Talk about getting emotional...
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org
> Finally, I find it outrageous when anyone suggests that everyone
> should "just learn Slavonic". Tell that to St. Stephen of Perm who
> translated our texts into Permian, or to St. Innocent of Alaska
> (Aleut) or St. Nicholas of Japan. None of them advocated imposing
> Slavonic on converts. ... They just wanted people to understand,
plain and simple.
> Nowadays, we want to prevent people from understanding the
> God forgive us.
Was someone here advocating "imposing Slavonic on converts"? I recall
that, in this thread, several people have said that the native
language instead of Slavonic (or greek) is ideal for nonrussians.
To repeat myself, the question of Slavonic vs. English (or German in
Germany, French in France, etc.) is A DIFFERENT ISSUE than Slavonic
vs. RUSSIAN. And i believe the latter question was the focus of this
thread, begun with a posting of an interview, where an MP Bishop
suggested that Russian should substitute for Slavonic.
My take, for what it's worth (not much): I am a first-generation
American and a Russian speaker and, yes, understanding the Slavonic
requires an extra effort. I am glad to make that effort: I find it
edifying and intellectually enriching. The texts often are multi
layered in meaning anyway, so even understanding the WORDS doesn't
guarantee understanding the text. (That's why we hope our spiritual
fathers -- the clergy -- can help enlighten us, with well put
sermons, discussions, etc.) I would hate to see Slavonic dropped,
yes, partly because it's what I heard when I was in church with
my "Babushka" (who, incidentally, contributed to the church
literature extensively, composing IN Slavonic, not translating from
some other language). But also because it is a beautiful, churchly
language that crosses political Slavic boundaries.
With all due respect, the problem often arises when converts enter a
community (say, the Russian-speaking emigre community...) and then
impose THEIR wishes and will on them, demanding change. Ultimately,
I believe, the English speaking Orthodox community needs to be
organized separately from the parishes that serve the emigre
communities. I disagree thoroughly with the "English is the language
of our country, learn it and expect to hear it in church" argument
that has been put forth. If one learned the creed in Greek, or
Slavonic, or Rumanian, one finds comfort in hearing those words in
Greek, or Slavonic, or Rumanian when one goes to church. As a nation
of immigrants, the U.S. in particular will always have people
wanting --needing-- a church that they can feel at home in.
Naturally, the English speakers need that too. Why can't there be
in Christ, elizabeth