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Author Topic: Organs in Greek Orthodox Churches  (Read 27761 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tikhon29605
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« on: April 18, 2004, 03:29:37 PM »

Does anyone know when the use of organs in Greek Orthodox parishes in the USA started? In the 1960s? Immediately after the Second World War? Or earlier? I've never seen a Greek Orthodox monastery that used an organ, not even here in the USA.  I am told that the use of an organ in Greece itself in almost unknown.  What about the Greek Orthodox in Canada, South America, and Australia?  Do they use the organ to acccompany the Liturgy too, or is this just an American thing? I'm not condemning anybody, I'm just curious.
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« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2004, 03:33:23 PM »

1939, at the NYC Cathedral. Why: couldn't find a good cantor.

ICK.
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« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2004, 04:28:53 PM »

1939, at the NYC Cathedral. Why: couldn't find a good cantor.

ICK.

 WOW, Anastasios!  I had no idea.  That surprises me.  The Greek Orthodox parishes I've visited have always had good chanters.  Interesting.
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« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2004, 05:04:11 PM »

There are some good psaltis in the GOA, but the all the good ones I know were trained in Greece, not the United States (but I hope this isn't universal!)....   From what I know the chanting at Saint Anthony's can rival anything from the Holy Mountain...  but to be 100% honest most GOA choirs are awful and need an organ to play the melody in order to match pitch.    

As I understand it Antiochians use Byzantine chant, what do they do with thier choirs....the GOA could learn from them.
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« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2004, 05:08:16 PM »

As I understand it Antiochians use Byzantine chant, what do they do with thier choirs....the GOA could learn from them.  

I've only been to one Antiochian parish and they didn't use Byzantine chant for the liturgy, only for Vespers. Keep in mind this is the parish where the Boston Byzantine Choir is based, so I'm sure they were quite capable of doing a Byzantine liturgy.
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« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2004, 06:14:36 PM »

...  but to be 100% honest most GOA choirs are awful and need an organ to play the melody in order to match pitch.    


I noticed a few weeks back when I had to "attend" services via the internet that St. Barbara's in CT (GOA) was using their organ only to give a lead key to the choir which sang a capella - VERY nice. Maybe this will spread. (Hint: Greeks- join choir, then agitate to unplug the organ  Cheesy )

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« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2004, 06:29:05 PM »

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As I understand it Antiochians use Byzantine chant, what do they do with thier choirs....the GOA could learn from them

For vespers and orthros in the Antiochian parishes you will hear Byzantine chant. For Liturgy there are 4 different things you might hear; 1. Tchaikovsky's setting for the Divine Liturgy translated into English, 2. Fr. James Meena's arrangement of the Divine Liturgy (which is based on the Byzantine music but uses 4 part harmony), 3. "The Congregational Liturgy" which is Byzantine music done on a single part scale, mostly in tone 2. and finally 4. The best of.... which takes pieces of works from every Orthodox source out there. The skill level and size of the choir/ congregation vary a lot from parish to parish and unfortunately there are those parishes that use and organ but this practice is dying a slow death.

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« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2004, 08:14:32 PM »

I noticed a few weeks back when I had to "attend" services via the internet that St. Barbara's in CT (GOA) was using their organ only to give a lead key to the choir which sang a capella - VERY nice. Maybe this will spread. (Hint: Greeks- join choir, then agitate to unplug the organ  Cheesy )

Demetri

I have an easier solution. Americans join the choir then agitate that ALL chanting and and singing be in ENGLISH!

THAT would solve the problem of having to go to Greece to find a chanter.
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« Reply #8 on: April 18, 2004, 08:18:23 PM »

OK, TomS, what about the organs?

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« Reply #9 on: April 18, 2004, 08:26:07 PM »

We could organize an OC.net covert organ robbing raid across America. Steal the organs, sell them to the Episcopal or Catholic Church and use the money for sending the GOA' choirs off for singing lessons. Problem solved.
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« Reply #10 on: April 18, 2004, 08:28:04 PM »

OK, TomS, what about the organs?

Demetri

ANATHEMA!  I hate organs! If I wanted to hear organs I would go to a Protestant church. But get this - at St. Sophia the chanter, instead of an organ, has started to use this machine that just does the ison (the single note that you hear the background male choir members doing in the background). He got it from Greece. It only has 16 keys for the upper and lower scale (Ne Pa Vu Ga De Ke Zo Nii) and is basically a recording of a person doing the ison which is constant when you hold down the key.

As a member of the choir who used to show up and help do this, I am not happy about it. This was the only way I could contribute when he was doing strict chanting.


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« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2004, 08:49:52 PM »

Quote
I have an easier solution. Americans join the choir then agitate that ALL chanting and and singing be in ENGLISH!

THAT would solve the problem of having to go to Greece to find a chanter.

If you don't know how to chant, it doesn't matter what language you're chanting!
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« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2004, 09:09:27 PM »

If you don't know how to chant, it doesn't matter what language you're chanting!

Wrong! The main purpose of the chant is to TEACH the faithful and to enable the faithful to meditate on the teaching. Read what is being chanted.  By chanting in a language that 90% of the people do not understand is the Church FAILING in its mission.
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« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2004, 09:17:52 PM »

You missed the point of what I was saying....once you can chant in Greek you can also chant in English almost as easily.  The problem of un-trained chanters is the skill level of chanters in America, not language.  I agree language is a problem in the GOA, but this is time it is not the main culprit.
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« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2004, 09:47:54 PM »

You missed the point of what I was saying....once you can chant in Greek you can also chant in English almost as easily.  The problem of un-trained chanters is the skill level of chanters in America, not language.  I agree language is a problem in the GOA, but this is time it is not the main culprit.  

Okay. Sorry -- However, I still disagree with you. I took chanting lessons for a year and although it is hard to learn how to chant, the major problem is that 90% of the chants are only in Greek. They have not been converted (for lack of a better term) into an English style that fits the chant notes. And this is because the GOA has not felt the need to foster this or underwrite the cost which, I feel, is the responsibility of the GOA.
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« Reply #15 on: April 18, 2004, 10:13:15 PM »

Okay. Sorry -- However, I still disagree with you. I took chanting lessons for a year and although it is hard to learn how to chant, the major problem is that 90% of the chants are only in Greek. They have not been converted (for lack of a better term) into an English style that fits the chant notes. And this is because the GOA has not felt the need to foster this or underwrite the cost which, I feel, is the responsibility of the GOA.



Here's what I find strangest of all: The GOA is quite possibly the most "modernist" of the jurisdictions in the US. They've accepted organs and pews, their clergy generally no longer appear as Orthodox clergy, they have downplayed the importance of confession, communion and fasting...all, presumably, in an attempt to "fit in" with the West. Yet, at the same time, this jurisdiction holds more foreign language services than any other. Whose idea was it to do away with the important things which help make us Orthodox, but keep the old language which helps no one?
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« Reply #16 on: April 18, 2004, 11:20:02 PM »

in a word...GREEKS......they are crazy but I like them anyway (well a few of them)
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Tikhon29605
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« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2004, 11:26:20 PM »

at St. Sophia the chanter, instead of an organ, has started to use this machine that just does the ison (the single note that you hear the background male choir members doing in the background). He got it from Greece. It only has 16 keys for the upper and lower scale (Ne Pa Vu Ga De Ke Zo Nii) and is basically a recording of a person doing the ison which is constant when you hold down the key.


Wow! An Ison "machine"! What will they think of next? LOL
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« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2004, 11:28:11 PM »

We could organize an OC.net covert organ robbing raid across America. Steal the organs, sell them to the Episcopal or Catholic Church and use the money for sending the GOA' choirs off for singing lessons. Problem solved.

Bogo:  This is hilarious!  We need more of this light hearted humor here.
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2004, 11:31:09 PM »

I had no idea that the choirs in the GOA were "awful" as someone posted.  The ones I have heard, although they did use organ accompaniment, were pretty good.  I was surprised that the GOA choirs I've heard have sung very little Byzantine chant.  Most of what they sang sounded like Russian music, with a Greek text, and organ accompaniment.  Being from a Russian Orthodox background, it rather surprised me.
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2004, 01:10:34 AM »

hehehe this is kinda funny the only 2 GOA churches i have been to neither one used organs. Although oddly the parish I am in has an organ but I have never seen it used.
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2004, 01:13:19 AM »

at St. Sophia the chanter, instead of an organ, has started to use this machine that just does the ison (the single note that you hear the background male choir members doing in the background). He got it from Greece. It only has 16 keys for the upper and lower scale (Ne Pa Vu Ga De Ke Zo Nii) and is basically a recording of a person doing the ison which is constant when you hold down the key.


Wow! An Ison "machine"! What will they think of next? LOL

A friend who has posted on this board a few times just got one.  He's all excited about it.   Roll Eyes  I think that the only time it would be appropriate to use is if there is only one chanter who showed up.  The machine is supposed to imitate the chanter's voice (NOT prerecorded of someone elses).

At an Antiochian parish in SF, they use an organ rather quietly for the melody.  I was annoyed at first, but a little while in the service, it was barely noticeable.  Any more involvement than that should be verboten though.
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« Reply #22 on: April 19, 2004, 01:32:04 AM »

Dare I ask this question? LOL  Do any of the Greek Orthodox Churches with organs give organ concerts?
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« Reply #23 on: April 19, 2004, 03:17:31 AM »

hehehe this is kinda funny the only 2 GOA churches i have been to neither one used organs. Although oddly the parish I am in has an organ but I have never seen it used.

Thanks for the comment, Historynut.
Being one of the few Greeks who modestly participates here I see another round of Greek-bashing starting up again among the natives. It is little wonder at the number of Greeks who join here and then (thinking, "well, their converts, what do you expect" Wink ) quietly leave and never post again.
In point of fact, I've only been to three or four OCA parishes and one ROCOR. ALL except ONE had pews. I neither applaud nor comdemn them.
And I have seen Greek parishes run the gamut from excessive organ use to almost none - one in particular was a large parish with a choir of only THREE that I would put up against any other I have ever heard ( it could have been larger but sounded so good that no one wanted to ruin it).
I have been to OCA parishes where the choir director thinks he's Lawrence Welk or Mitch Miller and totally disrupts the flow of the liturgy with his leads (a case where I would welcome an organ) and where the delivery in English was so poor I wished they would have switched to Slavonic.
And where I worship now, we have no choir other than us poor parishoners in our pews which only some use while singing a'capella plain chant in English.
I am usually more thankful at having or finding an Orthodox church to worship in.

Demetri
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« Reply #24 on: April 19, 2004, 09:23:59 AM »

Some Antiochian parishes use a modified form of Byzantine chant for choral chanting, and some even get the congregation involved.  Hard to do with the full-metal-jacket version, which requires a well-trained psaltis, but it can be done with some creative, yet faithful, tinkering of the tones to make them more choral-friendly, while still being tonal and not modern choral.

It's a *very* important issue in contemporary American Orthodoxy, of whatever jurisdiction.  While there are some parishes that have managed to swing this, in my own experience there are many who have either (1) choirs that do not sing tones, really, but more modern arrangements from the last few hundred years and noone in the congregation sings, (2) choirs that sing tones, and noone in the congregation sings, and (3) parishes with well-trained psaltis and noone in the congregation sings.  What I would like to see more of is a creative, yet faithful, tinkering with the tones so that it can be done by a fair choir leading the people in chanting.  That would be the most Orthodox, I think, solution.
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« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2004, 10:14:00 AM »

Quote
Dare I ask this question? LOL  Do any of the Greek Orthodox Churches with organs give organ concerts?

My guess is probably not. The one time I've heard one used by the Greeks, in their cathedral in Pittsburgh, it was only to give the pitch to the choir.

It sounds like the ison machine does the same thing and seems to fit the Byzantine Rite's +ªsthetic much better.
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« Reply #26 on: April 19, 2004, 07:19:38 PM »

Should we make a rule Demetri, that you have to have served a year in the GOA before you can bash them?
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« Reply #27 on: April 19, 2004, 11:32:00 PM »

Should we make a rule Demetri, that you have to have served a year in the GOA before you can bash them?

No, Nektarios, that's not necessary. Anyway, a year's too short to get a good grasp of Greek assuming one would spend time (as you do) learning the language.  Perhaps just a tiny bit of respect for a tradition nearly 1000 years older than the Slavic ones - this opinion that of my local ROCOR priest - would be nice, however.

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« Reply #28 on: April 19, 2004, 11:52:16 PM »

The GREEK traditional is absoultly amazing, and I prefer it to the Slav one in all ways.

But the GOA (for the most part) has little to do with traditional Greek Orthodoxy, alas.   Now if the entire GOA were run like one of Geronda's monasteries....
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« Reply #29 on: April 19, 2004, 11:57:08 PM »

Brendan's former Melkite parish does Byzantine Chant in congregational style with the more complex and rare hymns being changed by psaltis. I think it is a model for Orthodox parishes interested in better congregational participation.

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« Reply #30 on: April 20, 2004, 12:04:11 AM »

The GREEK traditional is absoultly amazing, and I prefer it to the Slav one in all ways.

But the GOA (for the most part) has little to do with traditional Greek Orthodoxy, alas.   Now if the entire GOA were run like one of Geronda's monasteries....

Somehow, I knew you were going to come back with that one  Wink
Let me know when you've finished your survey of all 550 parishes of the GOA  Kiss
As you well know already, I love ALL of the traditions. And only here can we experience them all. Rather than bash each of the others, enjoy them while we can.

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« Reply #31 on: April 20, 2004, 10:38:19 AM »

Demetri kai Nektarios,

Afti then katalavenate.
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« Reply #32 on: April 20, 2004, 03:39:35 PM »

I hope no one thinks I am bashing the GOA, because that's certainly NOT my intention.  I am from an OCA background, and I do NOT think that the OCA is some kind of "pure" Orthodox jurisdiction that is somehow "more Orthodox" than other jurisdictions.  Let me say a few things that I really LIKE about the GOA.  First of all, GOA parishes tend to have NICE buildings and the pay the priest a REAL living wage.  I think that is excellent!  So many of our priests in the OCA just barely get by on their small salaries. Secondly, I actually LIKE the use of Koine Greek in the GOA.  I studied Greek in college, and the kind people of the GOA taught me how to pronounce it correctly, like a Greek Smiley  In fact, every time I visit the local Greek Orthodox Church in town, I am invited to sing in the choir.  I love singing the liturgy in Greek.  And I love hearing the Scriptures chanted in Greek as well.  You won't hear me bashing the GOA for using Greek.  In fact, the GOA parish in my town does a 50/50 split Greek/English liturgy that seems to statisfy everybody.  Thirdly, I love the fact that in the GOA the priests still say the priest's prayers in a low voice.  There seem to be a Protestant attitude that has crept into the OCA in recent years that demands all the priests prayers be said aloud (and ususally VERY loud).  The only fault I have with the GOA is that the sacrament of Confession is almost unknown in many areas.  But in the GOA parish in my town, the priest actually preaches sermons on the need for frequent confession, and it attempting to restore it among his people.  I see great potential for the GOA, I really do.  Koine Greek can indeed be learned.  I've learned it and I'm certainly no genius.  I know a former Southern Baptist boy in Columbia, SC who converted to Greek Orthodoxy and who could recite the Nicene Creed and the Lord's Prayer flawlessly in Greek. Far be it from me to criticize the Greeks for being Greek.  That's silly.
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« Reply #33 on: April 20, 2004, 08:30:57 PM »

So, Tikhon29605, you too studied Greek in college! My Greek professor (who was also my Latin one) told me that I would have a very difficult time learning Ancient Greek because of my knowledge of modern Greek (such as it was). He was not very wrong. Hearing him read Homer and Sophocles just sounded so wrong. Not to mention all the other real differences. I struggled for my A's.
Then last year I joined an online forum on Ancient/Koine Greek and Latin. The same discussions were there about proper prounciation of Greek and how we moderns botched the 'accepted' pronunciations so badly. It took me quite a while to realize that the Koine I heard in church really was basically correct and only probably slightly differing from the Koine of the NT era. Since then I've grown to really appreciate the services in Greek.
I am split in my thoughts and foresee a time when these old ethnic languages will be gone from our churches here, Slavonic included. I don't know how I feel about that, but it is inevitable.
Guess I had best visit an Antiocian parish soon, just in case :-

{Spelling edit}

Demetri
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« Reply #34 on: April 21, 2004, 09:35:08 PM »

Awww yeah, Greek is the bomb. Everyone should learn it in college, just like the good old days!

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« Reply #35 on: April 21, 2004, 11:18:20 PM »

Aristocles,

I'm with you 100% on the issue of translation. In Latin (which I use a lot in my area of study, 16th-century Western Christianity) I almost always prefer the "ecclesiastical" pronunciation (basically pretend it's Italian!). The "approved" classical pronunciation sounds very awkward to me, and it's hard for me to believe that people really talked like that ("waynee, weedee, weekee"). To me, the whole "classical" pronunciation is a very Protestant idea--that you can archaeologically resurrect how things were "originally" done instead of relying on living tradition.

In Greek, unfortunately, I was taught the "school" pronunciation and have only picked up the "modern" pronunciation in bits and pieces through occasional conversations with Greeks or with Orthodox clergy (my first exposure was in a conversation with a seminarian in a train station in Romania--I was reading my Greek NT and he picked it up and started reading it in what seemed to me the most bizarre pronunciation!). Now, when I read the Scriptures in Greek (I often tend to murmur it aloud to myself under my breath), I try to do it as close to the modern/liturgical pronunciation as I can. But some things confuse me. At first it seemed like the rule of thumb was "all vowels are pronounced like English "e" but of course it isn't that simple. Dipthongs with upsilon are particularly confusing. Epsilon upsilon I know is "ev" or "ef," but then omicron upsilon is "oo." I'm still not clear on alpha upsilon. Is it "ow" or "af"?

Edwin
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« Reply #36 on: April 21, 2004, 11:20:05 PM »

I meant "pronunciation" not "translation." It's getting near bed-time and I have to teach a class on the Italian Renaissance tomorrow, before flying to Chicago for the weekend where my wife and I are going to be godparents for three children of some friends of ours (former nondenominational Pentecostals, now attending an Episcopal church, hence the mass baptism!).

In Christ,

Edwin
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« Reply #37 on: April 22, 2004, 12:16:35 AM »

I like both the reconstructed pronunciation (not Erasmian, though, that is just a hybrid) and Modern.  Modern sounds better but reconstructed is easier to learn by because each vowel is distinct!

So I learned how to do both and can do them at will Smiley
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Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching. Also, I served as an Orthodox priest from 2008-2013, before resigning.
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« Reply #38 on: April 22, 2004, 05:43:49 AM »


 At first it seemed like the rule of thumb was "all vowels are pronounced like English "e" but of course it isn't that simple. Dipthongs with upsilon are particularly confusing. Epsilon upsilon I know is "ev" or "ef," but then omicron upsilon is "oo." I'm still not clear on alpha upsilon. Is it "ow" or "af"?


Well,Edwin, at least I'm not alone in my confusion! The differences in vowel pronunciation ancient vs. modern (with Koine somewhere in between) are the START of the problem to the dipthong pronunciation. If one speaks Greek as one speaks English or German (sounds formed differently or in a back of the mouth rather than the "front" as my first "Greek school" teacher used to say), the dipthongs are difficult. If dipthongs are pronounced "dentally" (as in Spanish or Italian) using the "ancient" vowel sounds and these are spoken quickly (almost slurring) one can hear how the modern dipthong sounds came from the ancient, af for +¦-à , for example. At least that's my observation.
My father understands and speaks Pontic Greek which is supposedly a more direct descendent of the ancient (and presumably closer to Koine). It does seem slightly more gutteral than mainland Greek but I think modern Greeks in Hellas have more of a vocabulary problem handling Pontic than a prounciation issue.
We should continue this via PM?
Demetri

PS: "ow" for Attic, "af" for modern - so it's both. In church you hear "af".
How about something simple: +¦+¦+¦ ?  Tongue
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« Reply #39 on: April 22, 2004, 10:59:01 AM »

Here's what I find strangest of all: The GOA is quite possibly the most "modernist" of the jurisdictions in the US. They've accepted organs and pews, their clergy generally no longer appear as Orthodox clergy, they have downplayed the importance of confession, communion and fasting...all, presumably, in an attempt to "fit in" with the West. Yet, at the same time, this jurisdiction holds more foreign language services than any other. Whose idea was it to do away with the important things which help make us Orthodox, but keep the old language which helps no one?

oh, let me guess...
because they're more interested in being Greek, maybe? Roll Eyes
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« Reply #40 on: April 22, 2004, 12:05:48 PM »

Here's what I find strangest of all: The GOA is quite possibly the most "modernist" of the jurisdictions in the US. They've accepted organs and pews, their clergy generally no longer appear as Orthodox clergy, they have downplayed the importance of confession, communion and fasting...all, presumably, in an attempt to "fit in" with the West. Yet, at the same time, this jurisdiction holds more foreign language services than any other. Whose idea was it to do away with the important things which help make us Orthodox, but keep the old language which helps no one?

oh, let me guess...
because they're more interested in being Greek, maybe? Roll Eyes

Dear neworthodox,
I will try to be as polite as possible - too bad we don't have a smiley face shaking its head. Here's what I find strangest of all:
Actually I find the AOC the more "modernist" in many respects, but guess what? It doesn't bother me. I do not find their faith to be less Orthodox nor do I think you can prove the GOA has a corrupt version of Orthodoxy based on pews and organs. Those are mere trappings and small "t" items that mean nothing except to those who wish to feel as if they are SuperOrthodox or some such thing. Incredibly you bash the GOA for pews and organs and then complain about their use of Greek - one of the two original languages of the Church - the language nearly all of the patristics are written in, the language the Divine Liturgy was developed in, the language nearly all hymms were composed in originally, the language of the New Testament. How's that "modernist"? You cannot complain about one thing and flip out when the GOA adheres to another small "t", can you?
I attend a Slavic (ACROD) parish. We have pews. Some use them, some don't . Just because they are there doesn't mean one must use them.
Three miles away is a Ukrainian parish -Slavic, with pews , all Slavonic and they will readily let you know they want to stay "all Ukie".
Four miles from them is a new ROCOR parish - pews and 50/50 English/Slavonic
30 miles north of me, an OCA parish - guess what? Yep, pews. (English)

I never feel that I've experienced a less-than-Orthodox liturgy in any of them (and, no, I don't use the pews Smiley )

My home GOA parish in VA is old, mostly Greeks, has pews, organ and uses Greek/Eng - 60/40%.
A new GOA parish in nearby Va Beach has pews from an existing facility, doesn't use the organ, and uses English 95% - Why 95%? Because the majority of the congregation asked for it (and I know it was hard on the 70 year old priest to switch to English - he was my deacon when I was an altarboy 40 years ago- but he made the switch).
 
If you attend an OCA parish, why do you care what "the Greeks" do and how does any ethnic tradition affect the True Faith or make it less Orthodox?

Demetri
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« Reply #41 on: April 22, 2004, 01:35:24 PM »

Do I care (actually, really) what other Orthodox churches do? Nope. I'm just too happy to have found Orthodoxy. But my (own,personal, admittedly limited, as I have not met every single Greek-American or attended every GOA parish church) is that some Greek-Americans that I have personally met and observed are interested in maintaining ethnic identity to the exclusion of others. Do I love Byzantiine chant? Yep. And I loved hearing the Gospel in Greek for the first time, even though I didn't understand a word of it. And the issue of language is an extremely divisive one, as the Greek-Americans that I know and work with argue about this nearly every day. Do I care that some churches have pews? Absolutely not. I'm just glad to have a place to sit down for a little when my feet are killing me. Do I care that some churches use organs? Why should I? Was my post vicious or slanderous? Not intentionally. Aren't we all family?
Will I post here again?
Probably not, since it causes such a strain on others to respond politely and since I seem to cause antagonism.
Life is too short and as I said before, I'm just happy to have found Orthodoxy.
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« Reply #42 on: May 06, 2004, 11:42:01 AM »

Just like to point out a random fact...
In Russia, at the Great Council in 1918 (same one that chose St. Tihon as patriarch) in the agenda there was listed a discussion on adding organs to the liturgy.  As everyone knows, the council was rudely interupted by the Bolshivik Revolution, the discussion never happened, and after that people had more important things to worry about that organs in churches.  (Also just wanted to point out that the Anglicans had there representatives at this council, very <<gasp>> ecumenical.
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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...
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« Reply #43 on: May 06, 2004, 01:54:58 PM »

Bit off the topic, but...

Anybody know when organs were introduced in the West?  Also, what was the reaction in the East?

This comes from someone who isn't terribly sure why organs are to be universally despised in Orthodoxy.  One will say, "Well, the Fathers condemned it, saying we should focus on the 'strings of our hearts' rather than the strings of our instruments."  Fair enough, and I can see the point, since instruments can be a distraction.  Yet, a similar argument is made against burning incense in the Early Church (our prayers should be our incense), and we all use incense now.  Why accept one and not the other?

Thoughts on any or all comments?
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Priest in the Orthodox Church in America - ordained on March 18, 2012

Oh Taste and See (my defunct blog)

From Protestant to Orthodox (my conversion story)
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« Reply #44 on: May 06, 2004, 02:01:37 PM »

because while we were being eaten in the colliseum during the Christian persecutions of Pagan Roman Emperors they were playing Organs, just like in Baseball games we would often hear Organs too.
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