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Author Topic: Personal Prayer/Prayer Rule in the OO/Armenian Tradition  (Read 1581 times) Average Rating: 0
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Gisasargavak
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« on: April 30, 2013, 09:04:49 PM »

What have been people's experience with developing a personal prayer routine (prayer rule)? Do people in the OO in America actually have spiritual fathers or confessors? What type of routine do you have, if any?

It has been my experience (with the exception of probably the Copts) that there is not really an established prayer rule tradition within OO, is this true?

I ask this because I feel that I am stumbling around when I try to pray. I'm never sure if I should use my own words, a prayer book, or just say the Jesus Prayer? Which is the right path? I would like to have an "established" prayer rule, but at the same time I want to have a personal connection with Christ, and not just use someone else's words from a prayer book.

Opinions? Comments?
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« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2013, 10:10:40 PM »

Well, the established answer, of course, is to ask your priest.

That being said, in the Armenian tradition, the 24 prayers written by St. Nerses (Հաւատով Խոստովանիմ) have for a thousand years been used as a prayer rule by many Armenian faithful.
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« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2013, 10:57:41 PM »

Well, the established answer, of course, is to ask your priest.

That being said, in the Armenian tradition, the 24 prayers written by St. Nerses (Հաւատով Խոստովանիմ) have for a thousand years been used as a prayer rule by many Armenian faithful.

Are these and other Armenian prayers (like the Armenian counterpart to the Coptic Agpeya or Greek Horologion or Latin Breviary) in English online or in a book?
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« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2013, 11:04:48 PM »

I suspect that in the various OO traditions, the basic "prayer rule" is the canonical hours.  At least this is the case in the Syriac tradition.  The canons on prayer contain references to prayer twice, thrice, or seven times daily as an obligation for clergy and laity; most likely, this reflects the gradual development of the daily office, and the way this has been reconciled is to pray the seven hours in groups of two (evening and morning) or three (evening, morning, and noon) daily.  

Outside of Sundays, feasts, Lent, and Holy Week, the daily prayers are in the Book of Common Prayer (Ktobo Daslutho Shehimto, not the Anglican service book of the same name), a one week cycle of seven daily offices composed mainly of fixed psalmody and/or hymnography.  The "monastic" hours are chanted according to the tone of the day, while the "cathedral" hours have an assigned tone that never changes.  One can sing all seven offices daily on one's own as done in churches, but there are ways to ease the "burden" (e.g., reading instead of chanting).  There are also some "traditional" ways of abbreviating the hymnography so that a one week cycle becomes a two week cycle, and there's less text to get through daily.  

That's still a lot of prayer.  Smiley

When I asked my bishop about the "obligation" of praying the hours, he told me it was binding on clergy and laity, but that the Trisagion, recited at the beginning and end of each hour, was the "core", and so the basic obligation could be fulfilled in a pinch by the Trisagion prayers and the Creed.  Many abbreviated prayer books for the laity use this convention, and so the "evening" and "morning" prayers are basically the Trisagion so many times, with some of the fixed psalms, prayers, and hymns of the major hours.  

Most people use some form of the latter because it's easiest, but there is a growing movement toward the fuller office (and it's coming from the younger generations!).  There are, of course, people who find fixed schemes of prayer "boring' and so they do their own thing for "prayer time", but usually they're not getting that from their confessor, but from Evangelicalism.  

Personally, I try to stick to the daily offices; when I don't have my own words, the Church gives me words, and when I have my own words, I can still pray with the rest of the Church.  I fail a lot in practice; most mornings are a disaster--without coffee and some time to recover from the stress of having to wake up, I can barely summon the required concentration for one Trisagion.  Smiley  But the day and evening hours are manageable if I am disciplined.  

In addition to the daily office, my confessor has advised me to cultivate "personal prayer" by the use of the Jesus Prayer, the reading of Scripture, and prayer in my own words; he left the "how" and "when" to me, so I've had the freedom to figure out what works best.  Liturgical prayer feeds our personal prayer, and the relationship we cultivate with God through private prayer enriches our liturgical prayer, making "prayers out of a book" genuinely our own prayer.  But honestly, sometimes it's easier to take the "Trisagion shortcut" for the offices and focus more on "personal" prayer (and another trusted counselor has told me that, in certain circumstances, it may be preferable to put aside the canonical hours in favour of this type of prayer).  The Jesus Prayer, our own individual prayers, the Psalms, all of these are also found in our tradition and encouraged.  

It's good to have a confessor or spiritual father in order to help figure out a game plan that we can stick with; it's also useful to keep in touch with him regarding how it's working out, whether modifications are in order, our own failings, etc.  My confessor hears a lot about my laziness and failures in prayer, but he is kind and helps me get back on track.  Many have such a person in their lives, but for others confession is, sadly, more of an annual requirement, and so who knows what gets covered when it comes to these sorts of issues.  
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« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2013, 11:10:03 PM »

That being said, in the Armenian tradition, the 24 prayers written by St. Nerses (Հաւատով Խոստովանիմ) have for a thousand years been used as a prayer rule by many Armenian faithful.

Are these available in English, whether online or in print?  I've never heard of them. 

A few days ago, I ordered a copy of the prayers of St Gregory of Narek, and I just got it in the mail today.  Not sure how these are "used" by the Armenian faithful, but they look wonderful.   
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« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2013, 11:16:44 PM »

That being said, in the Armenian tradition, the 24 prayers written by St. Nerses (Հաւատով Խոստովանիմ) have for a thousand years been used as a prayer rule by many Armenian faithful.

Are these available in English, whether online or in print?  I've never heard of them. 

A few days ago, I ordered a copy of the prayers of St Gregory of Narek, and I just got it in the mail today.  Not sure how these are "used" by the Armenian faithful, but they look wonderful.   

Enjoy them, Mor Ephrem. They are gems. I wonder if St. Gregory read St. Ephraim the Syrian.

Speaking of St. Ephraim, I was given to understand many of his hymns are still employed in the West and East Syriac traditions according to their original melodies. Is this true, or just my wishful thinking?
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« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2013, 11:44:37 PM »

Enjoy them, Mor Ephrem. They are gems. I wonder if St. Gregory read St. Ephraim the Syrian.

Speaking of St. Ephraim, I was given to understand many of his hymns are still employed in the West and East Syriac traditions according to their original melodies. Is this true, or just my wishful thinking?

St Ephrem's hymnography is used a lot in the West Syriac tradition.  Whether his hymns are sung "according to the original melodies" or not, I'm not certain.  There are several "schools" of music, representing different chant traditions.  Perhaps one uses the original melody, and this gave birth to the others, but I really don't know. 

I'm not familiar enough with the East Syriac tradition to hazard anything more than a guess, but I think they also use Ephrem's hymns.  The heptasyllabic poems are sung in both traditions, for example. 

Regarding St Gregory of Narek, I can't say for sure, but I imagine he must've read Ephrem; Armenians translated and read a lot of Ephrem, and to this day, some of Ephrem's writings are only available in their Armenian versions.   
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« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2013, 11:55:57 PM »

What have been people's experience with developing a personal prayer routine (prayer rule)? Do people in the OO in America actually have spiritual fathers or confessors? What type of routine do you have, if any?

It has been my experience (with the exception of probably the Copts) that there is not really an established prayer rule tradition within OO, is this true?

I ask this because I feel that I am stumbling around when I try to pray. I'm never sure if I should use my own words, a prayer book, or just say the Jesus Prayer? Which is the right path? I would like to have an "established" prayer rule, but at the same time I want to have a personal connection with Christ, and not just use someone else's words from a prayer book.

Opinions? Comments?

Of course you should always talk to your priest about this.

I'm Chalcedonian but I think the prayer rule is a universal practice in both Eastern and Oriental churches, or at least it should be. I'm not sure if the Armenian Church practices Confession/Spiritual Father, I know the other Oriental Orthodox Traditions do though. I would like to add that I am the worst at keeping a prayer rule yet I strive to become better, pray for me a sinner.

Concerning the use of a prayer book, a big reason why many Protestants convert to Orthodoxy is the beauty and authenticity found in Orthodox prayers passed to us from the Holy Fathers, the eloquent Fathers use words that we sometimes don't have or forget to use to offer prayer to God. As I read somewhere (I forgot where), the prayers aren't just read as a speech, but you should read them from your heart as if they were your own words directed to God. Memorizing some basic prayers and psalms will also make you armed with prayer when you don't have a prayerbook. An established prayer rule is a personal relationship with Christ.

Basically, a session of prayer can be broken into 3 main parts:
1. The spoken prayers, psalms, or hour read from the prayerbook.
2. The Jesus prayer with optional prostrations.
3. Praying with your own words.

Here's a video from a Coptic source on prayer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=1FEWldidLCM
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« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2013, 12:10:31 AM »

That being said, in the Armenian tradition, the 24 prayers written by St. Nerses (Հաւատով Խոստովանիմ) have for a thousand years been used as a prayer rule by many Armenian faithful.

Are these available in English, whether online or in print?  I've never heard of them. 

A few days ago, I ordered a copy of the prayers of St Gregory of Narek, and I just got it in the mail today.  Not sure how these are "used" by the Armenian faithful, but they look wonderful.   

The prayers in English are here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg199055.html#msg199055

You can find them printed in small booklets at just about any Armenian bookstore.  St. Vartan Bookstore in New York probably has it.  In English, the prayer is often called "I Confess with Faith."
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« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2013, 02:02:54 AM »

I don't have a daily prayer rule. I don't have a confessor either. Since we use general form confession in our parishes in America, which is the established tradition in the Armenian Church as a whole, the idea of a "spiritual father" or confessor really just doesn't exist. I have a parish priest. I trust him, he knows me, etc. Why would I need anyone else?

If I were to have a formal prayer rule, I'd probably just use the Zhamakirk and say/sing the Morning Service at home (sans the parts that are not corporal prayer, which is pretty much any prayer designated for the priest that includes the "Peace be unto all" in the middle.). But, honestly, I don't know any Armenian that does anything like this. This is purely anecdotal, but really, in a lifetime in the Armenian Church, I've encountered very little of the strict formalism I've encountered online in the lived faith of actual parish life.

And as for the Jesus Prayer, that's not a part of our tradition in the way that it is in the EO churches. Sure, it's a nice prayer, but it's not a part of Armenian practice.
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« Reply #10 on: May 01, 2013, 05:02:26 PM »

I don't have a daily prayer rule. I don't have a confessor either. Since we use general form confession in our parishes in America, which is the established tradition in the Armenian Church as a whole, the idea of a "spiritual father" or confessor really just doesn't exist. I have a parish priest. I trust him, he knows me, etc. Why would I need anyone else?

If I were to have a formal prayer rule, I'd probably just use the Zhamakirk and say/sing the Morning Service at home (sans the parts that are not corporal prayer, which is pretty much any prayer designated for the priest that includes the "Peace be unto all" in the middle.). But, honestly, I don't know any Armenian that does anything like this. This is purely anecdotal, but really, in a lifetime in the Armenian Church, I've encountered very little of the strict formalism I've encountered online in the lived faith of actual parish life.

And as for the Jesus Prayer, that's not a part of our tradition in the way that it is in the EO churches. Sure, it's a nice prayer, but it's not a part of Armenian practice.

Hi Aram,

I'd be interested to know how you define "strict formalism", as above. 

In all the other OO traditions, the canonical hours as they appear in the books are primarily a "church" service, but can and should/must be done by the faithful on their own if not in church, at least in some acceptable rudimentary form, as a type of bare minimum of daily prayer (e.g., going by my earlier post, if you prayed only the Trisagion and Creed once in the morning and the evening without hurry or lingering, that's about eight minutes a day, which isn't much, but certainly better than nothing).  I don't think that's formalism as much as it is ensuring "basic hygiene".   

If the canonical hours are primarily a "church" service in the Armenian tradition, that's all well and good.  But I'd be genuinely surprised to learn that, in two millenia, there never developed a specific type of discipline for the faithful who were not able (for one reason or another) to get to the daily church services.  I know for myself that, absent a "rule", I could spend the six days between each Liturgy with absolutely no prayer.  I'm no saint at all, but I don't think I'm exceptionally wicked in this respect either--I'm just a human being who tends toward laziness and forgetfulness, and I suspect there are Armenians with this issue.  Smiley

I was aware of the absence of "private confession" in the Armenian tradition, and I actually have less of a problem with this.  I read somewhere that the development of private confession came later, and uprooted the practice of general confession (the more ancient practice) in those traditions where monasticism was particularly influential: the Latin West, the Greek, Coptic, and Ethiopian East emphasize private confession, with the West Syrian East practicing both private and general confession, and the Armenian and East Syrian East focused more on general confession.  I don't know how accurate that explanation is, but it made sense at the time.  I think that, in this regard, one's parish priest may really be all that you need, and so I'd agree with you. 

Perhaps something similar is going on here.  Perhaps the Armenians historically were more focused on the canonical hours as served daily in churches, and (it was taken for granted that) the people would go, and so nothing more needed to be said/done about prayer.  I don't know how active the churches are in Armenia, but certainly in America I've never heard of daily services in the parishes.  To me, there certainly seems to be a vacuum when Armenians cannot point to a basic "standard" for the faithful with regard to daily prayer.  That's not a judgement, mind you...I'm sure there must be more to this than we are aware of, it just seems odd on the surface.  In our tradition, even people who intentionally do not pray except in their own way (if at all) know that they can always find the Church's recommended bare minimum in the "children's" prayer book.  Smiley         
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« Reply #11 on: May 01, 2013, 05:05:27 PM »



The prayers in English are here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg199055.html#msg199055

You can find them printed in small booklets at just about any Armenian bookstore.  St. Vartan Bookstore in New York probably has it.  In English, the prayer is often called "I Confess with Faith."

Thanks, Salpy!  I need to head down to NYC and do some hunting...

Since there are twenty-four of them, were they spread over the hours of the day, or all said in one shot? 
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« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2013, 05:10:36 PM »

http://www.soc-wus.org/worship/Spiritual%20Treasure.pdf

This has probably been posted here before, but this is a pretty interesting take on the daily prayer discipline in the Syriac tradition.  There are some local differences between the Middle East and India, for example, but it is pretty standard nonetheless.  A few of the translations of prayers contained in this document seem...odd...and without the Syriac text in front of me, I can't tell if they're faithful renderings of the original or reflect the translator's facility or lack thereof with English.  But I refer to this work a lot, it's pretty good. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 05:37:34 PM »

http://www.soc-wus.org/worship/Spiritual%20Treasure.pdf

This has probably been posted here before, but this is a pretty interesting take on the daily prayer discipline in the Syriac tradition.  There are some local differences between the Middle East and India, for example, but it is pretty standard nonetheless.  A few of the translations of prayers contained in this document seem...odd...and without the Syriac text in front of me, I can't tell if they're faithful renderings of the original or reflect the translator's facility or lack thereof with English.  But I refer to this work a lot, it's pretty good. 
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« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 09:28:34 PM »

But, honestly, I don't know any Armenian that does anything like this. This is purely anecdotal, but really, in a lifetime in the Armenian Church, I've encountered very little of the strict formalism I've encountered online in the lived faith of actual parish life.


I'm trying to understand exactly what you are saying here.  Are you saying that you don't know any Armenians who have a set of prayers that they pray daily?  Or are you saying that the Armenian Church does not have a formal list of prayers that it officially tells people they must pray every day?

If it's the latter, I agree with you.  If you mean the former, then all I can say is that you must hang out with a very different group of Armenians than I do.  Smiley  Granted, the vast majority of Armenians out there are not religious, and so consequently don't pray regularly.  However, the Armenians I know who are religious do have what I think can be called a prayer rule.  They tend to have a set of prayers that they pray daily, or almost daily.  In fact, I know one older woman at church who actually sets her alarm clock to wake her up in the middle of the night so she can say some prayers then.  She says it was the custom of her mother and her grandmother before her to wake up at night and pray, and so she does it also.

Of course, the prayers said by the faithful will vary, but a religious Armenian will at the very least say the Lord's prayer daily.

And then there are the 24 prayers of St. Nerses, which the Church has always encouraged the faithful to pray.  My priest once said that St. Nerses wrote them for soldiers to pray as they stood guard, knowing that when they finished their military service they would bring the prayers home to their families and villages.  

There is an ancient preface to the prayers that makes it clear that they are intended for the faithful to pray daily:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg479120.html#msg479120

Quote
A prayer of every Christian, to the old and the young, which all ought to learn and to teach one another: priests to the people, fathers to sons, mothers to daughters, and friend to friend. And they should pray using this [prayer] five times a day, kneeling down twelve times at the hour [of prayer], that is: on the morning, at noon, in the afternoon, in the evening and when retiring. But if one becomes slothful and lazy to pray five times, let him pray four times, or three times, or two times, or once a day; at least to realize that one is a Christian, and to come to know oneself that he is a creature of God and worshiper of Him. And if one is slow to learn every word of the prayer (there are those who learn demonic songs with much eagerness), let him learn half of it or less. If they were to learn three of its stanzas and to pray kneeling down three times at the hour [of prayer], it would be acceptable to God. But if any Christian is indifferent about learning and praying this, he should be rebuked and [deemed] as of the company of the Gentiles. Those who teach this prayer to others shall not succumb even in war, much less in peace.
 
...For this reason we wrote this prayer in simple and clear words, so as to be easily understood, for the dull are slow to understand. In not too many words, it has twenty-four stanzas, in accordance with the hours of day and night and the number of prophets, and it is conceptually powerful – since it encompasses more than the needs for which we petition God.
 
And we offer it to our people to learn, that every Christian may learn this. And wherever they meet at the hour of prayer, they may speak with God through it – whether in church or at home, whether at rest or at whatever work, or when traveling...

 
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« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2013, 09:29:51 PM »



The prayers in English are here:

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.msg199055.html#msg199055

You can find them printed in small booklets at just about any Armenian bookstore.  St. Vartan Bookstore in New York probably has it.  In English, the prayer is often called "I Confess with Faith."

Thanks, Salpy!  I need to head down to NYC and do some hunting...

Since there are twenty-four of them, were they spread over the hours of the day, or all said in one shot? 

They tend to be said all at once.
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2013, 08:08:21 AM »

The Armenians have several prayer books for personal use. The most famous of them is called "Kiprianos" because it has the story of conversion of St Cyprian. Different prayers are gathered in this prayer book. The first is the 24 hour prayer of St Nerses Shnorhali, also some prayers by St Gregory of Narek are among them. The "Kiprianos" (unfortunately only in Armenian) can be downloaded by this link - http://ter-hambardzum.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/809_Ciprianos_akhot.pdf

As for the prayer of St Nerses, it was translated into 33 languages in the 19th century and published by the Armenian Congregation of Mkhitarists in Venice. The book can be downloaded from here-

http://books.google.am/books?id=c6ZBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Nerses+Shnorhali&hl=hy&sa=X&ei=fDzEUdfDHqWM7Qa0tYGIDQ&ved=0CDsQuwUwAg

The English translation starts on page 195.
I'd like to know if the translations into other languages are good and could be used today too. Please, those of you who speak other languages than English, find your version and tell if the translation into your language is OK.
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« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2013, 11:25:38 AM »

I'm not good at managing google books.  How do I get to page 195?
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« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2013, 11:34:11 AM »

I'm not good at managing google books.  How do I get to page 195?

Type the page number into the box at the top of the book to the left. With such a number, better not bother with the arrow buttons. Wink

EDIT: Alternatively, you can just download the PDF (link to the right).
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« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2013, 11:49:09 AM »

Thanks.  Smiley

VasnTearn,

I think the English translation is great, but some of the younger generation may have a problem with the use of Early Modern English pronouns and verb forms: thou, thee, thou didst, etc.  When I was a kid, that was commonly used in prayer, but it's not so common now, which is kind of sad.  I don't know how kids today can read Shakespeare.   Sad
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« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2013, 12:10:50 PM »

Speaking of English translations of Armenian prayers, does anyone know when Thomas Samuelian's translation of St. Krikor Naregatsi's Book of Lamentations will be in print again?

http://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Prayer-Book-Gregory-Narek/dp/9993085340/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371842590&sr=1-2
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« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2013, 12:25:51 PM »

The Romanian ("Valachic") translation is quite archaic, using the fancy etymological orthography in vogue back then. But still understandable, I guess. 
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« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2013, 12:40:13 PM »

I'm not familiar enough with the East Syriac tradition to hazard anything more than a guess, but I think they also use Ephrem's hymns.  The heptasyllabic poems are sung in both traditions, for example. 

East Syrian Daily Offices (English translation by Arthur John Maclean, 1894)

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« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2013, 01:28:10 PM »

The Romanian ("Valachic") translation is quite archaic, using the fancy etymological orthography in vogue back then. But still understandable, I guess. 

The book was published in 1862, so it's natural that the languages used are archaic for today's readers. But I think, it is possible to edit the translations to make them more comprehensible.
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2013, 06:09:26 PM »

Thanks.  Smiley

VasnTearn,

I think the English translation is great, but some of the younger generation may have a problem with the use of Early Modern English pronouns and verb forms: thou, thee, thou didst, etc.  When I was a kid, that was commonly used in prayer, but it's not so common now, which is kind of sad.  I don't know how kids today can read Shakespeare.   Sad

i did a lot of shakespeare at school (did not understand but was happy there was a character called 'bottom') and heard lots of old english used by people in the methodist church who did not believe the devil existed and were not so sure about the virgin birth either.
you know, the type of people who tell children off for making 'too much noise' by blowing their nose or coughing in church.

so to this day, i am unable to pray using old english!

i know some folk like it, but in order to pray in english, i have to say 'our Father in the heavens' and 'you' instead of 'thee'.
i'll stop here, or i'll get into one of my rants!
 Wink

oh, and back to the topic, i use (bits of) the agpeya (www.agpeya.org) in modern english or arabic.
(arabic is easier than old english - oops, back to the rant again - will stop this time!)
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« Reply #25 on: June 21, 2013, 06:17:37 PM »


oh, and back to the topic, i use (bits of) the agpeya (www.agpeya.org) in modern english or arabic.
(arabic is easier than old english - oops, back to the rant again - will stop this time!)
Mabsoota, if you read and pray Arabic, could you please look at the Arabic translation of St. Nerses' prayer in the above mentioned book? I'd like to know if it could be used today too.
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« Reply #26 on: June 21, 2013, 10:05:10 PM »

Speaking of English translations of Armenian prayers, does anyone know when Thomas Samuelian's translation of St. Krikor Naregatsi's Book of Lamentations will be in print again?

http://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Prayer-Book-Gregory-Narek/dp/9993085340/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371842590&sr=1-2
For me, that's the standard English translation today. There's no reason to go back to the 19th century. Samuelian did a masterful job.

As for your question, I don't think it's out of print. You can still find it just about anywhere. It's probably not a title Amazon carries in large quantities, but from Armenian sources, it's more than available in several formats.
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« Reply #27 on: June 21, 2013, 11:29:42 PM »

Funny, I ordered it from Amazon without any problems within the last couple of months.
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« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2013, 07:49:58 AM »

http://books.google.am/books?id=c6ZBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Nerses+Shnorhali&hl=hy&sa=X&ei=fDzEUdfDHqWM7Qa0tYGIDQ&ved=0CDsQuwUwAg

The English translation starts on page 195.
I'd like to know if the translations into other languages are good and could be used today too. Please, those of you who speak other languages than English, find your version and tell if the translation into your language is OK.


Thank you very much for sharing it! Very interesting thing, these prayers translated into so many languages in one place...

So, as for:
1. Polish - a bit archaic, but that's this language still used in some old Roman Catholic (traditional) prayers. So it's very nice. Better than these new Orthodox translations into Polish (there were some good edition before II WW and even earlier, but practically they're not used nor printed anymore)

2. Serbian - very strange, starting with the signs that are not used now in Serbian. But that's not shoking me, because it was the time of the reform of the Serbian language (and alphabet) by Vuk Karadzic. What's really shocking me, is the fact that it sounds very similar to Church Slavonic, which used to be the official language of Serbia.

3. Spanish - seems to be correct, and not so archaic. I just wonder if it's right to call the Trinity in plural, but as far I remember Spanish speaking people used to use plural to paretns, some important person etc.
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« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2013, 10:16:50 AM »

http://books.google.am/books?id=c6ZBAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Nerses+Shnorhali&hl=hy&sa=X&ei=fDzEUdfDHqWM7Qa0tYGIDQ&ved=0CDsQuwUwAg

The English translation starts on page 195.
I'd like to know if the translations into other languages are good and could be used today too. Please, those of you who speak other languages than English, find your version and tell if the translation into your language is OK.


Thank you very much for sharing it! Very interesting thing, these prayers translated into so many languages in one place...

So, as for:
1. Polish - a bit archaic, but that's this language still used in some old Roman Catholic (traditional) prayers. So it's very nice. Better than these new Orthodox translations into Polish (there were some good edition before II WW and even earlier, but practically they're not used nor printed anymore)

2. Serbian - very strange, starting with the signs that are not used now in Serbian. But that's not shoking me, because it was the time of the reform of the Serbian language (and alphabet) by Vuk Karadzic. What's really shocking me, is the fact that it sounds very similar to Church Slavonic, which used to be the official language of Serbia.

3. Spanish - seems to be correct, and not so archaic. I just wonder if it's right to call the Trinity in plural, but as far I remember Spanish speaking people used to use plural to paretns, some important person etc.

Thank you very much, Dominika Smiley. I think these translations, even if they are old, can be slightly edited, modernized, so they may be used today too.
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« Reply #30 on: June 23, 2013, 01:05:29 PM »

very interesting assignment, vasnTearn (what does your 'name' mean?)
the prayers are lovely.

the arabic is printed strangely with no.24 first as if arabs read from the bottom (did they do this 150 years ago?) prayers 1 and 2 are printed lower down after the 'persice'.
my arabic is not that good, i understand about half of the arabic in church (and much less of news reports or other kinds of literature), but i can see that it is much older than the modern standard arabic of today, and also there is some strange spelling (as in 'valachice'). they are using the letter 'ch' ج (but with 3 dots under it, not 1) and 'p' ب  (but with 3 dots under it again, not 1) which are used today in farsi (iranian) but not in arabic. maybe some proper scholars can help you here. is this a particular dialect? there seems to be too many recognisable arabic words for it to be kurdish. i would be very interested to see others' opinions on this.
 
'valachice' looks like a really old and more latinised (less slavic) romanian (my romanian is better than my arabic). it is very interesting reading. i imagine some old peasant couple saying these prayers after a hard day at the farm. there are 'k's where i would expect 'c's and some other unusual spellings as well.

dominika, your comments about those languages are also very intersting.
this whole document is like a linguist's paradise, i wonder what other linguists such as dzheremi think of it?

what language is 'celtice'? it doesn't look like irish, i think that is the one above it.
and what is 'iberice'? is it old georgian?
ahh, if only i had a good memory and endless free time, i could learn a lot!
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« Reply #31 on: June 23, 2013, 01:11:13 PM »

what language is 'celtice'? it doesn't look like irish, i think that is the one above it.

Scots Gaelic. Irish Gaelic is 'Hibernice'

and what is 'iberice'? is it old georgian?

Spanish. Some of the spellings were antiquated even at the time of publishing, but it's not that different from the modern language.
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« Reply #32 on: June 23, 2013, 01:17:23 PM »

what is the script? i don't recognise it as latin script, maybe i need to look more closely.
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« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2013, 02:22:14 PM »

very interesting assignment, vasnTearn (what does your 'name' mean?)
My username is in Classical Armenian and means "For (vasn) the Lord (Tearn)."


Quote
the arabic is printed strangely with no.24 first as if arabs read from the bottom (did they do this 150 years ago?) prayers 1 and 2 are printed lower down after the 'persice'.

It is not printed strangely. Since both Arabic, Persian, Syriac and Hebrew read from right to left and books in those languages have the reverse page order (one starts a book in those languages from the "last" page and go "back" for every new page), so the publishers have put the translations of those languages just as they should be.

Quote
they are using the letter 'ch' ج (but with 3 dots under it, not 1) and 'p' ب  (but with 3 dots under it again, not 1) which are used today in farsi (iranian) but not in arabic.
I looked through the Arabic translation and didn't notice those letters, is it possible that you have checked the Persian translation? Did you check the pages 400 to 385 in reverse order?

Quote
and what is 'iberice'? is it old georgian?
Yes, Iberice is the Georgian language in this book, not Spanish. And the script is Georgian.
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« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2013, 02:35:33 PM »

Yes, Iberice is the Georgian language in this book, not Spanish. And the script is Georgian.

Right, I got it confused there. Smiley

And a closer look shows that Celtice is more likely to be Breton (Gaulish, as opposed to Gaelic). A very interesting inclusion.
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« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2013, 04:10:59 PM »

edit:
i think you are right. there are prayers 24 down to 3, then the label 'turkice'. in these prayers there are a lot of arabic words and the persian word for God 'khoda' is not used, rather the arabic 'allah', which is very strange. this is not arabic, but there are really a lot of arabic phrases in here. i assumed this was arabic earlier.

then after the label 'turkice' there are prayers 1 and 2 in a language that uses a lot of arabic phrases (i think the same as above).
then there are prayers 24 to 4, then prayer 2 then prayer 3 in a language that is not arabic and that uses the word 'khoda'.

then there is the label 'persice', then prayer 1 in a non arabic language. then there is prayers 24 to 2 in what is arabic. i didn't look at these prayers earlier as i assumed they were 'persice'.

then it say 'arabice' and prayers 1 and 2 (which are in arabic).

so i will now look at those arabic prayers and answer your original question!
sorry!
 Embarrassed

edit:
and what language is 'lusitanice'?

PS have a blessed feast of the apostles!
Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2013, 04:40:47 PM »

ok, vasn Tearn, i have now read a few of the arabic prayers (i want to sleep early, will read the others later).
they are really beautiful and sound a lot like prayers in the coptic church.
i think maybe just one or two words would need to be modernised, probably a proper arabic speaker could help you here.

silly me, trying to read turkish in arabic script and wondering why i didn't understand it! obviously those pages were just printed right to left and then inserted in a left to right book, leading to confusion with which was the next page.
next stop - turkish lessons! (when i get a bigger brain...)
 Wink

edit: arachne - gaulish, that makes sense, this is why 'celtice' has several french sounding words in it.
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« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2013, 04:44:10 PM »

next stop - turkish lessons! (when i get a bigger brain...)

Good luck with that. The Ataturk government ditched Arabic script for Latin around 1910. So you'd have to learn modern Turkish first, then attempt the Arabic-script classics.

'Lusitanice', by the way, is Portuguese.
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« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2013, 04:48:32 PM »

silly me, trying to read turkish in arabic script and wondering why i didn't understand it!

He-he Smiley
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« Reply #39 on: June 24, 2013, 08:52:36 AM »

am up to prayer 8. it is really beautiful, and the prayer for forgiveness of sins committed knowingly or unknowingly is very similar to one of our daily prayers in the 'agpeya'. the english translation doesn't sound as nice, though i expect it was lovely 150 years ago!
maybe someone could do an up to date version of the english translation for us?

paging all english speakers under 80 years old who read this forum...
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« Reply #40 on: June 24, 2013, 09:07:00 AM »

maybe someone could do an up to date version of the english translation for us?

paging all english speakers under 80 years old who read this forum...
Mabsoota, that prayer in modern English translation was posted by Salpy some years ago. See here in Reply N 5-
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,13200.0.html
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« Reply #41 on: June 24, 2013, 09:41:11 AM »


dominika, your comments about those languages are also very intersting.
this whole document is like a linguist's paradise, i wonder what other linguists such as dzheremi think of it?

Thanks.

I've found one more language I could comment: Illirice.
Firstly I didn't know what is it, but when I started to read: obviously, it's Serbo-Croatian! It's written in latin alphabet like Croatian, but it's totally comprehensible not only to contemporary Croats, but also to Serbs (more than Serbice in the presented book). It's just an ijekavski variant of the language (changing vowel "e" into triphthong "ije"; most Serbs, including me, use ekavski, but e.g in my Serbian Bible translated by Vuk Karadzic in the XIX there is also ijekavski used). Some words are a bit archaic, but not so much.

So that's very interesting fact, when you compare it with Serbice.
Indeed, mabsoota, that's a linguist's paradise Wink

And I should focus more on the content of the prayers, because they seem to be very beautiful and useful Smiley
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« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2013, 12:48:53 AM »

Speaking of English translations of Armenian prayers, does anyone know when Thomas Samuelian's translation of St. Krikor Naregatsi's Book of Lamentations will be in print again?

http://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Prayer-Book-Gregory-Narek/dp/9993085340/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1371842590&sr=1-2

Abril Books has many copies available.
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