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Author Topic: Converts and Established Customs  (Read 9803 times) Average Rating: 0
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BoredMeeting
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« Reply #90 on: August 30, 2006, 10:29:52 AM »

What do people do in pew-less churches during the sermon? Do they sit on the floor or remain standing? Or are there folding chairs for this purpose?
Some sit on the floor or on the chairs around the perimeter while others do keep standing.

I was reminded that at the time of John Chrysostom, the parishoners stood during the sermon while the priest sat (this being part of the respect shown towards a "teacher").
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« Reply #91 on: August 30, 2006, 10:31:47 AM »

I've seen a lot of inactive worshippers in pewless churches.
I've no doubt of that, however, sitting on your rear encourages inactivity. It has been shown that people are more attentive while standing.
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« Reply #92 on: August 30, 2006, 11:10:51 AM »

Pews do get in the way of doing a prostration (when needed) or bowing to the floor when crossing one's self. This makes them a very bad thing IMHO because they subtract essential expressions of humility from Orthodox worship.

In contrast, I don't believe the curtain contributes much to worship.

On the covering of heads, it is an act of humility in certain cultures that does not translate into American culture. If a woman decides to adopt this practice during her spiritual journey, it's probably a good thing but just going along for appearance would be pretty meaningless.


Our parish has the pews spaced far enough apart (close to 3 feet) to allow worshippers to both bow and make prostrations in the pews. During Lenten services which have many prostrations everyone just "spreads out" and some step out into the aisles or back of the church as prostrations approach.

I agree with you about the curtain.

I agree with you about headcoverings also--although I must say that my wife was taken aback once when visiting a church out of town (ROCOR) when a member of that parish approached her from behind and draped a scarf over her head with a hissing directive to "keep your head covered". She "turned the other cheek" but suffice it to say that this was not a pleasant experience.
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« Reply #93 on: August 30, 2006, 11:40:18 AM »

I do not disagree that this sometimes happens, but it is when ethnic parishes come to believe that food festivals and other traditions ARE the faith that convert zeal comes into action. I have encountered  many Orthodox Christians who feel that their "church work" is making pierogies, or God forbid, calling the numbers at bingo or tending bar at the church club and that sometimes this prevents them from going to services. This is the perversion of Orthodoxy to which I am referring. One of our local Greek churches just had their festival--but didn't have Vespers on Saturday evening because it interfered with the festival. Orthodoxy is about God--not about food.

COWBOY

I have attended Serbian and Greek parishes almost my entire life. I have NEVER encountered the type of person you describe. Cultural traditions are considered important in my parish, but the practice of the faith always comes first. And we do have Vespers every year durring the Festival. And no parish that I am familiar with (I'm in California) plays bingo. Even the Catholic parishes here have given that up.
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« Reply #94 on: August 30, 2006, 12:20:14 PM »

And no parish that I am familiar with (I'm in California) plays bingo. Even the Catholic parishes here have given that up.

Well in my part of the world (Ohio) bingo is a still a staple of most Catholic churches. The largest Orthodox churches in our area (in size, not people) have all been financed through bingo which continues unabated today(several jurisdictions). Parishioners of these parishes sometimes have stated that "without bingo we would all have to pay more". One large Greek Orthodox parish in our area had to raise "dues" when 3 solid days of rain coincided with their annual "Greek Festival"--washing away their profits.
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« Reply #95 on: August 30, 2006, 02:39:11 PM »

I have attended Serbian and Greek parishes almost my entire life. I have NEVER encountered the type of person you describe. Cultural traditions are considered important in my parish, but the practice of the faith always comes first. And we do have Vespers every year durring the Festival. And no parish that I am familiar with (I'm in California) plays bingo. Even the Catholic parishes here have given that up.

California is VERY different than everywhere else in the country.  Especially if you're talking about Serbian churches.  You should visit me in Chicago, where our entire CHURCH centers around the food festival.  Bingo has made or broken entire parishes. 

The statements people are making arn't unfounded.  But neither are they the rule.  90% of parishes have never heard English used in church, except for "foreigners" to the faith, and even then its rare.  (I'm exagerating a little, but i'm not that far off)
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« Reply #96 on: August 30, 2006, 04:37:38 PM »

A few thoughts.

It seems to me the Eastern churches have been formed and grown in a specific framework and in a specific manner; that is always taking in and building on a received tradition.  The obvious example is how Christianity was transmitted from the Byzantines to the Slavs.  This transformation, because it was a mass cultural movement, trickled down in to and affected every part of society.  The customs that grew up around the church formed an overall cultural context, or in other words a common reference part for everyone in the culture.  These things made up a way of life, which I think is why it is so difficult to break down the church in to distinct components of “religion” and “culture”.  They are intertwined at too many levels, and the small traditions as people like to call them are there to reinforce and compliment the big ones.

I think one of the many problems with the creation of “American Orthodoxy” (which to me has nothing to do with the use of English as a liturgical language) is it lacks the critical component of cultural transformation.  What we are really talking about is co-existence, because Orthodoxy in this country is so small.  So when the old world cultures that brought Orthodoxy to this country are removed (and I have heard this idea seriously proposed and actually put in practice), what will take its place?  I have seen some of the effects of this, and to me there are some worrisome developments.

Now, before anyone stands up and accuses me of being a raging phyletist, I’m not.  I’m simply saying we should not reject what came before us, but build on it.  The customs that come along with the church can be one of the most significant ties that can bind a community together, and by extension reach those outside.

Two more things, then I’ll shut up.

Someone, somewhere, mentioned Alaska as an example of the church adapting to native culture.   I would agree with that in the sense that the Russian missionaries took the right approach in adapting the church to complement and not crush native culture as happened elsewhere in the New World.  The obvious example is the fact that they translated the religious texts the people needed.  However, one need only go to Alaska today to find that even though it is a native church (and has been now for a long time) it is also still distinctly Russian in character and feel.  It is still called the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska.  What they did was build on the Russian aspect of the faith, they didn’t throw it out.

Finally, related to the last point is the issue of language.  I personally feel the language used should fit the needs of the community and should be able to be readily understood by those attending the liturgy.  I find it no small irony that the jurisdiction most committed to ethnically cleansing the church to make it purely American, is also one that retains the use of Elizabethan English in all of its liturgical texts.
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« Reply #97 on: August 30, 2006, 04:59:19 PM »

  I find it no small irony that the jurisdiction most committed to ethnically cleansing the church to make it purely American, is also one that retains the use of Elizabethan English in all of its liturgical texts.


Which Jurisdiction are you referencing?
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« Reply #98 on: August 30, 2006, 06:42:59 PM »

Which Jurisdiction are you referencing?

yes, welkodox, please do tell.
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« Reply #99 on: August 30, 2006, 06:48:44 PM »

I think one of the many problems with the creation of “American Orthodoxy” (which to me has nothing to do with the use of English as a liturgical language) is it lacks the critical component of cultural transformation.  What we are really talking about is co-existence, because Orthodoxy in this country is so small.  So when the old world cultures that brought Orthodoxy to this country are removed (and I have heard this idea seriously proposed and actually put in practice), what will take its place?  I have seen some of the effects of this, and to me there are some worrisome developments.

Fair point, but this still goes back to my question on earlier pages of this thread, which was NOT meant to be rhetorical:  What IS American culture and how is it defined?  How many of us converts here are NOT White former Protestants?  American culture is NOT what just many of us white people think it is.  How many are Latin or Hispanic backgrounds?  Asian?  African?
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« Reply #100 on: August 31, 2006, 03:04:50 AM »

The American Naitive language. what I am talking about is the Language of the American Indian  to be translated from all the the American Native Nations for the Divine liturgy
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« Reply #101 on: August 31, 2006, 07:46:51 AM »

I find it no small irony that the jurisdiction most committed to ethnically cleansing the church to make it purely American, is also one that retains the use of Elizabethan English in all of its liturgical texts.
That's hardly surprising given the practice of modern translations of the Bible to focus on "inclusive" or "gender-neutral" wording instead of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At least the older texts are a known quantity.
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« Reply #102 on: August 31, 2006, 07:49:14 AM »

The American Naitive language. what I am talking about is the Language of the American Indian  to be translated from all the the American Native Nations for the Divine liturgy

I am not sure a ONE language exists for them or even if it/they is/are written iodioms.
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« Reply #103 on: August 31, 2006, 08:13:03 AM »

Of course, you all realise that the reductio ad absurdum of all this is that the Language of the Church should be Esperanto.
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« Reply #104 on: August 31, 2006, 08:32:35 AM »

I'm more for Volapük.
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« Reply #105 on: August 31, 2006, 08:37:55 AM »

I'm more for Volapük.
Volapük estas la lingvo de herezuloj! Longa viv Esperanto!
(Eng: "Volapük is the language of heretics! Long live Esperanto!")
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« Reply #106 on: August 31, 2006, 09:31:11 AM »

Fair point, but this still goes back to my question on earlier pages of this thread, which was NOT meant to be rhetorical:  What IS American culture and how is it defined?  How many of us converts here are NOT White former Protestants?  American culture is NOT what just many of us white people think it is.  How many are Latin or Hispanic backgrounds?  Asian?  African?

You could write a book (and I'm sure somebody has) about what American Culture is or isn't.  Certainly it will be different depending on your background, race, etc.  I'm sure my perception of American culture varies in some ways from than that of my wife whose Mother and extended family came here from Asia in the 1970's.

Perhaps discussing something as broad as what is American culture isn't that helpful anyway.  I think one could reasonably assume that those likely to convert to Orthodoxy will be coming from other confessions, that is they will already have an existing religious grounding.  So maybe it makes sense to narrow the focus down to what is American Christian religious culture like (which will affect the church not only through conversion, but simply by the fact that Orthodoxy co-exists with so many other ecclesial communities and is vastly outnumbered by them).  What are the hallmarks of American Christian religious culture then that might enter and influence the church?  Individualism? Distrust of authority? Iconoclasm? Anti-Monasticism? Latent gnosticism?  What is the risk, or where have these shown up, given the fact that we're talking not about the church transforming the culture, but the church attempting to carve out a niche in the culture?

That's hardly surprising given the practice of modern translations of the Bible to focus on "inclusive" or "gender-neutral" wording instead of teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. At least the older texts are a known quantity.

I'll admit I'm not well informed enough on the topic of modern Biblical translation to comment on whether or not this statement is true.  I don't see how this applies however, unless modern Biblical translators have taken to moonlighting in the field of translating Orthodox liturgical texts.

My point is there seemed to be a current running in this thread that equated use of a foreign language in the divine services as a negative because it could not be comprehended by some of the existing faithful or to those outside.  Undoubtedly, there is truth, depending on the circumstances (the language, the make up of the congregation and so on).  Use of a language other than English in part or in whole in and of itself is not a bad thing, and may very well be a good thing.

The irony to me is that the jurisdiction that is most firmly committed to rooting out the ethnic composition of Orthodoxy in America (starts with an "A" and ends with "chian"), has in many ways simply substituted an Anglo centric ethnicity in its place.  One significant area where this shows up is through the use of an archaic form of English (that one could argue would not be easily comprehensible to some people) in all of its fixed and variable liturgical material.
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« Reply #107 on: August 31, 2006, 09:40:49 AM »

The irony to me is that the jurisdiction that is most firmly committed to rooting out the ethnic composition of Orthodoxy in America (starts with an "A" and ends with "chian"), has in many ways simply substituted an Anglo centric ethnicity in its place.  One significant area where this shows up is through the use of an archaic form of English (that one could argue would not be easily comprehensible to some people) in all of its fixed and variable liturgical material.


For most Orthodox young people (any age really) Elizabethan English may as well be Church Slavonic! I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.
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« Reply #108 on: August 31, 2006, 09:50:51 AM »

I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.
If the Church is to be truly open to all without distinction, then the obvious choice is Esperanto.
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« Reply #109 on: August 31, 2006, 09:54:58 AM »

Of course, you all realise that the reductio ad absurdum of all this is that the Language of the Church should be Esperanto.

Esperanto is a cult, and regardless of the existence of two (quite liberal) Christian Esperanto groups, the core of the movement is quite anti-Christianity.
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« Reply #110 on: August 31, 2006, 10:02:07 AM »

For most Orthodox young people (any age really) Elizabethan English may as well be Church Slavonic! I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.

A.C.R.O.D. seems to have no problem with English as far as I have experienced.
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« Reply #111 on: August 31, 2006, 10:03:56 AM »

For most Orthodox young people (any age really) Elizabethan English may as well be Church Slavonic! I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.

I think the above is a slight exaggeration.  I grew up with traditional English in the Lutheran Church and by being exposed to it regularly I learned it (which is how one learns language after all).  In my opinion, this higher form of lanugage is necessary to precisely convey truths and to maintain a level of majesty.  When Sts Cyril and Methodius created Church Slavonic, they did not actually use a vernacular but created a language for Orthodox use that had elements of Greek, etc.

Just my two cents.
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« Reply #112 on: August 31, 2006, 10:05:51 AM »

Esperanto is a cult, and regardless of the existence of two (quite liberal) Christian Esperanto groups, the core of the movement is quite anti-Christianity.
But even if that were true, why couldn't Esperanto be "baptised"?
Surely, if we all want a Church free of attachments to ethnic customs and traditions which unites all men and women into one Body of Christ, then a common, global language which is international and not unique to one particular culture and ethnicity is the way to go- and the Church should lead the way in this.
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« Reply #113 on: August 31, 2006, 10:20:39 AM »

Esperanto is a cult, and regardless of the existence of two (quite liberal) Christian Esperanto groups, the core of the movement is quite anti-Christianity.

Thanks for the link to your paper. Very well written and thought out. I cannot agree with Ozgeorge though (even if Esperanto was not exposed by CRCulver), that all Orthodox Christians in America would have to learn a completely new language for worship. This seems absurd. Is Esperanto commonly spoken by Orthodox Christians in Australia--or were you being sarcastic?
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« Reply #114 on: August 31, 2006, 10:22:38 AM »

But even if that were true, why couldn't Esperanto be "baptised"?
Surely, if we all want a Church free of attachments to ethnic customs and traditions which unites all men and women into one Body of Christ, then a common, global language which is international and not unique to one particular culture and ethnicity is the way to go- and the Church should lead the way in this.

The core of the movement, those who organise all the congresses, represent Esperanto to other NGOs and governments, and get all the funding, is made up of anti-Christian political extremists such as Communists (several prominent people in UEA), or adherents of shady religious sects such as Oomoto or Brazilian Spiritism (activists in important national groups). There is also among many Esperantists a strong devotion to Zamenhof and his universalism, such as placing pictures of him in their home in an altar-like fashion, as well as singing his universalist hymns, that is about as anti-church as you can get outside of Freemasonry. While many have, for various reasons, grown unhappy with the movement and tried to use Esperanto independently of it, ultimately all such attempts have come to naught.

Esperanto is unique to one particular culture: the Esperanto culture. Over its 120-year history, the Esperanto has gained many peculiar customs. Being a speaker of Esperanto and attending the congresses means accepting those customs. If you don't stand up and sing Zamenhof's anthem "La Espero" during the inaugration of the Universala Kongreso, buy lots of original literature in Esperanto, or if you refuse to laud the Esperanto music scene at the youth congresses, people will see you as some kind of rebel.
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« Reply #115 on: August 31, 2006, 10:25:15 AM »

This seems absurd. Is Esperanto commonly spoken by Orthodox Christians in Australia--or were you being sarcastic?

He must be sarcastic. In Russia, Ukraine, and Romania, three Orthodox countries I've spent lots of time in and, formerly, knew the Esperanto movement in, the E-ists there were never Orthodox, nor were they, if Christian at all, very devout in whatever other church they claimed adherence to.
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« Reply #116 on: August 31, 2006, 10:26:38 AM »

For most Orthodox young people (any age really) Elizabethan English may as well be Church Slavonic! I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.
I find it impossible to believe that a few "Thee's" and "Thine's" could create such befuddlement.
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« Reply #117 on: August 31, 2006, 10:29:08 AM »

all Orthodox Christians in America would have to learn a completely new language for worship.
Dominus vobiscum! That's unheard of! No Church has ever worshipped in a language other than the vernacular! Omnes Angeli, oa pro nobis! Wink



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« Reply #118 on: August 31, 2006, 10:30:23 AM »

When Sts Cyril and Methodius created Church Slavonic, they did not actually use a vernacular but created a language for Orthodox use that had elements of Greek, etc.

Old Church Slavonic is based on the vernacular of Solun. And while there are some "artificial" elements in it, namely calquing of the Greek in certain lexical items and in syntax, the language was not much different than late Common Slavonic, and would have been readily understandable by any Slav at the time.
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« Reply #119 on: August 31, 2006, 10:35:47 AM »

Old Church Slavonic is based on the vernacular of Solun. And while there are some "artificial" elements in it, namely calquing of the Greek in certain lexical items and in syntax, the language was not much different than late Common Slavonic, and would have been readily understandable by any Slav at the time.

If I had wrote that OCS was vernacular, you would have pointed out it had elements from Greek and was not entirely natural.  Tongue Kiss

My point was of course that it's not like St Cyril and Methodius would have walked into a Brooklyn subway station, a North Carolina pit barbeque establishment, or even took their cue from NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams (Tom Brokaw was so much better!) and used that for liturgy if they were in America in 2006.  They took a vernacular and brushed it up.  In the same way, traditional English in worship is just English with a higher register.

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« Reply #120 on: August 31, 2006, 10:36:26 AM »

For most Orthodox young people (any age really) Elizabethan English may as well be Church Slavonic! I am having trouble seeing why it is so difficult to use modern English in a completely accurate and respectful manner in worship.

Cowboy, I think you’ve hit on something rather interesting. (and the issue is not a few thee's and thou's)

The OCA, of which you are a member I believe, is actually not uniform in regards to this topic.  Most use the 1967 translation of the liturgy, which could probably be described as a moderate update of the language from the Hapgood style.  A smaller proportion use the translation of Archbishop Dmitri which is similar in style to the antiquated form of English used by the Antiochians.  To my knowledge the more modernized version that has been proposed is not out (although in places you may have your oddities like the typikon of New Skete).

So again, the irony I pointed out is before us.  The convert centric Antiochians use an archaic English translation, as does probably the most convert heavy section of the OCA (the diocese of the South).  The Greeks, who usually serve as the ready made whipping boy of real or supposed cradle abuses and ethnocentrism, use a thoroughly modern (but not gender neutral) style of English in their translated liturgical texts.  When Anastasios said the following

Quote
  I grew up with traditional English in the Lutheran Church and by being exposed to it regularly I learned it (which is how one learns language after all).  In my opinion, this higher form of lanugage is necessary to precisely convey truths and to maintain a level of majesty.

I would say that’s a completely valid opinion, and one probably shared by the convert oriented dioceses and jurisdictions to explain why they use the older forms of English.  To me however, it is really no different than the explanations one would use to justify the continued use of Slavonic or Greek.
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« Reply #121 on: August 31, 2006, 10:50:45 AM »

by the convert oriented dioceses and jurisdictions to explain why they use the older forms of English.  To me however, it is really no different than the explanations one would use to justify the continued use of Slavonic or Greek.


The thing is, when I take my Protestant family and friends to an all Greek liturgy, they don't get it.  When I take them to a liturgy that is in Traditional English, they like it and get it.  So I am not sure if the justifications are the same. But thanks for saying my argument is valid Smiley hehe

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« Reply #122 on: August 31, 2006, 11:13:25 AM »

The thing is, when I take my Protestant family and friends to an all Greek liturgy, they don't get it.  When I take them to a liturgy that is in Traditional English, they like it and get it. 
Anastasios

But why, oh ,why put another barrier between the English-speaking people and the liturgy?
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« Reply #123 on: August 31, 2006, 11:27:21 AM »

The thing is, when I take my Protestant family and friends to an all Greek liturgy, they don't get it.  When I take them to a liturgy that is in Traditional English, they like it and get it.  So I am not sure if the justifications are the same. But thanks for saying my argument is valid Smiley

Perhaps they like and get it because they have an experience like this

Quote
I grew up with traditional English in the Lutheran Church and by being exposed to it regularly I learned it

Whereas your Protestant family and friends have no previous experience with Greek.  Either way, the justification and process to acclimate oneself to archaic English that you've put forth is to me no different than reasons I've heard put forth for continuing to use Slavonic.  Again, I'm not saying using Slavonic is bad or using archaic English is necessarily bad.  I simply find it rather hypocritical to criticize the use of a foreign language while promoting use of a dead form of English.

But why, oh ,why put another barrier between the English-speaking people and the liturgy?

That's really a question for your hierarchs Cowboy, because they have approved and some use a translation of the liturgy that is in Elizabethan English from top to bottom.
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« Reply #124 on: August 31, 2006, 11:32:35 AM »

But why, oh ,why put another barrier between the English-speaking people and the liturgy?

To me, modern English is a barrier to the liturgy because it doesn't express Orthodox thought correctly.

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« Reply #125 on: August 31, 2006, 11:33:16 AM »

Anyone off the street can get the jist of traditional English. They cannot get Greek or Slavonic. I think you underestimate the intelligence of the average American lol.
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« Reply #126 on: August 31, 2006, 11:37:42 AM »

Plus we are talking degrees. Say you are "the average American" and say for the sake of argument you don't speak traditional English or understand it at all. The time taken to learn the jargon would be much less than saying, "here is a book of Greek; start from scratch." I think that people should be taught traditional English vocabulary if they are not famliar with it.

To take it a step further, why stop at modern English? If you are in south central LA, why not do a liturgy in Ebonics? Ebonics IS a valid dialect of English even though most of us hate it, so why not liturgize in it if the claim is that people should not have to learn higher registers to worship?

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« Reply #127 on: August 31, 2006, 11:38:58 AM »

That's really a question for your hierarchs Cowboy, because they have approved and some use a translation of the liturgy that is in Elizabethan English from top to bottom.

That's a red herring; the translations of the liturgy you're talking about are hardly archaic or Elizabethan by any stretch of the imagination.  If you want a prime example of Elizabethen English, pull out a copy of just about anything by Shakespeare and plunk it down next to a copy of the liturgy translation you apparently detest so much.  The liturgy, even with individual words and phrases that aren't common in contemporary English, is far more intelligible than Elizabethan English.  
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« Reply #128 on: August 31, 2006, 11:42:55 AM »

That's a red herring; the translations of the liturgy you're talking about are hardly archaic or Elizabethan by any stretch of the imagination.  If you want a prime example of Elizabethen English, pull out a copy of just about anything by Shakespeare and plunk it down next to a copy of the liturgy translation you apparently detest so much.  The liturgy, even with individual words and phrases that aren't common in contemporary English, is far more intelligible than Elizabethan English.  

Actually that is a good point. the HTM translations, ROCOR translations, and Arch D's translations are more Early Modern English than Elizabethan.
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« Reply #129 on: August 31, 2006, 11:43:08 AM »

I find it impossible to believe that a few "Thee's" and "Thine's" could create such befuddlement.

Exactly.  Most of these whiners (sorry, but that's what they are) have no idea what "Old English" really is.  If they did, then they'd beg and plead for Elizabethan Early Modern English.

For those of you better in the know, I was told that Church Slavonic to modern Russian is like Chaucerian English to Modern English.  Is this a decent analogy?  So the gist of it would be that the older versions would be barely intelligible to the modern lay person?

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« Reply #130 on: August 31, 2006, 12:14:27 PM »

Exactly.  Most of these whiners (sorry, but that's what they are) have no idea what "Old English" really is.  If they did, then they'd beg and plead for Elizabethan Early Modern English.

For those of you better in the know, I was told that Church Slavonic to modern Russian is like Chaucerian English to Modern English.  Is this a decent analogy?  So the gist of it would be that the older versions would be barely intelligible to the modern lay person?



But aren't you making my point? Ask any Orthodox high school kid if it is easier (in terms of understanding and comprehension) to read Shakespeare or Father Thomas Hopko's Rainbow Series. This is not whining--it is a plea for the future of Orthodoxy in this country. If our youth view the Liturgy the same way they view Shakespeare, what kind of future will there be for Orthodoxy in America?

To me, modern English is a barrier to the liturgy because it doesn't express Orthodox thought correctly.

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Also I am curious as to what specific Orthodox thoughts cannot/are not being expressed correctly in English?
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« Reply #131 on: August 31, 2006, 12:29:30 PM »

But aren't you making my point? Ask any Orthodox high school kid if it is easier (in terms of understanding and comprehension) to read Shakespeare or Father Thomas Hopko's Rainbow Series. This is not whining--it is a plea for the future of Orthodoxy in this country. If our youth view the Liturgy the same way they view Shakespeare, what kind of future will there be for Orthodoxy in America?

No, he isn't making your point because the languague used in the Liturgy is far more modern than Shakespeare, even with the older words and such in there. 
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« Reply #132 on: August 31, 2006, 12:36:49 PM »

Also I am curious as to what specific Orthodox thoughts cannot/are not being expressed correctly in English?
The personal relationship with God that is clearly stated by using the informal "Thou" instead of the formal "You."  Modern English doesn't even have a formal/informal distinction so that Orthodox element is completely lost.
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« Reply #133 on: August 31, 2006, 12:41:44 PM »

No, he isn't making your point because the languague used in the Liturgy is far more modern than Shakespeare, even with the older words and such in there. 

When I started my reply, the strike mark was not there through Elizabethan. But I would still say--why use early modern English instead of modern English?
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« Reply #134 on: August 31, 2006, 12:45:32 PM »

To me, modern English is a barrier to the liturgy because it doesn't express Orthodox thought correctly.

That's just the heresy of the trilinguals all over again. Crazy translations from certain scholars with agendas might not express Orthodox thought correctly, but any language is capable of expressing the beliefs of the Church, even English in its modern form.
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