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Re: The Mission of the Church Abroad?

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  • vkozyreff
    Dear Father John, bless. For the List, let me mention that the well known USSR slogan so many million times repeated Da zdrazstvuyet Kommunisticheskaya
    Message 1 of 19 , May 1, 2004
      Dear Father John, bless.

      For the List, let me mention that the well known USSR slogan so many
      million times repeated "Da zdrazstvuyet Kommunisticheskaya partiya"
      (Long live the communist party) is in Slavonic, not Russian.

      In God,

      Vladimir Kozyreff


      --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
      <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
      >
      > X.B.!
      >
      > Regarding:
      >
      > > Does ROCOR want the non-Orthodox to become members of
      > > ROCOR? If so, why do the majority of the larger ROCOR
      > > parishes/cathedrals conduct services almost entirely
      > > in Church Slavonic(which the Russians don't even fully
      > > understand!), with the sermon sometimes being
      > > in Russian?
      >
      > JRS: To begin with, remember that ROCOR does stand for "Russian
      > Orthodox Church Outside Russia".
      >
      > ROCOR is not simply an American Church: it is an international
      Church,
      > and Russian roots are what bind it together.
      >
      > Yes, Russians only half-understand Church Slavonic, *unless they
      have
      > been taught Slavonic*.
      >
      > Before the revolution, all primary and secondary schools in Russia
      > taught at least the beginnings of Church Slavonic, just as
      Slavonic
      > used to be taught in schools in Serbia and Bulgaria, before the
      > communist period.
      >
      > But people who are active in the Church usually do have some
      knowledge
      > of Slavonic. Thus for example many Slavonic expressions have been
      taken
      > over into modern Russian, such as "Vo vremja ono" (the usual
      beginning
      > of Gospel readings).
      >
      > But then, the King James Bible is much more recent than Church
      > Slavonic, is still considered "modern English", but people have to
      get
      > used to it also.
      >
      > And again, the actual *content* of our liturgical texts is neither
      > simple nor easily understood, in any language. Quite often hearing
      > these texts in English only gives a feeling that the language is
      > English -- not any immediate insight into the meaning!
      >
      > Furthermore, Western people, including Americans, of non-Orthodox
      > background, have no problem following a service in a book. This
      was the
      > general practice among Roman Catholics when the Mass was in Latin!
      > Russians, on the other hand, do not feel at home trying to use
      books in
      > church.
      >
      > > Why does the
      > > Metropolitan give many of his sermons in Russian?
      >
      > JRS: Many? That means you are aware he does sometimes use English
      too.
      > The answer to the question is that many of the listeners speak
      Russian
      > as a first, or perhaps only, language.
      >
      > Our churches today are packed with new people from Russia. These
      people
      > are often like children in their approach to the Church. The
      American
      > converts and "interested non-Orthodox" usually have an entirely
      > different psychological outlook, and come already prepared to hear
      > another language.
      >
      > They know where they have come -- and why!
      >
      > > How
      > > are American priests expected to be trained at a
      > > seminary, in the tradition of the Church Abroad, where
      > > classes are conducted primarily in Russian?
      >
      > JRS: To begin with, the only way they can expect to enter
      into "the
      > tradition of the Church Abroad", is by learning Russian as well as
      they
      > can.
      >
      > That is why even non-Orthodox seminaries teach New Testament Greek
      to
      > their students: because a translation never gives you every nuance
      of
      > the original!
      >
      > But remember this, that before Vatican II, Roman Catholic
      seminarians
      > had to learn to speak and write Latin fluently.
      >
      > Latin is not a modern spoken language. Nobody speaks it except
      > scholars.
      >
      > But it was (to some extent may still be) a valuable "lingua
      franca" for
      > priests.
      >
      > In the same way, once you know Russian, and are used to the
      Slavonic
      > Liturgy, you can go to, and feel quite at home in, a Russian
      Orthodox
      > church anywhere in the world.
      >
      > Perhaps some day you will take a vacation to Europe. Munich may be
      > Munich to you, but if you go to the Russian churches there, you
      will
      > feel that you are at home.
      >
      > The truth is that due to its international character, ROCOR uses
      > Russian as a "lingua franca", and in my days at Jordanville, we
      had
      > students from other countries who did not speak English, or only
      spoke
      > it poorly -- but who were at home conversing with one another in
      > Russian.
      >
      > In Christ
      > Fr. John R. Shaw
    • Stephen Reske
      ... Indeed He is Risen! Thank you for your reply, father. I do have a few questions though. ... Yes, of course. I wonder though...are liturgical language,
      Message 2 of 19 , May 1, 2004
        --- "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrvrevjrsxexecpcom> wrote:
        >
        > X.B.!

        Indeed He is Risen!
        Thank you for your reply, father. I do have a few
        questions though.

        >
        > JRJRSTo begin with, remember that ROROCORoes stand
        > for "Russian
        > Orthodox Church Outside Russia".

        Yes, of course. I wonder though...are liturgical
        language, Russian sermons, and a seeming lack of
        desire to engage with your neighbors all
        nenecessitiesf being part of the Russian Church? St.
        Herman seemed to do a decent job of remaining
        perfectly in the Russia tradition while preaching to
        his neighbors and communicating in their language.

        > ROROCORs not simply an American Church: it is an
        > international Church,
        > and Russian roots are what bind it together.
        >

        Fair enough. The Russian Church which, in reality,
        has no real ties to Russia anymore.

        > Yes, Russians only half-understand Church Slavonic,
        > *unless they have
        > been taught Slavonic*.


        > Before the revolution, all primary and secondary
        > schools in Russia
        > taught at least the beginnings of Church Slavonic,
        > just as Slavonic
        > used to be taught in schools in Serbia and Bulgaria,
        > before the
        > communist period.

        Father, when I woke up this morning I couldn't help
        but notice I'm living in the year 2004 and that my
        neighbors primarily speak English here in America. Are
        you suggesting American and European converts should
        learn Church Slavonic in order to fully participate in
        Divine Services?

        > But people who are active in the Church usually do
        > have some knowledge
        > of Slavonic. Thus for example many Slavonic
        > expressions have been taken
        > over into modern Russian, such as "VoVorvremjanono
        > (the usual beginning
        > of Gospel readings).

        Yes, in Russian...and not many expressions, at that.



        > But then, the King James Bible is much more recent
        > than Church
        > Slavonic, is still considered "modern English", but
        > people have to get
        > used to it also.

        Indeed they do, but it is still recognizable
        English. Russians can understand what, 60% of Slavonic
        services? How about not Russian speakers, 0%?

        > And again, the actual *content* of our liturgical
        > texts is neither
        > simple nor easily understood, in any language. Quite
        > often hearing
        > these texts in English only gives a feeling that the
        > language is
        > English -- not any immediate insight into the
        > meaning!

        If the services are that difficult to comprehend in
        English, why make it more difficult with Slavonic?

        > Furthermore, Western people, including Americans, of
        > non-Orthodox
        > background, have no problem following a service in a
        > book. This was the
        > general practice among Roman Catholics when the Mass
        > was in Latin!
        > Russians, on the other hand, do not feel at home
        > trying to use books in
        > church.

        What do the former practices of the Roman Catholic
        Church have to do with the Orthodox idea of mission?
        SS Cyril and MeMethodiusSt. Herman, et alalwere not
        creating bi-lingual prayer books and telling converts
        to "make do".


        > JRJRSMany? That means you are aware he does
        > sometimes use English too.
        > The answer to the question is that many of the
        > listeners speak Russian
        > as a first, or perhaps only, language.

        Quite frankly, many Russians in America and Europe
        can speak English. If they are living and working
        here, chances are they are able to grasp the language.
        If sermons are given in Russian though because a
        clergyman believes it will be more edifying for his
        primarily Russian speaking flock, that clergyman
        should understand that it is the equivalent to putting
        a "not welcome" sign on the door for inquirers.

        > Our churches today are packed with new people from
        > Russia. These people
        > are often like children in their approach to the
        > Church. The American
        > converts and "interested non-Orthodox" usually have
        > an entirely
        > different psychological outlook, and come already
        > prepared to hear
        > another language.

        I know many Russians in the OCOCAho have no problem
        with English as a liturgical language. Like I said
        before, they are living, working, and raising families
        here and are learning or already able to understand
        the language. Should Americans "be prepared" to hear
        another language in the Orthodox Churches, or should
        the Russians/Greeks, etc. be prepared to hear the
        language of their new countries? If you believe
        Russians won't come to a church with non-Slavonic
        services, I can't agree- I've seen many, many Russians
        at all English parishes doing just fine. Why the fear
        of Russians not being interested, but not of
        Americans/Europeans not being interested in foreign
        language services?

        >
        > They know where they have come -- and why!

        Yes, and that may be why you get some strange birds
        and rurussophilesttending all Slavonic services, while
        it seems some more "adjusted" folk have the good sense
        to attend services they can understand.


        > That is why even non-Orthodox seminaries teach New
        > Testament Greek to
        > their students: because a translation never gives
        > you every nuance of
        > the original!

        That is fine for academia, and should be
        encouraged. But, when has this ever been the norm for
        the average Orthodox parishioner? What enenlightenersf
        new lands have told the people "learn the
        Greek/Slavonic, after a 10 years you'll really
        appreciate the nuances!" Also, if you're saying that
        translations don't give the correct "nuances", perhaps
        the Russian parishes should start using Greek, as they
        are only working from translations.
        >
        > But remember this, that before Vatican II, Roman
        > Catholic seminarians
        > had to learn to speak and write Latin fluently.

        Again, what do the practices of the Roman Church
        have to do with the Orthodox?

        > Latin is not a modern spoken language. Nobody speaks
        > it except
        > scholars.

        > But it was (to some extent may still be) a valuable
        > "lingua frfrancafor
        > priests.

        If priests want to learn it, that's fine. The average
        "Joe" or even "Ivan" shouldn't be required to take up
        linguistics classes of a 9th century Bulgarian dialect
        in order to worship properly.



        > Perhaps some day you will take a vacation to Europe.
        > Munich may be
        > Munich to you, but if you go to the Russian churches
        > there, you will
        > feel that you are at home.

        Yes, I have felt at home in Russian churches, in
        Russia. This is true. But why don't Russians in
        Western Europe and America feel at home then with
        English services?

        > The truth is that due to its international
        > character, ROROCORses
        > Russian as a "lingua frfranca and in my days at
        > JoJordanvillewe had
        > students from other countries who did not speak
        > English, or only spoke
        > it poorly -- but who were at home conversing with
        > one another in
        > Russian.

        This does make sense to me.


        > Fr. John R. Shaw

        Thank you father for your response. I do not mean to
        come across as rude or confrontational, but this is an
        issue that I have personally been wrestling with.




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      • for4z@aol.com
        There certainly is much to discuss concerning recent events in Russia. I pray, however, this vigilant watch exercised by some will not overshadow the
        Message 3 of 19 , May 1, 2004
          There certainly is much to discuss concerning recent events in Russia. I pray, however, this vigilant watch exercised by some will not overshadow the attention required here at home by the flock of the Russian Church Abroad.

          I am aware of several instances when parishes/monastic communities were interested in joining our Church, or in fact did join, only to be neglected and forced to join other jurisdictions in their search of pastoral care and spiritual nourishment.

          With many of our priests devoting so much time and energy to reading and hypothesizing about current events in the Russian Federation, the rest of us who are fettered by busy, secular, American daily lives hope our pastors will not forget about us: their first and foremost responsibility. It reasons our ROCOR clergy will give an answer of how they cared for the people in their own parishes, not of those in Russia.

          I don’t believe Stephen was criticizing our Church’s practices directly, but rather wondering when ardent missionary zeal, made famous by the Russian Church on the North American and Asian continents, will be witnessed again.

          I hope I did not overstep any boundaries in voicing my, quite realistic, concern.

          -Nick Zaharov
          PS…regarding the spreading Orthodoxy, the first Orthodox church in Antarctica was recently built and consecrated. The Church was built by Russians and is cared for by the Spiritual Council of the Holy Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra. Bishop Theognost of Sergiev Posad, prior of the lavra, flew to Antarctica to perform the consecration. Photos can be seen at the lavra’s website: www.stsl.ru

          SIDE NOTE: The Patriarchate of Constantinople has officially broken eucharistic communion with the Orthodox Church of Greece, headed by Archbishop Chrystodolous.
        • Fr. John R. Shaw
          CHRIST IS RISEN - INDEED HE IS RISEN ... JRS: This too is an entirely valid point. But the problem is quite involved, and the solution is not simply to switch
          Message 4 of 19 , May 2, 2004
            CHRIST IS RISEN - INDEED HE IS RISEN

            Regarding:

            > Many, many people, when
            > they see "Russian Orthodox (Greek, Serbian,
            > etc)Church, are sure that one must be Russian, etc to
            > go there. Also, it is very hard to bring English
            > speaking inquirers to a church that is doing
            > everything in a language that they don't understand.

            JRS: This too is an entirely valid point. But the problem is quite
            involved, and the solution is not simply to switch the Russian parishes
            over to English.

            Where possible, having one service in English and another in Slavonic
            has usually worked well. In our parish, since we can only have a single
            Divine Liturgy on any given day, we have the Scriptures in both
            languages, and two (different) sermons, one in Russian and the other in
            English (both reasonably short). Otherwise, the use of languages
            depends on who is present and what the circumstances are: for example,
            baptisms and weddings may be entirely in one or the other language.

            > And again, if one can learn a language to earn a
            > living, one should be able to learn the language to
            > worship. Now that doesn't mean that I never want to
            > hear Slavonic at Church, I do, but I don't think that
            > one MUST learn Russian (or Greek, Serbian, etc,) to be
            > Orthodox.

            JRS: I never said that one "must" -- but doing so can be very helpful!

            In Christ
            Fr. John R. Shaw
          • Fr. John R. Shaw
            ... JRS: Are you saying that the language used would make any difference in such a case? Although, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, at least not everyone would have to
            Message 5 of 19 , May 2, 2004
              Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:

              > For the List, let me mention that the well known USSR slogan so many
              > million times repeated "Da zdrazstvuyet Kommunisticheskaya partiya"
              > (Long live the communist party) is in Slavonic, not Russian.

              JRS: Are you saying that the language used would make any difference in
              such a case?

              Although, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, at least not everyone would have to
              know what it said...

              In Christ
              Fr. John R. Shaw
            • Stephen Reske
              ... Indeed He is Risen! Thank you for your reply, father. I do have a few questions though. ... Yes, of course. I wonder though...are liturgical language,
              Message 6 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                ---- "Fr. John R. Shaw" <vrvrevjrsxexecpcom> wrote:
                >
                > X.B.!

                Indeed He is Risen!
                Thank you for your reply, father. I do have a few
                questions though.

                >
                > To begin with, remember that ROCOR stands
                > for "Russian
                > Orthodox Church Outside Russia".

                Yes, of course. I wonder though...are liturgical
                language, Russian sermons, and a seeming lack of
                desire to engage with your neighbors all
                nenecessitiesf being part of the Russian Church? St.
                Herman seemed to do a decent job of remaining
                perfectly in the Russia tradition while preaching to
                his neighbors and communicating in their language.

                > ROCOR is not simply an American Church: it is an
                > international Church,
                > and Russian roots are what bind it together.
                >

                Fair enough. The Russian Church which, in reality,
                has no real ties to Russia anymore.

                > Yes, Russians only half-understand Church Slavonic,
                > *unless they have
                > been taught Slavonic*.


                > Before the revolution, all primary and secondary
                > schools in Russia
                > taught at least the beginnings of Church Slavonic,
                > just as Slavonic
                > used to be taught in schools in Serbia and Bulgaria,
                > before the
                > communist period.

                Father, when I woke up this morning I couldn't help
                but notice I'm living in the year 2004 and that my
                neighbors primarily speak English here in America. Are
                you suggesting American and European converts should
                learn Church Slavonic in order to fully participate in
                Divine Services?

                > But people who are active in the Church usually do
                > have some knowledge
                > of Slavonic. Thus for example many Slavonic
                > expressions have been taken
                > over into modern Russian, such as "VoVorvremjanono
                > (the usual beginning
                > of Gospel readings).

                Yes, in Russian...and not many expressions, at that.



                > But then, the King James Bible is much more recent
                > than Church
                > Slavonic, is still considered "modern English", but
                > people have to get
                > used to it also.

                Indeed they do, but it is still recognizable
                English. Russians can understand what, 60% of Slavonic
                services? How about not Russian speakers, 0%?

                > And again, the actual *content* of our liturgical
                > texts is neither
                > simple nor easily understood, in any language. Quite
                > often hearing
                > these texts in English only gives a feeling that the
                > language is
                > English -- not any immediate insight into the
                > meaning!

                If the services are that difficult to comprehend in
                English, why make it more difficult with Slavonic?

                > Furthermore, Western people, including Americans, of
                > non-Orthodox
                > background, have no problem following a service in a
                > book. This was the
                > general practice among Roman Catholics when the Mass
                > was in Latin!
                > Russians, on the other hand, do not feel at home
                > trying to use books in
                > church.

                What do the former practices of the Roman Catholic
                Church have to do with the Orthodox idea of mission?
                SS Cyril and Methodius, St. Herman, et al were not
                creating bi-lingual prayer books and telling converts
                to "make do".


                > Many? That means you are aware he does
                > sometimes use English too.
                > The answer to the question is that many of the
                > listeners speak Russian
                > as a first, or perhaps only, language.

                Quite frankly, many Russians in America and Europe
                can speak English. If they are living and working
                here, chances are they are able to grasp the language.
                If sermons are given in Russian though because a
                clergyman believes it will be more edifying for his
                primarily Russian speaking flock, that clergyman
                should understand that it is the equivalent to putting
                a "not welcome" sign on the door for inquirers.

                > Our churches today are packed with new people from
                > Russia. These people
                > are often like children in their approach to the
                > Church. The American
                > converts and "interested non-Orthodox" usually have
                > an entirely
                > different psychological outlook, and come already
                > prepared to hear
                > another language.

                I know many Russians in the OCA who have no problem
                with English as a liturgical language. Like I said
                before, they are living, working, and raising families
                here and are learning or already able to understand
                the language. Should Americans "be prepared" to hear
                another language in the Orthodox Churches, or should
                the Russians/Greeks, etc. be prepared to hear the
                language of their new countries? If you believe
                Russians won't come to a church with non-Slavonic
                services, I can't agree- I've seen many, many Russians
                at all English parishes doing just fine. Why the fear
                of Russians not being interested, but not of
                Americans/Europeans not being interested in foreign
                language services?

                >
                > They know where they have come -- and why!

                Yes, and that may be why you get some strange birds
                and rusophiles attending all Slavonic services, while
                it seems some more "adjusted" folk have the good sense
                to attend services they can understand.


                > That is why even non-Orthodox seminaries teach New
                > Testament Greek to
                > their students: because a translation never gives
                > you every nuance of
                > the original!

                That is fine for academia, and should be
                encouraged. But, when has this ever been the norm for
                the average Orthodox parishioner? What enenlighteners
                of new lands have told the people "learn the
                Greek/Slavonic, after 10 years you'll really
                appreciate the nuances!" Also, if you're saying that
                translations don't give the correct "nuances", perhaps
                the Russian parishes should start using Greek, as they
                are only working from translations.
                >
                > But remember this, that before Vatican II, Roman
                > Catholic seminarians
                > had to learn to speak and write Latin fluently.

                Again, what do the practices of the Roman Church
                have to do with the Orthodox?

                > Latin is not a modern spoken language. Nobody speaks
                > it except
                > scholars.

                > But it was (to some extent may still be) a valuable
                > "lingua frfrancafor
                > priests.

                If priests want to learn it, that's fine. The average
                "Joe" or even "Ivan" shouldn't be required to take up
                linguistics classes of a 9th century Bulgarian dialect
                in order to worship properly.



                > Perhaps some day you will take a vacation to Europe.
                > Munich may be
                > Munich to you, but if you go to the Russian churches
                > there, you will
                > feel that you are at home.

                Yes, I have felt at home in Russian churches, in
                Russia. This is true. But why don't Russians in
                Western Europe and America feel at home then with
                English services?

                > The truth is that due to its international
                > character, ROROCORses
                > Russian as a "lingua frfranca and in my days at
                > JoJordanvillewe had
                > students from other countries who did not speak
                > English, or only spoke
                > it poorly -- but who were at home conversing with
                > one another in
                > Russian.

                This does make sense to me.


                > Fr. John R. Shaw

                Thank you father for your response. I do not mean to
                come across as rude or confrontational, but this is an
                issue that I have personally been wrestling with.







                __________________________________
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              • Fr. Alexander Lebedeff
                ... Where in the world do you get this idea? The verb zdravstvovat -- literally meaning to be healthy is a word in literary contemporary Russian--it is
                Message 7 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                  Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:


                  >For the List, let me mention that the well known USSR slogan so many
                  >million times repeated "Da zdrazstvuyet Kommunisticheskaya partiya"
                  >(Long live the communist party) is in Slavonic, not Russian.

                  Where in the world do you get this idea?

                  The verb "zdravstvovat'"-- literally meaning "to be healthy" is a word in
                  literary contemporary Russian--it is found in every Russian dictionary.

                  The use of the word "da" as a conjunction, meaning "pust'" -- "let" is part
                  of literary Russian, also found in every Russian dictionary.

                  If a Russian says: "Da zhivet on mnogiye gody," he is not speaking Church
                  Slavonic, but Russian.

                  The form "Da zdravstvuyet. . ." is, to my knowledge, not found in the
                  Slavonic texts of the Holy Scripture, or in the Church liturgical texts.

                  It is the correct, current way to say "Long live . . .".

                  In Russian.

                  And, just because a word occurs both in Church Slavonic and in literary
                  Russian, doesn't make one speak Slavonic when one uses the word.

                  When a Russian uses the word "dom"("house") is he speaking Slavonic or Russian?

                  Soon we will be told that when a Russian says "hello"-- "zdravstvujte" he
                  is not really speaking Russian.

                  Ridiculous.

                  With love in Christ,

                  Prot. Alexander Lebedeff





                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • vkozyreff
                  Dear Father John, bless. What I mean is that the communist would never have chosen a language that was not clear to all Russians. Moreover, the Slavonic
                  Message 8 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                    Dear Father John, bless.

                    What I mean is that the communist would never have chosen a language
                    that was not clear to all Russians. Moreover, the Slavonic language
                    has a "torzhestviennost" (majestic-ness) that the Russian language
                    does not have. The Communists wanted to take advantage of it. This
                    topic was discussed here, about the various types of English
                    languages (St James's etc.)

                    The majestic character of the language is also among the reasons why
                    it is so precious to the orthodox and so loved by them. As one
                    knows, the communists wanted to replace our faith by theirs (anti-
                    Christ, instead of Christ).

                    In addition, the Slavonic language is used to create new Russian
                    words, like "mlekopitayuscheye" (mammal).

                    The Slavic languages are very close to one another, like the
                    Scandinavian ones. In my previous work, I used to speak in Russian
                    to Bulgarians and Macedonians, while they would reply in their
                    language and everything was clear. The Slavonic language is
                    particularly close to the Bulgarian-Macedonian languages. The
                    Slavonic language is a perfect common language for the Slavic
                    orthodox.

                    In some liturgical books for Russians, for instance, the Slavonic
                    text is accompanied by footnotes, for places that would supposedly
                    not be clear for Russians. Actually, most of those notes are
                    superfluous.

                    In French speaking countries, the French language of many past
                    centuries ("vieux français"), in spite of being significantly
                    different from the present French, is nevertheless perfectly
                    understandable by prent French speaking people.

                    In God,

                    Vladimir Kozyreff





                    --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "Fr. John R. Shaw"
                    <vrevjrs@e...> wrote:
                    > Vladimir Kozyreff wrote:
                    >
                    > > For the List, let me mention that the well known USSR slogan so
                    many
                    > > million times repeated "Da zdrazstvuyet Kommunisticheskaya
                    partiya"
                    > > (Long live the communist party) is in Slavonic, not Russian.
                    >
                    > JRS: Are you saying that the language used would make any
                    difference in
                    > such a case?
                    >
                    > Although, in Egyptian hieroglyphs, at least not everyone would
                    have to
                    > know what it said...
                    >
                    > In Christ
                    > Fr. John R. Shaw
                  • DDD
                    Just some thoughts here, Stephen. As a convert, I used to think like that when I first came to Orthodoxy. I initially came in through a NC Greek parish (the
                    Message 9 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                      Just some thoughts here, Stephen. As a convert, I used to think like that when I first came to Orthodoxy. I initially came in through a NC Greek parish (the only church labelled Orthodox in that city). They asked, "You Grik?" I asked, "Why don't you have the services in English?" They asked, "Why don't you Americans build yourself a church like we did?"

                      1) In all humility, we Americans need to think about that a lot. There are *two* contexts in America or anywhere:
                      1) Churches built by Russians for Russians
                      2) Missionary churches built by Russians or by Americans for Americans.

                      2) The Russian churches built here *by Russians* were mainly built as Diaspora churches--not missionary churches, to serve the Russians in the Diaspora. Therefore, the Russians have every right to have their services in Slavonic, as they are accustomed, and as they would have them if they were in Russia. We Americans need to respect that.

                      3) *In that context,* as Fr. John pointed out, an American will never really (fully) understand the Russian Church Abroad unless he learns Russian, first, because there are so many publications that have not been translated into English, second, so as to communicate with Russians better and not have a "church within a Church" that has no contact with or understanding of its main Church (Russian OCOR), The latter is very, very important.

                      4) In that context, Russians are very welcoming to Americans joining their Church.

                      5) As far as missionary parishes go, I think the ideal would be to have the priest, at least, be fluent in both Russian and English--the former so he could be thoroughly acquainted with all the literature and goings on and spirit of the Church Abroad, and the latter so he could effectively communicate that to his parishioners, who could then just speak English.

                      6) It would be very good, even in missionary English parishes, if there were Russian/Slavonic classes held, so that there would not be the large gap between English-speaking converts and native Russians. If Russians can learn English, why can't we learn Russian?

                      7) It would be good for us to take a good look at exactly what St. Patriarch Tikhon (before he was Patriarch and while he was Bishop in America) was dealing with that situation. For example, I know he had blessed a Western-Rite-modified to be completely Orthodox-for America. He was doing bona fide missionary activity in America before the Revolution broke out, and we could learn a lot by finding out how he dealt with the issue.

                      Got to go now, but if anyone has more information on #7, I'd be interested.

                      --Dimitra

                      On 1 May 2004 16:42:15 -0000, orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com wrote:
                      From: Stephen Reske <stephen_reske@...>
                      Subject: The Mission of the Church Abroad?

                      One often sees the mission of the Church Abroad
                      defined by these two principles:

                      #1 To keep intact the Orthodox faith and tradition of
                      the historically autocephalous Russian Orthodox
                      Church.
                      #2 To carry the Orthodox faith to all countries where
                      Russians have emigrated.

                      Now, being that 1/3 or more of the Church Abroad is
                      comprised of converts to the Orthodox faith, and
                      probably another third are children and grandchildren
                      of Russian/Slavic immigrants; coupled with the
                      fact that according to many in ROCOR the Russian
                      Church in Russia is being revived in a patristic
                      manner, shouldn't these
                      principles be revised somewhat? Not that they should
                      be scrapped completely of course, but perhaps a third
                      should be added stating something like: "To bring the
                      Gospel to the non-Orthodox..." etc. This mission of
                      bringing the Orthodox faith to the non-Orthodox, which
                      all Orthodox are called to do, is already underway in
                      the Church Abroad...but who can say this is happening
                      as fully as it could be, or as fully as some of
                      ROCOR's neighbors are doing it? I suppose what I'm
                      leading up to is a question- is ROCOR (perhaps I mean
                      the hierarchy?) as concerned as they should be with
                      ministering to the people they find as their
                      neighbors?

                      Does ROCOR want the non-Orthodox to become members of
                      ROCOR? If so, why do the majority of the larger ROCOR
                      parishes/cathedrals conduct services almost entirely
                      in Church Slavonic(which the Russians don't even fully
                      understand!), with the sermon sometimes being
                      in Russian? Why does the
                      Metropolitan give many of his sermons in Russian? How
                      are American priests expected to be trained at a
                      seminary, in the tradition of the Church Abroad, where
                      classes are conducted primarily in Russian? As
                      faithful followers of St. Tikhon and St. Herman, why
                      does the missionary fervor of these saints sometimes
                      appear to be put on the "back burner" in ROCOR? How
                      does ROCOR, which still sees itself as a "church in
                      exile" from Russia, expect to respond to the
                      missionary call of the Church in a dynamic way? How
                      can a Church of the "diaspora" which sees its true
                      motherland as Russia(though a huge number of ROCOR's
                      faithful have never lived in Russia) ever not be a
                      static Church, hearkening back to bygone days- afraid
                      to confront a pluralistic modern world? The modern
                      world will not be spiritually satisfied with a
                      re-created facade of Holy Rus or Byzantium. ROCOR has
                      been outside Russia for nearly 100 years. The original
                      goal of the first members of the Synod was to return
                      to Russia in their lifetimes, as they did not expect
                      the Communist regime to last. How then, 80 years
                      later, can ROCOR still be using the same terminology
                      of "motherland" and "in exile", which reveals a
                      certain mindset. There will be no great return to
                      Russia for the vast majority of ROCOR's faithful- why
                      not accept this and begin to more fully engage with
                      the various countries where the "diaspora" finds
                      itself?

                      I wonder if the restoration of relations between ROCOR
                      and the MP will help make ROCOR more concerned with
                      the responsibility of preaching the Gospel to their
                      non-Orthodox neighbors... I certainly hope so. Maybe
                      after communion is established ROCOR will see that
                      they have in fact maintained the traditions of the
                      pre-revolutionary Russian Church and kept them in tact
                      for the Post-Soviet Russian faithful. They may see
                      that part of their mission has been accomplished and
                      now new steps can be taken to broaden their horizons a
                      bit. If
                      ROCOR were to take up this mission more fully, I'm
                      sure America and Europe would see ROCOR blossom and
                      grow like never before. Westerners are hungry for the
                      Orthodoxy of the Church Abroad, but the way it is
                      currently presented many places in ROCOR
                      makes it largely inaccessible to Westerners: Slavonic
                      services, seminaries and colloquia which teach in
                      Russian, Russian sermons, the "silvered glance" to the
                      old days, etc. If ROCOR is solely for Russians and
                      those who wish to "become" Russian, this should be
                      made more evident. If this is not the case, then ROCOR
                      should be opening its arms to the non-Orthodox more
                      fully.
                      It seems a good number of convert and "cradle" ROCOR
                      priests frequent this list, perhaps they could speak
                      on this.

                      In Christ,
                      Stephen
                    • Paul O. BARTLETT
                      ... I presume, then, that western Orthodox priests should know Latin? After all, the heritage of western Orthodoxy was transmitted in Latin, not Greek or
                      Message 10 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                        On Sat, 1 May 2004, Joachim Wertz wrote:

                        > [much trimmed] Personally I think that
                        > all priests of any liturgical tradition should at least be able to read the
                        > respective liturgical language of their Churches and traditions.

                        I presume, then, that western Orthodox priests should know Latin?
                        After all, the heritage of western Orthodoxy was transmitted in Latin,
                        not Greek or Slavonic. There are Orthodox Christians (in ROCOR itself,
                        if my information is correct) who celebrate a western Liturgy (which
                        some of them may even call Mass, horror of horrors) rather than the
                        Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil. The Latin Liturgy of
                        St. Gregory the Great and Gregorian and Ambrosian chant have ancient
                        Orthodox roots. For all I know, there may be Orthodox monks who
                        follow the Rule of St. Benedict, who as nearly as I can tell was a
                        great Orthodox saint.

                        --
                        Paul Bartlett
                        bartlett "at" smart "dot" net
                        PGP key info in message headers
                      • frvboldewskul@aol.com
                        In a message dated 5/2/04 7:35:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time, ... This question was posed to Fr. John, but I wish to give my two cents on this one point. As
                        Message 11 of 19 , May 2, 2004
                          In a message dated 5/2/04 7:35:49 PM Pacific Daylight Time,
                          stephen_reske@... writes:

                          > .
                          >
                          > Father, when I woke up this morning I couldn't help
                          > but notice I'm living in the year 2004 and that my
                          > neighbors primarily speak English here in America. Are
                          > you suggesting American and European converts should
                          > learn Church Slavonic in order to fully participate in
                          > Divine Services?
                          >
                          >

                          This question was posed to Fr. John, but I wish to give my two cents on this
                          one point. As noted by someone else in a post this afternoon, many of our
                          parishes were founded by individuals with the intent that the language used be
                          Church Slavonic. For example, in my parish in Cleveland, my people would have
                          become members of one of the other 29 Orthodox Churches here, if it wasn't for
                          this question (more so than calendar). We are a Church Slavonic parish that
                          serves parts in English. This means we lose good people, and gain good people.
                          But in a parish that I am starting in Sandusky OH, that parish will probably be
                          at least 90 percent in English. In my parish in Columbus, we use a mix of
                          50/50, although that depends on who is serving. (When Liturgy is not served, the
                          Reader services are nearly all in English). So the issue is parish make-up. St.
                          Sergius Parish in Cleveland is not made of 33 percent of converts, although I
                          am pleased that in the last few years I have baptized three American converts
                          who are faithful to the Church. I doubt that this answers the question, but I
                          suggest considering this one point: each parish is different with its own
                          history, for better or for worse. This history cannot be ignored and each priest
                          needs to know his parish. There is no common formula that works in all places.

                          Priest Victor Boldewskul


                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Fr. John R. Shaw
                          ... itself, ... JRS: Quite so. But the more you know, the better off you are! So, even for Western Rite priests, a little familiarity with things Slavonic
                          Message 12 of 19 , May 3, 2004
                            Paul Bartlett wrote:

                            > I presume, then, that western Orthodox priests should know Latin?
                            > After all, the heritage of western Orthodoxy was transmitted in Latin,
                            > not Greek or Slavonic. There are Orthodox Christians (in ROCOR
                            itself,
                            > if my information is correct) who celebrate a western Liturgy...

                            JRS: Quite so.

                            But the more you know, the better off you are! So, even for Western
                            Rite priests, a little familiarity with things Slavonic can't hurt...

                            In Christ
                            Fr. John R. Shaw
                          • Joachim Wertz
                            I have myself attended a Western Rite Liturgy in a church that is in ROCOR, and there were parts of the Liturgy (Mass) that were read in Latin. I would say
                            Message 13 of 19 , May 3, 2004
                              I have myself attended a Western Rite Liturgy in a church that is in ROCOR,
                              and there were parts of the Liturgy (Mass) that were read in Latin. I would
                              say that it would not be a bad idea if these Western Rite ROCOR clergy did
                              know how to read Latin. I suspect that some at least, do. It wouldn't hurt.
                              In my previous posting I wrote merely "read" the traditional liturgical
                              language. I should have said "read for comprehension", and not just
                              pronounce the services in said language. I can pronounce the Greek services,
                              but my comprehension of the Greek liturgical language is less than 20%. It
                              is my opinion that it is in a priest's best interest to know the traditional
                              liturgical language (and even the modern language spoken by his Bishop), at
                              least for his safeguarding against misunderstandings. No, I am not proposing
                              that clergy be re-educated or that clergy wishing to join another
                              jurisdiction should be subjected to a linguistic "litmus test". I was only
                              speaking of an ideal and pointing out that there still is much work to be
                              done in translating texts into languages that are not traditionally
                              Orthodox. Then we could go into the issue of *which* translations should be
                              standard!

                              Christ is Risen!

                              Joachim Wertz


                              From: "Paul O. BARTLETT" <bartlett@...>
                              Organization: SmartNet Private Account
                              Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                              Date: Sun, 2 May 2004 19:35:24 -0400 (EDT)
                              To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
                              Subject: Re: [orthodox-synod] The Mission of the Church Abroad?


                              On Sat, 1 May 2004, Joachim Wertz wrote:

                              > [much trimmed] Personally I think that
                              > all priests of any liturgical tradition should at least be able to read the
                              > respective liturgical language of their Churches and traditions.

                              I presume, then, that western Orthodox priests should know Latin?
                              After all, the heritage of western Orthodoxy was transmitted in Latin,
                              not Greek or Slavonic. There are Orthodox Christians (in ROCOR itself,
                              if my information is correct) who celebrate a western Liturgy (which
                              some of them may even call Mass, horror of horrors) rather than the
                              Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom and St. Basil. The Latin Liturgy of
                              St. Gregory the Great and Gregorian and Ambrosian chant have ancient
                              Orthodox roots. For all I know, there may be Orthodox monks who
                              follow the Rule of St. Benedict, who as nearly as I can tell was a
                              great Orthodox saint.

                              --
                              Paul Bartlett
                              bartlett "at" smart "dot" net
                              PGP key info in message headers



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                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Paul O. BARTLETT
                              ... How many day to day (non-specialist) Russian or other Slavic Orthodox priests know Greek? After all, Slavonic ritual books themselves were translated
                              Message 14 of 19 , May 3, 2004
                                On Mon, 3 May 2004, Fr. John R. Shaw wrote:

                                > Paul Bartlett wrote:
                                >
                                > > I presume, then, that western Orthodox priests should know Latin?
                                > > After all, the heritage of western Orthodoxy was transmitted in Latin,
                                > > not Greek or Slavonic. There are Orthodox Christians (in ROCOR itself,
                                > > if my information is correct) who celebrate a western Liturgy...
                                >
                                > JRS: Quite so.
                                >
                                > But the more you know, the better off you are! So, even for Western
                                > Rite priests, a little familiarity with things Slavonic can't hurt...

                                How many "day to day" (non-specialist) Russian or other Slavic
                                Orthodox priests know Greek? After all, Slavonic ritual books
                                themselves were translated originally from Greek. (Of course, later
                                services may have been composed in Slavonic, but I am not aware that
                                the Divine Liturgies themselves were.) "So, even for [Eastern] Rite
                                priests, a little familiarity with things [Greek] can't hurt".

                                --
                                Paul Bartlett
                                bartlett "at" smart "dot" net
                                PGP key info in message headers
                              • Fr. John R. Shaw
                                X.B.! ... JRS: It would be hard to determine how *well* they know Greek, but nevertheless, Greek is a required subject in the seminary. When I was a student at
                                Message 15 of 19 , May 4, 2004
                                  X.B.!

                                  Paul Bartlett wrote:

                                  > How many "day to day" (non-specialist) Russian or other Slavic
                                  > Orthodox priests know Greek? After all, Slavonic ritual books
                                  > themselves were translated originally from Greek. (Of course, later
                                  > services may have been composed in Slavonic, but I am not aware that
                                  > the Divine Liturgies themselves were.) "So, even for [Eastern] Rite
                                  > priests, a little familiarity with things [Greek] can't hurt".

                                  JRS: It would be hard to determine how *well* they know Greek, but
                                  nevertheless, Greek is a required subject in the seminary.

                                  When I was a student at Jordanville, not only were we required to learn
                                  Greek, but once a year, on the feast of the Three Hierarchs, the Divine
                                  Liturgy was sung in Greek (but following the Russian Typicon).

                                  When there are Greek-speakers in church, I sometimes say certain
                                  prayers in Greek for their benefit (e.g. the prayers before communion).
                                  Our chanter, who knows both Slavonic and Greek, will also sometimes
                                  sing chants in the original Greek.

                                  Everything depends on who attends a given service.

                                  In Christ
                                  Fr. John R. Shaw
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