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.