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Re: [orthodox-synod] The Mission of the Church Abroad?

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  • 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 1 of 19 , May 1, 2004
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      --- "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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    • 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 2 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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        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 3 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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          ---- "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 4 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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            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 5 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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              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 fran├žais"), 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 6 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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                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 7 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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                  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 8 of 19 , May 2, 2004
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                    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 9 of 19 , May 3, 2004
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                      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 10 of 19 , May 3, 2004
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                        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 11 of 19 , May 3, 2004
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                          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 12 of 19 , May 4, 2004
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                            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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