Author Topic: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy  (Read 29203 times)

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Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #270 on: October 02, 2012, 04:23:33 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

It would be great if they could speak English and we could better communicate

I rest my case.

Wouldn't it be great if we could understand one another better?

How can we best accomplish that? Shall we all learn Korean and Persian and Spanish? Pick three languages or four? Who decides?
Or,
perhaps we could all learn English, the primary language of our country as immigrants have historically done.


(Btw, you mention schools - are all classes taught in all languages, or are ESL students given extra help and classes to help them become more fluent and confident in the primary language of the country that their parents or grandparents probably chose to live in?)

Quote
but I don't feel that if they don't it is any hindrance to my local community, if anything I value it highly for the cultural diversity and added flavor.

Please don't quote me out of context :)

You mentioned primary, and while at the moment it is English, lets not pretend that can't change or evolve, and further, that is again a regional matter.  ESL is indeed a complex issue, but there are debatable strategies, I personally favor dual-immersion programs which mutually reinforce BOTH languages, building on people's first language skills and enhancing to concept of cultural relevancy.  As I said, you are indeed free to your opinions, and I am equally obliged to respect them kindly, but we can still discuss them in a substantive manner.

stay blessed,
habte selassie



Excuse me, I did not quote you out of context. I quoted that particular sentence because it is precisely what I have been saying.
If we are to discuss these important issues in a substantive and respectful way, then perhaps you can do me the courtesy of actually reading what I have posted.
I do not, as insinuated, disrespect people who cannot speak English or who speak limited English. If I went to Korea, I would be helpless and dependent on the kindness of English-speakers. I deplore American monolingualism.

And in my example about meeting your Korean neighbors, I specifically said that you wanted to discuss an important neighborhood issue with them. Perhaps you are a much better mime than I am, but I wonder if you could effectively communicate that there was a mandatory evacuation or a fire in their building or a man with a gun in their place of business by miming.
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Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #271 on: October 02, 2012, 10:05:03 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!


Excuse me, I did not quote you out of context. I quoted that particular sentence because it is precisely what I have been saying.
If we are to discuss these important issues in a substantive and respectful way, then perhaps you can do me the courtesy of actually reading what I have posted.
I do not, as insinuated, disrespect people who cannot speak English or who speak limited English. If I went to Korea, I would be helpless and dependent on the kindness of English-speakers. I deplore American monolingualism.

And in my example about meeting your Korean neighbors, I specifically said that you wanted to discuss an important neighborhood issue with them. Perhaps you are a much better mime than I am, but I wonder if you could effectively communicate that there was a mandatory evacuation or a fire in their building or a man with a gun in their place of business by miming.


Yes, actually you did but...


OK, obviously we are mutually reading too much into each other's replies, so let me apologize up front if I've upset you.  I must clarify, we do not agree with what you quoted, hence why I inserted the re-quoted caveat. I did indeed read every word of your posts, and I was not trying to insinuate anything :)  I am not trying to insinuate anything about you disrespecting anyone,  in fact, the only time I mentioned respect was when I said that I am obliged to respect your opinions..

 A lot of folks, particularly here in LA in the residual aftermath and legacy of the horrifying Prop 187 era have a lot of very negative feelings about people who do not speak English in the US.  I was by no means trying to connect you to those folks, at all.  Rather, I was trying to explain why I so distance myself from those opinions.  Personally and from my heart, I feel no way if a person speaks English or if they don't.  Again, of course it would be nice on a personable and sociable level, but I have no feelings about it one way or the other.  When I interact with folks who DO NOT SPEAK English I just try my best to appreciate what I can communicate with them, through translators, through the vibes, through the Holy Spirit.  Yeah, if we're talking about a parent-teacher conference obviously that gap has to be more literally bridged, and true, if more folks spoke mutual languages than obviously many aspects of our society would roll smoother.  However and again, I personally feel no way about it one way or the other.  Further, we do NOT have an official language in the US, and while in many respects we have a common language, that is by and large regional or conditional to circumstance.  If I were to clarify, I don't believe that anyone should feel that they HAVE to learn English to live in America, or even to be an American for that matter.  

stay blessed,
habte selassie
« Last Edit: October 02, 2012, 10:06:47 PM by HabteSelassie »
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #272 on: October 03, 2012, 08:14:23 AM »
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #273 on: October 03, 2012, 10:07:29 AM »
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.

Exactly. My own grandfather, despite his family having immigrated in th 1700's, spoke a mixture of German and English at home. He didn't encounter English only until he went to school.

I was raised in the "German" Lutheran church - my former congregation up until WWII continued to have church council meetings, catechism and some services in German. As I have said before, I can still remember all the different "flavors" of Lutheranism - German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian. So I have a great deal of understanding, empathy and admiration for more recent immigrants who come here to make a new and hopefully better life for themselves and their children.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #274 on: October 03, 2012, 10:27:38 AM »
We all need to breath here on this one. I am old enough to remember many immigrants, including my grandparents, aunts, uncles etc... who came to the USA at the start of the 20th century. Many of their generation did not speak English in the home, around the Church and for some even in public. However, they recognized the necessity for their children to use English as their primary language and as the years and generations went by, the accents and cadences of the 'old languages' have faded away. Part of this was due to society's demands at that time in history, a larger part for Slavic speaking immigrant families was the strong anti-Communism of the time and the need to not sound too 'Russian' - even if your language was Slovak, Polish, Ukrainian, Serbian or whatever - it didn't matter because to American English speaking ears those languages were 'all the same.'

If I did have to choose however, I have to  come down on the side of assimilation and a common national language for a variety of reasons which probably belong more in the politics board or another forum altogether.

Exactly. My own grandfather, despite his family having immigrated in th 1700's, spoke a mixture of German and English at home. He didn't encounter English only until he went to school.

I was raised in the "German" Lutheran church - my former congregation up until WWII continued to have church council meetings, catechism and some services in German. As I have said before, I can still remember all the different "flavors" of Lutheranism - German, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian. So I have a great deal of understanding, empathy and admiration for more recent immigrants who come here to make a new and hopefully better life for themselves and their children.


Indeed, for the same reason Slavic tongues came into disfavor in the USA during the 20th century on account of the Boshevik revolution and the rise of the USSR, so to did German language and culture following the horrors of the two world wars.

Historians and sociologists don't use the term 'Balkanization' as a positive tribute to the peoples of the Balkans...we in the USA - regardless of our political stripes - should keep that in mind.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #275 on: October 03, 2012, 10:46:12 AM »
This has been a very productive discussion so far. If you don't mind, let me re-summarize, knowing full well that somebody or some committee has already developed a similar summary of recommended principles.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Note: Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

Offline genesisone

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #276 on: October 03, 2012, 11:12:57 AM »
I doubt that many here would argue that one reason for having services in a language other than English (where English is the common language) is to have a ministry to recent immigrants. It seems to me that part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans/Canadians/Australians/etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture. True Christian ministry to immigrants should be more than an hour or two for DL on a Sunday morning. It seems to me that we Orthodox are well-positioned for this sort of ministry.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #277 on: October 03, 2012, 11:30:42 AM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 11:32:47 AM by Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) »

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #278 on: October 03, 2012, 11:46:00 AM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented. 

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Dear Carl what can I say, you are simply wonderful!!! I have paid particular attention to your most wise correction of words and concepts,(honestly, much to my relief and delight , my heartfelt thanks there ) integration and harmonization of complementary concepts , redirection and tweaking of certain derailing elements from the most important issue at hand. wonderfully executed! once more quite an excellent summery! This has made my day today! I will say this, it is a great blessing for a parish council to have you as a member. May God bless you!
« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 11:47:54 AM by Hiwot »
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Offline dzheremi

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #279 on: October 03, 2012, 12:16:13 PM »
Excellent list! 100% agreement over here. :)

Offline serb1389

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #280 on: October 03, 2012, 12:27:29 PM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #281 on: October 03, 2012, 01:26:08 PM »
I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

As St. Paul said, he tries to be all things to all people.  We have to be that too and we need to find a way to cater to everyone.  I mean, look at the Roman Catholics, they have a good system of local churches and ethnic parishes or even just ethnic Masses within one parish.  I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.  But I am still on the opinion that we should cater more to the locals than the immigrants, being an immigrant myself.  There is more commonality with the language and culture of the land than a foreign language and culture.  There can only be so many Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, etc. in North America.  But everyone who comes here is expected to blend in to the local culture because we all live in a common land.

Offline serb1389

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #282 on: October 03, 2012, 01:30:49 PM »
I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

As St. Paul said, he tries to be all things to all people.  We have to be that too and we need to find a way to cater to everyone.  I mean, look at the Roman Catholics, they have a good system of local churches and ethnic parishes or even just ethnic Masses within one parish.  I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.  But I am still on the opinion that we should cater more to the locals than the immigrants, being an immigrant myself.  There is more commonality with the language and culture of the land than a foreign language and culture.  There can only be so many Ukrainians, Russians, Greeks, etc. in North America.  But everyone who comes here is expected to blend in to the local culture because we all live in a common land.

As has been mentioned before, part of your response is also though answering the question of more local flavor, such as living in california where if we were honest, the predomanent language of many of our area churches is Spanish.  So who are we really catering to?  and how much are we making this argument about AMERICA as a whole and how much are we really following the Orthodox model, which has consistantly been to go into an area, take on the culture & christianize it.  Cyril & Methodios did it, Alex Toth did it, etc. etc. etc.  St. Herman, etc. etc. etc.  Just because we missed the boat on actually reaching out to american americans (or even native americans for that matter) doesn't mean we backlash & do things wierd now that we have the chance.  rather every community should reach out to its individual & unique atmosphere around it.  Wouldn't that be the perfect & most orthodox solution?  actually bringing christ to our communities?  ALL of them?  both the ones who are there & the ones who are not? 

Offline orthonorm

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #283 on: October 03, 2012, 01:36:19 PM »
I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.

It's not a temple. And you can do more than Liturgy in the parish per day, if the parish has more than one altar.

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #284 on: October 03, 2012, 01:37:34 PM »
I know the Orthodox doesn't do more than one Liturgy per day in one temple but at least we can get an idea with what the RC does to make sure there is something for everyone.

It's not a temple. And you can do more than Liturgy in the parish per day, if the parish has more than one altar.

Some would not agree on this like the Orthodox I know.  But yeah, I am aware of it.

Offline Marc1152

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #285 on: October 03, 2012, 02:31:40 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 
Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #286 on: October 03, 2012, 02:34:42 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

This is not true at least in the one case I have.  Though I've heard of ethnic parishes which are more Westernized than the latinized Eastern Catholic parishes.  It definitely is not just a language thing.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #287 on: October 03, 2012, 02:34:56 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

  Many times a lot of converts and even younger cradles get caught up in the Evangelical examples of other Christian groups here in the US or Europe, and they and begin to over-emphasize the Great Commission.  Yes, the Church has been commissioned to save the ENTIRE universe, as the Universal Church.  However, this process is more gradual I think that Americans in particular realize.  My head-priest for example, points out rightfully that it is the Church which changed the overtly homosexual culture of the Roman world towards a more chaste and sacred approach to sexuality.  At the beginning the the Church (1st century), the world was as comfortably homosexual as it was heterosexual.  In our communities we were not favorable to this.  We didn't run out through Rome like the Westboro Baptists, rather, slowly, patiently, systematically by the Holy Spirit our Church grew and grew.  As we grew, more and more people were pushed by the COMPUNCTION of the Holy Spirit to avoid and reject homosexuality in their own individual lives.  We didn't have to have a platform or a campaign, rather we just had to continually EXIST across four centuries of time until the entire world flipped the script. However, that process was obviously gradual, if it took several HUNDRED years to complete.  In our society today, it is the same.  The world wasn't largely Christian until even after the Schism!  So that is a thousand years there..

So what, are we going to suddenly and spiritually radically change America and Europe today in a generation's time? That is naive to the reality and historiography of the Church.  Rather, we need to stay focused day by day with the situations and circumstances that God affords us.  That means working on the internal Church, and being as inviting to outsiders as  possible.  However, I personally NEVER feel that the Commission suddenly prioritizes proselytizing over caring for the needs of the Faithful.  The Faithful MUST come first and foremost, and considering the Church is a spiritual hospital, we got a lot of sick folks recovering in Her sanctuary.  So we need to be continually focused on our internal developments, our "craddles" and also our converts, but not necessarily on going outside and gaining any more.  After all, often our parishes have a lot of dirty laundry we've yet to deal with, so until we really get our own houses in order, should we really be so interested in inviting company over?

In my ministry in the Sunday School program and young adult programs, I focus steadily on the needs of our own parishioners.  When I interact at the Church, my focus is the needs of Her members.  I try to help out the ladies in the Kitchen, I try to clean up the building when I see something dirty or out of place, if my elders need a hand its quickly out-stretched, if my clergies need me, no questions asked.  Simply put, very often I am TOO busy to be concerned about what is going on outside.  Does that mean I neglect those in my community outside of Church? Of course not, every moment I am steadily building community and love with my neighbors and compatriots here.  However, that love isn't a ploy to lure them to our Church, its just how I interact with my fellow men and women in the world.  My two-cents, the Great Commission is about giving LOVE, HOPE, SUPPORT, and EFFORT to help our neighbors and communities on a personable level.  We help out, we do favors, we lend a helping hand, we offer a shoulder to cry on, we give handshakes and high-fives, we tip our caps to folks on the street, we simply smile to each other as we meet..

If we stay busy loving our communities rather than preaching to them, over the next thousand years perhaps we will again change the face of the entire world :)

That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

I have never really heard of an Orthodox focus on ministering to Jewish communities.  If anything, at least in our Ethiopian (and I'd guess Russian) jurisdictions, we sort of have the opposite thing going on.  This idea is very new to me, could you please clarify or elaborate and share a bit more, I am very curious.


stay blessed,
habte selassie
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #288 on: October 03, 2012, 03:23:58 PM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented. 

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.


 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Dear Carl what can I say, you are simply wonderful!!! I have paid particular attention to your most wise correction of words and concepts,(honestly, much to my relief and delight , my heartfelt thanks there ) integration and harmonization of complementary concepts , redirection and tweaking of certain derailing elements from the most important issue at hand. wonderfully executed! once more quite an excellent summery! This has made my day today! I will say this, it is a great blessing for a parish council to have you as a member. May God bless you!

Thank you Hiwot. I would not have pursued this had it not been for the encouragement proffered by you and others. May God grant you many years!

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #289 on: October 03, 2012, 03:24:32 PM »
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20

this is the commandment of the Lord not a choice, or not something we can slice and dice, or try to down play. he is not talking about organising a socialising event. he is commanding his church to go and bring the Good News to all nations and to make them disciples by baptizing them in the Name of the Holy Trinity! there is no minimizing this, for this reason He himself has come. the prophets and the apostles and the entire Apostolic Church has engaged in the proclamation of the Gospel of Salvation. to invite all into Life, into the Sacramental Life of the Church. to drink from the water of Life and Live. this is the call of Wisdom! how can all men inside and outside can they believe if they can not hear, how can they hear if there are none who would tell them. but even so the commandment of our Lord is the Great commission, Great because He himself commanded His Church to labor towards this Great end( making men enter into communion with the Life of The Holy Trinity!) promising His Help. A church that neglects the Great Commission will face the consequence of the disobedience of the commandment of the Lord. the Great commission does not exclude those inside, no it holds them in it strengthens them nurtures them and makes them fruitful. it is a false dichotomy that is being created here where there is none. all that are invited are invited into the sacramental life of the Church into one body not two. Our Lord says, the baptised disciples need to live a life of obedience to everything he has commanded, that is the life of every christian is it not? you see how he combines all the commandments in the Great Commission? we need not treat the church as a museum , we need not treat her as a civic center or socializing center either, although the church has a social aspect to her, she is much more than that. she is the Body of Christ! it is for  and through Christ she labors, to fulfil the Will of the Father in the Spirit. all the good work we can employ by ourselves mean nothing if we are not fulfilling his will that he has commanded us to fulfil. it only serves our ego, elevates our pride and makes our fall that much catastrophic.

the so called protestant style whatever, that is such a hogwash! the church is the Church of the Apostles ! those that preached the Gospel of the Lord, whose work even today shines in the four corners of the world! the Church has always been Apostolic engaged in her Apostolic mission. if protestants read the bible should we abandon it? if protestants called the name of Jesus should we stop calling His Name? if Protestants preached their faith should we stop preaching? should the apostles have simply existed and lived a quite life in their community go to the social events and hang out and wait for people to ask them what they believe in ? a false dichotomy again. we do both with earnestness and sincerity of living out our Faith in the Sacramental Life of the Church. we live out our faith we preach our faith, all in harmony. we do not ignore our Lord's commandment nor exchange it by what we think is best.

Is it a choice then or a commandment? The great apostle of the Lord answers:

6For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel! 1 Corinthians 9:6

so what shall we say ?

14How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 15And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
16But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? 17So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Romans 10: 14-17

« Last Edit: October 03, 2012, 03:42:45 PM by Hiwot »
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #290 on: October 03, 2012, 03:29:55 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #291 on: October 03, 2012, 03:35:53 PM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Great idea! How about adding Recommendation 3, something like:

"While the Lord gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), He also tasked us to tend to "...the lost sheep of Israel" (Matthew 10:6). The latter task is particularly important in the West where many of our Orthodox, particularly cradle ones, have left the Holy Orthodox Church and become our lost sheep. Parishes should have special ministry to the lost Orthodox sheep: proactive measures that are especially important with adolescents, as well as outreach to those who have become nominal Orthodox, those who do not attend any church, and those who have joined other faith communities."

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #292 on: October 03, 2012, 03:41:58 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #293 on: October 03, 2012, 03:45:32 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #294 on: October 03, 2012, 03:46:22 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #295 on: October 03, 2012, 03:48:59 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

I don't have the numbers, but that is probably true, BUT in ACROD and the OCA we have been pretty much all English for the last thirty or forty years and I suspect that an honest priest or Bishop from either of these jurisdictions would note about the same loss of young people at about the same age. So I wouldn't necessarily blame the Greeks on this one. I think it goes to the third point of Carl in his most recent post.

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #296 on: October 03, 2012, 04:04:30 PM »
I have incorporated so many inputs that I must go back and find their providers. Nonetheless, here is the revised summary that incorporates what Genesisone suggested above.

1a. All English services are absolutely necessary. Indeed, the official language of the future administratively united Orthodox Church of the Unites States of America should be English.

1b. The language of services should be the language of the community that is being served or targeted. Thus, although English is expected to be the language used most often, it may be necessary to use other vernaculars, such as Korean in a Korean community and Spanish in a Latino one.

2. At the same time that our jurisdictions are using all English services, we must continue to use existing liturgical languages for two reasons:

2a. Make sure that the translations to English are done correctly, particularly to convey their deep theological content.

2b. Make sure that the needs of recent immigrants are taken care of.

3. Proficiency in the liturgical languages must be maintained in order to continue to be able to pass on what we have received.

4a. There should be an increase in Liturgy specific classes and lessons.

4b. Extensive catechism should be implemented.  

5. There should be fellowship and socially integrative activities to build a sense of community amongst our young folks and converts.

6. As many of the appointed services should be served as possible to witness to the community and strengthen the parish. (I am adding this as I remembered the way that our churches in Uganda evangelized: they did not have windows so that passers by could hear the services.)

Additional recommendations:

1. Since the mission of the Church is the Great Commission, it is important to undertake our efforts in an Orthodox Christian manner. In particular, our mission is to love our communities and share the Gospel in a way that is helpful to the unchurched and unbelievers. The way we share the Gospel is primarily by demonstrating our love for Christ in the way we treat each other. We should be focused on living our ideals and norms as a palpable example to others, so that as Paul explains, we always have a justification to explain to those who ask about this Hope that is in us.

2. Parishes should have a special ministry to recent immigrants. Part of that ministry should be to educate these new Americans, Canadians, Australians, etc. in the English language by encouraging ESL classes. It would also be good for English-speaking members to partner up with non-English speakers (preferably not family members) for friendship and support during their adjustment to the new culture.

I will only add to your #1 in additional recommendations:

Part of the issue/solution is that we are not JUST a Great Commission church.  That is part of the frustration of the cradle Orthodox.  Rather, we are BOTH a Great Commission church AND a church that goes after the Lost Sheep of Israel (aka, our own people), as Matthew 10 speaks to.  we can't be one or the other, which ALL of your points allude to, but we just have to remain consistent throughout our process to serve BOTH those in the great commission, AND those who Christ went to first, Himself. 

Indeed!!!
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #297 on: October 03, 2012, 04:07:50 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #298 on: October 03, 2012, 04:15:27 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #299 on: October 03, 2012, 04:23:59 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!
To God be the Glory in all things! Amen!

Only pray for me, that God would give me both inward and outward strength, that I may not only speak, but truly will; and that I may not merely be called a Christian, but really be found to be one. St.Ignatius of Antioch.Epistle to the Romans.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #300 on: October 03, 2012, 04:24:58 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.



No, not at all, y'all just can't seem to get an NBA team (Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Pacers, Cavs I'm looking at y'all)  to win a Championship again since the 1980s ;)


stay blessed,
"Yet stand aloof from stupid questionings and geneologies and strifes and fightings about law, for they are without benefit and vain." Titus 3:10

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #301 on: October 03, 2012, 04:28:26 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

That is not true in the OCA Diocese of the South and the Antiochian Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America. I would venture to say that the same is true with the GOA Metropolis of Atlanta.

Did you mean to say that the Greek parishes of the Atlanta Metropolis ARE 'modernist' with a 'Protestant ethos' ? It wasn't clear to me. Thanks!


Not at all; I meant to say the opposite. It seems to me that the Orthodox parishes West of the Mississippi and the South are different than the rest. OCA, GOA or AOCA--they are true blue, traditionalist Orthodox, with some insignificant differences in their praxis.


So those of us in the Rust Belt - where the OCA was given birth are what - unrepentant modernists? Opponents of Holy Tradition?

I don't buy into that stereotype anymore than the one from the 'other side' that all of the 'troublemakers' in the Church are west of the Mississippi or in Dixie.



No, not at all, y'all just can't seem to get an NBA team (Bulls, Pistons, Bucks, Pacers, Cavs I'm looking at y'all)  to win a Championship again since the 1980s ;)


stay blessed,

2008 Celtics? They did play at TG Garden in Beantown, didn't they?   ;) :D

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #302 on: October 03, 2012, 04:54:59 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!

I know! I knew there was some loss but I have to say I was shocked by the 60%. And hey, I don't attribute it all to language and I'm not saying that all-English would be a cure-all.

It just seems like "common" sense.
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Offline Hiwot

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #303 on: October 03, 2012, 05:05:00 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

dear katherine, I can not tell you how many times I have heard of this from Ethiopians also. my heart has been broken over so many I knew, who left because of the language barrier making it difficult to fully participate in the Liturgical life of the Church. they were easy picks for all sorts of heretical sects. some even told me, that although they still have certain beliefs they retain from their former faith, they have a better active spiritual life in there because it is in the language they can communicate with. Lord have mercy! each time I come across such , I am gripped with grief of what has happend to the flock of Christ, I just say 'What have we done!

I know! I knew there was some loss but I have to say I was shocked by the 60%. And hey, I don't attribute it all to language and I'm not saying that all-English would be a cure-all.

It just seems like "common" sense.

I understand what you mean, the language is not all of the problem nor is it the sol solution but it is a major part of both. and I agree with all your previous points as well. it is quite simple really, finding the common denominator in regards to language among all the different ethnicity's involved and using that common language of communication is way effective and efficient than anythingelse. I could not agree more with you my sis. God bless you!
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Offline Marc1152

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #304 on: October 03, 2012, 05:21:30 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

Right, it often means adopting a Protestant like ethos rather than the piety more usual for Orthodox. What is usual of course can vary from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction..

Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm

Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #305 on: October 03, 2012, 05:48:51 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

Right, it often means adopting a Protestant like ethos rather than the piety more usual for Orthodox. What is usual of course can vary from Jurisdiction to Jurisdiction..



Since more parishes within the old Rust Belt are  predominately cradle Orthodox, I would argue that we have little 'Protestant like' influence. Perhaps the congregational structure of church management which has polluted all of American Orthodoxy is a Protestant influenced thing, but I really don't get your point about piety. If you were to accuse us of having a more 'Catholic' like piety - stemming among the Slavs at least from their close historical relationship with the Roman church through the centuries of the Unia that is one thing, but I don't see the Protestant ethos.

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #306 on: October 03, 2012, 05:52:14 PM »
Am I the only one that sees no connection between the liturgical language and assimilation?
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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #307 on: October 03, 2012, 06:10:42 PM »
FWIW, I have been told by a couple of GOA youth directors that 60% of Greek Orthodox young people leave the church during and after college. Of course, some will come back, when they get married or have children of their own. These same youth directors told me that they hear over and over again that the young people report that they "got nothing out of church" because it was in a language they didn't speak or understand.
Anecdotal, to be sure, but something to consider.

Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.
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Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #308 on: October 03, 2012, 06:13:53 PM »
Am I the only one that sees no connection between the liturgical language and assimilation?

 ;)

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #309 on: October 03, 2012, 06:21:52 PM »
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Offline HabteSelassie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #310 on: October 03, 2012, 10:34:30 PM »
Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

That is what I've been saying :)

stay blessed,
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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #311 on: October 03, 2012, 10:45:41 PM »
One problem with all English Parishes is when they are concurrently modernist. It confirms all the fears of the older non-English Parishes.

We need to be careful the English Parishes are not the same thing as "Americanized" Parishes, which can sometimes mean having a Protestant ethos. 

What does 'modernist' mean? I have the same gripe on another thread today regarding the use by some of the term 'traditional' or 'traditionalist'. One persons's view of  'modernity' may well be within the body of the Church's is tradition - but simply not the regional or cultural practice of one group or another. All too often the word 'modernist' is used to accuse, just like the word 'traditional' is used to either boast or distinguish.

It was a double whammy: Protestant ethos.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #312 on: October 04, 2012, 08:19:29 AM »
That is what I've been saying :)

One thing I think would be very helpful is to make catechism mandatory also for infant baptisms. Making the parents and/or godparents go through an educational programme similar to what is expected of an adult catechumen would be a very good way to (re)catechise those generations which are normally absent from Church. Baptism, at least in the Greek community, is such a firmly rooted social institution that few would be put off were such a thing put in place. In thoroughly secular Norway, committed atheists happily send their children to bi-weekly catechism over a 6month period in order to have them confirmed at age 14. If they can put up with it, so can the Orthodox, I'm sure. In any case, my experience has been that uncatechised teenagers and young adults are surprisingly keen to learn once they realise that the information is available to them. The faith is there even if the interest in Church is not.

I think measures such as that one would be far more effective than simply having liturgy in English (though that is also important).
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 08:21:10 AM by Orthodox11 »

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #313 on: October 04, 2012, 09:15:58 AM »
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

(btw, I have native English-speakers, native Ukrainian/Russian and native Farsi/Arabic speakers in my class. We all speak English in class, however, since it's the only language we have in common.  ;))
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #314 on: October 04, 2012, 09:26:31 AM »
Here, it is more than sixty per cent and earlier than the college years.

We should also remember that most of these kids are given nothing whatsoever at home. If they are given anything, it's ridiculous superstition as an explanation of external rituals, things no educated person could ever entertain. My experience is that when we actually do have liturgies in English, the people who show up are never the people who complain about the language, but people who always show up to the Greek liturgies anyway. Language is important, but the mass exodus of youth is primarily a problem of catechesis rather than language imho.

Yet most if not all of the OCA and GOA parishes have Sunday Schools, retreats, summer camps etc. which are catechetical in nature, as well as experiential. As a Sunday School teacher, I can tell you that GOA has some dynamite catechetical materials.

So what do we need to do better?

(btw, I have native English-speakers, native Ukrainian/Russian and native Farsi/Arabic speakers in my class. We all speak English in class, however, since it's the only language we have in common.  ;))

This is true, but in our small ACROD family, if you attend a Diocesan event or a parish celebration or a pastor's anniversary of ordination and/or wedding the connections among those who were part of the ENTIRE parish experience - including strong family connections and observance of our traditions - is amazing - and, if you think about it not a surprise. I suspect the same observation may be made across the board of our many jurisdictions.

If you factor families heavily involved in the parish, the local Diocese, organizations like FOCA, ACRY, GOYA, SOYA etc, youth camps like Camp Nazareth, Antiochian Village, GOA and other camps across the country, OCF, activities at monasteries and so on... and ask those with links to most of even ALL of these to stand at your next parish function, you will see a correlation between those who are active on the parish level and whose extended families remain part of the church when they relocate. I saw this just this past weekend at the 50th anniversary of the pastor and his wife at a suburban Philadelphia parish when those with such connections were asked to stand after a video retrospective.

The lost sheep are an important component of our mission and, if you think about it, not really separate and distinct from our responsibilities under the Great Commission.

For most of us, being an integral part of the Orthodox Church is not being proficient in our 'poklons' (deep bows), our knowledge of the Rudder and our ability to quote the Fathers. In fact for most of us, such things are really on the periphery. How we treat our loved ones, our neighbors and each other in the context of the local Church is the key. For others, the rest is 'icing' on the cake and the 'icing' doesn't always make for a tastier cake.
« Last Edit: October 04, 2012, 09:29:01 AM by podkarpatska »