Slavonic is a “Church” language. It is a language of worship. It provides us the opportunity to worship God in a language that is not vulgar and common. It completes the “other worldly” aspect of our worship.
SS Cyril and Methodius weren't taken up to the third heaven and took dictation. They learned Slavonic in the streets of Thessalonica, and spoke it with the masses in Moravia. People worshipped and praised God in it, and rejoiced when they heard the Gospel in it, just as the speakers of modern languages do. People also cursed, swore, lied and committed fornication in it as well. There was a dictionary compiled of unmentionable words and their etymologies and derivations done in Czarist Russian, but the Bolsheviks suppressed it. The Reds it turned out were quite the prudes.
Just because a language is living, i.e. children actually learn it from their parents, does not make it "vulgar" or "common," as Classical Greek, Latin, Arabic and yes, Old Slavonic, have their vulgar and common forms. We just don't, and shouldn't, use them in Church any more than we should use "vulgar" or "common" "vernaculars" (as the Vatican, who also has a language fetish, calls them) in Church.
And the proof that "Church" languages are not eternal is the fact that Church Slavonic as we have it today is not identical to the speach of SS Cyril and Methodios: it has everywhere been transmitted in "recensions" which reflect the actual speech of the people.
Foreign =/= otherwordliness. Otherwise, we might as well be Hindus and chant mantras.
It is important that the “teaching” parts (variable) of the Liturgy is in the language of the people, and both churches do so. However, the fixed parts of the Liturgy are not that difficult to learn given that most churches have dual language service books, or at least they are available.
Is there any reason in particular that the fixed parts are in Slavonic?
We are to work out our Salvation, and part of this work is to study the Liturgy and learn about the cycle of services.
Where does the "learn a foreign language" sneak in?
The problem with modern man is that they do not want to put any effort into their religion, and want it all handed to them on a silver platter.
Well, the story is that St. John shortened the DL of St. Basil who shortened the DL of St. James, so it would seem modern man isn't the only one, if length of services is what you are getting at.
God is something they pay attention to for a couple hours on Sunday (if it has not been abbreviated more) and then forgot about the rest of the week.
If you read the Fathers, that is hardly a modern problem.
For those that take this matter seriously,
and they would be who (no tautologies, please)?
having the fixed parts of the Liturgy chanted in Church Slavonic is no impediment.
Is it necassary?
In fact, it is a blessing as the language is so well suited for worship.
Really? How is it so well suited for worship?
People learn what is important to them.
There language or somebody else's nostalgia?
It amazes me that young people can learn to use computers and to send Text Messages in codes, yet grown men and woman cannot learn the Liturgy in Slavonic, or the Scriptures in less than modern English.
Are you comparing mastering dribble to learning the word of God?
God didn't speak Attic.
This is a symptom of two problems: laziness on the part of the individual, and lack of proper instruction on the part of the Church Leaders.
So worshipping in the native tongue is a disease? So the Spirit of Pentecost is an evil spirit?
Compared to the Lutheran Church that I came from, I have found the various Orthodox Churches that I have attended to be grossly lacking in adult education (and not too much better when it comes to educating the children).
I have to agree on this as far as the children, the adults, not so much. I've seen, and at present am at, an exception. In fact, you can hear our Sunday adult education here:http://homepage.mac.com/wonderpuppy/phrii.html
Perhaps if we spent more time teaching our members instead of holding bake sales and fund raisers, language would not be such an issue.
To be honest, among the Orthodox, most bake sales and fund raisers I've seen had to do with the language. I remember seeing someone I knew who was marrying an Orthodox, and he was reading a language primer. "They don't have Sunday school. You don't learn about God or anything like that, you learn [language X]
As a side note, Punch, what IS your avatar?