Author Topic: God speaks Classical Armenian  (Read 36715 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
God speaks Classical Armenian
« on: November 19, 2014, 10:30:29 PM »
so why did someone make a cd teaching young children how to sing ancient hymns in English?

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/nvairfriends

 :o

It just seems strange to me.

Offline JamesLesser

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 48
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 01:33:47 PM »
I actually kind of like it.  There is a certain beauty to the songs when they are sung by children that is not matched by adults.  But I do understand that it may be better to teach in Armenian rather than English when possible. 
No longer posting.

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 04:03:34 PM »
noo!
surely they don't want people (and especially children) actually understanding what they sing to God?!
 ;)
 :P


just take a quick peep and contemporary coptic culture and you'll see that translation actually INCREASES
people's appreciation of the ancient hymns.
many people (including me) learnt songs in english before we were curious enough to start learning them in coptic as well.

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 06:26:19 PM »
noo!
surely they don't want people (and especially children) actually understanding what they sing to God?!
 ;)
 :P


just take a quick peep and contemporary coptic culture and you'll see that translation actually INCREASES
people's appreciation of the ancient hymns.
many people (including me) learnt songs in english before we were curious enough to start learning them in coptic as well.
Considering there are zero places in the Armenian Church where any of these hymns are sung in English, it's a slightly odd choice, to say the least.

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 08:58:10 PM »
Actually, I was surprised at how well the translations seem to go with the music.  I haven't heard the CD in its entirety, but it seems well done.  I just feel a little ambiguous about teaching English translations of the hymns to kids when, as you said, there are zero places where the liturgy is prayed in English.  I guess teaching the hymns in English can increase understanding, but they also need to be learned in the original Classical Armenian.

It just seems weird to hear them sung in a modern language. 

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 09:45:27 PM »
Actually, I was surprised at how well the translations seem to go with the music.  I haven't heard the CD in its entirety, but it seems well done.  I just feel a little ambiguous about teaching English translations of the hymns to kids when, as you said, there are zero places where the liturgy is prayed in English.  I guess teaching the hymns in English can increase understanding, but they also need to be learned in the original Classical Armenian.

It just seems weird to hear them sung in a modern language.  
Little secret: There have been English translations fit to music and published in hard copy for no less than 65 years. As far as I know, there has only been one parish in which an all-English liturgy has ever been attempted. Long story short, they were told to stop.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2014, 09:46:08 PM by Aram »

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #6 on: November 21, 2014, 02:26:20 PM »
there are zero places in the Armenian Church where any of these hymns are sung in English,

nooo!
 :o

with so many armenians in english speaking places, how can this be?
i think you are missing something...
 ???

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #7 on: November 21, 2014, 02:52:30 PM »
there are zero places in the Armenian Church where any of these hymns are sung in English,

nooo!
 :o

with so many armenians in english speaking places, how can this be?
i think you are missing something...
 ???

I won't speak FOR them, but in my semi limited experience, Armenians in English speaking America, all speak Armenian. They teach their kids, they make it a solid point of keeping their culture, a truly commendable thing. Church is therefore in Armenian.

To the point of being 100% incredulous of my motives when I walked into Armenian language classes at the local community college. 

classmate: 'so you are getting married to an Armenian?'

DD: no....I like languages, my grandparents were from that part of the world....

Classmates: 'oh oh you are Armenian....that's better'

DD: noooooo not Armenian, my grandparents are Russian but were sent down to Armenia, Georgia and what is now Turkey....

Classmates: so why would you want to learn Armenian?

I was -the- only person in a class of 35 who did not have a connection to Armenia (kids, grandkids...getting married....)

It only got worse when I got A's on everything, and their 'cheating' (by trying to write everything in another dialect) got them c's and d's.



All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2014, 11:36:22 PM »
there are zero places in the Armenian Church where any of these hymns are sung in English,

nooo!
 :o

with so many armenians in english speaking places, how can this be?
i think you are missing something...
 ???
Liturgically, the Armenian Church uses very little to no English. Especially for hymns. Don't know what else to tell you.

Offline hecma925

  • Non-clairvoyant, but you can call me Elder
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,227
  • Unbreakable! He's alive, dammit! It's a MIRACLE!
  • Faith: Truthful Chalcedonian Truther
  • Jurisdiction: Candle-lighting Cross Kisser
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #9 on: November 22, 2014, 04:43:33 AM »
there are zero places in the Armenian Church where any of these hymns are sung in English,

nooo!
 :o

with so many armenians in english speaking places, how can this be?
i think you are missing something...
 ???

I won't speak FOR them, but in my semi limited experience, Armenians in English speaking America, all speak Armenian. They teach their kids, they make it a solid point of keeping their culture, a truly commendable thing. Church is therefore in Armenian.

To the point of being 100% incredulous of my motives when I walked into Armenian language classes at the local community college. 

classmate: 'so you are getting married to an Armenian?'

DD: no....I like languages, my grandparents were from that part of the world....

Classmates: 'oh oh you are Armenian....that's better'

DD: noooooo not Armenian, my grandparents are Russian but were sent down to Armenia, Georgia and what is now Turkey....

Classmates: so why would you want to learn Armenian?

I was -the- only person in a class of 35 who did not have a connection to Armenia (kids, grandkids...getting married....)

It only got worse when I got A's on everything, and their 'cheating' (by trying to write everything in another dialect) got them c's and d's.





How's your Armenian these days?  Was it a hard language to pick up?  Was it classical or modern Armenian?
Happy shall he be, that shall take and dash thy little ones against the rock. Alleluia.

Once Christ has filled the Cross, it can never be empty again.

"But God doesn't need your cookies!  Arrive on time!"

Offline Alpo

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,293
  • Faith: Finnish Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #10 on: November 22, 2014, 08:06:08 AM »
How different Classical Armenian is from vernacular Armenian? Do people understand it?
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2014, 10:47:39 AM »
How different Classical Armenian is from vernacular Armenian? Do people understand it?
It's pretty different from both modern dialects, but you can understand it reasonably well if you speak Eastern or Western Armenian.

Offline biro

  • Site Supporter
  • Stratopedarches
  • *****
  • Posts: 19,913
  • Excelsior
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #12 on: November 22, 2014, 10:52:35 AM »
I have a chant CD of the Armenian liturgy. Always did wonder what it was in English.
My only weakness is, well, never mind

Offline Remnkemi

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #13 on: November 24, 2014, 06:50:50 PM »
Liturgically, the Armenian Church uses very little to no English. Especially for hymns. Don't know what else to tell you.
There are very few true bilingual speakers (meaning they can switch and use each language equally with near-exact competence and fluency). Usually, a person prefers and uses one language over the other. Being in America, most people will eventually use English more than Language 2 (whether it is Coptic, Armenian, Syrian, etc). It doesn't seem logical that all the Armenians in America understand classical Armenian more than English. If this is the case, how can the liturgy - being the work of the people, use a language the people do not understand as well as their vernacular?

My question really is why does the Armenian Church use very little English (in the diaspora)? Is there such a desire to preserve Classical Armenian or the Armenian culture in general that it is seen as more important than liturgical participation with a more understood language? Are there are other reasons to keep and use Classical Armenian over English?

On a broader level, at what level does language and culture become an impediment to Orthodoxy? Why does the Armenian Church have no problem using Classical Armenian but the Coptic Church has a problem using Coptic liturgically? (I know Coptic as a language is more "dead" than Classical Armenian. But this doesn't explain why both (all) Orthodox Churches choose not to use the vernacular (at least 50-90% of the liturgy, if not 100%))

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #14 on: November 24, 2014, 07:53:10 PM »
Liturgically, the Armenian Church uses very little to no English. Especially for hymns. Don't know what else to tell you.
My question really is why does the Armenian Church use very little English (in the diaspora)? Is there such a desire to preserve Classical Armenian or the Armenian culture in general that it is seen as more important than liturgical participation with a more understood language? Are there are other reasons to keep and use Classical Armenian over English?
I mean, I could write five pages telling you exactly why this is, but I'm just going to give you the short answer to your second question, which in turn answers questions one and three: Yes.

In addition, by edict from Etchmiadzin, all of us under the Catholicos of All Armenians must abide by language guidelines that only allow the use of the vernacular in the sermon, the creed, and (I believe) confession. Of course, not everyone adheres to that to the letter, and there are some parishes where substantially more English is used, but you're hard pressed to find anywhere that uses more than occasional English.

Offline Remnkemi

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2014, 08:13:17 PM »
I prefer the five pages telling me exactly why this is. If you can't, hopefully someone else can give a detailed response.

An edict from Etchmiadzin, while important, can become an impediment. If the only reason we do something is because someone else told us to, then our Christianity is built on the sand. I know you can't speak for the Catholicos, but why would he even make an edict like this?

I don't understand why culture and language is more important than understanding? It implies that Christian identity is conditional on location and culture. If this is true, than an Armenian Orthodox who uses English in liturgical services is not a real Orthodox Christian. Surely, there must be a more logical and theological reason than preservation of culture.

Hopefully, someone can contribute by discussing Syrian, Ethiopian, Greek, Russian views on culture and Orthodoxy.

Offline Mor Ephrem

  • Ο προκαθήμενος της Ορθοδοξίας - The President of Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,229
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2014, 08:16:39 PM »
I don't understand why culture and language is more important than understanding?

While I am a supporter of vernacular liturgy, I think it is a very impoverished understanding of "understanding" which argues for use of vernacular languages as the only way worshipers can comprehend and participate meaningfully in liturgical worship. 
How this relates to the coming Antichrist? I don't know...

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2014, 08:36:36 PM »
I guess we can begin by asking what exactly the vernacular language is in an Armenian parish that has speakers of Eastern Armenian, Western Armenian, Turkish, Russian, English, and Arabic speakers together in one place? For instance, in my parish, you can walk the circuit of tables at coffee hour and probably hear five different languages on any given Sunday.

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2014, 09:34:15 PM »
^Sounds like my parish.

Remnkemi,

Perhaps it would help to know that approximately two thirds of Armenians are born outside of Armenia, and live their entire lives outside of Armenia.  The Armenians exist largely in a diaspora that is scattered all over the earth.  This may make it easier to understand why it is important to the Armenians to have one Church that (almost) everyone belongs to, and why it is important to have in that Church one, common, ancient language which is inextricably tied to homeland and history.

I'm not saying it's an ideal situation;  It's just that the Armenians are dealing with a different situation than most Orthodox people, and you need to take that into consideration when forming any judgement.

Offline Antonis

  • Μέγα το Θαύμα!
  • Section Moderator
  • Archon
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,592
  • Faith: Our Holy Orthodoxy
  • Jurisdiction: Holy Phanar
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2014, 11:36:00 PM »
^Sounds like my parish.

Remnkemi,

Perhaps it would help to know that approximately two thirds of Armenians are born outside of Armenia, and live their entire lives outside of Armenia.  The Armenians exist largely in a diaspora that is scattered all over the earth.  This may make it easier to understand why it is important to the Armenians to have one Church that (almost) everyone belongs to, and why it is important to have in that Church one, common, ancient language which is inextricably tied to homeland and history.

I'm not saying it's an ideal situation;  It's just that the Armenians are dealing with a different situation than most Orthodox people, and you need to take that into consideration when forming any judgement.

Unfortunately, language preservation doesn't always work.  :-\ I know of at least several Armenians (and Greeks) that have left their churches for evangelical congregations or other alternatives because they wanted faith that wasn't based in ethnocentrism.

I remember when I walked to St Vartan Cathedral here in NYC I passed an Armenian evangelical church. That was saddening.
Somewhere on Athos, Antonis groans, and the skulls of the holy brethren with him!

"This is the one from the beginning, who seemed to be new, yet was found to be ancient and always young, being born in the hearts of the saints."
Letter to Diognetus 11.4

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2014, 11:49:45 PM »
I can't speak for everyone who leaves the Church for others, but I have found in my personal experience that many leave for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with language or the ethnic club mentality.  Those may the most commonly articulated reasons for leaving, but it's not always the real reason.

Offline Aram

  • High Elder
  • ******
  • Posts: 524
  • Faith: Armenian Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2014, 11:57:43 PM »
^Sounds like my parish.

Remnkemi,

Perhaps it would help to know that approximately two thirds of Armenians are born outside of Armenia, and live their entire lives outside of Armenia.  The Armenians exist largely in a diaspora that is scattered all over the earth.  This may make it easier to understand why it is important to the Armenians to have one Church that (almost) everyone belongs to, and why it is important to have in that Church one, common, ancient language which is inextricably tied to homeland and history.

I'm not saying it's an ideal situation;  It's just that the Armenians are dealing with a different situation than most Orthodox people, and you need to take that into consideration when forming any judgement.

Unfortunately, language preservation doesn't always work.  :-\ I know of at least several Armenians (and Greeks) that have left their churches for evangelical congregations or other alternatives because they wanted faith that wasn't based in ethnocentrism.

I remember when I walked to St Vartan Cathedral here in NYC I passed an Armenian evangelical church. That was saddening.
There have been Armenian Protestants for over 150 years. They exist for very historically specific reasons, and have never approached a meaningfully large portion of the Armenian population. And, little secret, a lot of them use a pretty good deal of Armenian in their services. In most, if not all communities, the Armenian Evangelical and Orthodox clergy and parishes have very warm relations. Where I grew up, the Badveli (minister) was almost always invited to major parish functions, and usually attended. In my experience, the people who go to the Armenian Evangelical Church have been Protestant for generations--there isn't a lot of going back and forth.

Now, the mainline Armenian Evangelicals are much different than the upstart Armenian Pentecostals, which are another story altogether. In my experience, they almost exclusively consist of recent immigrants who were evangelized by proselytizing missionaries working in Armenia and the Middle East since 1991. Search for it on YouTube--it's bizarre.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2014, 11:58:35 PM by Aram »

Offline DeniseDenise

  • Taxiarches
  • **********
  • Posts: 6,545
  • This place holds to nothing....
  • Faith: Does it matter?
  • Jurisdiction: Unverifiable, so irrelevant
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2014, 12:12:35 AM »
There are also these folks....who lived near my ancestors in Kars....and they almost all migrated to Los Angeles together as well.



Armenians and Molokans: Karakala, 1870s-1920
Joyce Keosababian Bivin, Jerusalem

The Armenians living in Karakala were in daily contact with Russian Molokans
living in nearby villages. A group of these Armenians adopted the Molokan's religious beliefs and
customs. The community that was thus created survived the impending persecution by immigrating to the United States where it still exists, primarily in Southern California..

This paper focuses on part of the Armenian population of Karakala during the period of the 1870s to 1920. With the help of personal letters (written in Armenian from 1898 to 1922, and in Russian until as late as 1954), especially the correspondence between the members of the Keosababian and Perumian families who remained in Karakala and the Kars region and members of their families who immigrated to the United States, some progress can be made in sketching this unique community's history. Oral testimonies, a few autobiographies, and the writings of Russian Molokans supplement the information gleaned from personal correspondence.

A brief history of the Russian Molokans describes their expulsion by the Russian tsar to the Kars region, their unique form of worship, and their observance of biblical dietary laws and five biblical feasts. Of special significance is the influence of two young prophets on the Russian and Armenian Molokan communities.

The geographic location of Kars is discussed to determine which of three locations in Turkey is the Armenian Karakala. An old photograph of the Armenian Karakala provides a glimpse of the village and its inhabitants.


http://www.network54.com/Forum/146256/message/1005320985/Abstracts+of+UCLA+Kars-Ani+conference+1


All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline kijabeboy03

  • OC.net guru
  • *******
  • Posts: 1,019
  • J'étais insensé.
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Tous.
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #23 on: November 25, 2014, 01:12:29 AM »
I can't speak for everyone who leaves the Church for others, but I have found in my personal experience that many leave for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with language or the ethnic club mentality.  Those may the most commonly articulated reasons for leaving, but it's not always the real reason.

This is true across the board. There are so many Belorussian and Ukrainian names in the phone book in the town where my parish is located, but none of those founding families of the parish is Orthodox anymore - at best they're Roman Catholic or mainline Protestant, at worst nothing - the parish's clinging to Slavonic and its Slavic ghetto status prompted most of them to leave :-/.

Offline Remnkemi

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #24 on: November 25, 2014, 10:27:13 AM »
I don't understand why culture and language is more important than understanding?

While I am a supporter of vernacular liturgy, I think it is a very impoverished understanding of "understanding" which argues for use of vernacular languages as the only way worshipers can comprehend and participate meaningfully in liturgical worship. 
Agreed Mor. But I wasn't talking about the vernacular as the only way worshipers can comprehend and participate meaningfully. Of course, they are other ways. I have advocated for every Copt to learn Coptic to comprehend liturgical worship. Not everyone thinks this is a practical solution. The most practical means is to use a balanced amount of the "dead" language and the vernacular. But this assumes that neither the usage of the dead language or the vernacular is detrimental to salvation. Proponents of the dead language typically believe that the vernacular will somehow lessen the Orthodox experience (and it's true to a certain extent in my opinion). Opponents of the dead language typically accuse the dead language as the catalyst of an un-Orthodox Church (which is also often true). Ideally finding the right balance of both languages removes the disadvantages of both.

The important point here is that the general population has a hard time "understanding" the vernacular. It would take a lot more effort to establish a "non-impovershed" understanding when the dead language is used. It can be done. But is it feasible? It is no different than expecting Syrians, Russians, Armenians to have a non-impovershed understanding while using Egyptian hieroglyphics in their liturgical services. Not even the Copts would do that. The Orthodox Church is not an ecclesiastical museum of ancient history and languages for elitists or nostalgic common folk. It is a house of salvation for all mankind. Whether we like it or not, people will be drawn to Christ if we offer them Christ they can relate to. (After all, this was the whole point of the incarnation).

Is this all ideological thought or is there something else that drives the use and disuse of an ancient language?

Offline mabsoota

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,859
  • Kyrie eleison
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox (Coptic)
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #25 on: November 25, 2014, 01:45:21 PM »
many good points.
i appreciate the need of communities to speak their languages.
i have learnt arabic (fairly badly) and i can sing in coptic (again badly and not always in the correct tune)
and i agree that these languages are beautiful.
i can certainly understand why a suffering community needs to maintain certain linguistic elements of its identity.
i identify with them so strongly that i am actively studying their languages, despite not having any relatives who speak these languages.

however, all the churches in the Bible (and i think all the early churches too) also existed for those outside that community
(as remnkemi is hinting at), so it is vital to also allow those from outside to attend and hear worship in the official language of the country they live in.
(so no problems if you are arabic speaking armenians in a bangladeshi area of australia,
just translate some of your worship into english, everyone has to speak at least a little of it in order to have a job).

this is why i am delighted to see armenian hymns in english (original post) in usa,
and i would encourage armenians living in france, mexico etc. to reach out to those around them in french, spanish etc.

you don't have to choose between the old language and the new language.
use them both!

Offline Alpo

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 9,293
  • Faith: Finnish Orthodox
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #26 on: November 25, 2014, 02:42:34 PM »
you don't have to choose between the old language and the new language.
use them both!

Wisdom! Our services are mostly in Finnish but at my church there is some Swedish, Church Slavonic and Greek blended in too. It works quite nicely and there are regular attendants from several cultures every sunday.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2014, 02:43:25 PM by Alpo »
But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the LORD your God.
Leviticus 19:34

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #27 on: November 25, 2014, 08:37:26 PM »
The important point here is that the general population has a hard time "understanding" the vernacular. It would take a lot more effort to establish a "non-impovershed" understanding when the dead language is used. It can be done. But is it feasible? It is no different than expecting Syrians, Russians, Armenians to have a non-impovershed understanding while using Egyptian hieroglyphics in their liturgical services. Not even the Copts would do that.

Hieroglyphics?  Seriously?  Both dialects of Modern Armenian use the same alphabet as Classical Armenian, although Modern Eastern Armenian uses it somewhat differently.  Also, a lot of the vocabulary is the same or similar.  Really, the biggest difference is the grammar.  The best comparison I can think of would be a speaker of Italian using Latin for his prayers.

Quote
The Orthodox Church is not an ecclesiastical museum of ancient history and languages for elitists or nostalgic common folk.

I'm sorry you think that is what the Armenians have turned their Church into.  I can, however, attest to the fact that it is a very vibrant body, dedicated to Christ.  Since the fall of Communism, it has truly experienced a rebirth and is in the process of trying to re-evangelize its people.  That is not an easy task when you consider how scattered its people are, and especially when you consider how damaged the Church was by the Genocide and seven decades of Communism, but I can see the rebirth happening. 

It seems you misunderstood what I said earlier about why the Armenians feel a need for one language in their Church.  Perhaps I didn't explain it well enough.  I don't know how to explain it better, however, so I won't try.  You need to understand, however, that it is not as simplistic or shallow as you think.   :)

Offline Remnkemi

  • Elder
  • *****
  • Posts: 379
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #28 on: November 26, 2014, 09:41:29 AM »
So what I hear you saying Salpy is that if the two languages are linguistically related with small differences then choosing one over the other for liturgical services is not an impediment to understanding. Ok, I accept that reasoning.

But you said two thirds of all Armenians are born outside of Armenia. I assume that Armenian Americans have English as their primary language and I assume they are able to understand all forms of Armenian (within a certain degree). But English and Armenian (any form) are not linguistically related. Therefore, my original question still applies.

I can accept the need to have one language to unify divergent Armenians. I do not understand how one language changes or enhances a rebirth. There have been many churches who have experienced a rebirth with multiple languages. I suppose either method is helpful for the rebirth.

I hope I did not offend you or anyone else. I simply want to understand the anthropological and social reasoning for liturgical language choice in the diaspora.

Offline Salpy

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 14,436
  • Holy Martyrs of the Armenian Genocide pray for us!
Re: God speaks Classical Armenian
« Reply #29 on: November 26, 2014, 11:57:17 PM »
I never said "one language changes or enhances a rebirth."  I don't know where you got that.  I spoke of the Armenian Church experiencing a rebirth after the fall of Communism.  I didn't say, however, that this was due to any particular language.  My intention was to refute the implication that the use of Classical Armenian must necessarily mean the Armenian Church is an "ecclesiastical museum of ancient history and languages for elitists or nostalgic common folk."