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Author Topic: increase of latin language in western rite will increase orthodox praxis  (Read 10412 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: May 18, 2011, 10:45:40 AM »

Wow, I would've stopped going too! That's terribly unfortunate.

It's why we need a bishop, and actual official liturgical texts. The "Orthodox Missal" fails miserably as a service book. There needs to be a real and complete missal, breviary, and ritual published and approved, and a bishop who can make sure priests are saying what's in black and doing what's in red.

The liturgical texts are official, of course, but I'd agree some consistency in the rubrical arena would be ideal. I have it on good authority that one is in the works, in fact. Many of the parishes are former Anglo-Catholic parishes, and retained most of the rubrics from the American Missal, of which Lancelot Andrews currently publishes a version of, which contains the Rite of St. Tikhon. I wouldn't be surprised if this was the basis for an official work of the AWRV.

Things take time though Smiley

It's my understanding that many WR priests have a vagante background and may still retain that mentality.

I think this seems to be more true for some of the ROCOR parishes, as most of the AWRV parishes are formerly Anglican.
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« Reply #46 on: May 18, 2011, 02:54:39 PM »

The Liturgy has always been in the language of the people. Latin died out long ago as a spoken, common language.

Yes, I know that Koine Greek and Church Slavonic are no longer spoken, but from my experience in Greece, Koine didn't appear to be extremely different. (but that is another debate)

I don't have much problem with a few things being in Latin, but the vast majority of the service ought to be in English, or the common, vernacular language of the people.

That is one of the very few things that Vatican II in the Roman Church actually got right.



For comparison:

Current Greek Liturgy:
Ἐν εἰρήνῃ τοῦ Κυρίου δεηθῶμεν.
(In peace, let us pray to the Lord)

In modern Greek, that would be mostly the same, except 'Ev would be replaced by "Στην". And the extra marks would be removed. (in Modern Greek, words only have 1 emphasis mark) I'm not sure, but the order of the words might also change around.

Whereas, if you take Latin...
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
(In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.)

Then in Italian (forgive me, this was translated by Google Translate):
Nel nome del Padre e del Figlio e dello Spirito Santo. Amen.

You can see a relation, but Latin would still be unintelligible to even an Italian who doesn't know Latin. Latin is a dead language, but it is unlike Koine Greek or even (to a degree) Church Slavonic, whose modern variants were still pretty similar.

The services ought to be in the vernacular, that is why Latin should not be used. No one speaks it anymore as a vernacular language.
Devin, there are Latinists at work ressurecting the language. In certain situations, they speak only Latin. If their efforts are not in vain, Latin will be a vernacular. If the Western-Rite Orthodox are former Catholics, they will probably be accustomed to the latin.
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« Reply #47 on: May 18, 2011, 03:55:57 PM »

Sleeper,

Thanks for your detailed reply. You clearly know much more about it all than I do, and your explanations do set my mind more at ease. I admit I don't have a ton of personal experience with the WR, but more secondhand information that may or may not be accurate. Some of my concerns clearly are based on misunderstanding.

Since the WR is so tiny I don't want to give names. But I do know a priest who is involved in the formation of materials for the AWRV, and I am simply concerned because he always has his nose in some old missal, doing research and compiling the information for future use. It comes across to me like everything is just being picked from here and there and thrown together. I'm sure it's a spiritual and well-researched process, but it just doesn't seem to have that same organic formation that the ER has. I am sure Bishop Basil does keep tabs on everything, but even so, it's still somewhat disconcerting.

Perhaps I simply don't have the stomach for the "sausage factory" and I should just pray for what they are doing, because I do think it has merit and promise.
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« Reply #48 on: May 18, 2011, 04:20:06 PM »

Devin, there are Latinists at work ressurecting the language. In certain situations, they speak only Latin. If their efforts are not in vain, Latin will be a vernacular.

(Speaking as a linguist specializing in language revitalization, and as a sometime member of the spoken Latin community...) the existence of geeks who speak Latin does not give any support to the use of Latin in liturgy. The hobbyist use of Latin as a vernacular never went away, so there's nothing to resurrect, but it is a niche community made up of people who pursued special training in the language while speaking something else natively. And it will never be a mass language again, Hebrew's about the only exception. The liturgy must be in the language of the masses, not the language of a small elite, even if they speak it really well and have made neologisms for modern life.
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« Reply #49 on: May 18, 2011, 04:45:26 PM »


Have you tried to contact the local bishop?

The priest says the bishop is OK with everything he's doing, and the bishop has visited the parish several times, so I assumed that's that. To be honest, I think the bishop is quite understandably unfamiliar with the WR, and so things that would appear outrageous to a person used to the WR would pass by unnoticed.

That is sad. I think that the bishop should receive a detailed letter explaining the abuses you described.
I have seen other priests break the communion hosts to insure that everyone was allowed to receive Holy Communion.
Sometimes, if they still run out, they will utilize the reserved hosts in the tabernacle.
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« Reply #50 on: May 18, 2011, 06:05:48 PM »

Quote
The liturgy must be in the language of the masses,

Quote
Whereas, if you take Latin...
In nomine Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
(In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, Amen.)

Then in Italian (forgive me, this was translated by Google Translate):
Nel nome del Padre e del Figlio e dello Spirito Santo. Amen.

I for one think those examples between the latin and italian are strikingly similar in that instance, how one can conclude they are drastically different I do not comprehend.

I think that the liturgical latin used in the western mass is no more difficult to understand for italian speakers than the  liturgical greek used in the greek Orthodox divine liturgy is for modern greek speakers.
Half my family speaks a romance language, spanish, and as a person with some knowledge of it, this is the perception I have.

The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

The english used currently in the western rites of the Orthodox Church is excellent and except for a few specific translation issues has nothing wrong with it.

However one is going to run into instances where not everything you need is always available in english and there is no time or ability to quickly convert them into english.

Rather than be prejudiced towards elements of ones own tradition because they currently exist only in latin, we must have the maturity and patience to use them when it is necessary and fitting to do so.

Perhaps because their has been a strong unfortunate tendency to allow nothing other than latin to be used within the Latin catholic papal church until 40 years ago, one may misunderstand my view as wanting to go back to that strict exclusivsity.

This is not what I am saying. However, as one who has been part of communities where people actually do "like" and prefer the usage of latin in the liturgy I can not anymore deny the merit and value of using latin than I can deny the merit of using hieratic elevated english as a liturgical language.

One must not be prejudiced against one or the other form. One must not throw out the baby with the bathwater. One must take a moderate position that recognized that the usage of both languages is necessary at different times, different places, for different peoples.

Not everyone who wants to use the western rite speaks english or a romance language.

But the gateway to understanding the ancient latin church is still one in which a value of latin for priests is of profound importance.
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« Reply #51 on: May 18, 2011, 06:14:26 PM »

The problem is there are no Holy Languages. We are not Muslims, are we?
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« Reply #52 on: May 18, 2011, 06:17:35 PM »

The problem is there are no Holy Languages.

I assume you've heard of Greek...?
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« Reply #53 on: May 18, 2011, 06:22:27 PM »

It's my understanding that many WR priests have a vagante background and may still retain that mentality.

What do you mean by vagante mentality?
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« Reply #54 on: May 18, 2011, 06:23:07 PM »

Quote from: Christopher McAvoy link=topic=36235.msg572650#msg572650
The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

No, rather it is the belief that the divine can only be expressed in certain special languages that is heresy. This is a cornerstone of Orthodox history, how could you not know it? St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs, condemned the Trilingual Heresy among hierarchs of the Roman Church by listing a dizzying array of vernacular languages used in his time to praise God.

Most of the New Testament and early prayers were written in more or less conversational Greek, a fact confirmed by the plethora of informal correspondence unearthed by archaeologists over the last century. Old Church Slavonic was very close to the late Common Slavonic vernacular (and the differences -- some lexical calques and unnatural syntax -- result from hasty translation from the Greek instead of an intent for a "holy language"). Even with the Latin of the Vulgate, St. Jerome's intent was only to correct the errors and Greek features of the Old Latin Gospels (rather amateur translations), not create something "higher".

The Finnish Orthodox Church got a liturgy in pretty ordinary language as soon as the country became independent from Russia (though the immense changes in standard Finnish over the 20th century mean that it now sounds stilted, but a revision will appear eventually). The Orthodox Church is presently engaged in evangelizing the people of Kenya. The liturgical texts created for these peoples were exhibited at my parish, and the translations are into everyday speech instead of trying to sound highfaultin'. I could go on and on...
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« Reply #55 on: May 18, 2011, 06:33:25 PM »

It's my understanding that many WR priests have a vagante background and may still retain that mentality.

What do you mean by vagante mentality?
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« Reply #56 on: May 18, 2011, 06:50:04 PM »

It's my understanding that many WR priests have a vagante background and may still retain that mentality.

What do you mean by vagante mentality?

A kind of choose-your-own-adventure approach to religion, shuffling traditions around on a whim, bringing in devotions or practices seen in books or fondly remembered from a previous church.

A lot of vagante stuff is liturgical LARPing.
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« Reply #57 on: May 18, 2011, 06:52:31 PM »

Sorry to repeat myself, but I experience a dichotomy between my daily life and the church life every single time I go to church: I'm not fluent in Greek. I get through it thanks to the booklets, service texts and what parts I have memorized.

Again, it is not hard at all today to order affordable booklets which have Latin on one side of the page and another language on the other. So if some RCC or WRO parishes want that, why not?
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« Reply #58 on: May 18, 2011, 08:40:58 PM »

Sleeper,

Thanks for your detailed reply. You clearly know much more about it all than I do, and your explanations do set my mind more at ease. I admit I don't have a ton of personal experience with the WR, but more secondhand information that may or may not be accurate. Some of my concerns clearly are based on misunderstanding.

Concerns are good, whether there is reason for them or not. It keeps people in check and doesn't let things slide. I think that's healthy, so thanks for sharing!

It can just get frustrating when there seems to be more mis-information "out there" than there is credible info. It's truly surprising how many nay-sayers have never even attended a service.

Quote
Since the WR is so tiny I don't want to give names. But I do know a priest who is involved in the formation of materials for the AWRV, and I am simply concerned because he always has his nose in some old missal, doing research and compiling the information for future use. It comes across to me like everything is just being picked from here and there and thrown together. I'm sure it's a spiritual and well-researched process, but it just doesn't seem to have that same organic formation that the ER has. I am sure Bishop Basil does keep tabs on everything, but even so, it's still somewhat disconcerting.

I know what you mean, but the liturgy itself is not likely to undergo any major changes any time soon. And that's a good thing, because the Liturgy of St. Tikhon actually is the fruit of a very long, organic process stretching back over half a millennium (and in some instances, even farther). This is particularly why I appreciate Antioch's insistence on utilizing the living liturgical tradition of the West, rather than creating something entirely new, or re-introducing a rite that has not been in use. Do you know what it is exactly he's assembling his materials for?

Also, to be fair, the Eastern liturgical tradition is not without its own peculiar developments, not the least of which is the suppression of legitimate rites in use and the enforcing of a liturgical uniformity hitherto unknown. I'm not sure you can rightfully call that an organic process Wink

Quote
Perhaps I simply don't have the stomach for the "sausage factory" and I should just pray for what they are doing, because I do think it has merit and promise.

Your prayers are appreciated, whatever their impetus!
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« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2011, 10:41:42 PM »

Quote from: Christopher McAvoy link=topic=36235.msg572650#msg572650
The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

No, rather it is the belief that the divine can only be expressed in certain special languages that is heresy. This is a cornerstone of Orthodox history, how could you not know it? St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs, condemned the Trilingual Heresy among hierarchies of the Roman Church by listing a dizzying array of vernacular languages used in his time to praise God.

Most of the New Testament and early prayers were written in more or less conversational Greek, a fact confirmed by the plethora of informal correspondence unearthed by archaeologists over the last century. Old Church Slavonic was very close to the late Common Slavonic vernacular (and the differences -- some lexical calques and unnatural syntax -- result from hasty translation from the Greek instead of an intent for a "holy language"). Even with the Latin of the Vulgate, St. Jerome's intent was only to correct the errors and Greek features of the Old Latin Gospels (rather amateur translations), not create something "higher".

The Finnish Orthodox Church got a liturgy in pretty ordinary language as soon as the country became independent from Russia (though the immense changes in standard Finnish over the 20th century mean that it now sounds stilted, but a revision will appear eventually). The Orthodox Church is presently engaged in evangelizing the people of Kenya. The liturgical texts created for these peoples were exhibited at my parish, and the translations are into everyday speech instead of trying to sound highfaultin'. I could go on and on...

All religions have a history of using an archaic, even dead language for worship.  Even many Protestant evangelical use the King James Bible with its Elizabethan style of English.  The idea of using a special, sacred language is so that a faiths will have something that does not change regularly (as all spoken languages do) In order to write down and express their divine truths.

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship. 

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services? 
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« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2011, 02:20:45 AM »

Quote from: Christopher McAvoy link=topic=36235.msg572650#msg572650
The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

No, rather it is the belief that the divine can only be expressed in certain special languages that is heresy. This is a cornerstone of Orthodox history, how could you not know it? St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs, condemned the Trilingual Heresy among hierarchies of the Roman Church by listing a dizzying array of vernacular languages used in his time to praise God.

Most of the New Testament and early prayers were written in more or less conversational Greek, a fact confirmed by the plethora of informal correspondence unearthed by archaeologists over the last century. Old Church Slavonic was very close to the late Common Slavonic vernacular (and the differences -- some lexical calques and unnatural syntax -- result from hasty translation from the Greek instead of an intent for a "holy language"). Even with the Latin of the Vulgate, St. Jerome's intent was only to correct the errors and Greek features of the Old Latin Gospels (rather amateur translations), not create something "higher".

The Finnish Orthodox Church got a liturgy in pretty ordinary language as soon as the country became independent from Russia (though the immense changes in standard Finnish over the 20th century mean that it now sounds stilted, but a revision will appear eventually). The Orthodox Church is presently engaged in evangelizing the people of Kenya. The liturgical texts created for these peoples were exhibited at my parish, and the translations are into everyday speech instead of trying to sound highfaultin'. I could go on and on...

All religions have a history of using an archaic, even dead language for worship.  Even many Protestant evangelical use the King James Bible with its Elizabethan style of English.  The idea of using a special, sacred language is so that a faiths will have something that does not change regularly (as all spoken languages do) In order to write down and express their divine truths.

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship.  

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services?  

It is improper... It is against the traditions of our church and against our churches teachings.

Christopher, the thing is, Koine Greek and Modern Greek are different enough that Greek citizens cannot understand Koine. I just finished living in Greece for 3 months. Everyone I talked to there could not understand what was being said in the services, even though Byzantine Chant is excellent in it's pronunciation and enunciation of the words.
I think it's kind of sad that I was one of the few young people that could understand it, and that is only because I would print out a Greek/English translation of certain services so I could follow along.

Most young people in Greece don't go to church, for various reasons of course, but one of the main reasons is that they cannot understand the services. Koine Greek is a dead language.

I've heard the same things about Church Slavonic, but I haven't experienced this.

I can guarantee you that speakers of Italian would not be able to understand Latin, especially within a service. Sure, they might understand a couple words. But that doesn't mean they understand it well.
I can listen to an Orthodox service in Spanish, but I will only understand about 5% of the words. I might be able to say "oh they are saying something about the heart", or "they are saying something about a spirit"... But that doesn't tell me anything and it doesn't help me grow spiritually.

If such a situation is temporary, such as where I lived in Greece for only 3 months, then I believe it's okay to not understand services. But the common language should always be used in the services. All languages are holy, none are especially holy. This is not an Orthodox teaching. We must affirm that things must be in the vernacular language.

The decision to drop Latin in the Roman Catholic Church isn't the reason for the problem. It is actually something good that Vatican II accomplished; the problems within worship in the Roman Catholic Church run much, much deeper than language.
Vatican II was an overreaction. From what I've heard, there were already problems in retaining people in worship because it was in Latin and not understood. People would be taught ridiculous things so they would come to church. (such as it is a mortal sin to purposely skip church) Vatican II overreacted and not only allowed vernacular languages, but totally gutted the worship services and allowed empty, dead, shallow contemporary services.

Latin, and any other "sacred" language doesn't make the service particularly holy. The Liturgy/Liturgies are just as holy in Modern Greek, English, Russian, etc... as they would be in Latin, Koine Greek and Church Slavonic.

Therefore, introducing/allowing Latin in the WR will only be an "imitation" of the Roman Catholic Church. It does not and will not do anything to increase/improve orthodox praxis or orthopraxis. People will be be given much greater benefit if it is in a language they can understand.
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« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2011, 02:37:47 AM »

Quote from: Christopher McAvoy link=topic=36235.msg572650#msg572650
The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

No, rather it is the belief that the divine can only be expressed in certain special languages that is heresy. This is a cornerstone of Orthodox history, how could you not know it? St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs, condemned the Trilingual Heresy among hierarchies of the Roman Church by listing a dizzying array of vernacular languages used in his time to praise God.

Most of the New Testament and early prayers were written in more or less conversational Greek, a fact confirmed by the plethora of informal correspondence unearthed by archaeologists over the last century. Old Church Slavonic was very close to the late Common Slavonic vernacular (and the differences -- some lexical calques and unnatural syntax -- result from hasty translation from the Greek instead of an intent for a "holy language"). Even with the Latin of the Vulgate, St. Jerome's intent was only to correct the errors and Greek features of the Old Latin Gospels (rather amateur translations), not create something "higher".

The Finnish Orthodox Church got a liturgy in pretty ordinary language as soon as the country became independent from Russia (though the immense changes in standard Finnish over the 20th century mean that it now sounds stilted, but a revision will appear eventually). The Orthodox Church is presently engaged in evangelizing the people of Kenya. The liturgical texts created for these peoples were exhibited at my parish, and the translations are into everyday speech instead of trying to sound highfaultin'. I could go on and on...

All religions have a history of using an archaic, even dead language for worship.  Even many Protestant evangelical use the King James Bible with its Elizabethan style of English.  The idea of using a special, sacred language is so that a faiths will have something that does not change regularly (as all spoken languages do) In order to write down and express their divine truths.

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship. 

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services? 

It is improper... It is against the traditions of our church and against our churches teachings.

Christopher, the thing is, Koine Greek and Modern Greek are different enough that Greek citizens cannot understand Koine. I just finished living in Greece for 3 months. Everyone I talked to there could not understand what was being said in the services, even though Byzantine Chant is excellent in it's pronunciation and enunciation of the words.
I think it's kind of sad that I was one of the few young people that could understand it, and that is only because I would print out a Greek/English translation of certain services so I could follow along.

Most young people in Greece don't go to church, for various reasons of course, but one of the main reasons is that they cannot understand the services. Koine Greek is a dead language.

I've heard the same things about Church Slavonic, but I haven't experienced this.

I can guarantee you that speakers of Italian would not be able to understand Latin, especially within a service. Sure, they might understand a couple words. But that doesn't mean they understand it well.
I can listen to an Orthodox service in Spanish, but I will only understand about 5% of the words. I might be able to say "oh they are saying something about the heart", or "they are saying something about a spirit"... But that doesn't tell me anything and it doesn't help me grow spiritually.

If such a situation is temporary, such as where I lived in Greece for only 3 months, then I believe it's okay to not understand services. But the common language should always be used in the services. All languages are holy, none are especially holy. This is not an Orthodox teaching. We must affirm that things must be in the vernacular language.

I say that,
Old Slavonic is close to the Slavic languages, there's some words that throw me , and the accent is some what different the way it's pronounced by Russians/Ukrainians and Serbs, ....Also It's even closer to the Balkan Slavic Languages because that's where it originated from and spread outward.... police
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« Reply #62 on: May 20, 2011, 03:17:28 AM »

Devin, I agree with every principle you've enunciated with great fervour, so please don't see this as antagonistic, but I just don't agree that Koine Greek is unintelligble to a speaker of modern demotic Greek.

I fail to see how Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα, τὴν ἁγίαν εἴσοδον and Δέσποτα, εὐλόγησε τὴν ἁγία εἴσοδο are so different, nor Πληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, and Ἂς συμπληρώσουμε τὴ δέησή μας πρὸς τὸν Κύριο, so that the latter in each case would be unintelligible to a modern Greek-speaker.

All the key words are present in the Koine sentences in an intelligble form. Even I can work them out and my Greek is absolutely terribad. In fact, Koine seems more forgiving as to grammar and syntax than is modern demotic Greek -- as long as all the key words are present you can usually figure out the meaning just by context. It requires work, but it's not like a Korean trying to decipher Japanese (both of which have a largely shared Chinese-derived vocabulary, as do the Romance languages via Latin).

Yes, the gap between Koine and modern demotic is probably greater than the gap between modern and King James English, but I don't think it's comparable to a modern American attempting to read Anglo Saxon runes or anything, like is sometimes made out.

Every Greek knows that θύρας are doors, even if they don't call them that in their every day life.

The Greeks have other reasons for avoiding Church, as has been acknowledged in this thread.
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« Reply #63 on: May 20, 2011, 03:24:54 AM »

I agree in principle that the liturgy should be intelligible to the hearer, but ...

I don't agree that Koine Greek is unintelligble to a speaker of modern demotic Greek.

I fail to see how Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα, τὴν ἁγίαν εἴσοδον and Δέσποτα, εὐλόγησε τὴν ἁγία εἴσοδο are so different, nor Πληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, and Ἂς συμπληρώσουμε τὴ δέησή μας πρὸς τὸν Κύριο, so that the latter in each case would be unintelligible to a modern Greek-speaker.

All the key words are present in the Koine sentences in an intelligble form. Even I can work them out and my Greek is absolutely terribad. In fact, Koine seems more forgiving as to grammar and syntax than is modern demotic Greek -- as long as all the key words are present you can usually figure out the meaning just by context.

Yes, the gap between Koine and modern demotic is probably greater than the gap between modern and King James English, but I don't think it's comparable to a modern American attempting to read Anglo Saxon runes or anything, like is sometimes made out.

Every Greek knows that θύρας are doors, even if they don't call them that in their every day life.

The Greeks have other reasons for avoiding Church, as has been acknowledged in this thread.

I dont know, my Greek teacher (in Greece) who teaches language for a living said she took two classes on Koine and it's still too complex and different and she can't understand the services. Again, most Greeks I spoke with don't understand what is being said/chanted. I made friends with many Other young people and they couldn't understand it.

To me it doesn't look that different, but apparently it is.
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« Reply #64 on: May 20, 2011, 03:30:03 AM »

Greek is one of the worlds most complex languages. Koine is even more complicated than modern Greek. That isn't just in pronunciation, spelling, accent, etc... But even in grammar and sentence structure.
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« Reply #65 on: May 20, 2011, 03:37:51 AM »

I agree in principle that the liturgy should be intelligible to the hearer, but ...

I don't agree that Koine Greek is unintelligble to a speaker of modern demotic Greek.

I fail to see how Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα, τὴν ἁγίαν εἴσοδον and Δέσποτα, εὐλόγησε τὴν ἁγία εἴσοδο are so different, nor Πληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, and Ἂς συμπληρώσουμε τὴ δέησή μας πρὸς τὸν Κύριο, so that the latter in each case would be unintelligible to a modern Greek-speaker.

All the key words are present in the Koine sentences in an intelligble form. Even I can work them out and my Greek is absolutely terribad. In fact, Koine seems more forgiving as to grammar and syntax than is modern demotic Greek -- as long as all the key words are present you can usually figure out the meaning just by context.

Yes, the gap between Koine and modern demotic is probably greater than the gap between modern and King James English, but I don't think it's comparable to a modern American attempting to read Anglo Saxon runes or anything, like is sometimes made out.

Every Greek knows that θύρας are doors, even if they don't call them that in their every day life.

The Greeks have other reasons for avoiding Church, as has been acknowledged in this thread.

I dont know, my Greek teacher (in Greece) who teaches language for a living said she took two classes on Koine and it's still too complex and different and she can't understand the services. Again, most Greeks I spoke with don't understand what is being said/chanted. I made friends with many Other young people and they couldn't understand it.

To me it doesn't look that different, but apparently it is.

I just don't get it.

There must be some weird psychological effect at play. Maybe I am less put off by having to work really hard at understanding each individual word and sentence because my Greek is so bad and second-language-ish whereas, for them, if they don't understand it on first hearing, it is automatically perceived as alien and unintelligible?

You might already know this, but a similar diglossia-type problem exists in the Japanese liturgy: the liturgy is celebrated in an archaic form of Japanese that is rarely written and never spoken by modern Japanese speakers. Even with Japanese as my third language I don't find it completely alien and foreign -- just hard work to listen to.

I guess my only point is that Koine is not to demotic Greek as Latin is to French.
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« Reply #66 on: May 20, 2011, 03:49:09 AM »

What about that Quite a few of our Serbian Clergy and Other Non Greek Orthodox Clergy speak and read greek , and can serve the liturgy in the old Greek , so it can't be that difficult to learn it....... Huh Huh What about Fr. Deacon Serb 1389 isn't he with the greek church , wouldn't he be serving Liturgy as a Deacon In a Greek church in old koin greek.... Huh
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« Reply #67 on: May 20, 2011, 03:55:31 AM »

What about that Quite a few of our Serbian Clergy and Other Non Greek Orthodox Clergy speak and read greek , and can serve the liturgy in the old Greek , so it can't be that difficult to learn it....... Huh Huh What about Fr. Deacon Serb 1389 isn't he with the greek church , wouldn't he be serving Liturgy as a Deacon In a Greek church in old greek....

The Greek Church down the road from us was served by a Serbian priest for a few weeks and he intoned the liturgy beautifully in Koine Greek. In fact, his accent was less mumbly and villagey than that of some of the Greek priests and chanters I have had to suffer through in the past.

I imagine it's a beautiful thing that Slavic clergy and laity can celebrate the liturgy together in understanding (because of the prevalence of Church Slavonic), even if it would be difficult or impossible to conduct an ordinary conversation?
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« Reply #68 on: May 20, 2011, 04:02:08 AM »

What about that Quite a few of our Serbian Clergy and Other Non Greek Orthodox Clergy speak and read greek , and can serve the liturgy in the old Greek , so it can't be that difficult to learn it....... Huh Huh What about Fr. Deacon Serb 1389 isn't he with the greek church , wouldn't he be serving Liturgy as a Deacon In a Greek church in old greek....

The Greek Church down the road from us was served by a Serbian priest for a few weeks and he intoned the liturgy beautifully in Koine Greek. In fact, his accent was less mumbly and villagey than that of some of the Greek priests and chanters I have had to suffer through in the past.

I imagine it's a beautiful thing that Slavic clergy and laity can celebrate the liturgy together in understanding (because of the prevalence of Church Slavonic), even if it would be difficult or impossible to conduct an ordinary conversation?


The Serbian Late Metropolitan Christopher had part of the service once in old greek and old Slavonic , it was beautiful ......Greek is a beautiful language when sung /chanted in liturgy...... police
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« Reply #69 on: May 20, 2011, 04:11:29 AM »

It's not difficult to read in Church Slavonic, even very well, without the understanding.
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« Reply #70 on: May 20, 2011, 04:20:37 AM »

It's not difficult to read in Church Slavonic, even very well, without the understanding.

But most that do speak it go to Mount Athos the Holy Mountian and learn it there....Not just Liturgical Greek , but regular greek as well.. And vice versa for the Greek Clergy that want to learn the old Slavonic because of the slavic monasteries there police
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« Reply #71 on: May 20, 2011, 05:05:59 AM »

Christ is risen!
I agree in principle that the liturgy should be intelligible to the hearer, but ...

I don't agree that Koine Greek is unintelligble to a speaker of modern demotic Greek.

I fail to see how Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα, τὴν ἁγίαν εἴσοδον and Δέσποτα, εὐλόγησε τὴν ἁγία εἴσοδο are so different, nor Πληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, and Ἂς συμπληρώσουμε τὴ δέησή μας πρὸς τὸν Κύριο, so that the latter in each case would be unintelligible to a modern Greek-speaker.

All the key words are present in the Koine sentences in an intelligble form. Even I can work them out and my Greek is absolutely terribad. In fact, Koine seems more forgiving as to grammar and syntax than is modern demotic Greek -- as long as all the key words are present you can usually figure out the meaning just by context.

Yes, the gap between Koine and modern demotic is probably greater than the gap between modern and King James English, but I don't think it's comparable to a modern American attempting to read Anglo Saxon runes or anything, like is sometimes made out.

Every Greek knows that θύρας are doors, even if they don't call them that in their every day life.

The Greeks have other reasons for avoiding Church, as has been acknowledged in this thread.

I dont know, my Greek teacher (in Greece) who teaches language for a living said she took two classes on Koine and it's still too complex and different and she can't understand the services. Again, most Greeks I spoke with don't understand what is being said/chanted. I made friends with many Other young people and they couldn't understand it.

To me it doesn't look that different, but apparently it is.

I just don't get it.

There must be some weird psychological effect at play. Maybe I am less put off by having to work really hard at understanding each individual word and sentence because my Greek is so bad and second-language-ish whereas, for them, if they don't understand it on first hearing, it is automatically perceived as alien and unintelligible?

You might already know this, but a similar diglossia-type problem exists in the Japanese liturgy: the liturgy is celebrated in an archaic form of Japanese that is rarely written and never spoken by modern Japanese speakers. Even with Japanese as my third language I don't find it completely alien and foreign -- just hard work to listen to.

I guess my only point is that Koine is not to demotic Greek as Latin is to French.
As counter intuitive as it may seem, that fact that it is foreign to you is part of the reason why you have less difficulty than a Greek speaker.  You don't have the interference from the vernacular.  If being a native speaker guarenteed fluency, no one in the US would fail English.  And yet many non-ESL students in the US do.
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« Reply #72 on: May 20, 2011, 05:11:31 AM »

Quote from: Christopher McAvoy link=topic=36235.msg572650#msg572650
The point of view that the language used must be identical to that which is spoken by the masses is a heresy.

Holy things for the Holy, Holy language for the holy.

English if it is used liturgically must be of a higher more beautiful changeless nature from that which is spoken as the "vulgar tongue" everyday.

No, rather it is the belief that the divine can only be expressed in certain special languages that is heresy. This is a cornerstone of Orthodox history, how could you not know it? St Cyril, Apostle to the Slavs, condemned the Trilingual Heresy among hierarchies of the Roman Church by listing a dizzying array of vernacular languages used in his time to praise God.

Most of the New Testament and early prayers were written in more or less conversational Greek, a fact confirmed by the plethora of informal correspondence unearthed by archaeologists over the last century. Old Church Slavonic was very close to the late Common Slavonic vernacular (and the differences -- some lexical calques and unnatural syntax -- result from hasty translation from the Greek instead of an intent for a "holy language"). Even with the Latin of the Vulgate, St. Jerome's intent was only to correct the errors and Greek features of the Old Latin Gospels (rather amateur translations), not create something "higher".

The Finnish Orthodox Church got a liturgy in pretty ordinary language as soon as the country became independent from Russia (though the immense changes in standard Finnish over the 20th century mean that it now sounds stilted, but a revision will appear eventually). The Orthodox Church is presently engaged in evangelizing the people of Kenya. The liturgical texts created for these peoples were exhibited at my parish, and the translations are into everyday speech instead of trying to sound highfaultin'. I could go on and on...

All religions have a history of using an archaic, even dead language for worship.  Even many Protestant evangelical use the King James Bible with its Elizabethan style of English.  The idea of using a special, sacred language is so that a faiths will have something that does not change regularly (as all spoken languages do) In order to write down and express their divine truths.

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship. 

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services? 
The Syrians don't use Syriac-they use the spoken (at least at the time) form, Syriac.  The only ones who use Aramaic are the ones who speak Aramaic (and even they have moved to using Arabic now in Church while they still speak Aramaic).  The NT was written in Koine Greek, but the liturgy was Atticized.  Church Slavonic was the spoken vernacular when it was adopted, as was Latin.  Ditto Coptic and Ge'ez.  In fact, the Greek is the only example of the use of a dead language, i.e. Attic, in translating/composing DL.
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« Reply #73 on: May 20, 2011, 11:55:33 AM »

It's not difficult to read in Church Slavonic, even very well, without the understanding.

Exactly, if one prays with the heart, the movements of the Divine Liturgy are the same ... taking us closer to theosis with the cloud of witnesses pressing us on.
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« Reply #74 on: May 20, 2011, 11:58:44 AM »

Christ is risen!
I agree in principle that the liturgy should be intelligible to the hearer, but ...

I don't agree that Koine Greek is unintelligble to a speaker of modern demotic Greek.

I fail to see how Εὐλόγησον, Δέσποτα, τὴν ἁγίαν εἴσοδον and Δέσποτα, εὐλόγησε τὴν ἁγία εἴσοδο are so different, nor Πληρώσωμεν τὴν δέησιν ἡμῶν τῷ Κυρίῳ, and Ἂς συμπληρώσουμε τὴ δέησή μας πρὸς τὸν Κύριο, so that the latter in each case would be unintelligible to a modern Greek-speaker.

All the key words are present in the Koine sentences in an intelligble form. Even I can work them out and my Greek is absolutely terribad. In fact, Koine seems more forgiving as to grammar and syntax than is modern demotic Greek -- as long as all the key words are present you can usually figure out the meaning just by context.

Yes, the gap between Koine and modern demotic is probably greater than the gap between modern and King James English, but I don't think it's comparable to a modern American attempting to read Anglo Saxon runes or anything, like is sometimes made out.

Every Greek knows that θύρας are doors, even if they don't call them that in their every day life.

The Greeks have other reasons for avoiding Church, as has been acknowledged in this thread.

I dont know, my Greek teacher (in Greece) who teaches language for a living said she took two classes on Koine and it's still too complex and different and she can't understand the services. Again, most Greeks I spoke with don't understand what is being said/chanted. I made friends with many Other young people and they couldn't understand it.

To me it doesn't look that different, but apparently it is.

I just don't get it.

There must be some weird psychological effect at play. Maybe I am less put off by having to work really hard at understanding each individual word and sentence because my Greek is so bad and second-language-ish whereas, for them, if they don't understand it on first hearing, it is automatically perceived as alien and unintelligible?

You might already know this, but a similar diglossia-type problem exists in the Japanese liturgy: the liturgy is celebrated in an archaic form of Japanese that is rarely written and never spoken by modern Japanese speakers. Even with Japanese as my third language I don't find it completely alien and foreign -- just hard work to listen to.

I guess my only point is that Koine is not to demotic Greek as Latin is to French.
As counter intuitive as it may seem, that fact that it is foreign to you is part of the reason why you have less difficulty than a Greek speaker.  You don't have the interference from the vernacular.  If being a native speaker guarenteed fluency, no one in the US would fail English.  And yet many non-ESL students in the US do.

I used to teach ESL students, and some of my students became so fluent that you would not even know that English was not their first language.

When I used to chant in Greek, people would come up to me and ask if I were from Athens.
I cannot even speak Greek. Smiley
They did not even have an accent.
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« Reply #75 on: May 20, 2011, 01:14:06 PM »

Quote
Church Slavonic was the spoken vernacular when it was adopted, as was Latin.  Ditto Coptic and Ge'ez.

Church Slavonic was never a spoken vernacular during the time of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They created a written and liturgical language with vocabulary based on the old Slavic dialect of the Thessaloniki region.
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« Reply #76 on: May 20, 2011, 01:18:12 PM »

Quote
Church Slavonic was the spoken vernacular when it was adopted, as was Latin.  Ditto Coptic and Ge'ez.

Church Slavonic was never a spoken vernacular during the time of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They created a written and liturgical language with vocabulary based on the old Slavic dialect of the Thessaloniki region.

Interesting.
Did St. Innocent of Alaska use the vernacular native languages when making translations in the various Alaskan languages?
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« Reply #77 on: May 20, 2011, 01:24:05 PM »

Church Slavonic was never a spoken vernacular during the time of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They created a written and liturgical language with vocabulary based on the old Slavic dialect of the Thessaloniki region.

They created an alphabet, not a language.
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« Reply #78 on: May 20, 2011, 01:27:57 PM »

Quote
Church Slavonic was the spoken vernacular when it was adopted, as was Latin.  Ditto Coptic and Ge'ez.

Church Slavonic was never a spoken vernacular during the time of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They created a written and liturgical language with vocabulary based on the old Slavic dialect of the Thessaloniki region.

It had to be a spoken language to be translated into from ,, Huh they did give us the Old Slavonic Alphabet some based off the Greek letters and others created for our different sounds...... police
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« Reply #79 on: May 20, 2011, 01:52:35 PM »

Church Slavonic was never a spoken vernacular during the time of St. Cyril and St. Methodius.  They created a written and liturgical language with vocabulary based on the old Slavic dialect of the Thessaloniki region.

As I wrote above, Old Church Slavonic is more or less the late Common Slavonic vernacular. Ss. Cyril and Methodius wrote what they spoke. They didn't create anything special for liturgy. It is Church Slavonic, which arose centuries later, that is something of an artificial language.
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« Reply #80 on: May 20, 2011, 01:54:18 PM »

On the positive side, using a dead language ensures that the meaning of words won't change. To wit, "Worship".
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« Reply #81 on: May 20, 2011, 02:18:23 PM »

On the positive side, using a dead language ensures that the meaning of words won't change. To wit, "Worship".

Unfortunately, it's not that simple. There are already passages in the KJV that are misunderstood by ordinary people today because the meaning of the words has changed in contemporary spoken English. Yes, you might claim that the text is meant to be understood in a certain way and training would teach you how, but to demand everyone take a special language course just to hear the word of God is un-Christian.
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« Reply #82 on: May 20, 2011, 02:22:58 PM »

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship. 

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services? 

Even the Churches has sometimes expressed that continued use of archaic liturgical languages might be undesirable. The Russian Church was preparing to move away from Church Slavonic before the Revolution made everyone bunker down against any change for the sake of survival. Heavily atticized Koine Greek was OK for the Greek Orthodox Church in the days when everyone got some training in katharevousa, but as it's being increasingly forgotten, you can be sure the Church will have to confront this fact sooner or later.
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« Reply #83 on: May 20, 2011, 02:36:00 PM »

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship.  

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services?  

Even the Churches has sometimes expressed that continued use of archaic liturgical languages might be undesirable. The Russian Church was preparing to move away from Church Slavonic before the Revolution made everyone bunker down against any change for the sake of survival. Heavily atticized Koine Greek was OK for the Greek Orthodox Church in the days when everyone got some training in katharevousa, but as it's being increasingly forgotten, you can be sure the Church will have to confront this fact sooner or later.

Didn't riots occur in Greece when the Church authorities tried to impose a vernacular Greek on the populace?

I think those riots were even mentioned in one of my linguistics books.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 02:37:01 PM by Maria » Logged

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« Reply #84 on: May 20, 2011, 03:12:29 PM »

Also, Orthodoxy has a history of using sacred dead languages for worship.  Look at the Aramaic of the Syrians, or the Koine Greek, definitely Church Slavonic can be held up as an example of a sacred tongue which could not be considered as "living" or in common vernacular use today, yet they are still regularly used for worship.  

Would you be opposed to these languages or think that ti was improper for local Orthodox Churches to use them for services?  

Even the Churches has sometimes expressed that continued use of archaic liturgical languages might be undesirable. The Russian Church was preparing to move away from Church Slavonic before the Revolution made everyone bunker down against any change for the sake of survival. Heavily atticized Koine Greek was OK for the Greek Orthodox Church in the days when everyone got some training in katharevousa, but as it's being increasingly forgotten, you can be sure the Church will have to confront this fact sooner or later.

Didn't riots occur in Greece when the Church authorities tried to impose a vernacular Greek on the populace?

I think those riots were even mentioned in one of my linguistics books.

I think back in 2003 there was one Bishop who proposed it, and then it was shot down by the Holy Synod of Greece. I don't know about the rest of the populace, but I don't know why they'd protest about that, unless it was the elderly folk.

For me, I actually enjoyed it in Koine Greek, and I've taken two classes of Modern Greek. I was able to learn/understand the Liturgy because I knew it in English. I could often tell a modern Greek term based on the archaic Greek term.
I don't know why it is difficult for them, but from the people I spoke to, all agreed that it was difficult. The attitude (from those I talked to) was that it "doesn't matter if you understand it". Which is something that I believe is un-Orthodox and is a negative influence from Western Christianity.

In fact, if you think about it, that is why the services are in Koine. Koine basically means "common" (or meant something similar) and Koine was the simple, common, vernacular language, it was the lingua franca of most of the Roman Empire. It isn't in Attic Greek for a reason, it was put in the most common, vernacular language that people understood, not because it is or was particularly "holy".

In fact, we can think back to Ss. Cyril and Methodius where they developed a written language for the Slavs so that the Slavs could read & understand their services. They could have kept it in Koine Greek, but they didn't.
Or the Armenians, where the Christians developed a written language for them.
That (in my opinion) is one of the reasons that Latin became the liturgical language for Rome, because it was the common language. Western Europe spoke a variety of languages, and the various liturgies were celebrated in the vernacular languages. It wasn't until later that the Pope demanded that everything be in Latin.
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« Reply #85 on: May 20, 2011, 04:39:35 PM »


It is improper... It is against the traditions of our church and against our churches teachings.

Well if it is then the Church of Greece must also fall under your condemnation for voluntarely choosing the retain the Kione Greek as opposed to the vernacular.


http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2521-Orthodox-Church-bans-modern-Greek-in-Liturgy


ORTHODOX CHURCH BANS MODERN GREEK IN LITURGY,
Rejects Bishop's Initiative to Do Away with "Koine"

Athens (Greece), September 20, 2002

The Greek Orthodox Church has rejected a proposal to introduce modern Greek in the Liturgy.

The great majority of the Holy Synod opted to keep Koine Greek as it was spoken 2,000 years ago and used in New Testament texts. Koine has contributed to the "mystery" of the Liturgy, the Orthodox bishops emphasized...


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« Reply #86 on: May 20, 2011, 05:30:45 PM »


It is improper... It is against the traditions of our church and against our churches teachings.

Well if it is then the Church of Greece must also fall under your condemnation for voluntarely choosing the retain the Kione Greek as opposed to the vernacular.


http://www.monachos.net/forum/showthread.php?2521-Orthodox-Church-bans-modern-Greek-in-Liturgy


ORTHODOX CHURCH BANS MODERN GREEK IN LITURGY,
Rejects Bishop's Initiative to Do Away with "Koine"

Athens (Greece), September 20, 2002

The Greek Orthodox Church has rejected a proposal to introduce modern Greek in the Liturgy.

The great majority of the Holy Synod opted to keep Koine Greek as it was spoken 2,000 years ago and used in New Testament texts. Koine has contributed to the "mystery" of the Liturgy, the Orthodox bishops emphasized...




Indeed it does, the Church of Greece is wrong in believing Koine is more "holy". They cannot retain their youth, and sadly, most of their churches are full of only the very elderly and the very young. I would estimate that people between the ages of 10 and 60 don't regularly attend church, and yet will be sitting directly outside drinking coffee.
From my conversations with Greek friends, it seems that the language seems to be a big part of that.

I'm sorry, I know it's not the jurisdiction I am a part of, but from what I saw and experienced, I have to say that the Church of Greece has to be shamed because of this. You know that Greece statistically is 90% Orthodox, and yet from what I experienced, and from my conversations, it seems that the vast majority don't attend church and don't have much to do with church period.
The fact is that it just isn't enough to "be Orthodox", you have to be practicing and you need to attend church, and you need to pray, and you need to participate in the church's mysteries. The Church of Greece, as well as other Orthodox Churches in the world, have fallen to heterodox Western teachings and unfortunately believe that there can be such a thing as a "sacred language", when things always need to be in the vernacular.

So yes Robb, it does indeed fall under my condemnation, and I say that willingly and without any feeling any need to retract my statement. Any church that refuses to have services in the vernacular is in the wrong.
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« Reply #87 on: May 20, 2011, 06:27:45 PM »

Don't Serbs and Romanians use Serbian and Romanian frequently, as opposed to Church Slavonic? And Antiochian Church Arabic, is it intelligible?
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« Reply #88 on: May 20, 2011, 06:46:39 PM »

Still Quite a lot of old slavonic... ..Plus when one hears slavonic  for a long time one gets so use to it ,that one doesn't distingush between serbian or slavonic anymore ,you just understand it ,,,now to read it, that's another story, the Alphabet is some what different...
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« Reply #89 on: May 20, 2011, 06:48:25 PM »

Don't Serbs and Romanians use Serbian and Romanian frequently, as opposed to Church Slavonic?

Romanians haven't used Church Slavonic for centuries. Liturgical Romanian is somewhat musty -- it has preserved a lot of Slavic loanwords that the literary and spoken language has generally replaced by e.g. cool French borrowings -- but it's still readily understandable.
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