OrthodoxChristianity.net
September 20, 2014, 02:05:28 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1 2 All   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Converts and Language  (Read 16637 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« on: March 09, 2004, 07:09:04 PM »

How do other converts out there feel about liturgical languages?  Does a convert have a right to expect mostly English services?  Should a convert learn the language of whatever ethnicity dominates his parish?  

How do "ethnic" Orthodox feel to all of these questions?

What role should ethnicity play in American Orthodoxy?
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,420


« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2004, 07:14:02 PM »

Church services should be done in the vernacular.  It should be at least 75% in English.  I'm a convert - since I was 12 in 1987 that is.  I shouldn't expect a service to be done in English if I visit Russia.  Same should go here.
Logged
Stavro
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 1,162



« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2004, 07:24:12 PM »

I am not sure about the EO and RC and sister Oriental Orthodox churches, but the Coptic Orthodox Diocese in the South under His Grace Bishop Youssef have adopted the position that liturgies on Saturdays and Sundays, where a large congregation attend and with the first and second generation attending and also the converts (all american), must be in mostly in English and in some parts in Copitc.
A liturgy held on a weekday, around noon, is dedicated to the older members who came from EGypt and are comfortable with Arabic more than English. Normally, no english speaking member is expected.

I think this is only fair.

What helps always is to explain to converts or if they do some research to know the rites and the spirituality of the liturgy and why it has been put together like this. I think this applies for all denominations.

Peace,
Stavro
Logged

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Stavro
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Coptic Orthodox
Posts: 1,162



« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2004, 07:28:01 PM »

As far as ethnicity goes, we are proud of the Coptic heritage and we work hard to make the new generations born in America or EUrope also embrace the Coptic heritage,in addition to being good citizens in their countries. Part of this is the Coptic language. But while it used fairly in the liturgy, the liturgy where a large congregation with dominantly native language speaking members (whether in North AMerica or Europe) is ,say, 75 % in the native language of the country.


Logged

In that day there will be an altar to the LORD in the heart of Egypt, and a monument to the LORD at its border. (Isaiah 19:19)

" God forbid I should see the face of Judah or listen to his blasphemy" (Gerontius, Archmanidrite of the monastery of St. Melania)
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2004, 08:07:32 PM »

Quote
Church services should be done in the vernacular.  It should be at least 75% in English.  I'm a convert - since I was 12 in 1987 that is.  I shouldn't expect a service to be done in English if I visit Russia.  Same should go here.

But America is different from other mission territory in that most Orhtodox people here are not converts, but immigrants.  At my parish there is a good number of people that speak English with a THICK accent and are barely understandable.  100% English would alienate them.  

I raise the question because I sense from talking to both converts and ethnics that both tend to lack sensitiivty towards the other side.  Saint Paisius Velichovsky handled it by having the chanting half Romanian half Slavonic in his monasteries.  

I also think SCOBA should get its act together and make a standard English transaltion for use at all SCOBA parishes.
Logged
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #5 on: March 09, 2004, 09:17:52 PM »

I think 50-75% English is good in parishes with a large ethnic population.

anastasios
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #6 on: March 09, 2004, 09:40:29 PM »

Quote
Elisha: I shouldn't expect a service to be done in English if I visit Russia.  Same should go here.

I agree.

If a local church membership is composed entirely of one particular nationality of immigrants, that is one thing.

I must drive over an hour to get to an Orthodox church where I can understand the liturgy and feel like a part of the parish.

Yet there is a nice little Greek church just 30 minutes up the road, where everything is in Greek and the atmosphere is that of an ethnic social club.

So, I drive the hour + .

I noticed the little Greek church is sparsely attended and rapidly graying, as well.

In another decade the Greeks will be gone and the building probably occupied by Pentecostals.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Orthodoc
Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 2,526

Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2004, 10:11:26 PM »

[What role should ethnicity play in American Orthodoxy?]

NONE!!!!!

Orthodoc
Logged

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #8 on: March 09, 2004, 10:12:52 PM »

[What role should ethnicity play in American Orthodoxy?]

NONE!!!!!

Orthodoc

Amen!

Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Jonathan
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Oriental Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Coptic
Posts: 801


WWW
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2004, 10:16:49 PM »

Sometimes I've gone to Liturgies during the week and the priest has done more English than he would have otherwise because I was there.  I don't like that because I feel guilty for taking away from those who need Arabic to participate more.  I guess a fair amount of English is needed to make the Church accessible, but especially during the week I really think it should reflect what the needs of the people present are.  I heard someone say once that whatever languages you hear when people are having a meal together after the Liturgy are what should be used in the Liturgy, and I really like that way of thinking.  Of course some parts have to be kept in other languages for reasons, such as the prayer for the Gospel in Greek since Greek was the language of the world at the time of the spread of the Gospel to the world, so it represents that spreading, etc.
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2004, 11:06:39 PM »

If the Orthodox Churches are to be taken seriously, they must not be ethnic clubs.  To have liturgy in a non-English language completely shuts out potential converts from ever getting any insight into the goings-on of the Church.  Also, a rigidity on the language issue tends to display a deeper problem in overall attitude, usually that the church has little or no concern for the people in the wider community and is more interested in culture than religion.  If my response sounds a little strong, I've had some bad experiences with this.  The local Greek Orthodox Church in my area is a horrible witness.  I've specifically been asked the question "Are you Greek?" when I've been there, and as I'm not, I can't help but think I've been treated differently than if I were.  I'm very fortunate that I had already been to the Antiochian parish in my area, which was much more welcoming.  Really, if I had gone to the Greek Church first, I think it highly likely I would have written off Orthodox Christianity altogether.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2004, 11:11:23 PM »

If the Orthodox Churches are to be taken seriously, they must not be ethnic clubs.  To have liturgy in a non-English language completely shuts out potential converts from ever getting any insight into the goings-on of the Church.  Also, a rigidity on the language issue tends to display a deeper problem in overall attitude, usually that the church has little or no concern for the people in the wider community and is more interested in culture than religion.  If my response sounds a little strong, I've had some bad experiences with this.  The local Greek Orthodox Church in my area is a horrible witness.  I've specifically been asked the question "Are you Greek?" when I've been there, and as I'm not, I can't help but think I've been treated differently than if I were.  I'm very fortunate that I had already been to the Antiochian parish in my area, which was much more welcoming.  Really, if I had gone to the Greek Church first, I think it highly likely I would have written off Orthodox Christianity altogether.

Exactly my experience, lellimore, although no one asked me if I am Greek.

I was blessed enough to have been to an ACROD church first, or I too might have written off Orthodoxy.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Frobie
Quasi Vero Monaco
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 633


Rublev's Trinity


WWW
« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2004, 12:42:45 AM »

Yeah, I think we can all agree the GOA is the worst. I went to vespers at the local Greek church for Sunday of Orthodoxy--a "pan-Orthodox" gathering, as it were-- and most of it was in Greek!
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #13 on: March 10, 2004, 12:53:40 PM »

While we are playing the jurisdiction superiority game and engaging in GOA bashing (even by non-Orthodox), I think I can share my experiences as a third-generation Hellenic-American. I have received identical cold-shouldered treatment just this past year in an Orthodox parish of a Slavic tradition which I choose not to name.
Regretably many Greek parishes are as described, but not all. It depends on the make-up of the Greeks in the parish- whether the majority are descended from the first early 1920s wave of immigrants, the second post-WWII wave, or convert make-up. I always must remember  that the Church was the only institution which preserved Greek identity along with Christianity during the 400 year Turkish occupation.
Today I know of Greek parishes which use nearly 100% Greek, those that are 50/50 Greek-English, and new ones that are 95/05 English to Greek(my sister's parish,for one, which is 75% converts). Priests respond to their current flock wishes and if they don't the bishop hears of it quickly.
ON THE OTHER HAND, you folks are missing the pleasures of being Greek and being asked if one is Greek while visiting another GOA parish. If one responds, Yes, then one is obliged to engage in their favorite third-degree "who are you" game: "Who eeez you pateras?" "Where in Greece he come from?" "Who eez you materas?" Where...etc...
This game can go on seemingly forever and protocol dictates that only they get to ask the questions. Apparently there is some pedigree criterion being applied that I don't understand but usually the questions stop once the questioners find some other Greek whom they know who knows "your people". And they always make a connection. You guys have it easy Wink

Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #14 on: March 10, 2004, 01:01:58 PM »

I have nothing against Greeks, that's for sure!

My wife and I lived with an elderly Greek lady for about six months when we first came back to the States from Russia.

There are several Greek families in my parish, and they are the best. One of the Greek ladies - who has a handful of very beautiful kids - gave my wife and I quite a few gifts, including a car seat, when our daughter was born. She is a very sweet, saintly person and teaches the Greek school at our church.

I would attend that Greek church if they only had a service in English. The people were not unfriendly.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,135


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #15 on: March 10, 2004, 01:25:16 PM »

I go to a church where the majority of the Liturgy is done in the vernacular of our people, and not the vernacular of the land (although some English is used).  I understand part of what's going on since I grew up with the language, but really don't understand much that is done in church, although I'm fine and fluent with the language in other settings.  I personally would prefer more in English, and have thoroughly enjoyed all English services when I've attended them.  I think a more liberal use of English is necessary; I've seen people go to other churches, RC and Protestant, precisely because they like to understand what they're doing and praying.  I think insisting on a foreign language sorta forces a parish to become an ethnic social club, if not now, then down the road.  It also doesn't encourage the spread of the Gospel unless it is to people who speak that language.  

On the other hand, I can sympathise with the side that would prefer the old language.  First, what about the people who don't understand English all that well?  It's easy to say that you want more English so you can understand more, but what about the guy who wants more of his own language because his English isn't the best when it comes to understanding stuff in church?  It's the same situation that I'm in, only in reverse.  Also, why would you want to cut out such an important part of what has been passed down to you?  Even today, most Liturgies in whatever language incorporate "Amen" and "Alleluia", two Hebrew words.  Unless you know Hebrew, we only know the meaning of these words because of translation, and yet we've been able to incorporate them into our prayer, both liturgical and private.  With a little effort and patience, the same can be done for other languages.  

Ideally, I envision a mix of the languages, with common and proper texts varying in language every so often.  Of course, I think that along with this, the parish should make available to all worshippers translations in their language of choice of the proper texts (my experience is that common texts can be had in any language used).
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
PhosZoe
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 346

One foot in the cradle


« Reply #16 on: March 10, 2004, 03:36:05 PM »

Well, I can see a couple of scenarios....

1. If the convert has a choice between a parish that uses English verses an "ethnic" parish that uses a foriegn tongue. A convert may feel more comfortable attending a parish in a familiar language. However, if the convert feels 'at home' at the said ethnic parish. He/she should buck up and learn the language and not try to make a stink about using English. IMHO, the convert has a choice and has an opportunity to experience the liturgy in English.

2. The only option is an ethnic parish-  If there are enough converts to raise the issue (more than 5) of using English for liturgy. In this case, by all means talk to the priest. Don't expect it to happen and don't expect the rest of the parishioners to be happy with you. Enemies can easily be made here.  Some of the ethnic crowd view american converts as "thieves"  who want to "americanize the church" or "steal thier culture"  something that generations before them have worked tirelessly to preserve.
 
I'm sorry but as an "ethnic" I'm rather irritated by the bullish and sometimes whiney attitudes that some converts possess.    A church that has been doing the same thing for the past 100 years is probably NOT interested in building a preschool, a cry room, use english, musical instruments ..etc.. (insert other *thingy* they miss from thier protestant church)

I look at as if you redecorated your mother in laws house without her consent.  She wouldn't be happy with you, would she?

Logged
PhosZoe
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 346

One foot in the cradle


« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2004, 03:38:46 PM »

Amen!



Keep on dreaming. Some of us want to preserve our culture and our heritage.

Logged
Orthodoc
Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 2,526

Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2004, 04:08:12 PM »

Keep on dreaming. Some of us want to preserve our culture and our heritage.



And that's why social and cultural clubs should be established instead of utilizing the Church which should be centered around Christ and his teachings.

Go to any of these  ethnic  clubs that pass for churches and quiz the last two generations that grew up in them and see just how much they know of the faith  they are supposed to uphold!  Especially those  churches that serve in a either a foreign or obsolete language.  The younger generation doesn't even know when the proper times are to make the sign of the Cross upon themselves!  They stand with a bored look while the priest goes on in a language that neither they nor the entire congregation comprehends.

The churches that are vibrant and growing are the churches that serve in English and center their existence around Christ instead of putting him in the attic in favor of their 'culture' and 'heritage'  instead of their religion.

Orthodoc
Logged

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,420


« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2004, 04:15:42 PM »

Well, I can see a couple of scenarios....

1. If the convert has a choice between a parish that uses English verses an "ethnic" parish that uses a foriegn tongue. A convert may feel more comfortable attending a parish in a familiar language. However, if the convert feels 'at home' at the said ethnic parish. He/she should buck up and learn the language and not try to make a stink about using English. IMHO, the convert has a choice and has an opportunity to experience the liturgy in English.

2. The only option is an ethnic parish-  If there are enough converts to raise the issue (more than 5) of using English for liturgy. In this case, by all means talk to the priest. Don't expect it to happen and don't expect the rest of the parishioners to be happy with you. Enemies can easily be made here.  Some of the ethnic crowd view american converts as "thieves"  who want to "americanize the church" or "steal thier culture"  something that generations before them have worked tirelessly to preserve.
 
I'm sorry but as an "ethnic" I'm rather irritated by the bullish and sometimes whiney attitudes that some converts possess.    A church that has been doing the same thing for the past 100 years is probably NOT interested in building a preschool, a cry room, use english, musical instruments ..etc.. (insert other *thingy* they miss from thier protestant church)

I look at as if you redecorated your mother in laws house without her consent.  She wouldn't be happy with you, would she?

 

So, PhosZoe, should I expect to have to speak Greek (or whatever language) to you at your workplace to make you feel more comfortable?  Maybe I should change the language of all the documents that you work with as well?

If the Church is to fulfill the "Great Commission" so to speak, then it must use the language of the people it is evangelizing to.  Lumping in "english" with a crying room, instruments, etc. is a copout.  Your ethnic club is welcome to preserve the status quo and slowly die off - or it can do it's best to fulfill God's command and evengelize the native people.
Logged
Elisha
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 4,420


« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2004, 04:17:17 PM »

Again, PhosZoe, we don't mean to sound hostile, but the language is the far bigger complaint than culture.
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2004, 06:32:32 PM »

I think part of the problem is that there isn't a clear cut defintion of the mission of Orthodox parishes in America is.  Is it to minister primarily to immigrant from Orthodox lands with American converts as icing on the cake, as evangilization to Americans with the hopes of not alienating Orthodox immigrants, or an attempt to find a middle ground.  

Because most Orthodox in America are ethnic I don't 100% English in all parishes will ever be feasable.  There is A LOT of repitition in Orthodox liturgy, so there is plenty of room to use a fair amount of "the old language" and not actually loose anything if you don't understand it.  I guess I find that a rigid demand of 100% English is lacking sensitivity, just as people insisting on Enlgish not being used is lacking in sensitivity.  

Some observations though:

1)  I see a monastery fairly frequently that uses 100% Greek.  They have no lack of converts in attendance, and a number of monastics are converts.  Where real Orthodox piety is present language moves more to the backbunner.

2)  There are a great deal of protestant churches that offer Spanish services and bible studies.  They poach very easily Mexican immigrants with the bait of Spanish services in places where the RCC doesn't offer much for Spanish speakers.  If Orthodox Churches don't reach out ot immigrants they stand a good chance of loosing them.  

3) I have noticed in talking to other converts that many there is a certain amount of almost contempt for ethnic Orthodox.  "They don't even understand Church Greek anyway"  etc.  And also among some ethnics the feeling that they are GREEK first and that is what makes them Orthodox.  I think both attitudes are symptoms of the same underlying problem.

4)  There is an all English parish here that has no kids in it and is mostly elderly people.  I think that is an issue of poor leadership, not too much ethnicity.  

5) Too high a percentage of converts without guidance can easily go astray.  Look no further than all the jurisdiction hopping games and what not that happens in America.  Father Seraphim Rose's new biography touches on this subject indirectly throughout the whole work.  Father Seraphim was always sure to seek guidence from people who had lived thier whole lives immersed in Orthodoxy.  A parish that is a large blend of converts and ethnics is a good thing.  The expirence of being Orthodox for generations will help the converts and the zeal most converts bring will inspire the ethnics.  But this will never work in harmony if both sides are rigidly opposed to eachother.
Logged
gregory2
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 405


Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!


« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2004, 08:12:08 PM »

Church services should be done in the vernacular.   I shouldn't expect a service to be done in English if I visit Russia.  Same should go here.

i agree. worship has such a greater meaning if it's in a language one understands.  i grew up in greek orthodox churches in the northeast usa where greek was used primarily, and while my faith was very important to me, i never really understood it till i began worshipping in english.  i actually don't see any point in using a foreign language, aside from the sentimentality that some immigrants associate with it.  

kudos to the antiochians who (i think) took the lead in using english in orthodox worship in america!
Logged

"Anything that is worth accomplishing cannot be accomplished in a lifetime." - the Holy Fathers
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2004, 08:29:40 PM »

There is A LOT of repitition in Orthodox liturgy, so there is plenty of room to use a fair amount of "the old language" and not actually loose anything if you don't understand it.  I guess I find that a rigid demand of 100% English is lacking sensitivity, just as people insisting on Enlgish not being used is lacking in sensitivity.  
I myself find it rather antisocial that people move countries without learning the language to begin with, so I can't say I'm sympathetic to the bad English argument.  Other than refugees, people can stay home and not immigrate if they so desire.  If people aren't actually interested in getting into North America, why come to begin with?  Unless of course it's just a matter of economic greed...Heaven knows that people who come to NA only to form a culturo-linguistic clique (that their own children often can't understand...I personally know a guy who, although he is Greek, left the Greek Orthodox church precisely because he never understood what was going on, even though he speaks modern Greek) don't do any good for anyone here.  On the other hand, I sympathize with the cultural arguments, but ONLY for those who had to come to NA to flee persecution or something of the sort.  And in that case, as has been said, it shows wacky priorities to be sacrificing the best interests of the church to achieve that end.  With all this said, as in the quote above, some foreign language can be included without difficulty, but this should always be secondary to the integrity of the English liturgy.
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #24 on: March 10, 2004, 08:44:12 PM »

And that's why social and cultural clubs should be established instead of utilizing the Church which should be centered around Christ and his teachings.

Go to any of these  ethnic  clubs that pass for churches and quiz the last two generations that grew up in them and see just how much they know of the faith  they are supposed to uphold!  Especially those  churches that serve in a either a foreign or obsolete language.  The younger generation doesn't even know when the proper times are to make the sign of the Cross upon themselves!  They stand with a bored look while the priest goes on in a language that neither they nor the entire congregation comprehends.

The churches that are vibrant and growing are the churches that serve in English and center their existence around Christ instead of putting him in the attic in favor of their 'culture' and 'heritage'  instead of their religion.

Orthodoc

As I said in response to one of your previous posts, Orthodoc, AMEN!

Brother, do I ever agree with you.

The true Church is supposed to be One, Holy, Catholic (meaning for everybody), and Apostolic.

Those are the four marks of the Church.

Inserting a fifth mark -  i.e., the name of the ethnic group of your choice - is not an option.

When I was in Russia and attended Divine Liturgy there, I did not expect anyone to speak in English for me or the other Americans living in Moscow that I knew (and there were quite a few of us and some Brits, as well).

We "preserved our culture and heritage" on our own time, not the universal Church's.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2004, 12:13:41 AM »

Quote
I myself find it rather antisocial that people move countries without learning the language to begin with, so I can't say I'm sympathetic to the bad English argument.

Before we go off bashing immigrants, let's remember that if there were not immigrants from Orthodox lands there would be no Orthodoxy in America right now.  Even the English-mission oriented Antiochians started out as a bunch of Syrians...

As I understand it Saint John of San Francisco was not very proficient in English nor Saint Nikolai (who reposed at Saint Tikhon's monastery).  Both were advocates of English liturgy though.  I guess my main point is that converts and ethnics should be willing to meet eachother in the middle here and not demand the other to completely give up his side.  
Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2004, 12:16:35 AM »

Perhaps we should all take Sts. Cyril and Methodius as our examples in this case.

We know they forced the Slavs to learn Greek.

Didn't they?  Wink
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
gregory2
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 405


Most Holy Theotokos, Save Us!


« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2004, 12:26:01 AM »

Before we go off bashing immigrants, let's remember that if there were not immigrants from Orthodox lands there would be no Orthodoxy in America right now.  .  


and if there were no american converts, our churches would be totally empty!!!  take it from me, one who grew up Orthodox, i am the ONLY one in my family who attends liturgy and other divine services with any regularity.  my brother, who is very near to me in age, still refers to Pascha as "Greek Easter."  (there's little i can't stand more than when people call Pascha "Greek Easter" and Western Easter is "American Easter" -- as if Orthodoxy simply cannot ever be American......)

our prime mission here in America is missionary work, and we cannot do it without an English liturgy.  I actually don't think it's possible to be a strong Orthodox Christian and to not be evangelistic -- the two go hand in hand.  And look at the new parishes that the OCA and the Antiochians (and even the Greeks!) have opened up in the past decade -- how many of them are non-English speaking parishes?  probably none.  Even in Washington state, the GOA opened an English-speaking mission north of Seattle!
Logged

"Anything that is worth accomplishing cannot be accomplished in a lifetime." - the Holy Fathers
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2004, 12:42:51 AM »

Quote
Perhaps we should all take Sts. Cyril and Methodius as our examples in this case.

We know they forced the Slavs to learn Greek.

Didn't they?  

That is apples to oranges though.  The great apostles to the slavs went to the Slavs as apostles, not to set up churches for Greeks living among the Slavs.  Whereas America has two groups in it to be ministered to.  That is why compromise is needed here, unless you want two seperate churches in America, one for converts and one for ethnics.  A small use of the old country language (about 25%) is not that big of a deal.  

I also agree with Gregory that 100% Greek is not the way to go for a parish.  Use enough Greek to keep Yiayia and Pappous happy but enough English for the kids.   There is a balance where (almost) everyone can be happy.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2004, 12:43:27 AM by +Â¥+¦+¦-ä+¼-ü+¦++-é » Logged
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #29 on: March 11, 2004, 01:01:20 AM »

That is apples to oranges though.  The great apostles to the slavs went to the Slavs as apostles, not to set up churches for Greeks living among the Slavs.  Whereas America has two groups in it to be ministered to.  That is why compromise is needed here, unless you want two seperate churches in America, one for converts and one for ethnics.  A small use of the old country language (about 25%) is not that big of a deal.  

I also agree with Gregory that 100% Greek is not the way to go for a parish.  Use enough Greek to keep Yiayia and Pappous happy but enough English for the kids.   There is a balance where (almost) everyone can be happy.    

You have a point, but, IMHO, a limited one.

What is the purpose of the Church if not the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20)?

I have nothing against an immigrant parish retaining the native language to some extent. But it seems to me they've got to let it go sometime if the Church is to reach the larger community.

Ironically, the use of the vernacular is one of the great things about the Orthodox Church, historically, at least.

When the Western Church was celebrating the Mass in Latin in places where few of the people could understand it, the Eastern Church was reaching the souls of her people with the word and worship of God in sounds they could comprehend and take to heart.

Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #30 on: March 11, 2004, 01:19:44 AM »

What I meant to say didn't come out very clearly.  I think ethnic parishes should be in the works of transitioning to using more and more English.  But for things that are repeated three times (dismissal hymn at Orthros, the God is the Lord, Let every breath praise the Lord, etc. the many times the small litany is done) why not do it one out of two times in Greek/Slavonic and twice in English?  Do the Cherubic hymn in Greek and Megalynarion in English one Sunday, then rotate it next Sunday.  As the parish becomes mostly native English speakers slowly phase the Greek/Slavonic out.  

Also an issue possibly for another thread is English translations.... some are just plain ugly.  I am also a firm believer in a standard English text.  That way people can memorize prayers and take them home with them much more easily.  This could be a chance for SCOBA to step in and do something productive.
Logged
prodromos
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,463

Sydney, Australia


« Reply #31 on: March 11, 2004, 03:26:41 AM »

Also an issue possibly for another thread is English translations.... some are just plain ugly.
I agree. What is needed is not translations into English, but for the prayers/hymns etc. to be rewritten in English by the original author, ie. the Holy Spirit. So what the church in America/UK/Australia really needs is saints, men and women striving for holiness, and God will bless His church by pouring out His gifts on these people.

John.
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #32 on: March 11, 2004, 10:14:22 AM »

Quote
So what the church in America/UK/Australia really needs is saints, men and women striving for holiness, and God will bless His church by pouring out His gifts on these people.

And the monasticism offered by the Antiochians is a great place to find that!
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,135


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #33 on: March 11, 2004, 12:07:01 PM »

I myself find it rather antisocial that people move countries without learning the language to begin with, so I can't say I'm sympathetic to the bad English argument.  Other than refugees, people can stay home and not immigrate if they so desire.  If people aren't actually interested in getting into North America, why come to begin with?  

In our part of India, there is 100% literacy in three languages, including English, thanks to the educational system.  That is more than I can say for New York, where you may not always have that much literacy in even one language (believe me, I've done my time!).  It's very disconcerting when Americans think the only reason people prefer their own language to English in worship is because they don't want to learn English.  In at least one case, they already do know English, even if they never end up setting foot in America.

The Eastern liturgies are very deep and profound, both in the ideas expressed, and in the words used to express them.  When I hear them in English, I get a lot more out of them, precisely because I understand them better.  But if I hear the Liturgy in my own language, even though in more "secular" circumstances I can understand it fluently, I don't get as much out of it, because I can't figure out a lot of the words used, and so the meaning is lost.  The language is of a higher quality, and the words are more classical (some are derived from Sanskrit, if I'm not mistaken, a language I have no clue about), etc., and so I can't understand it, even if it is a "modern translation" (only thirty years old or so, IIRC), and I understand the modern language in non-ecclesiastical situations.  So I can understand if there are people in the parish who are fluent in English in non-ecclesiastical situations, but are more comfortable praying in their own language because they get the most out of it that way: we are both in the same situation, only in different ways.  

It's not a matter of immigrants not wanting to learn English.  Perhaps there are Orthodox immigrants who are like that, but not all are like that.
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
motheconvert
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 11


OC.net


« Reply #34 on: March 11, 2004, 04:35:27 PM »

I attend an all English U.O. mission. We are full of young adults
and young families and growing. If I were to visit Russia or Greece, I would seek out an English liturgy, if possible. If I were to immigrate to these countries, I think it would be my duty to learn the language of the land. I realize that, in charity, there must be accomodations for new or elderly immigrants, but it should not be the norm....ever. it is too destructive of growth
and the future life of Orthodoxy in the new world.  Philatism (spelling?) is a heresy.
Logged

Christ is in our midst.
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #35 on: March 11, 2004, 05:58:06 PM »

What I meant to say didn't come out very clearly.  I think ethnic parishes should be in the works of transitioning to using more and more English.  But for things that are repeated three times (dismissal hymn at Orthros, the God is the Lord, Let every breath praise the Lord, etc. the many times the small litany is done) why not do it one out of two times in Greek/Slavonic and twice in English?  Do the Cherubic hymn in Greek and Megalynarion in English one Sunday, then rotate it next Sunday.  As the parish becomes mostly native English speakers slowly phase the Greek/Slavonic out.  
I completely agree with this.  If you can work in some language considerations without sacrificing the quality of the English liturgy, then why not?
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #36 on: March 11, 2004, 06:03:56 PM »

Before we go off bashing immigrants, let's remember that if there were not immigrants from Orthodox lands there would be no Orthodoxy in America right now.  Even the English-mission oriented Antiochians started out as a bunch of Syrians...

As I understand it Saint John of San Francisco was not very proficient in English nor Saint Nikolai (who reposed at Saint Tikhon's monastery).  Both were advocates of English liturgy though.  I guess my main point is that converts and ethnics should be willing to meet eachother in the middle here and not demand the other to completely give up his side.  

I'm not bashing immigrants, just those particular immigrants who are provincial-minded and give no thought to the larger community and the integration of various believers in a new country (even among immigrants, if a Russian and a Greek live in the same place, why shouldn't they worship together?)  This type of narrow provincialism shows unspeakable contempt for one of two things.  Either it shows contempt for Orthodox Christianity itself, because if you truly think something is valuable, you'll be interested in spreading it, or it shows contempt for the members of the wider non-Orthodox community, because having something of value, these provincials show no concern for those who remain without it.
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #37 on: March 11, 2004, 06:08:25 PM »

In our part of India, there is 100% literacy in three languages, including English, thanks to the educational system.  That is more than I can say for New York, where you may not always have that much literacy in even one language (believe me, I've done my time!).  It's very disconcerting when Americans think the only reason people prefer their own language to English in worship is because they don't want to learn English.  In at least one case, they already do know English, even if they never end up setting foot in America.

The Eastern liturgies are very deep and profound, both in the ideas expressed, and in the words used to express them.  When I hear them in English, I get a lot more out of them, precisely because I understand them better.  But if I hear the Liturgy in my own language, even though in more "secular" circumstances I can understand it fluently, I don't get as much out of it, because I can't figure out a lot of the words used, and so the meaning is lost.  The language is of a higher quality, and the words are more classical (some are derived from Sanskrit, if I'm not mistaken, a language I have no clue about), etc., and so I can't understand it, even if it is a "modern translation" (only thirty years old or so, IIRC), and I understand the modern language in non-ecclesiastical situations.  So I can understand if there are people in the parish who are fluent in English in non-ecclesiastical situations, but are more comfortable praying in their own language because they get the most out of it that way: we are both in the same situation, only in different ways.  

It's not a matter of immigrants not wanting to learn English.  Perhaps there are Orthodox immigrants who are like that, but not all are like that.  
The "bad English" bit was only a response to one specific argument for old-language liturgy.  I wasn't saying that all Orthodox immigrants are uninterested in English; I was just saying that those who are shouldn't be used as an excuse to keep the liturgy incomprehensible for everyone else.  I think the old liturgies probably are very beautiful, but that's because they've had a while to develop.  Those who oppose English liturgy stand in the way of English developing its own tradition of beautiful liturgical writing.
Logged
Mor Ephrem
"Mor is right, you are wrong."
Section Moderator
Hoplitarches
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 17,135


The Pope Emeritus reading OCNet


WWW
« Reply #38 on: March 11, 2004, 06:38:04 PM »

I think the old liturgies probably are very beautiful, but that's because they've had a while to develop.  Those who oppose English liturgy stand in the way of English developing its own tradition of beautiful liturgical writing.

Maybe I wasn't clear.  This is not what I was referring to in my earlier post.  It is not that the old liturgy is better because it is more developed, while the English is less so.  It is more that one understands things better in the language with which one prays.  For example, I, as an English speaker, understand what "consubstantial" means in English, but you give me that same word in Malayalam, and I won't have a clue.  Yet, that word is not in the liturgy just to take up space.  Liturgy is catechesis as well as prayer, and the whole thing is better understood by the individual in the language in which s/he prays.  But in mixed company, you cannot have only one or the other language, obviously.
Logged

Apolytikion, Tone 1, by Antonis

An eloquent crafter of divine posts
And an inheritor of the line of the Baptist
A righteous son of India
And a new apostle to the internet
O Holy Mor Ephrem,
Intercede for us, that our forum may be saved.


"Mor is a jerk." - kelly
neworthodox
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 30


OC.net


« Reply #39 on: March 12, 2004, 10:51:40 AM »

as my name implies I'm a newbie so this is just my thoughts:I attended a Pan Orthodox Sunday of Orthodoxy recently at a GO church & the service was at least 80% Greek. Now there were people of Serbian, Russian, Bulgarian, Arab, American & Greek heritage there. The only language we all had in common was ENGLISH.
(maybe we could ask the Lutherans how they handled it - the Lutheran church I belonged to had services, catechism & church council meetings in German until just before WWII. Then all their English-speaking children and grandchildren went away to attend a Lutheran church where the services were in English.) Fortunately or unfortunately it's a natural process of assimilation so IMHO we need to manage that process as gracefully and prayerfully as possible. Roll Eyes
Logged
Suzannah
A sinner
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 12



« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2004, 12:01:15 PM »

Hi everyone!
I just want to share this:  I attend a small "mission" church.  (Serbian).  While there are a few Serbs there, most of the people come from various backgrounds.  We have a few Russians, a Bulgarian man, one from France, two from England, one from Ireland (me), several Americans, one Dutch, two Germans, one Australian....
Our church is so mixed that everyone agrees that English is the best answer and our "common ground" between us.  One wonderful thing that has resulted from all this:
During Liturgy and Vespers, one never knows what language "Lord have mercy" will be in.  All of us have learned to say "Lord have mercy" in at least three or four languages.
Smiley
Logged
ania
Life according to Abe Simpson:
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,097



« Reply #41 on: March 16, 2004, 12:55:59 PM »

I'm not bashing immigrants, just those particular immigrants who are provincial-minded and give no thought to the larger community and the integration of various believers in a new country (even among immigrants, if a Russian and a Greek live in the same place, why shouldn't they worship together?)  This type of narrow provincialism shows unspeakable contempt for one of two things.  Either it shows contempt for Orthodox Christianity itself, because if you truly think something is valuable, you'll be interested in spreading it, or it shows contempt for the members of the wider non-Orthodox community, because having something of value, these provincials show no concern for those who remain without it.

Narrow Provincialism, aye?  Perhaps you have never thought about why immigrant congregations are they way they are.  My grandparents all immigrated after WW2 (through Germany) to the States.  When they first came here, they had just been through a horrific experience, one grandfather in particular.  He'd spent 2 1/2 years in prisoner of war camps.  He survived only through God's mercy, which by some miricle didn't send him back to the USSR during prisoner swaps, though his number did come up.  He witnessed executions, beatings, starvation, all sorts of unimaginable human cruelty.  Before that, in the USSR, he was considered worse than a second-class citizen, decending from 2 enemy-of-the-people classes, the aristocracy (through his mother) and the priesthood (his father).  He was not allowed to persue an education, hold most jobs, etc.  While in the POW camp, he and 2 friends regained their faith in God, and vowed to build a church once they were free.  After a few years in DP (Displaced Persons) camps in Germany after the war, they all ended up immigrating to NYC.  They kept their vow, one going so far as becoming the parish priest there (Fr. Serafim Slabatskoy, author of "Law of God," btw).  
One of the main goals for them however when they started this church, where Church Slavonic is still used to this day, wasn't spreading Orthodoxy.  At that time, they, and most if not all Russian immigrants & their religious leaders wanted a place for all Russian Orthodox who had immigrated to have something they had not been able to have in their homeland, some for most, or all of their lives, a place to worship like their forefathers did.  At that time they were not thinking to spread Orthodoxy, they were thinking to preserve it as they knew it.  The immigrant clergy had to re-educate the Russian immigration, as some did not even know how to cross themselves, due to the immense supression of religion in the USSR.  Their focus was not on bringing light to the outside Americans, their focus was on rekindling the flame of faith inside themselves.  
Now times have changed granted, BUT please please please, be a little more understanding of those that built those churches to begin with, most of who are in their 70s now, and their children, who try to preserve their heritage.  Also, another food for thought... when new immigrants come here, they will be drawn most to a place where their own native language is spoken.  Here in DC its much to often the clubs rather than the church, but those who do come are extremely glad to go somewhere where they can here their faith professed in their own native tongue.  
So bottom line, be nice, most parishes try to compromise, and those who don't, will either eventually lose it's flock by default or have to depend heavily on incoming immigrants.  
Hope this rant semi-makes sense.
Ciao Ciao,
Ania
Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
Edwin
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #42 on: March 16, 2004, 10:39:41 PM »

I'm not Orthodox, but it seems to me that "ethnic Orthodox" are getting it a bit rough on this thread. In particular, lellimore's post reflected an American nationalism that is at least as obnoxious as anything one hears from the Greeks. All Americans are immigrants, after all, and all Americans except for the "Indians" were immigrants to a country inhabited by another ethnic group. Should we all learn Cherokee? Immigrant populations with a strong ethnic identity are part of what makes America the wonderful place it is. There is no official language in the United States, and I don't think there ought to be. Let the linguistic chaos flourish! And while it's true that an over-identification with ethnicity is the bane of Orthodoxy, a bland Anglocentric pop culture is the bane of America. I don't think there is a right or a wrong here. As with all such conflicts among Christians, the only answer is charity and humility on _all_ sides. It seems to me that this is a classic example of the sort of thing Paul frequently addresses in his epistles. Don't you think if he were writing to American Orthodox he'd be telling the converts to learn Greek in order to understand the immigrants, and the immigrants to use more English in order not to put a stumbling block before the converts? As a practical compromise, I think that the use of both languages is the best way to go. Admittedly, I'm speaking as someone fascinated by learning foreign languages, and seriously annoyed by the prevalent American attitude that no normal person should be expected to know more than one language. But I'm also speaking as someone who was very frustrated in visiting a GO parish last fall where the entire liturgy was in Greek and it was hard to find anyone at the coffee hour willing to talk to an English-speaking non-Orthodox visitor (they weren't hostile, just wrapped up in their own world). Even the sermon was in Greek, which was the one part that really annoyed me (I know both the Orthodox liturgy and ancient Greek well enough to follow most of it, but I don't know modern Greek and there was no way I could follow the sermon). But at the same time, I think that parishes that go completely English are losing something as well. The universality of the Church is in part expressed by the use of multiple languages.

Just my two cents, as a sympathetic non-Orthodox whose first encounter with Orthodoxy was in Romania, and who thus both appreciates the links between Orthodoxy and national culture and is quite aware of their spiritual dangers.

In Christ,

Edwin
Logged

NULL
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #43 on: March 16, 2004, 11:19:56 PM »

Thank you Ania for sharing the story about your Grandfather.  

Edwin you expressed the attitude that I was trying to express but couldn't.  IMO (alas not humble!) a healthy attitude for a convert is sympathy for ethnic Orthodoxy opposed to a masked (and sometimes not so masked) hostility towards the ethnic crowd.
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2004, 12:47:57 AM »

 In particular, lellimore's post reflected an American nationalism that is at least as obnoxious as anything one hears from the Greeks.
I'm actually not American, and the inspiration for my views is not nationalism, American or otherwise.  The reason English should be used is because it's the common language in America, and therefore has the best potential for wide range.  Perhaps the strength of my language in my earlier posts is being mistaken for an extreme pro-English position.  That is not the position I hold; I just find the extreme ethnic position deeply offensive.  As I said earlier, I think some ethnic language can be worked into the liturgy, and this is perfectly acceptable.  What it can't do is interfere with the integrity of the English liturgy.
As to Ania's post, it must be remembered that while some ethnic churches have the sort of background you described, many, perhaps the majority, don't.  My own personal experience with "ethnic churches" represents another common type of these, which are the type I described earlier.  The specific church I referred to is basically full of well-to-do Greek bigots.  As to those who are like the church you described rather than the one I did, I happily concede that that makes the situation more complex.  Still, an important point has to be kept in mind.  The salvation of souls is infinitely more important than any cultural goal.  If these are in conflict, the first must take priority.  Once again, as I said in an earlier post, I'm much more sympathetic with the ethnic goals of refugees than I am with those of wilful immigrants, and if the area in question is a heavily populated one (eg. NYC) there can be room for some ethnic churches, with English ones alongside.  Where it becomes a problem is when in a more sparsely populated area, no English church is available, thereby shutting out the vast majority of the population.  It is this type of ethnic church, the type that leaves English speakers completely out in the cold, that I am attacking.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2004, 02:28:18 AM »

lellimore,
 I am afraid that Edwin's observation, whether you are from the US or Canadian or whatever, is still valid.

Quote
As to Ania's post, it must be remembered that while some ethnic churches have the sort of background you described, many, perhaps the majority, don't.

Ania IS correct for the majority, however. Certainly so for older parishes. Although I was struck that I never considered the Russians as having similar experiences to the Greeks, I was very aware of the anti-ethnic bias suffered by other Orthodox traditions here - notably most of the central and east Europeans who came here from Trans-Carpathia to work the steel mills and coal mines, cheap labor for jobs "Americans" didn't want (sound familiar, anyone?)
You must realize that in the "old country" Orthodoxy was the main religion - by a wide majority. Hence, being XXXX and Orthodox were the same thing.

Quote

The specific church I referred to is basically full of well-to-do Greek bigots.

Oh? An interesting statement. I imagine these  people would be amused at those labels considering what they (or their parents or grandparents) went through to establish their parish. I remember the tail-end of the period of 'racism' in the south USA where, to the Southern Baptists and other Protestants who disliked the Catholics so, but who were so totally put out by those more-Catholic-than-the-Pope Greeks, we were sorely abused. Wasn't pretty; wasn't fun. But I forgave them in their ignorance. Perhaps you could too?
You must also know already that during the 400 year Turkish domination of the Greeks that the Church preserved "Greekness". Later, when the Greeks came to "America" they faced discrimination of another sort which, sadly, reinforced their clannish nature. Orthodoxy came to America in 1794 with the Russians. The first Greek church was built here barely 100 years ago in New Orleans. Give my "patrioti" a break! They'll catch up!

Those 'well-to-do" Greeks didn't come here that way. What is the difference between a "willful immigrant" and a "refugee"? In the 1890 to 1925 (and again after WWII) I assure you these Greeks were economic refugees at best and political/religious refugees (those from Turkey) as well.
As to over ethnicized parishes, you have a justifiable position. It's a problem we will work through and quicker than many realize. I never thought I would see Greek parishes speaking 90% English, but they exist now. More will come especially as other English speaking jurisdictions here begin to grow.

I hope I have not offended you too much. There are many Greek members of this forum but they post very rarely.
You are correct - spend more time worrying about "Correct Belief"!

Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
ania
Life according to Abe Simpson:
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,097



« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2004, 10:54:30 AM »

Funny Demetri, I never thought of the Greeks having the same experience as the Russians ;-)
Logged

Now where were we? Oh yeah - the important thing was I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones...
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2004, 12:47:58 PM »

An interesting thing to consider is the lot of the Poles in America and their relationship with the Catholic Church.  When the Poles first came here this was an IRISH church (funny this should come up today).  Thus Poles couldn't have parish bussiness carried out in Polish because most parish priests of Polish parishes were Irish.  There were few Polish speaking priests or bishops - the Irish church didn't want them.  Thus a good number of Poles left the church - and this is what Orthodoxy risks doing if it is not careful.  

A good example of Irish bishops in action is the Saint Alexis Toth story...
Logged
PhosZoe
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Posts: 346

One foot in the cradle


« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2004, 01:45:55 PM »

So, PhosZoe, should I expect to have to speak Greek (or whatever language) to you at your workplace to make you feel more comfortable?  Maybe I should change the language of all the documents that you work with as well?

If the Church is to fulfill the "Great Commission" so to speak, then it must use the language of the people it is evangelizing to.  Lumping in "english" with a crying room, instruments, etc. is a copout.  Your ethnic club is welcome to preserve the status quo and slowly die off - or it can do it's best to fulfill God's command and evengelize the native people.  

Maybe I wasn't being clear.  If a parish is overwhelmingly ethnic. I think it is wrong for someone to barge in ask 'demand' that english be used for the liturgy.  The majority should rule.  I don't think a "fresh immigrant" parish should bend over backwards to use english.

In a case where you have a Gen.3 or 4 parish where most of the people are ethnic, it may be easier to have an all english liturgy. Since most of the parish would probably understand English better than Greek (or Serbian, Russian etc.)

Cry rooms, instruments etc... It has been my experience these requests often follow the demand for English use.

 

Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2004, 03:18:42 PM »

lellimore,
 I am afraid that Edwin's observation, whether you are from the US or Canadian or whatever, is still valid.

Oh? An interesting statement. I imagine these  people would be amused at those labels considering what they (or their parents or grandparents) went through to establish their parish. I remember the tail-end of the period of 'racism' in the south USA where, to the Southern Baptists and other Protestants who disliked the Catholics so, but who were so totally put out by those more-Catholic-than-the-Pope Greeks, we were sorely abused. Wasn't pretty; wasn't fun. But I forgave them in their ignorance. Perhaps you could too?
You must also know already that during the 400 year Turkish domination of the Greeks that the Church preserved "Greekness". Later, when the Greeks came to "America" they faced discrimination of another sort which, sadly, reinforced their clannish nature. Orthodoxy came to America in 1794 with the Russians. The first Greek church was built here barely 100 years ago in New Orleans. Give my "patrioti" a break! They'll catch up!

As to over ethnicized parishes, you have a justifiable position. It's a problem we will work through and quicker than many realize. I never thought I would see Greek parishes speaking 90% English, but they exist now. More will come especially as other English speaking jurisdictions here begin to grow.
Sorry I didn't divide up the points...I'm really not too good at this...anyway, I'll respond to the points in order; hopefully this still makes sense.  As to the nationalism bit, please be more specific or leave it alone.  This is bordering on a personal attack (and a highly unjustified one at that), so at least give me something I can actually respond to.  As to the "well-to-do's", you must be careful not to assume that any particular situation is universal.  Where I live (Ontario), there never has been much of a religious majority, and religious and ethnic relations have been relatively peaceful.  Still, the Orthodox Church has had just as much of a tendency toward provincialism and xenophobia as it has anywhere else.  It's only been recently that the situation here has changed.  In general I would say that in my area the Orthodox have tended to be treated better than they have treated the wider community.  Both this type of situation and the one you described are widespread; neither are universal.  The basic, essential point is that the church is called to preach to ALL nations.  Historically speaking, the Orthodox church has done a positively miserable job of that in North America.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #50 on: March 17, 2004, 03:43:06 PM »

OK, lellimore.
As to 'universal' situations, where else have you had experiences with the Orthodox that you can share with us outside of Ontario?
Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #51 on: March 17, 2004, 11:25:44 PM »

That point came out wrong.  I wasn't trying to get into a competition over who has had the most personal experience with Orthodox churches in different geographical regions (and I think most of you would probably beat me at that).  I just meant that no one's personal experience is universal, and gave my own as a counterexample to those already given.  My point was merely that Orthodox churches exist in various types of situations, and that the more annoyingly ethnic ones aren't always in areas where the Orthodox have often been shunned.
As an aside, I think the tone on this thread is degenerating, and I take a good part (if not most) of the blame for that.  I'm sorry about that, and I'll try to keep the tone friendly hereon.  I would ask that others do likewise.
Logged
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #52 on: March 18, 2004, 10:31:24 AM »

Aw, shucks, lellimore, you beat me to an apology  Smiley

Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
Edwin
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2004, 02:11:44 PM »

:This is bordering on a personal attack (and a highly unjustified one at that), so at least give me something I can actually respond to.:

I don't know much about the Canadian situation, although I do know that at least one non-English language has a very solid status as part of Canadian identity! But certainly in the U.S. context it is the height of arrogance to suggest that immigrants should be fluent in English. What I found more objectionable, though, was your latent assumption that immigrants who were not refugees but wanted to keep their culture were somehow selfish freeloaders who wanted the benefits of American, or Canadian, or whatever culture without the responsibilities. If that is _not_ what you were hinting, I apologize. But in that case I really don't know what you were trying to say.

In Christ,

Edwin
Logged

NULL
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2004, 05:44:21 PM »

What you said about the Canadian situation is obviously quite true; French is an official language and is the prevalent one in Quebec and parts of New Brunswick.  If I had been talking about Canada in the earlier posts, my comments would have been altered accordingly.  I have no problem with the position of the French language in Canada.
As to why I was offended at being called an "American nationalist", there were essentially two reasons for this.  The first was just the "sniping" quality of the statement.  When I said "give me something to respond to" I meant that I think this might be an interesting area to discuss, but I think we should discuss it fully, rather than in pot shots at each other.  The second was that American nationalism tends to have a couple of features which distinguish it from the nationalisms elsewhere, and I personally think these distinguishing traits are negative.  I am a nationalist, but one of the "old school" so to speak.  
As to your summary of my earlier comments, it's generally correct (although a bit extreme).  You find those positions offensive; fair enough.  I would be perfectly happy to discuss them.
I'll try to hit one point on the head right away that you hinted at earlier, and is of course quite a common position, namely that America is an "immigrant country" or that "the only true natives here are the First Nations".  Neither of these statements is really true.  They rest on an unacceptable ambiguity in the words "native" and "immigration".  For the descendants of the original American settlers to not be considered native, you have to say that the descendants of immigrants are themselves immigrants.  But, this criterion disqualifies the first nations too.  They immigrated to the Americas as well; they just did it longer ago.  The first nations came from Asia and earlier; the colonists came from Europe and later, but both groups came.  Another problem with denying the descendants of colonists the title "native" is that it raises the obvious question of what is these people's native country.  In my case, my ancestors are English and French; does that make either of those places my native country?  I've never even been to England or France!  If I did what to go to either of those places and stay, I would be treated (rightfully) as an immigrant.  The essential problem with this view is that it ignores the fact that it is YOUR native country that is in question, not your ancestors.  Wherever you are born and grow up is your native country, no matter how it came about that you are there.
Also, America (and Canada) weren't founded by "immigrants" in the modern sense of the term.  In modern times, an immigrant comes to a country and lives there with people, following their laws and so forth.  The colonists weren't like this; they were conquerors.  They didn't immigrate to a place; they took it over.  Whatever the moral implications of this (and I find it as morally blameworthy as the next person), it is what happened, and the descendants of these colonists aren't guilty for it.  An English descendant living in the Americas is like a Turk in Anatolia or a Russian in the Eastern part of the federation, rather than like a new immigrant today.  This is a very relevant difference, but I'll leave it there for now, mainly because I don't actually know if anyone's interested in discussing this point.
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #55 on: March 18, 2004, 10:38:29 PM »

A point that hasn't be brought up yet is that when one converts to Orthodoxy a person is finding a new home.  If a person leaves thier native country to spend the rest of thier life in another land they will no doutb strive to learn the language.  I think the same should hold true for Orthodox converts.  Suppose even 10% of liturgy is Greek or Slavonic...wouldn't it be worth the effort to learn?  If the reality of your local parish is non english services why not just learn the language?
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #56 on: March 20, 2004, 12:07:33 PM »

I agree with that.  It's one thing to say that the liturgy should be open to English people, but if it's not, it's definitely better to adapt to the situation than to just not go to church or to go and not understand.
Logged
Mary
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


OC.net


« Reply #57 on: March 21, 2004, 02:46:48 PM »

I agree, if a person leaves their home country and moves to another, they should learn the language of their new country which also includes the Orthodox Church in that country.  Such as moving to Greece, learn Greek; Russia, learn Russian; and the US and Canada, learn English.  I certainly wouldn't expect to hear the Liturgy in English if I went to Greece but I would if I went to Canada.

I didn't become Orthodox to become part of an ethnic club.  I came because it is The Church.  

Last week the "Russian Wannabes" were in for a surprise.  The priest was out of town and in his place was a priest from Russia.   Very few had a clue as to what he said, especially during the homily.  English transcripts were handed out during coffee hour.
Logged
lellimore
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


OC.net


« Reply #58 on: March 21, 2004, 07:06:14 PM »

and the US and Canada, learn English.  
Unless you're going to Quebec Grin
Logged
amnesiac99
Always Hopeful, Yet Discontent
Member
***
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Patriarchate of Antioch
Posts: 93

Create in me a clean heart, O God


WWW
« Reply #59 on: March 31, 2004, 01:36:29 AM »

Quote
How do other converts out there feel about liturgical languages?  Does a convert have a right to expect mostly English services?  Should a convert learn the language of whatever ethnicity dominates his parish?

As a very recent convert (I was baptized into the GOA on February 14, 2004), I have come to greatly enjoy the portions of the services performed in Greek. I've made a nominal effort to learn liturgical Greek, and now know what is being said and done even if not in English. Being a lover of both history and language, however, I am probably an exception; it is exciting for me to hear the worship being conducted in the ancient languages. Our parish is a fairly-even mix of ethnic Greeks and converts, so most of the services (probably about 65%) are in English. In the end, though, each priests knows his congregation and their needs, and the decision about language is best left to him and perhaps the parish council.

Just my thoughts, though... I'm probably not the most qualified person to decide.
Logged

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon and save us. Amen!
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #60 on: March 31, 2004, 11:52:51 AM »

As a very recent convert (I was baptized into the GOA on February 14, 2004), I have come to greatly enjoy the portions of the services performed in Greek. I've made a nominal effort to learn liturgical Greek, and now know what is being said and done even if not in English. Being a lover of both history and language, however, I am probably an exception; it is exciting for me to hear the worship being conducted in the ancient languages. Our parish is a fairly-even mix of ethnic Greeks and converts, so most of the services (probably about 65%) are in English. In the end, though, each priests knows his congregation and their needs, and the decision about language is best left to him and perhaps the parish council.

Just my thoughts, though... I'm probably not the most qualified person to decide.

+º-ü+++++¦+¦ -Ç+++++++¦! Many years!
I applaud your language efforts; you will do well with that attitude among the Greeks. And your parish seems more enlightened and will do well in Christ's service Smiley

Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
Linus7
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,780



« Reply #61 on: March 31, 2004, 12:02:17 PM »

The whole ethnicity issue that pops up here from time to time is probably the single most distressing thing about Orthodoxy. It is the root of the whole jurisdictional mess as well as the source of hubris and exclusivism.

I believe it has probably turned away many honest seekers over the years and will probably continue to do so.
Logged

The first condition of salvation is to keep the norm of the true faith and in no way to deviate from the established doctrine of the Fathers.
- Pope St. Hormisdas
Edwin
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


Place Personal Text Here


« Reply #62 on: April 05, 2004, 09:16:21 PM »

I took part yesterday in a meeting of conservative Episcopalians in my area, and in the course of the conversation I mentioned that if I left ECUSA the most likely possibility for me was Orthodoxy. One of the people there commented, "but could you really become Greek?" Which confirms what you are saying. However, thinking about it later I wondered if this isn't in fact a common stumbling block that most converts historically have had to get over. For instance, for African converts to Christianity in the 19th and much of the 20th centuries becoming Christian generally meant becoming European. We agree today that this was a very bad thing, but it's how Divine Providence allowed it to happen, and ultimately the Africans have been able to start building their own form of Christianity. I guess this is less of an issue for me because I love learning new languages and experiencing non-Anglo cultures, and I have a particular love for Eastern European culture (I spent quite a bit of time in Romania). So that really isn't a reason why I wouldn't become Orthodox (much more serious is that I have problems accepting that there is in fact one True Church that can be identified with a particular Christian group today; and women's ordination is also a significant issue for me).

In Christ,

Edwin
Logged

NULL
ambrosemzv
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 185


Pray unto God for us, Holy Ambrose of Optino!


« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2004, 04:57:47 PM »

My feelings on this issue have shifted these past two weeks, as a result of my visiting a Greek Orthodox parish in Shreveport, near where I work during weekdays, for the Presanctified Liturgy and Bridegroom Matins.

The reception there was incredibly warm (warmer than I'd experienced in a purely English-speaking Church I'd visited, made up of a majority of converts).  About 10% of the service was in Greek, and it didn't trouble me in the slightest.  My feeling was that I was in a Church which experienced itself, first and foremost, as Orthodox Christian, and then as Greek.  They have a big sign outside that proclaims, "All Orthodox and Visitors Welcome!" and that welcome was embodied by many parishioners.

Inasmuch as most of the long-term parishioners are of Greek origins, it did not offend me at all, or put me off, that some Greek was used.  It would certainly not prevent me from joining the parish, were I to move to the area.

True, I understand basic liturgical Greek somewhat, and am interested in the language, but even if that were not the case, I would have had no trouble following the service:  The Greek parts were mostly part of three-part repetitions, in which the other parts were sung or spoken in English.
Logged

Le coeur a ses raisons que la raison ne comprend pas.  -Pascal
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2004, 06:32:52 PM »

I think it is wrong to generalize about ethnic parishes or converts parishes being generally more or less welcoming.  I think it is a thing the varies from parish to parish even within a jurisdiction.
Logged
Mary
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 24


OC.net


« Reply #65 on: April 11, 2004, 11:16:37 AM »

I think the priest determines how friendly the parish will be.   After 3 1/2 years, my husband and I are in search of a new Orthodox parish which isn't easy given the fact that  there are just a handful of Orthodox churches  here.

We want a priest who cares.  I don't care anymore about the people to fellowship with.  I just want a priest who will respond when the plea of help is given.  

The Liturgy has to be mostly in English though, so for us, the Greek church is out.  

 

 
Logged
sdcheung
it's as if..Saint Photios and Saint Mark Ephesus, has come back
Banned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,325


...even though Romania Falls, another will Rise...


« Reply #66 on: April 21, 2004, 09:38:49 PM »

at home in any language.
yes sometimes I DO like to hear English in the Liturgy and Vespers and Matins, but only for the stichs of the saints that I want to really know about.
Logged


Keep Breed Mixing, and this Maine Coon Cat will be the last of it's kind. /\
No profanities in your sig line if you're going to post in the public forum.
Canmak
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 99


OC.net


« Reply #67 on: April 22, 2004, 06:22:21 PM »

My church does it in both........English and Macedonian.....our priest makes sure to do it in both languages.  I would say its about 50 50............................I myself understand Macedonian but have trouble understanding the Church Slavonic (I believe thats the term) but in english its no problem.


I have had discussions with some people as to what should be used......I find that hard core ethno nationalist don't want english to be used.....I tend personally to hear the message much clearer if English is used........thank God my priest agree's that for the younger generation English should be used since its the language that most of us fully understand.



Logged

My doctor says I am fine its my other personalities that have the problems.
spartacus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 286


OC.net


« Reply #68 on: May 19, 2004, 02:26:57 AM »

A point that hasn't be brought up yet is that when one converts to Orthodoxy a person is finding a new home.  If a person leaves thier native country to spend the rest of thier life in another land they will no doutb strive to learn the language.  I think the same should hold true for Orthodox converts.  Suppose even 10% of liturgy is Greek or Slavonic...wouldn't it be worth the effort to learn?  If the reality of your local parish is non english services why not just learn the language?


My in-laws being first generation speak their own form of Russian/Polish indicative to the kids from their generation in their old Chicago neighborhood....WHen I started dating their daughter though and they would do these little conversations between themselves in this dialect in their own homes...I was polite...However when we got marrried some years later and they visited our home and did the little conversation between themselves.....I let them know as politely as I could that I thought it rude they speak in a language neither my wife and I could understand...right in front of us!

They had never really thought about it before and when I brought it to their attention they realized I was right and have since ceased doing that in our home...and in their own. I think it is great if a convert wants to learn about a new Church and a new language all at the same time -- but is it reasonable to expect people to want to do this when they are attending Liturgy in the country of their birth? How many ethinic parishes have congregations who are literally dying off...and the children and grandchildren have moved on to something else or nothing at all?
Logged
Νεκτάριος
Protokentarchos
*********
Offline Offline

Posts: 5,437



« Reply #69 on: May 19, 2004, 08:22:41 PM »

Quote
but is it reasonable to expect people to want to do this when they are attending Liturgy in the country of their birth? How many ethinic parishes have congregations who are literally dying off...and the children and grandchildren have moved on to something else or nothing at all?

Protestant feel good style mega churches are packed and growing....some ethnic places are growing, a good number aren't....I know of all english usage Orthodox parishes that are dying out.... so this is not so simple as some would wish to make it.
Logged
teresita
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


OC.net


« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2004, 10:15:41 PM »

I think that Orthodox parishes should have one service in English and one with the ethnic language. I know some do, like the one I go. They actually have one service 50-50.

Many Catholic churches have services in at least two languages, so those who do not speak English can observe Mass on Sundays.

Logged

Teresita
spartacus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 286


OC.net


« Reply #71 on: August 18, 2004, 04:46:11 PM »

I think that Orthodox parishes should have one service in English and one with the ethnic language. I know some do, like the one I go. They actually have one service 50-50.

Many Catholic churches have services in at least two languages, so those who do not speak English can observe Mass on Sundays.



I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Our parish gets around this by having one altar for an English Divine Liturgy...and another for Slovanic......Essentially we have two faith communities sharing the same building, as the Slovanics are even on the old calendar and the ENglish are not. On some Occasions though (like Pashca or a picnic to mark the start of the Sunday School Year) both communities come together.

We find that eventually those who attend the Slovanic service -- usually migrate over to the English after they have been in this country for a while....or their children want to attend Liturgy with their friends from Sunday School.
Logged
teresita
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 8


OC.net


« Reply #72 on: August 21, 2004, 12:24:44 PM »

It is very understandable that a person would feel more comfortable listening to the Divine Liturgy or any religious service on their native language or feel more comfortable just praying using their native language. I know because English is my second language. If you have been praying all your life using the same language, it is second nature and closer to the heart, your soul, you’re conscious and subconscious. However, if the church wants to communicate the word of God to everyone, the church should use the main language of the country where the parish is located. Why a person should need to learn a specific language to worship God? The Father gave through the Holy Spirit the knowledge of different languages to the apostles to go out to other nations to communicate his word and Jesus teachings. What is Jesus language? I think is Love. Wouldn’t Jesus say “I love you” and “Welcome” on a language that you could understand to bring you closer?
Here in the US, I think that every church should have a Divine Liturgy on the ethic language of the predominant group of the congregation and one in English.




I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Hi Spartacus,
I never heard before about that practice. I’ll ask our priest. I wonder what is the reason for that? What is the relationship with the altar to limit the number of times to worship God?


Teresita  Roll Eyes So many questions in my head.....
Logged

Teresita
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #73 on: August 21, 2004, 01:26:19 PM »


I am certainly no expert but I undertsand there is a practice in the Orthdox Church where an altar can only have one Divine Liturgy per day served from it.

Hi Spartacus,
I never heard before about that practice. I’ll ask our priest. I wonder what is the reason for that? What is the relationship with the altar to limit the number of times to worship God?


Teresita  Roll Eyes So many questions in my head.....

One of the first things I learned as an altar-boy back in 1959 or so was that we only can celebrate one Divine Liturgy -one sacrifice and resurrection- per altar per liturgical day. Those parishes which I have experienced which serve two liturgies have a main temple with its altar and an adjoining chapel with its own altar.

Demetri
« Last Edit: August 21, 2004, 01:36:51 PM by +æ-ü+¦-â-ä+++¦+++«-é » Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
spartacus
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Posts: 286


OC.net


« Reply #74 on: August 21, 2004, 07:18:46 PM »

One of the first things I learned as an altar-boy back in 1959 or so was that we only can celebrate one Divine Liturgy -one sacrifice and resurrection- per altar per liturgical day. Those parishes which I have experienced which serve two liturgies have a main temple with its altar and an adjoining chapel with its own altar.

Demetri


Yep!
Logged
cizinec
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 941


There ain't no way but the hard way.


« Reply #75 on: August 24, 2004, 07:12:46 PM »

I am an Anglophone in a Serbian parish.  Many of the immigrants to our parish are refugees and would rather be in their homeland in their houses, which were destroyed, in Bosnia and Croatia.  They came here because this is where they could come to survive (and where a country let them in).  They speak Serbian (technically, many speak the Croatian and Bosnian variants).  The liturgy is in two languages:  70% Slavonic and 30% English - not in Serbian at all!  When there are almost no English speakers at liturgy and we have a very long liturgy, the priest delivers his sermon in Serbian.  Sometimes it is only in English.  It is usually in both, although it seems to be tailored to the two different groups within our community.  If only Anglophones are at a service, only English is used.

Our choir is made up of Anglophones, although there is one ethnic Serb who is fluent in Serbian.  We are planning to sing certain parts of the liturgy in English, Serbian and Slavonic.  

To the Serbs, this is an important issue.  It is their church.  They built it and their ancestors suffered and died to keep it.  I am now a member, true, but I'm not there to turn the place into Yankee central.  The church is growing by . . .  converts.  It something works, then don't try to "fix" it.

We have our share of racists.  Let's face it, that's what someone is who wants to deny someone access to the Church because of race.  I just don't let them bug me and I make darn sure that visitors don't feel left out.

Every once in a while I try my terrible Serbian out.  I get smiles.  I also make beer and share my goodies with the community.  They seem to like me well enough.  Sometimes I think it takes a little extra effort.  Should it?  Probably not, but we don't live in a perfect world and some things we shouldn't have to do, well, we do.  That's life.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2004, 07:14:31 PM by cizinec » Logged

"Brother, your best friend ain't your Momma, it's the Field Artillery."
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #76 on: August 24, 2004, 07:31:12 PM »

Having two liturgies OR having two altars in one church in order to have two liturgies are both abuses.  The reasoning is that there is ONE Eucharist per community.  We cannot divide the Lord.  The solution is liturgy part in English, part in language of whatever immigrants are there.

anastasios
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
sdcheung
it's as if..Saint Photios and Saint Mark Ephesus, has come back
Banned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,325


...even though Romania Falls, another will Rise...


« Reply #77 on: August 24, 2004, 08:23:38 PM »

what about having 2 priests. 2 Altars, 2 Eucharists per Liturgical day?
Logged


Keep Breed Mixing, and this Maine Coon Cat will be the last of it's kind. /\
No profanities in your sig line if you're going to post in the public forum.
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #78 on: August 24, 2004, 08:26:56 PM »

That is techincally ok but a violation of the spirit of the canon, and if you have all that, why not have 2 churches?
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
sdcheung
it's as if..Saint Photios and Saint Mark Ephesus, has come back
Banned
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,325


...even though Romania Falls, another will Rise...


« Reply #79 on: August 24, 2004, 10:26:16 PM »

Nod..side by side.
sister parishes, just in a different part of the building
Logged


Keep Breed Mixing, and this Maine Coon Cat will be the last of it's kind. /\
No profanities in your sig line if you're going to post in the public forum.
Αριστοκλής
Merarches
***********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese
Posts: 10,026


« Reply #80 on: August 25, 2004, 02:20:27 AM »

That is techincally ok but a violation of the spirit of the canon, and if you have all that, why not have 2 churches?

OK, anastasios, I'll bite...how is two churches not also 'splitting' the community?
In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.
In a town near me- population 1500 - there are three Orthodox churches (in three jurisdictions), each barely making ends meet.
How are these examples also not in the canonical spirit?
Better to have a temple with separate chapel in some cases than two churches, IMHO.

Demetri
Logged

"Religion is a neurobiological illness and Orthodoxy is its cure." - Fr. John S. Romanides
cizinec
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 941


There ain't no way but the hard way.


« Reply #81 on: August 25, 2004, 09:07:41 AM »

Demetri,

And the sharing of the facilities by different jurisdictions doesn't split a community.  It brings two separate communities closer together.

One only has to drive down the road in my city with Baptist churches that have signs in three, sometimes four, languages.  There are obvious problems with this comparison, but I can’t imagine why separate chapels would be an abuse.  Truth be told, it would probably ease the workload of some of the priests, increase the number of weekly services, and expose the uber-ethnics to the concept that there are really other nice Orthodox Christians not of their ethnicity.

I don’t think many jurisdictions would go for it, though.  There would be all sorts of questions of ownership, etc. that would have to be worked out.
Logged

"Brother, your best friend ain't your Momma, it's the Field Artillery."
prodromos
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Posts: 1,463

Sydney, Australia


« Reply #82 on: August 25, 2004, 09:17:08 AM »

This is why canons are guides and not hard and fast rules. The situation we are describing above simply did not exist when these particular canons were devised.
It is not our place to apply the canons but our bishops.

John.
Logged
Orthodoc
Supporter & Defender Of Orthodoxy
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Catholic
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 2,526

Those who ignore history tend to repeat it.


« Reply #83 on: August 25, 2004, 10:30:53 AM »

[In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.
In a town near me- population 1500 - there are three Orthodox churches (in three jurisdictions), each barely making ends meet.
How are these examples also not in the canonical spirit?
Better to have a temple with separate chapel in some cases than two churches, IMHO.]

I agree.  But this by no means is unique to Orthodoxy.  In the small town I came from (now less that 4000 people) there are three Roman Catholic churches.  All bearly surviving.  There is one Roman Catholic priest assigned to the town.  He has to serve Mass separately in each parish because the Irish wouldn't be caught dead in the Slovak or Lithuanian churches of vice versa!

Othodoc

Logged

Oh Lord, Save thy people and bless thine inheritance.
Grant victory to the Orthodox Christians over their adversaries.
And by virtue of thy Cross preserve thy habitation.
Schultz
Christian. Guitarist. Zymurgist. Librarian.
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,472


Scion of the McKeesport Becks.


WWW
« Reply #84 on: August 25, 2004, 10:41:52 AM »

Quote
He has to serve Mass separately in each parish because the Irish wouldn't be caught dead in the Slovak or Lithuanian churches of vice versa!

The priest who heard my first confession and gave me my first Communion is in a similar situation.  He is the pastor of two churches in a small town near Pittsburgh, but he used to head three.  The Polish church was inspected a couple of years ago and foudn to be structurally unsound; you could even see it from the street.  The diocese decided that it just was not economically feasible to repair the church while there were two others in town that were perfectly capable of ministering to the needs of these parishoners.  

Those same parishoners had other ideas.  Aghast at the idea of having to worship with non-Poles, they tried to sue the diocese and the bishop, lost that fight, and then I believe bolted to the Polish National Catholic Church.  Their former paster, Fr. Michael, bluntly told them that if they thought the church was an ethnic social club and they couldn't worship with their fellow Catholics at another church in town, they had no idea what it meant to be a Christian and a Catholic.  Of course, this didn't endear him anymore to the leaders of the separatist movement.

As Orthodoc said, this isn't merely an Orthodox phenomenon.  It's one thing for Spanish-speaking Americans to have their own church, but quite another for second and third-generation Americans to be quibbling over the ethnicity of their churches.  It's quite sad.
Logged

"Hearing a nun's confession is like being stoned to death with popcorn." --Abp. Fulton Sheen
The young fogey
Warned
Archon
********
Offline Offline

Posts: 2,709


I'm an alpaca, actually


WWW
« Reply #85 on: August 25, 2004, 10:51:54 AM »

Quote
Aghast at the idea of having to worship with non-Poles, they tried to sue the diocese and the bishop, lost that fight, and then I believe bolted to the Polish National Catholic Church.  Their former paster, Fr. Michael, bluntly told them that if they thought the church was an ethnic social club and they couldn't worship with their fellow Catholics at another church in town, they had no idea what it meant to be a Christian and a Catholic.  Of course, this didn't endear him anymore to the leaders of the separatist movement.

They don't!

The tiny shrinking PNCC today proves that such a motive hasn't got much staying power.
Logged

Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #86 on: August 25, 2004, 11:12:55 AM »

Having churches side-by-side would also be a violation of the spirit of the canons and that's not what I meant.  I meant that if there are enough people and need, that two different parishes could be established (I.e. as per the normal process of when a church grows; I didn't mean have two differnet ethnic parishes one right accross the street from another).  For instance, in Charlotte, NC, the Greek Cathedral in the city still was predominately immigrant Greek while their mission in the suburbs was mostly English-speaking.

Prodromos,

You're right, the canons did not forsee certain situations and it is the job of the bishops to apply them.  But sometimes they apply them wrongly. Smiley

anastasios
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
TonyS
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Posts: 705


« Reply #87 on: August 25, 2004, 12:40:54 PM »

OK, anastasios, I'll bite...how is two churches not also 'splitting' the community?
In Carnegie, PA (a south Pittsburgh suburban municipality) there are two stunningly beautiful Orthodox churches - an OCA and an Ukrainian- quite literally side-by-side. I must admit I shake my head a little every time I pass them.

Actually they are not side-by-side, there is an AME church in between them.  The OCA parish is my "home parish."  There is an historical reason for two churches being there and it is ethnic.  It is unfortunate but that is reality.  We have our people and new Russian immigrants; the Ukrainians have their people and new Ukrainian immigrants.  The Ukrainians use a lot of modern Ukrainian.  We use English with a wee bit of Slavonic.  

In one way the parishes meet different needs.  But, all said, there should be one parish I agree.

Logged

Tómame como al tequila, de un golpe y sin pensarlo. - Ricardo Arjona

I'd be a fool to surrender when I know I can be a contender
and if everbody's a sinner then everybody can be a winner
...
I'll see you when yo
Donna Rose
High Elder
******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 937


« Reply #88 on: August 25, 2004, 03:47:25 PM »

Quote
You're right, the canons did not forsee certain situations and it is the job of the bishops to apply them.  But sometimes they apply them wrongly. Smiley

Hmm, please don't take this the wrong way...I've been struggling with this for a while...but if we truly believe that our bishops are the ones whose job it is to apply the canons (which it is), a power invested in them so-to-speak through the Holy Spirit at their ordination, and a power that we don't have as laypeople, then what authority do we have to say they are applying them "wrongly"? If you (this is a general "you," as in anybody) are in communion with your Church, you are in communion with all of its bishops as well, and to believe deep down that they are wrong presents problems, IMO. There is something amiss somewhere...now I know that it becomes complicated when bishops in communion with each other interpret canons differently, and so it seems happenchance whether or not you are in a diocese with a bishop you "agree" with or not, which seems "unfair," but I *think* it is more important to be obedient to, let's say *my* bishop rather than for me to let the entire structure of faith in the heirarchy of the Church crumble in my mind simply because I don't think my bishop is "right" when I have no idea what "right" is anyway.

Just my 2 cents Smiley

Please note, I did not have the current issue of churches side by side in mind when I wrote this, I'm only responding to the comment I quoted. Smiley
Logged

hmmmm...
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,444


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #89 on: August 25, 2004, 05:12:18 PM »

Bishops can err since they are not perfect.  In this specific case, however, it is up to the Synod to fix the error.  Sometimes a Synod is in error--I think several synods are in error for setting up 18 or so jurisdictions in America--and perhaps then a Great Council can fix it.  What about when a Great council is wrong? Then it was not so "great"--c.f. Ephesus "II"--and in that case the entire people of God rise up against that council.

As a lay(wo)man your and my duty is usually to obey the bishop though Smiley

anastasios
Logged

Please Buy My Book!

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodo
Tags:
Pages: 1 2 All   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.235 seconds with 116 queries.