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Re: An opinion of Father Andrew from the UK

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  • Peter Joshua Hatala
    Interesting thoughts from Fr. Andrew. I hate to raise questions about his article when he s not present to defend himself, but I wonder about a line he wrote.
    Message 1 of 5 , Jun 1, 2004
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      Interesting thoughts from Fr. Andrew. I hate to raise
      questions about his article when he's not present to
      defend himself, but I wonder about a line he wrote.
      Fr. Andrew writes, "shouts out aloud the secret
      prayers, not of course in liturgical language, but in
      the language of the street...". Was not Koine Greek
      nothing but the common language of trade around
      Alexandria? A language used precisely because of its
      accessibility? Isn't the tradition of our Church to
      preach in the language of the people? It seems this
      idea of a "liturgical language" is borrowed from the
      West's formerly exclusive use of Latin. This strange
      line is mixed in with other extremely valid points,
      and seems to do a disservice to the goal of getting
      his point across.

      Just my thoughts.

      -Peter Hatala





      --- byakimov@... wrote:
      >
      >
      > ON REBUILDING THE CHURCH:
      >
      > FEED MY SHEEP
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > On 27 May the historic two-week pilgrimage to
      > Russia of the twenty-strong delegation of
      > the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)
      > came to an end. Led by Metropolitan
      > Laurus, the delegation was greeted by Patriarch
      > Alexis of the Patriarchal Church in St
      > Daniel's Monastery and then by the Russian
      > President V. V. Putin at his residence.
      >
      > Photographs show the two Church leaders embracing
      > and ROCOR clergy taking the blessing of
      > the Patriarch. God willing, the negotiations on
      > unity to be conducted by Commissions of
      > both parts of the 'One Russian Church' may in the
      > relatively near future lead to
      > eucharistic unity. Talks begin at the end of June
      > and ROCOR authorities speak of 'the
      > real hope of unity'. As Patriarch Alexis said,
      > although unity in prayer already exists,
      > eucharistic unity is still to be attained.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > From the momentous fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989
      > onwards, clergy from Russia, though
      > unable to concelebrate, regularly came into the
      > churches of the Western European Diocese
      > of ROCOR, and with the blessing of the
      > Ever-Memorable Archbishop Antony of Geneva, took
      >
      > communion in our altars. A little after this, I
      > think in 1992, I adventurously predicted
      > that the two parts of the Russian Church would be
      > concelebrating 'in ten years time'.
      > This was slightly premature, but perhaps, not by
      > much.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The fact is, that once the Church inside Russia was
      > freed of atheist State persecution
      > and interference, free therefore to disclaim, as
      > mistaken, Sergianist erastianism and
      > proclaim, as saints, the New Martyrs and
      > Confessors, unity between the two parts of the
      >
      > Russian Church would be inevitable. It was apparent
      > from Patriarchal clergy and laity who
      > were able to visit us once the Berlin Wall had
      > fallen, that they were in full agreement
      > with ROCOR as regards the compromises made by the
      > Patriarchal hierarchy who had been
      > hostages to the old Soviet regime. They desired the
      > return of the Patriarchate to
      > Orthodox values, those conserved by ROCOR in
      > freedom.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > However, the latest events in Russia are not the
      > end of the story, they are merely the
      > end of a chapter and the beginning of another. The
      > real battle goes on.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > The real battle is that age-old battle for the
      > Church, the soul of Orthodoxy, for
      > spiritual integrity and spiritual depth. It is the
      > battle for spiritual and moral
      > authority, the battle of Orthodox Tradition against
      > worldly fashions, against every
      > deviation from the Truth of Christ, against every
      > 'ism'. The real battle is the one which
      > we in the parishes have been conducting the whole
      > time, it is the battle for human souls.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > It is the battle against that Old Dragon, Satan,
      > who now wishes to capture human souls
      > beneath the camouflage of the seductions of the
      > 'sophisticated', 'academic' modernism of
      > 'fleshly wisdom'. This removes iconostases, carries
      > out Proskimidias in the middle of
      > churches, shouts out aloud the secret prayers, not
      > of course in liturgical language, but
      > in the language of the street, grants communion
      > without confession, allows women to dress
      > in trousers and without covered head, removes
      > icons, especially of the New Martyrs,
      > allows intercommunion, proclaims reductionism,
      > ecumenism, renovationism, all pure
      > secularism, the removal of all sense of the sacred,
      > the conforming of the Church to the
      > ever old-fashioned fashions of this world.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Fleshly wisdom has forgotten the words of the holy
      > Apostle: To be carnally minded is
      > death; but to be spiritually minded is life and
      > peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity
      > against God: for it is not subject to the law of
      > God, neither indeed can it be (Romans 8,
      > 6-7); and again: For our rejoicing is this, the
      > testimony of our conscience, that in
      > simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly
      > wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have
      > had our conversation in the world (2 Cor 1,12); and
      > again: Let no man beguile you of your
      > reward in a voluntary humility and worshipping of
      > angels, intruding into those things
      > which he hath not seen, vainly puffed up by his
      > fleshly mind (Colossians 2,18).
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > At the present time, the real battle is, as it has
      > been for decades, against the
      > old-fashioned vestiges of renovationism (perezhitki
      > obnovlenchestva) within the Russian
      > Church. However, it is not only the battle against
      > secular modernism, but also that
      > against secular nationalism in the life of the
      > Church, wherever it may be, inside Russia
      > or outside Russia. No doubt we shall be hearing the
      > voices of the secularist lobbies in
      > the next few weeks and months who are opposed in
      > one way or another to the Orthodox
      > Tradition.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We will once more hear the voices of those who are
      > against any sort of unity between the
      > two parts of the One Russian Church. For example
      > those within the Patriarchate who
      > condemned their own bishops for canonizing the New
      > Martyrs and Confessors in the Year
      > 2000, for example those attached to right-wing
      > political ideologies who wished to make
      > ROCOR into a political party and a sect.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We will hear the voices of those who prefer the
      > unprincipled, financial, diplomatic
      > disunity and blandishments of the Vatican and the
      > World Council of Churches to Orthodox
      > unity.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We will hear the voices of those are beguiled by a
      > degutted, modernist, ecumenist, new
      > calendarist Orthodoxy, preferring it to the real
      > thing, and they will cite their heroes,
      > the dead heretics, intellectuals and philosophers
      > to justify themselves.
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > We will hear the voices of those who, both inside
      > Russia and outside Russia, wish to
      > promote the Russian Church as a blindly chauvinist
      > organization, which has no
      > international mission, neither to its own
      > emigrants, neither among other, less strong
      >
      > Local Orthodox Churches, nor to the heterodox
      > world. These are the voices of nationalism,
      > xenophobia and bigotry. This would be to forget the
      > overriding
      === message truncated ===
    • DDD
      In theory, I can agree with you about the common language. However, when it comes to replacing Church Slavonic with Russian, I am completely against it--the
      Message 2 of 5 , Jun 2, 2004
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        In theory, I can agree with you about the common language. However, when it comes to replacing Church Slavonic with Russian, I am completely against it--the main reason being that it will immediately make **all** the existing Church Slavonic books obsolete and "unreadable" to a generation who would not bother to be educated to read it--a "dumbing down," if you will. It would also make unreadable the Russian literature such as that by St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, who wrote in a kind of half-Slavonic, half-Russian, as well as many others.
        This, in my opinion, would be a greater tragedy than people having to expend a little effort to brush up on some Church Slavonic grammar and a little vocabulary (most of which a Russian speaker can figure out). Even *I*, a native English-speaker, can understand most of the service in Slavonic and even a great deal of the Psalter and Gospels.
        I became sensitive to this aspect of the issue when I showed an Old Orthography (Russian) book to a probably late second or maybe third-wave Russian emigre brought up on New Orthography. She took one look at a page and announced that she "couldn't read it" -- though it mainly involves learning only the yat'. I often wonder if that is what the renovationists and soviets had in mind when introducing the New Orthography: with one fell swoop to make the whole of pre-Revolutionary pious Russian literature "unreadable."

        --Dimitra


        Was not Koine Greek
        nothing but the common language of trade around
        Alexandria? A language used precisely because of its
        accessibility? Isn't the tradition of our Church to
        preach in the language of the people? It seems this
        idea of a "liturgical language" is borrowed from the
        West's formerly exclusive use of Latin. This strange
        line is mixed in with other extremely valid points,
        and seems to do a disservice to the goal of getting
        his point across.

        Just my thoughts.

        -Peter Hatala
      • Joachim Wertz
        I completely agree with you, Dimitra. There is much in Church Slavonic that Russian and other people who know Church Slavonic don t even know about. In Christ,
        Message 3 of 5 , Jun 3, 2004
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          I completely agree with you, Dimitra. There is much in Church Slavonic that
          Russian and other people who know Church Slavonic don't even know about.

          In Christ,

          Joachim Wertz

          From: DDD <dimitradd@...>
          Reply-To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
          Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2004 22:52:45 -0400
          To: <orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com>
          Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: An opinion of Father Andrew from the UK


          In theory, I can agree with you about the common language. However,
          when it comes to replacing Church Slavonic with Russian, I am completely
          against it--the main reason being that it will immediately make **all** the
          existing Church Slavonic books obsolete and "unreadable" to a generation who
          would not bother to be educated to read it--a "dumbing down," if you will.
          It would also make unreadable the Russian literature such as that by St.
          Tikhon of Zadonsk, who wrote in a kind of half-Slavonic, half-Russian, as
          well as many others.
          This, in my opinion, would be a greater tragedy than people having to
          expend a little effort to brush up on some Church Slavonic grammar and a
          little vocabulary (most of which a Russian speaker can figure out). Even
          *I*, a native English-speaker, can understand most of the service in
          Slavonic and even a great deal of the Psalter and Gospels.
          I became sensitive to this aspect of the issue when I showed an Old
          Orthography (Russian) book to a probably late second or maybe third-wave
          Russian emigre brought up on New Orthography. She took one look at a page
          and announced that she "couldn't read it" -- though it mainly involves
          learning only the yat'. I often wonder if that is what the renovationists
          and soviets had in mind when introducing the New Orthography: with one fell
          swoop to make the whole of pre-Revolutionary pious Russian literature
          "unreadable."

          --Dimitra


          Was not Koine Greek
          nothing but the common language of trade around
          Alexandria? A language used precisely because of its
          accessibility? Isn't the tradition of our Church to
          preach in the language of the people? It seems this
          idea of a "liturgical language" is borrowed from the
          West's formerly exclusive use of Latin. This strange
          line is mixed in with other extremely valid points,
          and seems to do a disservice to the goal of getting
          his point across.

          Just my thoughts.

          -Peter Hatala




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          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • VJB
          Dear Dimitra, The issue of new/old orthography is really an artificial issue. It is somehow became a political matter in the Russian Diaspora and I have seen a
          Message 4 of 5 , Jun 3, 2004
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            Dear Dimitra,

            The issue of new/old orthography is really an artificial issue. It is somehow became a political matter in the Russian Diaspora and I have seen a lot of people misuse it (out of ignorance) as a point of difference between "us and the godless soviets." The new orthography was designed by the Imperial Orthographic Commission of the Russian Academy of Sciences instituted in 1904 by Czar Nicholas II. This commission included Russia's leading linguists of that time such as Fortunatov, Shakmatov, Brandt, Chernyshev, Sakulin. The work of the commission was basically finished by 1912 though debates continued through 1917. It was first officially introduced by Minister of Education of the Provisional Government in 1917. The Bolsheviks confirmed the reform by decrees issued in 1917 and 1918. The opinions about it may be different but there is no doubt that it would have happened with or without Communism in Russia.

            As to liturgical language, I personally prefer Church Slavonic and my experience both in Russia and outside is that most church people prefer Church Slavonic as well. However, I would like to point out that Bulgarians, Macedonians and Serbs have switched to vernacular a while ago and it does not seem to be such a big deal.

            viatcheslav


            >>>I became sensitive to this aspect of the issue when I showed an Old Orthography (Russian) book to a probably late second or maybe third-wave Russian emigre brought up on New Orthography. She took one look at a page and announced that she "couldn't read it" -- though it mainly involves learning only the yat'. I often wonder if that is what the renovationists and soviets had in mind when introducing the New Orthography: with one fell swoop to make the whole of pre-Revolutionary pious Russian literature "unreadable."

            --Dimitra




            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • cantor71
            At our local ROCOR parish s church school I teach Russian church singing to about 20 or so kids, 11-12 years old, over 90% of them born in Russia and in Canada
            Message 5 of 5 , Jun 3, 2004
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              At our local ROCOR parish's church school I teach Russian church
              singing to about 20 or so kids, 11-12 years old, over 90% of them
              born in Russia and in Canada less than 5 years. The lessons are all
              in Russian and the music/texts I provide are a combination of old
              and new orthography. After a five minute explanation - at the first
              lesson of the school year - about the yat', the "i" and the hard
              sign, there is rarely a problem ... until the dreaded "v" surfaces!

              George Skok
              Toronto

              PS Unfortunately, they read better than they sing!

              --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "VJB" <venceslav@s...> wrote:
              > Dear Dimitra,
              >
              > The issue of new/old orthography is really an artificial issue. It
              is somehow became a political matter in the Russian Diaspora and I
              have seen a lot of people misuse it (out of ignorance) as a point of
              difference between "us and the godless soviets." The new orthography
              was designed by the Imperial Orthographic Commission of the Russian
              Academy of Sciences instituted in 1904 by Czar Nicholas II. This
              commission included Russia's leading linguists of that time such as
              Fortunatov, Shakmatov, Brandt, Chernyshev, Sakulin. The work of the
              commission was basically finished by 1912 though debates continued
              through 1917. It was first officially introduced by Minister of
              Education of the Provisional Government in 1917. The Bolsheviks
              confirmed the reform by decrees issued in 1917 and 1918. The
              opinions about it may be different but there is no doubt that it
              would have happened with or without Communism in Russia.
              >
              > As to liturgical language, I personally prefer Church Slavonic and
              my experience both in Russia and outside is that most church people
              prefer Church Slavonic as well. However, I would like to point out
              that Bulgarians, Macedonians and Serbs have switched to vernacular a
              while ago and it does not seem to be such a big deal.
              >
              > viatcheslav
              >
              >
              > >>>I became sensitive to this aspect of the issue when I showed an
              Old Orthography (Russian) book to a probably late second or maybe
              third-wave Russian emigre brought up on New Orthography. She took
              one look at a page and announced that she "couldn't read it" --
              though it mainly involves learning only the yat'. I often wonder if
              that is what the renovationists and soviets had in mind when
              introducing the New Orthography: with one fell swoop to make the
              whole of pre-Revolutionary pious Russian literature "unreadable."
              >
              > --Dimitra
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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