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Author Topic: Marrying Orthodox Worship and Native American Chant?  (Read 2051 times) Average Rating: 0
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88Devin12
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« on: April 21, 2011, 04:09:18 AM »

I've been thinking lately, as Orthodox in America, as we develop unique chants, why shouldn't we also try to marry Orthodox worship and Native American chanting?

http://youtu.be/hk4WBnss7l0

http://youtu.be/b8tWXHgzvoc

http://youtu.be/AWm87vQLnyI

http://youtu.be/xbNDmKFzzG8

Obviously some of those examples are a bit modernized but still you get the idea.


I know there is already a form of Aleutian Orthodox Chant though, but it would be nice to see others develop.
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« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2011, 06:30:28 AM »

I think that those of you who are Native Americans should go ahead with it -- if you feel such a need.
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« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2011, 11:31:20 AM »

First, Native Americans need to become Orthodox. It would strike me as odd to create something before evangelizing a group of people, rather than evangelizing them and have something develop from their own initiative. Orthodox missions are, in my study, by and large, bottom-up affairs, relying on the initiative and gifts of neophyte laymen. This is usually because the number of clergy missionaries is small and they do not have, historically, much day-to-day contact with converts since the areas they serve are geographically enormous and resources are limited. (Obviously, I'm not speaking of "mission" parishes we have today, but of local Orthodox churches starting from scratch.)
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« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2011, 02:31:53 PM »

Services should be in the vernacular. If that happens to be one of the many languages native to the America's, then that is the language it should be conducted in.
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Ioannis Climacus
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2011, 02:51:55 PM »

My church actually uses Aleutian chant for the Communion Hymn.
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« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2011, 08:15:55 PM »

So I have found this topic of particlular interest as I had the opportunity to spend some time in Alaska back in 2001. I was with a Missionary Team sent by the OCMC. We discovered that there are what are know in Alaska as Alaska Chant. One of the posts to this topic mentioned Aleut Chant, I don't know if that is what was referred to as Alaskan Chant or if the Aleuts have begun to develope their own style.

I can appreciate the remark about the Orthodox Church being a "bottom up" affair. Throughout the history of the Church we see that the variou groups of people or tribes which were brought into the fold occured as a result of their entire culture being "baptised". This was tru when the Hebrew Apostles went out, first throughout the Middle East (as with Antioch where "we were first called Christians").

The process repeated itself when the Apostles spread out to the rest of the Mediterranian world to the Greco-Roman Culture. Then centuries later when Sts Cyril and Methodious went to the Slavic Tribes. They created an alphabet (based upon the Greek Alphabet), then the Russians went to Alaska in the 18th century and repeated the same tried and true process. Each with great success, one could argue that in Western Europe something different occured. They stopped teaching in the varnacular and continued Latin even through the Protestant Reformation. There was never any move to create a unique German, or French, or English Church. Not as a unified structure as occurred in Eastern Europe.

I would like to bring to the attention of any who are interested to a new website which I have only recenlty built at www.naocf.org . This is for the Native American Orthodox Christian Fellowship.

We would like to invite anyone who is interested to please reach out to us by going to the Contact Us Tab and sending a message to either Marianne Poulos (Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America) or myself (Reader Anthony Bernardi--OCA). These links go directly into one of our respect private emails.

Also please go to the Guestbook Tab and leave a message which can be read by anyone who looks at the website.

Thank your for your time.
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« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 08:24:28 PM »

Very cool, NAOCF! You guys should add a news or blog section so we can get updates about the Alaskan Orthodox native chant, liturgy, culture, etc.

Edit: I see you have a journal. That answers my comment.  laugh
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 08:26:12 PM by NicholasMyra » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 09:58:14 PM »

I see nothing wrong with having Native American chant in Orthodox worship services, as long as it isn't forced.  That is, when missions are established in, for instance, the Navajo Nation, I would see no reason for Navajo chant not to be used in Orthodox services, if that is what the people there want.  I would also see no reason for it not to be able to spread out from the Navajo Nation and have parishes that use it in other parts of the Southwest and country, as long as it is the congregations that choose to adopt it, as opposed to it being some weird forced thing done solely for the purpose of having a uniquely American chant style (kind of like how Metropolitan Philip has forced priests not to wear a cassock outside of church related events...)
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« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 01:38:32 PM »

Maybe an interim step is to take a cue from St. Isaac or St. Ephraim.  Write spiritual poems/hymns in traditional native American chant forms and languages.
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« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2011, 11:19:36 PM »

First, Native Americans need to become Orthodox. It would strike me as odd to create something before evangelizing a group of people, rather than evangelizing them and have something develop from their own initiative. Orthodox missions are, in my study, by and large, bottom-up affairs, relying on the initiative and gifts of neophyte laymen. This is usually because the number of clergy missionaries is small and they do not have, historically, much day-to-day contact with converts since the areas they serve are geographically enormous and resources are limited. (Obviously, I'm not speaking of "mission" parishes we have today, but of local Orthodox churches starting from scratch.)

I agree with this. I'm a believer in allowing things to develop naturally and not trying to force an idea, however great we may think it may be.
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