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Re: [orthodox-synod] Re: [rocaclergy] 2003.08.20 NG-Religion: What Should The Church Be Like Today

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  • Saint Edward Brotherhood
    Dear Fr Peter, thank you for your posting on Slavonic - unfortunately it appears that we only received the end of it, from the words in the en pious
    Message 1 of 13 , Sep 3, 2003
      Dear Fr Peter,

      thank you for your posting on Slavonic - unfortunately it appears that we
      only received the end of it, from the words "in the en pious people...."

      In the love of Christ,

      Fr Alexis.
    • byakimov@csc.com.au
      Father Peter, I believe everyone is gone of the track in regard to what modernist Pospelovsky s interview was all about. It had everything to do with Russia
      Message 2 of 13 , Sep 3, 2003
        Father Peter,

        I believe everyone is gone of the track in regard to what modernist
        Pospelovsky's interview was all about. It had everything to do with Russia
        today & that the MP should modernise the services by using Russian instead
        of Church Slavonic & other issues such as allowing married clergy to
        become bishops, etc. In Australia & elsewhere the native language is being
        introduced in to the service as & when it is required & no one is arguing
        against using a language other then Church Slavonic in these circumstances.
        Personally I prefer Church Slavonic to English or to my limited usage in
        services of Greek but that is another matter.

        protodeacon Basil from Canberra



        "frpeterjackson" <frpeterjackson@...> on 03/09/2003 11:21:32 PM

        Please respond to orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com

        To: orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com
        cc:
        Subject: [orthodox-synod] Re: [rocaclergy] 2003.08.20 NG-Religion: What
        Should The Church Be Like Today



        > In the end pious people who care will try to learn the language so
        > they can see the greater beauty of the service. Those who don't
        > really care about the language....just don't really care about the
        > purity of the church anyway.
        >
        I think the Greek-speaking early Church Fathers would be puzzled to
        hear that Slavonic, a Slavic language, is closer to what they wrote
        in than Russian or English. Church Slavonic has parallels with Greek
        for two reasons: 1) Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples
        borrowed vocabulary from Greek and coined new words (e.g. blago-
        slovit' to render the Greek eu-logein) out of existing vocabulary and
        2) Church Slavonic's grammar attempts to artificially mimic Greek
        grammar in a way that is unnatural for a Slavic language. New
        vocabulary was needed for the Slavic languages, and it wasn't
        difficult to do so, but grammar is a different issue. Anyone who has
        had training or experience in translation or interpreting will know
        that slavishly trying to adhere to the source language's grammar will
        more often distort the true meaning than reflect it.

        Slavonic was not naturally suited to convey liturgical texts. It was
        artificially tinkered with. Any language be it Russian, English or
        Swahili, can borrow or coin vocabulary in order to preserve nuances
        of meaning. Any language can adapted for liturgical purposes just as
        Slavonic very consciously and intentionally was. We can listen to a
        Slavonic service and appreciate the *idea* that it is faithfully
        rendering the Greek, but what good does it do those who do not
        understand it? Even most Russian speakers do not understand it, in my
        experience.

        If the argument put forth is that we should have an accurate language
        regardless of whether it is understood, then the optimal choice would
        be Greek, of course. But I don't expect anyone in our Russian Church
        to propose that. The issue, then, is really an emotional one: this is
        the language I heard while I held my babushka's hand at Pascha.
        Emotion is a powerful factor, and I am not diminishing its importance
        in our lives and in our worship, but we must not dress up an emotion-
        based desire for preserving Slavonic in purportedly intellectual
        arguments.

        To use a local language instead of Slavonic is not to "dumb down" the
        services, as some have suggested in this string. It is not justified
        to point to the Roman Catholics after Vatican II. The problem was not
        that they abandoned Latin, but that they rewrote the text of the
        Mass, leaving out references to the Mother of God, etc. Obviously, no
        Orthodox advocate of local language use would countenance any
        revisions of the liturgical texts themselves. Indeed, the whole
        intention is to actually have access to those texts.

        Finally, I find it outrageous when anyone suggests that everyone
        should "just learn Slavonic". Tell that to St. Stephen of Perm who
        translated our texts into Permian, or to St. Innocent of Alaska
        (Aleut) or St. Nicholas of Japan. None of them advocated imposing
        Slavonic on converts. Sts. Cyril and Methodius never took Slavonic to
        non-Slavonic speakers. Indeed, their philosophy -- and that of the
        whole Church -- was to make the services accessible to everyone in
        the own tongue. I doubt they saw themselves as "creating a sacred
        language". They just wanted people to understand, plain and simple.
        Nowadays, we want to prevent people from understanding the services.
        God forgive us.

        Priest Peter Jackson



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      • larry most
        GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST-GLORY TO HIM FOREVER Dear Father Peter, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You. Love in Christ, Sub-deacon Lawrence ... I think the
        Message 3 of 13 , Sep 3, 2003
          GLORY TO JESUS CHRIST-GLORY TO HIM FOREVER
          Dear Father Peter,
          Thank You, Thank You, Thank You.
          Love in Christ,
          Sub-deacon Lawrence

          frpeterjackson <frpeterjackson@...> wrote:

          > In the end pious people who care will try to learn the language so
          > they can see the greater beauty of the service. Those who don't
          > really care about the language....just don't really care about the
          > purity of the church anyway.
          >
          I think the Greek-speaking early Church Fathers would be puzzled to
          hear that Slavonic, a Slavic language, is closer to what they wrote
          in than Russian or English. Church Slavonic has parallels with Greek
          for two reasons: 1) Sts. Cyril and Methodius and their disciples
          borrowed vocabulary from Greek and coined new words (e.g. blago-
          slovit' to render the Greek eu-logein) out of existing vocabulary and
          2) Church Slavonic's grammar attempts to artificially mimic Greek
          grammar in a way that is unnatural for a Slavic language. New
          vocabulary was needed for the Slavic languages, and it wasn't
          difficult to do so, but grammar is a different issue. Anyone who has
          had training or experience in translation or interpreting will know
          that slavishly trying to adhere to the source language's grammar will
          more often distort the true meaning than reflect it.

          Slavonic was not naturally suited to convey liturgical texts. It was
          artificially tinkered with. Any language be it Russian, English or
          Swahili, can borrow or coin vocabulary in order to preserve nuances
          of meaning. Any language can adapted for liturgical purposes just as
          Slavonic very consciously and intentionally was. We can listen to a
          Slavonic service and appreciate the *idea* that it is faithfully
          rendering the Greek, but what good does it do those who do not
          understand it? Even most Russian speakers do not understand it, in my
          experience.

          If the argument put forth is that we should have an accurate language
          regardless of whether it is understood, then the optimal choice would
          be Greek, of course. But I don't expect anyone in our Russian Church
          to propose that. The issue, then, is really an emotional one: this is
          the language I heard while I held my babushka's hand at Pascha.
          Emotion is a powerful factor, and I am not diminishing its importance
          in our lives and in our worship, but we must not dress up an emotion-
          based desire for preserving Slavonic in purportedly intellectual
          arguments.

          To use a local language instead of Slavonic is not to "dumb down" the
          services, as some have suggested in this string. It is not justified
          to point to the Roman Catholics after Vatican II. The problem was not
          that they abandoned Latin, but that they rewrote the text of the
          Mass, leaving out references to the Mother of God, etc. Obviously, no
          Orthodox advocate of local language use would countenance any
          revisions of the liturgical texts themselves. Indeed, the whole
          intention is to actually have access to those texts.

          Finally, I find it outrageous when anyone suggests that everyone
          should "just learn Slavonic". Tell that to St. Stephen of Perm who
          translated our texts into Permian, or to St. Innocent of Alaska
          (Aleut) or St. Nicholas of Japan. None of them advocated imposing
          Slavonic on converts. Sts. Cyril and Methodius never took Slavonic to
          non-Slavonic speakers. Indeed, their philosophy -- and that of the
          whole Church -- was to make the services accessible to everyone in
          the own tongue. I doubt they saw themselves as "creating a sacred
          language". They just wanted people to understand, plain and simple.
          Nowadays, we want to prevent people from understanding the services.
          God forgive us.

          Priest Peter Jackson


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        • boulia_1
          Talk about getting emotional... ... plain and simple. ... services. ... Was someone here advocating imposing Slavonic on converts ? I recall that, in this
          Message 4 of 13 , Sep 4, 2003
            Talk about getting emotional...
            --- In orthodox-synod@yahoogroups.com, "frpeterjackson"
            <frpeterjackson@y...> wrote:
            > >
            > Finally, I find it outrageous when anyone suggests that everyone
            > should "just learn Slavonic". Tell that to St. Stephen of Perm who
            > translated our texts into Permian, or to St. Innocent of Alaska
            > (Aleut) or St. Nicholas of Japan. None of them advocated imposing
            > Slavonic on converts. ... They just wanted people to understand,
            plain and simple.
            > Nowadays, we want to prevent people from understanding the
            services.
            > God forgive us.


            Was someone here advocating "imposing Slavonic on converts"? I recall
            that, in this thread, several people have said that the native
            language instead of Slavonic (or greek) is ideal for nonrussians.

            To repeat myself, the question of Slavonic vs. English (or German in
            Germany, French in France, etc.) is A DIFFERENT ISSUE than Slavonic
            vs. RUSSIAN. And i believe the latter question was the focus of this
            thread, begun with a posting of an interview, where an MP Bishop
            suggested that Russian should substitute for Slavonic.

            My take, for what it's worth (not much): I am a first-generation
            American and a Russian speaker and, yes, understanding the Slavonic
            requires an extra effort. I am glad to make that effort: I find it
            edifying and intellectually enriching. The texts often are multi
            layered in meaning anyway, so even understanding the WORDS doesn't
            guarantee understanding the text. (That's why we hope our spiritual
            fathers -- the clergy -- can help enlighten us, with well put
            sermons, discussions, etc.) I would hate to see Slavonic dropped,
            yes, partly because it's what I heard when I was in church with
            my "Babushka" (who, incidentally, contributed to the church
            literature extensively, composing IN Slavonic, not translating from
            some other language). But also because it is a beautiful, churchly
            language that crosses political Slavic boundaries.

            With all due respect, the problem often arises when converts enter a
            community (say, the Russian-speaking emigre community...) and then
            impose THEIR wishes and will on them, demanding change. Ultimately,
            I believe, the English speaking Orthodox community needs to be
            organized separately from the parishes that serve the emigre
            communities. I disagree thoroughly with the "English is the language
            of our country, learn it and expect to hear it in church" argument
            that has been put forth. If one learned the creed in Greek, or
            Slavonic, or Rumanian, one finds comfort in hearing those words in
            Greek, or Slavonic, or Rumanian when one goes to church. As a nation
            of immigrants, the U.S. in particular will always have people
            wanting --needing-- a church that they can feel at home in.
            Naturally, the English speakers need that too. Why can't there be
            both??

            in Christ, elizabeth
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