Author Topic: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy  (Read 29187 times)

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Offline Father H

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #90 on: September 22, 2012, 10:43:18 PM »
Well which is it, do you dislike them or do you think they're winning?  ???

I dislike them, AND I think they are Whining (he meant whining). lol

So Charlie Sheen clone x2, a whiner and self-proclaimed winner. 

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #91 on: September 22, 2012, 10:46:44 PM »
Hiwot, dnt know if you read the entire thread. but
The problem is not that it should not be in english. It is, and it should be!
The underlying thread within this thread is the reasoning why it should be in english.
its like giving alms:
if i give someone $$ to help him and its between me and him---then it is pleasing to God, no?
But if i give $$ to someone to show off that im a good person to others---then that is not pleasing to God, no?

The underlying motivation for the request that the liturgy to be in english is because of self importance and dislike for people and there cultures. Someone outright said "I hate nationalists...that's one of the reasons I can't stand so many Orthodox Christians."
another, when informed that in my parish they do 2 liturgy's one in Greek and one in english. Actually complained that they do it in his parish also but he hates having to be the ones who have to get up early to go to the early liturgy. Funny actually, how lazy can u be!
so that's just 2 examples in this thread that show the underlying reasoning from some here. there is also the self righteousness of some to demand things as if they have some special right cause they are American. anyway read or reread the thread and you will  pick up on it.
And that is relay why i have been giving them a hard time with this. I fully support the liturgy in all languages!


There's a big difference between saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because I don't wanna get up early... and in saying I don't like sticking the English Liturgy very early in the morning because it makes it a little bit more inaccessible to people who, if exposed to Orthodoxy, might in time come to Orthodoxy. One is laziness, one is a desire to obey the Gospel.
This is exactly what he said:
"I already belong to a parish like that, one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to.  I mean, if we are going to attract converts do we also expect them to wake up so early on Sunday when most other Churches start their services later?"

"one very early morning Liturgy for English speakers that no one really cares to go to"---why dont u care to go to it???

Lazy, self rigtious, spoiled, sence of self entilement, on and on. Did u know when the turks had greece they secretly hade church in secret caves and secret basements in homes risking there lives for it. did u know that they would cross the border int albania(?) to worship in a monostary! give me a break trying to justify what he said.

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #92 on: September 22, 2012, 10:47:38 PM »
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!

Winning?  Who are we, Charlie Sheen clones?
already stated?

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #93 on: September 22, 2012, 10:50:15 PM »
So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?

I believe they can create a serious stumbling block. There is serious backlash in surrounding areas. This sets back what needs to be done, because English service, and service for converts, becomes associated in people's minds with a Protestant style of "worship" and preaching. This is why it bothers me when they are held up as examples. It plays right into HabteSelassie's argument that we're dreaming that if we just used English great numbers would come in and the West would be won. Look, here are people winning big numbers... by dumbing down Orthodoxy until it's not, clearly this is the wrong directions.

It's not about numbers. It's about doing our duty, not having grand phantasies about what would happen if we did.

If people want to hold up an example of a Coptic priest doing it right, the one in that area is Fr. Athanasius Iskander, who was very much a pioneer of the usage of English... not that the Liturgy hadn't been prayed in English before, but he was a large part of shaping the translation we have, and did great work in creating an English parish. And it isn't a megachurch ,and doesn't want to be.

The Church was a typical closed community. He sat them down and told them that if they weren't open to outsiders, they would lose their kids. They would end up getting married to people from where they lived, and they would bring them to the Church, and if they were driven away as outsiders, their own kids would go with them. He said that for the future of their children in the Church, they had to sacrifice having the Liturgy they way it was comfortable to them.

One of the parents in the Church went to him and told him that when he prayed 50/50 English/Arabic, as soon as he switched to Arabic, their kids eyes glazed over. They were afraid their kids would be lost to the Church. Since then the Liturgy has been English. There's a very small amount of Arabic, a little big of Coptic, and of course some Greek.

Not shockingly, not everyone likes that. But being faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and the great commission is not about being popular.

This doesn't mean he neglects the needs of Arabic speakers. He has tried to get a second priest to hold a parallel Arabic Liturgy, but he hasn't been given one. So he does the best he can, and has an Arabic Liturgy on a Saturday once or twice a month. No one goes to them though. The people who complain so loudly about wanting Arabic still seem to go to the English one on Sunday, or not go often at all, and don't tend to show up to the Arabic Liturgy being held to meet their "needs". So it gets cancelled because no one comes. Then people complain, and they run it for a bit again, until they just can't since you're not allowed to have a Liturgy without people. The weekday Liturgies used to be in Arabic. But the people going are pretty much exclusively English speaking, so it has shifted to mostly English.

Has this resulted in droves of North Americans coming into the Church? Of course not. Our culture doesn't want religion. But those who are seeking do find a home where they can live, and the kids are about to bring friends and others, and have a place to introduce people. A future has been assured for the parish, and for those seeking Orthodoxy, a barrier is removed, it's made that much more accessible.

This is what it's about. It's not about converting the West. It's about doing our duty to offer the Gospel to all, and then it's up to God if those who respond is a billion, or one. What we'll be judged on is doing our duty, and offering, not on the fruit, which depends wholly on God.

One man, not a priest, not a monk, a layman, a child on a journey with a businessman, offered Orthodoxy to those who massacred those with him in Ethiopia. When he was allowed to return to Alexandria, he told St. Athanasius about the need to send a shepherd for those who believed. St. Athanasius ordained him a bishop, and sent back St. Frumentius as the first bishop of Ethiopia.

One child offered Orthodoxy, and converted a nation. Now there are millions of Orthodox are in North America, and we don't offer. We just keep to ourselves, create pockets of the old cultures, and then wonder why people here who find Orthodoxy can't become Greek, or Egyptian, or Russian, or whatever, for the sake of Orthodoxy. We don't only not offer, we place barriers in the way of those seeking Christ. We're more concerned with preserving cultures than obeyign the great commission.

Also in here: andits called a spelling error

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #94 on: September 22, 2012, 10:52:11 PM »
I don't really find anything to disagree with in your post, Jonathan. My own parish is not nearly big enough to have these kinds of issues (to be divided into pro-Arabic/anti-Arabic factions), so I don't think it's right to comment too much on them or how others handle them. My point is to say that those who are received at Fr. Pishoy's church or Fr. Anthony's or some other place that a lot of people don't like (and at least as far as concerns Fr. Anthony, I can see why; I haven't heard too many sermons by Fr. Pishoy, so I don't know where the charges of Protestantism are coming from) are still entering canonical Orthodox churches, despite the questionable theology of any particular priest.

But it isn't a numbers game... They're baptised, they're chrismated, but if they aren't formed in the Orthodoxy faith, what is the point? The Sacraments aren't magic that we just need to convince people to get, they need to be grafted into authentic orthodoxy. It isn't a good thing to have people in Orthodoxy on paper, but in a parish that is hard to distinguish from an evangelical community, and at the same time place additional barriers to people who want to come in in nearby parishes because of people there pushing back against the picture of "converts" and "convert churches" seen from the watered down version.

It's better to not do something than to stray in doing it. It's better to do a small thing well than a big thing poorly.

I'm not saying it is a numbers game or that the sacraments are magic or anything like that. It's just that I have heard many accusations, really blanket condemnations, like "the churches in LA are Protestant", "the churches in Canada are Protestant", and I just have to wonder, as a convert myself, what then happens to the people in them. All of those baptisms are worthless and the priests who administered them not real priests, or what? Or (and this is a point of view I'd like to hear more often) could it be that certain specific priests are not doing their part, and should be retrained in evangelism according to the apostolic faith and not some new fads (as I understand the criticisms of Fr. Anthony and Fr. Pishoy as saying that this is going on in those churches), and maybe others who see such problems should bring them to the relevant bishops? I find the wholesale writing off of certain territories as somehow lost to Protestantism-in-the-name-of-evangelism to be very disturbing, whether actually reflected in the local churches or not. As I said in my other post, it may be right but it doesn't seem like it's helpful.

Offline Father H

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #95 on: September 22, 2012, 10:52:21 PM »
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?   You had better get your rearends out of bed and get there.  I used to disagree with Fr. Florovsky that "God gave the right faith to the wrong people."  Now I agree, in part.  I would remove the second "the" because we still have a good portion.  The Jews of old complained of the Greek converts to the Faith.  The Greeks centuries later complained of the Slavic converts to the Faith.  What a bunch of whiners, with modern counterparts being no better, and sometimes worse.  The good news is that God prevails, no matter how many of you work against it.  Lord have mercy.

Offline Father H

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #96 on: September 22, 2012, 10:53:07 PM »
I guess you can tell i fed up with new converts trying to change a 2000+ yr old faith. questioning everything, and winning oh my, the winning, just stop.
outa here before i

THIS!



Winning?  Who are we, Charlie Sheen clones?
already stated?

You obviously have more time than I do, but thanks for the input.

Offline Nikolaostheservant

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #97 on: September 22, 2012, 11:17:06 PM »
we each get 24hrs so not realy. its what we do with the time we have.

Offline LBK

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #98 on: September 22, 2012, 11:27:59 PM »
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2012, 11:28:27 PM by LBK »
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline genesisone

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #99 on: September 23, 2012, 08:55:22 AM »
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.
You and I think much alike.

Also, a very early Liturgy can be a benefit to other Christians who want to explore the faith. It means they can attend a Sunday service without having to abandon their own, until they are ready to do so, of course. It helps when the entire family does not choose to convert.

Just the other side of the coin - yes, there are arguments against it as well. Lots for a local parish to consider.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #100 on: September 24, 2012, 06:05:55 AM »
In a good deal of parishes, the priest has another job unfortunately. So having an early liturgy might be too much of a strain for him :(

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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #101 on: September 24, 2012, 07:32:06 AM »
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

In Cyprus, whether weekday or Sunday, church begins 6:30am and it does not seem to effect numbers whatsoever. I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

Offline Jonathan

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #102 on: September 24, 2012, 08:20:43 AM »
I'm not saying it is a numbers game or that the sacraments are magic or anything like that. It's just that I have heard many accusations, really blanket condemnations, like "the churches in LA are Protestant", "the churches in Canada are Protestant", and I just have to wonder, as a convert myself, what then happens to the people in them. All of those baptisms are worthless and the priests who administered them not real priests, or what? Or (and this is a point of view I'd like to hear more often) could it be that certain specific priests are not doing their part, and should be retrained in evangelism according to the apostolic faith and not some new fads (as I understand the criticisms of Fr. Anthony and Fr. Pishoy as saying that this is going on in those churches), and maybe others who see such problems should bring them to the relevant bishops? I find the wholesale writing off of certain territories as somehow lost to Protestantism-in-the-name-of-evangelism to be very disturbing, whether actually reflected in the local churches or not. As I said in my other post, it may be right but it doesn't seem like it's helpful.

But I haven't written off whole territories... I objected to a priest who is going down the wrong path being held up as an example of mission work, and instead held up the example of another priest only an hour away who is doing it right, and spoke of the negative influence on normal parishes 5-15 minutes away. The wrong mindset, the association forming that accommodating western culture = accepting Protestant style, needs to be pushed back against. What bishop would we complain to? We have none, and the bishop who got the "convert church" going is the brother of the priest there. We can either look the other way when we see corruption among the bishops and priests, and when we see destruction of Orthodoxy in parishes that are becoming Orthodox only in name, and be complicit in what they are doing, or we can continue to say "no". As a convert, I'm tired of people thinking that that garbage is what my people "need", and being increasingly shunned as if I were the one bringing it into the Church, or as if it were coming in for me.


http://smsv.ca/worship.shtml
I'd like to see some limits on our worship. I'd like to see it limited to orthopraxis.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 08:21:57 AM by Jonathan »

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #103 on: September 24, 2012, 11:37:52 AM »
Quote
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

I have ancestors (recent as well as further removed) from different Orthodox traditions who did exactly that, and in their youth. I have attended 7am liturgies, and gone to work afterwards. It's really about priorities.

I actually prefer earlier liturgies, as it leaves more of the day to do other things, be they family-oriented, domestic, or simply recreational. A liturgy starting at, say, 10am, means I'd be lucky to get home before 2pm. And the situation for folks who live much further away is worse.

I think that having two liturgies divides a parish into two congregations, a bad thing in itself--it would be better to split into two are more parishes. Also, if you do have two liturgies, the folks who go to the earlier one usually miss out on coffee hour or Agape Meal, both of which are part of the Common Work, IMO.

Offline dzheremi

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #104 on: September 24, 2012, 11:51:58 AM »
Jonathan: We are in agreement. Apologies if it sounds like I'm being stubborn or apologetic for things that wrong. It is hard for me to gauge these things that go on in other places, since my own community is quite small and removed from what is going on in Canada or LA, the two places I've often heard are very Protestant. So I never know how to take these complaints, as it seems like some really have written off entire places as somehow unsalvageable.

I do not understand your comment about not having a bishop, though. There are no bishops in Canada, or you don't know who would be appropriate to write to, or...? Couldn't you contact HG Bishop David, as he is the general bishop of North America? It seems like just shaking your heads won't do much, and it is hurting the Church up there as you say it is, then somebody with the power to do something about it should at least come to investigate.

Offline MarkosC

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #105 on: September 24, 2012, 12:06:33 PM »
BTW I agree with the question on page 1 as to whether if Liturgy was at 5:45am would people show up?

In Cyprus, whether weekday or Sunday, church begins 6:30am and it does not seem to effect numbers whatsoever. I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

I presume you mean Orthros starts at 6:30?  Cool, this suggests that Divine Liturgy finishes at least at 9:00 with homily (assuming they take the standard abbreviations normally seen in Greek usage).  FWIW, Orthros begins every day at 7AM at St. Dimitrios in Thessaloniki (services finishing around 10:30 if Divine Liturgy is celebrated).    I don't notice that Orthros attendance is any less there than anywhere else, meaning that time is not necessarily a pastoral impediment.  

http://www.inad.gr/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=111

Of course, early Orthros+Liturgy is not quite what some people advocating two liturgies are advocating - rather, two Divine Liturgies (I know of few places outside ROCOR that do all services seperately and bilingually), effectively creating two parishes in the same building.  
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Offline Jonathan

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #106 on: September 24, 2012, 12:26:44 PM »
Jonathan: We are in agreement. Apologies if it sounds like I'm being stubborn or apologetic for things that wrong. It is hard for me to gauge these things that go on in other places, since my own community is quite small and removed from what is going on in Canada or LA, the two places I've often heard are very Protestant. So I never know how to take these complaints, as it seems like some really have written off entire places as somehow unsalvageable.

I do not understand your comment about not having a bishop, though. There are no bishops in Canada, or you don't know who would be appropriate to write to, or...? Couldn't you contact HG Bishop David, as he is the general bishop of North America? It seems like just shaking your heads won't do much, and it is hurting the Church up there as you say it is, then somebody with the power to do something about it should at least come to investigate.

Thanks, I've enjoyed the conversation. I will pm about bishops in Canada since it's too far removed from this topic :)

Offline celticfan1888

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #107 on: September 24, 2012, 12:36:26 PM »
I've come to prefer it to the later service times we normally have over here.

Why is that?
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #108 on: September 24, 2012, 01:30:44 PM »
Why is that?

The services are celebrated closer to their appointed time (Matins should finish at dawn, not close to noon, much less the early evening), which means the words of the prayers, which make reference to the movement of time, simply make more sense. Also, you have the entire day ahead of you when you finish.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #109 on: September 24, 2012, 01:32:31 PM »
I presume you mean Orthros starts at 6:30?  Cool, this suggests that Divine Liturgy finishes at least at 9:00 with homily (assuming they take the standard abbreviations normally seen in Greek usage).

Yes, Orthros at 6:30. Liturgy finished around 9:30 most places.

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #110 on: September 24, 2012, 01:40:35 PM »
I think that having two liturgies divides a parish into two congregations, a bad thing in itself--it would be better to split into two are more parishes. Also, if you do have two liturgies, the folks who go to the earlier one usually miss out on coffee hour or Agape Meal, both of which are part of the Common Work, IMO.

Works for our parish.  The English Liturgy folks have their coffee hour and the Ukrainian Liturgy folks have their lunch (since we do ours earlier).  But you are right, folks are divided.

Offline arnI

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #111 on: September 24, 2012, 05:18:27 PM »
I am not sure how many folks English Liturgies would attract. The Protestant churches which are well attended are sort of like the mega-churches. Bands have replaced choirs, songs are displayed on power-point, the pastor delivers a multimedia presentation (hardly a homily), folks don't join the Church (everyone is just attends), no mention of baptisms, no communion (regardless whether it is considered a symbol or not), not one single cross displayed, no feast days - Christmas and Easter services are actual drama productions put on for the community, folks clap their hands while jumping to the rock style band music, teenagers are at a separate service, and so on. Then you have the ultra conservative Protestant churches which are KJV-only which is said to be inspired by the Holy Spirit and the original Greek is not needed because the KJV is translated without error and can not be changed. Not really sure who the English services may target except for those who would already convert, possibly Catholics, and those 2nd or 3rd (and so on) generation cradle Orthodox who no longer attend. English may help Orthodoxy in America maintain with better growth than now, but I don't foresee a large crowd rushing the doors of the Church. I'd prefer to retain our Orthodoxy as handed down, and if needed adopt the local language.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #112 on: September 24, 2012, 05:44:49 PM »
I attended a Coptic parish in NJ a few times which had weekday Liturgies at 7am to allow people to come before work. The times I went they were very well attended, and this was one of the smaller parishes in the area.

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #113 on: September 24, 2012, 06:13:24 PM »
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.

Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #114 on: September 24, 2012, 07:47:38 PM »
Ukrainian or English?

http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=1932&pagetypeID=8&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1

But some parish priests cannot speak English well enough to celebrate English-language liturgies, and some elderly Ukrainian Catholics “get very tense when things get celebrated in English,” he told Catholic News Service.

“Because of this mentality, we have lost a lot of people,” he added.




The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, spent years working in Argentina.

“Our most vibrant parishes in Argentina are Spanish-speaking,” he said.

When Archbishop Shevchuk met with young people at a Winnipeg parish Sept. 7, he told them not to worry about not being able to speak Ukrainian.

“This is not a church of Ukrainians, it’s a church of Christ,” Archbishop Shevchuk said. “We are a global church. We are a church of the Ukrainian tradition.”

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #115 on: September 24, 2012, 08:05:07 PM »
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.

In fact, I think unless a persons Bishop requires it, it should not be mandatory to learn Greek or Russian in seminary.  Ancient Greek, sure.
« Last Edit: September 24, 2012, 08:06:31 PM by Kerdy »

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #116 on: September 24, 2012, 08:06:53 PM »
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #117 on: September 24, 2012, 08:50:24 PM »
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.
Hey, we agree on something ;D.
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Offline TheMathematician

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #118 on: September 24, 2012, 09:23:44 PM »
I'm 100 percent for an all English explosion of Orthodoxy in America.  The language adaptation is one of the reasons mission work was so successful in the past.  It only makes sense.

In fact, I think unless a persons Bishop requires it, it should not be mandatory to learn Greek or Russian in seminary.  Ancient Greek, sure.

I agree with the principles of what you are saying, and agree that this should be the case. However, until the time comes when america has our own church, and no more GOARCH, ROCOR, serbian, or etc., then for the unity of their respective church, seminarians should continue to learn the language, so it eases communication within the church.

However, 100% english is what i agree with as a rule, but exceptions when the situations call for it

Offline GTAsoldier

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #119 on: September 24, 2012, 09:28:38 PM »
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.

What's the name of that parish? Do they have a website?
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Offline choy

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #120 on: September 24, 2012, 10:44:40 PM »
There is a very successful Orthodox (OCA) parish here in the Lower Mainland which is English-only and prides themselves of being multi-ethnic and not focusing on any one of them.  They are very spiritual and traditional and is a text book example of what an Orthodox parish should be.  They also have a great priest.  This parish started only about 25-30 years ago when one family left the local ROC because of culture clash.  Now they have about 100 regular attendees every Sunday, 80% of the parish membership are converts.

So yes, it can and does work.  I can't say it will work for every other place, but this parish has been very blessed.  They are a pretty good example of how a place that is open and welcome to all can thrive and flourish.

What's the name of that parish? Do they have a website?

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Offline GTAsoldier

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #121 on: September 25, 2012, 07:29:19 AM »
Thank you
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Offline primuspilus

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #122 on: September 25, 2012, 07:48:08 AM »
This whole argument (not necessarily here but its a pretty widespread argument) I think is silly. Last time I looked, scripture was not written in Slavonic or Russian originally. The local people spoke those languages so those languages were needed. It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #123 on: September 25, 2012, 08:05:16 AM »
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #124 on: September 25, 2012, 08:08:51 AM »
This whole argument (not necessarily here but its a pretty widespread argument) I think is silly. Last time I looked, scripture was not written in Slavonic or Russian originally. The local people spoke those languages so those languages were needed. It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

PP

So do I, so long as the parish is comprised of English speakers. When it's comprised predominantly of first generation immigrants whose English is not good, that has to be taken into account. I completely agree with my priest's approach which is that we vary between about 50/50 and 70/30 Romanian to English depending on who is in the church on a given day. We always have the epistle and Gospel reading in both languages as well as the Creed and Our Father, however, no matter how few non-Romanians are present. The difference between now and the time the Slavs were evangelised is that we aren't (but probably should be) really going out to evangelise people who speak English, we're catering for existing Orthodox communities that have emigrated to English speaking nations and collecting the odd native convert along the way. I certainly support all English parishes in principle but in practice this isn't always going to the best approach.

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Offline genesisone

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #125 on: September 25, 2012, 08:44:44 AM »
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Offline jmbejdl

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #126 on: September 25, 2012, 08:59:17 AM »
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Should it be the hierarchy that recognizes this or the parish priest? I'd argue the latter as he's the one that should know the needs of his parishioners. Certainly my experience here is that it's the priests who drive this (or not). Of course, in our case we have one Metropolitan covering several countries with different native languages so maybe this has just happened because it's the only way it can work, but it seems the right approach to me. I've been lucky enough to know two wonderful, forward thinking Romanian priests who have encouraged the transition from Romanian to English in their recently established and very ethnic parishes and it works very well - that's the right way to go. I've also, unfortunately, known parishes here that have been established for decades, have no recent immigrant members and still use not a single word of English and these generally bear out what you say - the regulars are generally made up of a handful of older people and the churches are only ever full at Easter and Christmas.

James
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Offline genesisone

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #127 on: September 25, 2012, 09:26:45 AM »
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Should it be the hierarchy that recognizes this or the parish priest? I'd argue the latter as he's the one that should know the needs of his parishioners. Certainly my experience here is that it's the priests who drive this (or not). Of course, in our case we have one Metropolitan covering several countries with different native languages so maybe this has just happened because it's the only way it can work, but it seems the right approach to me. I've been lucky enough to know two wonderful, forward thinking Romanian priests who have encouraged the transition from Romanian to English in their recently established and very ethnic parishes and it works very well - that's the right way to go. I've also, unfortunately, known parishes here that have been established for decades, have no recent immigrant members and still use not a single word of English and these generally bear out what you say - the regulars are generally made up of a handful of older people and the churches are only ever full at Easter and Christmas.

James
I said hierarchy based on what I have learned at a local very ethnic parish. The priest told me almost in tears that he would like to use more English, but his bishop won't let him.

Full at Easter and Christmas? Well, the same priest told me can't get people to anything at Easter except a morning DL. It's an old calendar parish/jurisdiction so I attended their Christmas DL earlier this year - which was on a Saturday. The approximately 30 people present didn't come close to filling the building which was constructed in 1969 according to the cornerstone.

Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #128 on: September 25, 2012, 10:00:30 AM »
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

Indeed. That's why I said language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic, not ethnic, make-up of the congregation. If half the congregation are young Greeks who are only proficient in English, then the use of English in the services should reflect that need.

It's certainly a problem in my archdiocese where half the congregation in most parishes will have passed on within the next 10 years. If the churches don't do more to educate the youth, many of the smaller parishes are likely to close down once that happens. However, our Archbishop is actually the one who pushes for at least some English to be used everywhere. It seems to be certain clergy (or perhaps, members of his parish council) who are more reluctant to make that happen.

Offline Hiwot

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #129 on: September 25, 2012, 10:14:55 AM »
So we have a lot further to go, and a few controversial priests can't stop us, can they?

I believe they can create a serious stumbling block. There is serious backlash in surrounding areas. This sets back what needs to be done, because English service, and service for converts, becomes associated in people's minds with a Protestant style of "worship" and preaching. This is why it bothers me when they are held up as examples. It plays right into HabteSelassie's argument that we're dreaming that if we just used English great numbers would come in and the West would be won. Look, here are people winning big numbers... by dumbing down Orthodoxy until it's not, clearly this is the wrong directions.

It's not about numbers. It's about doing our duty, not having grand phantasies about what would happen if we did.

If people want to hold up an example of a Coptic priest doing it right, the one in that area is Fr. Athanasius Iskander, who was very much a pioneer of the usage of English... not that the Liturgy hadn't been prayed in English before, but he was a large part of shaping the translation we have, and did great work in creating an English parish. And it isn't a megachurch ,and doesn't want to be.

The Church was a typical closed community. He sat them down and told them that if they weren't open to outsiders, they would lose their kids. They would end up getting married to people from where they lived, and they would bring them to the Church, and if they were driven away as outsiders, their own kids would go with them. He said that for the future of their children in the Church, they had to sacrifice having the Liturgy they way it was comfortable to them.

One of the parents in the Church went to him and told him that when he prayed 50/50 English/Arabic, as soon as he switched to Arabic, their kids eyes glazed over. They were afraid their kids would be lost to the Church. Since then the Liturgy has been English. There's a very small amount of Arabic, a little big of Coptic, and of course some Greek.

Not shockingly, not everyone likes that. But being faithful to Christ, His Gospel, and the great commission is not about being popular.

This doesn't mean he neglects the needs of Arabic speakers. He has tried to get a second priest to hold a parallel Arabic Liturgy, but he hasn't been given one. So he does the best he can, and has an Arabic Liturgy on a Saturday once or twice a month. No one goes to them though. The people who complain so loudly about wanting Arabic still seem to go to the English one on Sunday, or not go often at all, and don't tend to show up to the Arabic Liturgy being held to meet their "needs". So it gets cancelled because no one comes. Then people complain, and they run it for a bit again, until they just can't since you're not allowed to have a Liturgy without people. The weekday Liturgies used to be in Arabic. But the people going are pretty much exclusively English speaking, so it has shifted to mostly English.

Has this resulted in droves of North Americans coming into the Church? Of course not. Our culture doesn't want religion. But those who are seeking do find a home where they can live, and the kids are about to bring friends and others, and have a place to introduce people. A future has been assured for the parish, and for those seeking Orthodoxy, a barrier is removed, it's made that much more accessible.

This is what it's about. It's not about converting the West. It's about doing our duty to offer the Gospel to all, and then it's up to God if those who respond is a billion, or one. What we'll be judged on is doing our duty, and offering, not on the fruit, which depends wholly on God.

One man, not a priest, not a monk, a layman, a child on a journey with a businessman, offered Orthodoxy to those who massacred those with him in Ethiopia. When he was allowed to return to Alexandria, he told St. Athanasius about the need to send a shepherd for those who believed. St. Athanasius ordained him a bishop, and sent back St. Frumentius as the first bishop of Ethiopia.

One child offered Orthodoxy, and converted a nation. Now there are millions of Orthodox are in North America, and we don't offer. We just keep to ourselves, create pockets of the old cultures, and then wonder why people here who find Orthodoxy can't become Greek, or Egyptian, or Russian, or whatever, for the sake of Orthodoxy. We don't only not offer, we place barriers in the way of those seeking Christ. We're more concerned with preserving cultures than obeyign the great commission.

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Offline akimori makoto

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #130 on: September 25, 2012, 08:30:41 PM »
It seems to me like common sense to have an all English language liturgy in an English speaking country.

The language of the liturgy should reflect the linguistic make-up of the congregation, not necessarily the majority language of a particular country.
Unfortunately, the next generation will likely wander off long before the hierarchy recognizes the need for the transition into the local language. Evidence of that is found in many Orthodox churches in my area - they were once thriving because of then recent immigration, but have since dwindled to being open only for occasional Liturgies and funerals.

It has already happened.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #131 on: September 26, 2012, 06:15:50 AM »
I wonder if a good solution to the language problem in many parishes would be to do the Liturgy of the Catechumens - i.e. the public and educational part of the Liturgy - in English and the Liturgy of the Faithful - i.e. the private part in which all the prayers imply participation in the Eucharist - in the preferred liturgical language of the congregation.

That way visitors are not excluded from the things they are supposed to hear and participate in - the common prayers, the Scripture readings, the sermon, and so on - and the youth can be educated in a language they understand. Meanwhile, the rest of the congregation can have the Liturgy of the Faithful in the liturgical language they're comfortable with, and since this part of the Liturgy contains no variable parts (except for Axion Estin very occasionally being replaced by Epi si kecharitomeni) those who struggle with the liturgical language can easily follow along if Liturgy books are made available to them.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 06:16:06 AM by Orthodox11 »

Offline Alpo

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #132 on: September 26, 2012, 06:48:09 AM »
While that could be theologically reasonable option I don't think the fuss is about theology. People would still feel alien since they wouldn't understand all of the service.
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Offline Orthodox11

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #133 on: September 26, 2012, 06:54:30 AM »
While that could be theologically reasonable option I don't think the fuss is about theology. People would still feel alien since they wouldn't understand all of the service.

My assumption here, though, is that those who don't understand are in a minority, and that the majority of the congregation would feel alienated were the whole service done in English.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2012, 06:55:09 AM by Orthodox11 »

Offline Tommelomsky

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Re: Journey to Orthodoxy: Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy
« Reply #134 on: September 26, 2012, 08:05:52 AM »
I did of my own free will find a parish where the majority of the liturgy is said in church-slavonic and when we monthly more or less have services in my native tongue (norwegian). I am fine with that. In many ways, there are two parish groups (not neccecarely always a good thing), but i accept it and will in time (if..God wills it) attempt to learn russian so i can communicate with the russians too.

Would i want all liturgy in my native tongue? No. Why? Because i knowlingly found a russian-orthodox parish knowing that the languages there were and is, russian and church slavonic. I am happy with that being so. It is a tradition and i do not wish to change that.

Changing things for the sake of changing makes my gut go bananas.
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