turn out into a little Kurdistan pretty soon. The new thing now is to tax the Church to kingdom come. And people who don't know anything will say oh yes, the Greek Church is rich, owns everything, so tax it! Ok and who is going to run Greece's social program? The Government, I don't think so. The Church is welfare, food pantry line, shut in visitor, homeless shelter provider, alcoholics anonymous provider, drug helper, psychological help counselor you name it: the Orthodox Church in Greece is the backbone of the country. Rip it out, everything will collapse.

Our kids are genius. All of them have picked up either German, Italian, English, French, or Spanish. They are all bilingual. Yet for some reason the government persists in telling them that they won't be able to grasp classical Greek, which is very much related to what we speak in our daily lives. In order to "understand" classical Greek one must just pay closer attention, focus more, and come to Church often. Our children have a mania with listening to foreign music which they can't understand one word of, yet they tell us that our kids are 100 percent clueless and they can't even get a general gist of what is going on. Please. Obviously, "someone" is trying to use the youth's lack of Church attendance to further some sort of secret agenda to ultimately crash the Greek Church on the rocks.

The question isn't about understand, people understand whats going on. The question is to simplify the texts, so we can get all wishy washy, it will effect our theology, we will introduce some heresies too, we will add some guitars, take out the Altar put it in the middle of the Church so people can "understand" whats going on, we will do teach and learn Proskomedia (that's already being done), and maybe we'll get some girls to serve, heck maybe even a woman priest. Maybe even a woman Bishop. Hello Vatican II, and hello Church of England.

So you see... this most definitely ain't about "understanding." It's about buldozzing a 5,000 year old society and creating... something, well to put it mildly, re inventing the Soviet Union. That's to put it mildly.

I hope to translate Metropolitan Hierotheos Vlachos recent article on this issue, as well as the Metropolis of Pireaus recent statement on this.

Rd. Ioannis



Amen to your words.  Those of us with eyes to see know what road all these subtile "reforms" are going to lead us down.  I believe that there is more of an ulterior motive to all these demands for the use of "modern" languages in place of the ancient ones in our sacred Liturgies. 
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« Reply #127 on: April 19, 2010, 04:57:02 PM »

The example of infants being charismated and communed does not refute, I think, the need for a liturgy in the vernacular. Infants might not understand the liturgy, but they don't think about it either. However, I've heard many adults misrepresent Orthodox theology and espouse outright heresies because they simply either don't understand or misunderstand the liturgy. When the liturgy can be understood, it serves to teach and guide the people present in the orthodox faith. When the liturgy cannot be understood, the people are left without that guide.

My professor of Greek as an undergraduate, a member of a Russian Orthodox church, expressed dismay at how many people in his parish did not really get the fact that Jesus Christ is the incarnate Logos, the Son of the Father and the second person of the Holy Trinity, even though this point is expressed again and again in the Liturgy. These sometimes elderly parishioners had been attending church for decades, but only memorized the Church Slavonic by rote and never really thought about what was being said.
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« Reply #128 on: April 19, 2010, 04:58:06 PM »


At the risk of being called a heretic again, the West has already set forth a model of sacred music in the Gregorian chant of the Catholic Church.

***I AM NOT SAYING THE ORTHODOX CHURCH SHOULD ADOPT GREGORIAN CHANT***

What I am saying is, that it has already been proven that Western chant can be written, it can be sacred, non-emotive, and can be quite beautiful.

Handmaiden: I agree with you except on the above issue.

I just read somewhere that the Gregorian was an adaptation of the Byzantine. In any case, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with the Gregorian chant. You said it all when you said "...Western chant can be written, it can be sacred, non-emotive, and can be quite beautiful." I think those are indeed the standards that all Orthodox music strives to achieve. Now, it is true that folks can turn any type of music into operatic performances (listen to any dueling Greek, Bulgarian or Arabic chanters; or to some of the elaborate choral pieces in the Slavic tradition). Same with gospel or spirituals. You have the simplicity of "Down to the River to Pray" in Bluegrass a cappella, on the one hand, and say "Onward Christian Soldiers" with the organ a-blaring and folks a-hollering on the other hand. The same can be said of the difference between old-time spirituals and modern African-American gospel sounds, or between tender and not terribly emotive ballads such as "Just as I Am" or "Amazing Grace," and the modern rock-based praise songs.

When it comes down to music, the beauty is often in the ear of the hearer but  when it comes to church music, it should match the ethos and the approach of the church. Thus, I find immense satisfaction in Orthodox melodies that are simple yet melodic so that most everybody can sing along. And, these simple melodies are not necessarily restricted to Slavic ones: even in the Russian music, you will often see "Greek melody, adapted by X/y/z).
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« Reply #129 on: April 19, 2010, 05:08:10 PM »

His Eminance Metropolitan Hierotheos of Nafpaktos wrote an article a few days ago on this issue.

Do you have a source?  Thanks.   Smiley
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« Reply #130 on: April 19, 2010, 05:18:47 PM »

If people don't know the faith, its because they haven't been catechized properly. If your a prayerful person and you approach Church with real humility and senserity, you'll experience the grace of God. Everyone standing under the sun feels its warmth.

Do I have a source, sure do! Smiley http://www.romfea.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4790:-q-q&catid=26:2009-12-18-08-38-40&Itemid=123

If I'm living in Africa and the local Church serves in Swahili, will I be benefited in absolutely no way from the Mysteries and Church services because I can't understand?? Thinking that to not understand = to leave with absolutely nothing is a very Latin and Western way of looking at it. Besides, God doesn't communicate with us using languages. He communicates to us in silence through the heart.

Rd. Ioannis
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« Reply #131 on: April 19, 2010, 05:19:35 PM »

The call for the use of modern languages is a cop out for the poor cathechesis which has taken place in the last 1-2 Centuries or so.

In the "Diaspora" (specifically the GOA) the Sunday School has been hijacked by GOYA with basketball tournaments and the like.  I recall attending Sunday School classes where there were only one or two attendees because of GOYA and Church dances, et al which I could neither afford nor chose not to attend.

My Sunday School classes were taught in English, not ancient Greek, not modern Greek and yet I understood both the ancient Greek and the English as served in the Liturgy and other services.  I would imagine similar analogies would be used for Ukrainian, Russian, Arabic, et al.  To this day, I see many of my former Sunday School teachers who taught me the Orthodox faith and very few of them relate to me in an "Orthodox mindset."  So much for "do as I say and not as I do."

Obviously, Modern Greek is spoken in Greece.  If the tenets of Orthodoxy cannot be communicated in modern languages, then the Hierarchy and the flock deserve the consequences of choosing to apostatize.   Angry
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« Reply #132 on: April 19, 2010, 05:26:29 PM »

If people don't know the faith, its because they haven't been catechized properly. If your a prayerful person and you approach Church with real humility and senserity sincerity, you'll experience the grace of God. Everyone standing under the sun feels its warmth.

Do I have a source, sure do! Smiley http://www.romfea.gr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=4790:-q-q&catid=26:2009-12-18-08-38-40&Itemid=123

If I'm living in Africa and the local Church serves in Swahili, will I be benefited in absolutely no way from the Mysteries and Church services because I can't understand?? Thinking that to not understand = to leave with absolutely nothing is a very Latin and Western way of looking at it. Besides, God doesn't communicate with us using languages. He communicates to us in silence through the heart.

If one doesn't know Swahili, the Divine Services remain the same.  I don't know Arabic; yet, I have no problem following Services in Arabic whether or not I have a service book in front of me.  If I were in presence of a DL in Swahili, I would still be able to follow the service.  Unfortunately, many of us choose to take the easy way out by claiming not to understand.
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« Reply #133 on: April 19, 2010, 05:37:38 PM »

If people don't know the faith, its because they haven't been catechized properly.

Sadly, many Orthodox priests show no interest in catechizing their parishioners. As a catechumen, I've spent time in parishes where my request for instruction in the faith was answered by "Just attend services, that's all you need to do". When the liturgy is not in the vernacular, that means essentially no catechesis.

I miss churches in the West because, with the large amount of converts coming in, the priest is more likely to schedule time to sit down and teach. In the Old World, there's no tradition for that.
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« Reply #134 on: April 19, 2010, 05:40:57 PM »

The call for the use of modern languages is a cop out for the poor cathechesis which has taken place in the last 1-2 Centuries or so.



Give me a break. Don't tell me that my ancestors were better educated in the Church when they were landless peasants scattered across Europe. I can't speak for Greeks but most of us Slavs who are now Orthodox in the United States trace their origins to Austria Hungary or Tsarist Russia where the great-grandparents of the American baby-boomer generation were illiterate serfs tied to the manor and the feudal lords until the time of the American Civil War. In Austria Hungary even the Orthodox clergy were serfs and uneducated. In Orthodox Russia their counterparts fared little better until the 19th century in terms of their education. One of the historical reasons that the Ukrainian and Rusyn clergy adopted the Unia in the 16th and 17th centuries was to raise their societal status out of serfdom so as to be on the same level as the Roman clergy in the Hungarian empire. The peasants learned faith by means of oral traditions handed down within families, rote recitation of prayers and by the veneration of Holy Icons and the scenes they depicted. Many beliefs were not even Christian, having survived in folk culture from pagan days. Yet despite all of this, the Faith was preserved and handed down by these pious and God fearing people in spite of their illiteracy. But we are no longer illiterate. God has blessed us and allowed the type of class and societal distinctions that existed for much of the first two millennia of the Church to disappear. I am sorry, but the notion that a dead language is needed to preserve a living Faith is, frankly to use a word that some of you apparently think is heresy - simply irrational.

This is an interesting discussion with a wide range of honestly held, deeply divided opinions. It is not my intention to offend anyone in their opinions, I just want to state the basis of my disagreement with them.

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