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Re: Reader Isaac

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  • millerr@cua.edu
    ... and we ... e-mail ... Please add my second to the above note. In XP, Subdeacon Sergius Miller
    Message 1 of 7 , Oct 1 5:44 AM
      --- In ustav@y..., "Michael M. Ossorgin" <mm@o...> wrote:
      > Dear List,
      >
      > Reader Isaac, a long-time contributor, has withdrawn from the list
      and we
      > beg him to reconsider. If you would like to offer support, you can
      e-mail
      > him:
      > ilector@a...
      >
      > Thanks for your support!
      >
      >
      > In Christ, Subdeacon Michael and visiting Reader Daniel Olson

      Please add my second to the above note.

      In XP,
      Subdeacon Sergius Miller
    • Ploverleigh@aol.com
      In a message dated 9/28/2001 9:47:36 PM, stephen.r@lycos.com writes:
      Message 2 of 7 , Oct 3 2:16 PM
        In a message dated 9/28/2001 9:47:36 PM, stephen.r@... writes:

        << Dear Nicholas,

        You had a legitimate question about a rather difficult text. I hope no one
        was seriously offended by any of the discussion. No one even superficially
        acquainted with the history of translations of Eastern liturgical texts into
        English can fail to appreciate the heroic service that Reader Isaac has
        rendered; anyone who recalls when Orloff, Hapgood, and Nassar were 90% of
        what was available will thank God for blessing us with the translators of
        recent decades, and none more than Reader Isaac, whose work is used regularly
        in the parish I usually attend and which I greatly appreciate...... >>

        A few years ago, I was choir director at a large Orthodox parish, where I
        served for several years.

        There was a new priest who came a few months before I did (he was newly
        ordained as well) and with his support, we decided to begin to bring the
        liturgical practice of the church up to standard.

        For years, the propers of the Liturgy were not sung according to the tones by
        the choir, but merely read recto tono by a reader. Included in this were the
        Troparia and Kontakia. The Alleluia verses were not done at all. Even the
        Beatutides themselves were abbreviated--forget about doing the Troparia
        thereon!

        Never mind about the Lenten Presanctified Liturgy. The standard midweek
        Lenten devotion in this parish--in the diocese as a whole, in fact--was a
        hodgepodge of highlights from Holy Week called "Passions."

        Of course, they did not have a full set of liturgical books in their
        traditional liturgical language. (I'm trying to avoid mentioning the
        jurisdiction by name. Let him who can decipher.) The Epistle Book in their
        "native language" contained merely the Sunday and Feast day readings, and
        none of the Prokeimena and Alleluia.

        Of course, the older priests of this jurisdiction were brought up on nothing
        but Liturgy and Molebens; that's all they ever did at the seminary. They had
        never even heard of what else existed in any language at all--much less in
        English. (God bless them and their ministry; it's because of their like we
        have any Orthodox Churches here to start with!)

        Now, can you imagine the difficulties involved here? People are very
        persnickety about services, prayers, and hymns in their church! (ANYBODY'S
        church!)

        We got them to understand that with the emigration, it was a case of getting
        something out in a hurry for immediate use, and filling in the gaps later. Of
        course, what happens to often, the provisional emergency version became the
        accepted use. We compared the old "mother tongue" epistle book with a
        complete one in English, and eventually most of them understood that there
        was nothing wrong with the old one. It was ok as far as it went, but it
        wasn't complete. Their accustomed lenten service was done because there
        simply was not a copy of the Triodion available in English--and I showed them
        one, explaining that this was the official Lenten prayer book with the
        prayers that the Church wanted us to use during this time. "Do these first,"
        the priest explained, "and then whatever else devotioin prompts, after we've
        said the official appointed prayers."

        Most of them were satisfied. A few who had been elsewhere knew what a fuller
        standard Orthodox liturgical life was all about.

        Hapgood, Nassar, and Orloff--God bless them! They at least provided the
        basics for English services.

        But we have gone beyond a selective phase. There's nothing wrong with their
        works, but they are compendia and selections. We need, and now have,
        everything.

        Thanks to the labors of Reader Isaac and others we now have everything
        avaible for full daily liturgical celebrations in English. God grant them
        many years!

        Eventually a generally accepted English liturgical diction will develop,
        though it may not be in our lifetimes. A book on the Romanian recension of
        Byzantine chant says that it took centuries of work to come up with the
        definitive Romanian version of our holy services, but that it is truly the
        work of the Church, and not that of any one person.

        The same thing will happen in English, but it will need the CHURCH--that is,
        the faithful--to actually use and alter translations to make them sound
        better and more singable. All we choir directors here know that what we
        prepare at home won't always work in rehearsal--and what worked in rehearsal
        may not work in an actual service. "Back to the drawing board--or desk--or
        computer" is the summary of a choir director's life.

        Whatever the definitive English text will be, it will exist because it
        recommends itself to the faithful because of its intrinsic excellence, not
        because it was artifically imposed, as the editors of the Old Orthodox
        Prayerbook from Erie remind us.

        Ploverleigh
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