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Translating the liturgy into English


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#41 Father David Moser

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:09 PM

I repeat what I have said before: in my experience, even foreigners such as my wife have almost no difficulty in following early modern English.  Herman is right, and the fact is that the vast majority of churchgoers in countries such as Russia and Greece haven’t a clue what is being chanted, sung or read.

 

While in some cases this is true, I think that we have to be careful in simply repeating the inability to understand among Russians and Greeks as a truism.  I have found that most Russians, when they actually pay attention to the Slavonic find that it is generally understandable.  80% of the vocabulary is the same as modern Russian and the grammar of modern Russian is actually a simplified version of Slavonic grammar (it is missing I think 2 of the cases of Slavonic).  There are other forms of Slavonic (not Church Slavonic but literary Slavonic) that are integral parts of Russian literature.  Hence any well read Russian has exposure to Slavonic at least in literary form.  When I was taking Russian lessons from one of my parishioners, one evening, we were reading out of the Slavonic Gospel and looking at pronunciation.  I was severely mangling the pronunciation when my teacher's youngest daughter came by, overheard what I was saying and laughed at my poor pronunciation - she then corrected me easily.  Although she hadn't been listening to our lesson - she clearly understood what I was saying despite my best efforts to render it incomprehensible.  This was a young girl in middle school at the time so had already been in the US since she was 5 or 6 so she was not a "linguistic scholar" - just an ordinary Russian speaker.  So I think that there is much more understanding going on than maybe we assume when we hear that "trusim".

 

Second, there is much more to "understanding" than a simple intellectual grasp of the meanings of words.  There is a subverbal grasp of ideas that does not rely on an exact understanding of the text.  Many Greeks and Russians (at least in my experience) who would say they don't understand the Slavonic or Koine do in fact have a grasp of the spiritual content at a deeper level. 

 

I say all this not to contradict the notion that Slavonic and Koine are removed from their modern counterparts - rather it is to point out that understanding/not understanding is much more complex notion that the simple black and white premise presented here.

 

Fr David



#42 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 07:31 PM

If I may say so, Fr David adverts to something which is most important, namely that, to put it as my wife has just put it, the words are secondary to the spiritual reality and it is that which needs explanation.  Whatever the words may be of, for example, the Cherubic Hymn, its spiritual significance and reality are what need explanation.  Having said that, there is a connection between the words and what they express which means that the choice of words is very important.



#43 Lakis Papas

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:20 PM

When an infant says the word 'mom', for the first time, articulates a word from an unknown language, that of his mother. The meaning of the word is provided by the person who listens rather than the person who expresses it, to the surprise and delight of the baby. 
 
St Paul wrote (Galatians 4:4-7):
 

But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!” Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

 

Here St Paul describes the generation procedure of speech, as occurs in an adoptee Christian addressing to his/her Father in a language given by the Spirit. This is similar to the speaking procedure that takes place between a child and his parents. The language is given by the parents with respect to its meaning and voice structure. The child is talking combining phonemes that correspond to words whose meanings are experienced by the parents. The child does not have these experiences in sorted linguistic scale in advance.
 
Based on the above semiology, when a Christian is crying out "Abba, Father!" also adopts a spiritual linguistic expression that is provided by the Spirit. This phrase is not the same as the phrase "Abba, Father!" that is described in a language handbook. So, when we ask how can we translate the phrase "Abba, Father!" in another language we are not talking about a translation of language. This is analogous to translation of the word 'mom' in another language, the answer comes from a mother who verbally expresses the relationship with her child in that other language.
 
For a language based on human experiences the transliteration quest is relatively simple. It is based on a mapping table between experiences and words. This process is problematic when is transferred to the translation of the phrase "Abba, Father!". Because, this phrase originates from the Spirit Who is in the heart. This experience can only be mapped in another language by a Spiritbearer person.
 
I think, this is why the translation of patristic and liturgical texts is very high task that exceed the capabilities of excellent philologists and linguists.

Edited by Lakis Papas, 29 July 2013 - 10:21 PM.


#44 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 10:23 PM

I think, this is why the translation of patristic and liturgical texts is very high task that exceed the capabilities of excellent philologists and linguists.
 


Exactly - saints and holy men and women have devised liturgical texts, not committees.



#45 Reader Luke

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 11:38 PM


Exactly - saints and holy men and women have devised liturgical texts, not committees.

 

In their own language. It's up to us to translate them.

 

We cannot and should not produce exact translations, because they will not flow well in the English language. As a chanter (well, unofficial, I have yet to be tonsured as one), I can attest to this. Like I said, I absolutely love Byzantine Chant, but find it extremely difficult when using translations in Slavic traditions like my own OCA.

 

I know that in the United States, at least from the people I know, we'd regard "Thee" and "Thou" as formal, almost excessively so because it's antiquated.

 

Yes, we should change the liturgical texts at least every 100 years. We don't want to get into the terrible situation they are in over in Europe. Although I love Byzantine Chant, I don't like the fact it is in Koine Greek. Most of the youth I talked to in Greece never attend church, and admitted to me that they can't understand what is said. The only ones who seem to really know what is said are those who are very active. I currently serve in a parish where we sometimes do Liturgy in Church Slavonic. Yet the Serbians have told me they don't really understand it, but they like hearing it because it connects them back to Serbia.

 

Retaining the Liturgy in Koine Greek and Church Slavonic has led many in those churches to reach the unfortunate, un-Orthodox conclusion (very similar to Roman Catholics) that those languages are holier than their current language and the services must be preserved in those languages. But such an idea of "holy languages" is a heretical innovation by Roman Catholics, and has no place in our church.

 

Also, I will argue that the translations between the Orthodox in the United Kingdom and those here in the United States will and should be different because we are already diverging in some ways. One significant difference is the use of Holy Spirit in the US versus Holy Ghost in the UK. Or "now and ever and unto ages of ages" in the US, versus "now and ever and world without end" in the UK.

 

However, it shouldn't be in the vulgar or slang, but should be in the proper language as used in the country at the time.


Edited by Devin B., 29 July 2013 - 11:41 PM.


#46 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 07:02 AM

Saints did indeed translate liturgical texts and the Holy Scriptures: SS Cyril and Methodius did exactly this for the Slav peoples.  This is what Elder Sophrony of Essex wrote about Church Slavonic (and what he writes can be applied to Church Greek):

 

"Human language is used for expressing realities at different levels: there is the worldly level of natural everyday needs; there is the linked but nevertheless distinct level of primitive human feelings and passions; there is the language of political demagogues; there is a language for science, for philosophy and for poetry.  And finally, above all these, there is the language of divine revelation, of prayer, of theology and of other relations between God and men, namely liturgical language.


The distracted consciousness of our existence has its roots in metaphysics; here belong science, philosophy and above all, the knowledge of God.  Words which express knowledge of this type, as well as the Names of God, issue from the metaphysical sphere of wisdom.  At the same time, there words characteristically cause different reactions in the mind or in the heart, and in this sense they are ‘conditional reflexes’ and have an instantaneous automatic character.


Each language has its own task, namely to take the listener or the reader to that sphere to which that particular language belongs.  Taking into account the ‘conditionally reflexive’ energy of words, we must pay particular attention to liturgical language which is meant to suggest in the minds and hearts of the faithful a sense of another, higher world.  This is achieved by the use of names and concepts which belong exclusively to the divine level; and also by the use of a small number of specific forms of expression.


Providentially, the Slavs have been blessed with a sacred language which has been used for centuries for divine services, for the Holy Scriptures and for prayer.  It has never been used for base everyday needs, nor even for Church literature.  We are absolutely convinced of the necessity of using this language for divine services.  There is absolutely no need to exchange Church Slavonic for some everyday language which would inevitably lower the spiritual level and thereby cause damage.  Arguments such as that many of the modern generation, and even those who are educated and generally literate, allegedly do not understand the Old Church Slavonic are irrelevant.  For such people to acquire a small vocabulary of words not used in everyday life would be a matter of a few hours.  Everyone, without exception, makes huge efforts to master the complicated terminology of different scientific or technical fields, of political and social sciences and jurisprudence, of poetry and so forth.  Why inflict on the Church the loss of a language which is needed to express the characteristics of the highest forms of theology or spiritual experience?


Everyone who sincerely wants to partake in the life of the Spirit will easily find opportunities to acquire the priceless treasure of the most holy Slavonic language, which in a most astounding manner corresponds to the great mysteries of the divine services.  Certain features of this language help to renounce the everyday passions: ‘Let us now lay aside all earthly care . . . ‘


If we should use during the Liturgy our everyday language, then it would cause a reaction of a base kind in the souls and minds of those present, namely of our physical existence.  The human word is a form of the Word of the Father of all eternity.  ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made . . . for he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’  (Ps.32:6 & 9).  So our word, too, contains a creative force.  ‘The word of our God will stand forever’ (Is.40:8); and equally our word reaches eternity if it is spoken within the confines of His will.  The Holy Sacraments of the Church are accomplished by calling the Names of God, including the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord.


The words of the Liturgy and prayer in general are not just human words but are given from on high.  The language of the Church relates to divine existence: it must reflect the revelation of the Spirit and the means suggested by the Spirit.  Through ‘hearing the words of God’ (Rom.10:17) man is inspired to have ‘a faith which conquers the world’ (1 John 5:4; cf. 1 Thess.2:13)."

 

Retaining the Liturgy in Koine Greek and Church Slavonic has led many in those churches to reach the unfortunate, un-Orthodox conclusion (very similar to Roman Catholics) that those languages are holier than their current language and the services must be preserved in those languages. But such an idea of "holy languages" is a heretical innovation by Roman Catholics, and has no place in our church.

 

This is entirely wrong.

 

I know that in the United States, at least from the people I know, we'd regard "Thee" and "Thou" as formal, almost excessively so because it's antiquated.

 

The production of the texts of the divine services cannot be determined by popular error.

 

Yes, we should change the liturgical texts at least every 100 years. We don't want to get into the terrible situation they are in over in Europe. Although I love Byzantine Chant, I don't like the fact it is in Koine Greek. Most of the youth I talked to in Greece never attend church, and admitted to me that they can't understand what is said. The only ones who seem to really know what is said are those who are very active.

 

These points are answered by Elder Sophrony.  If people go to church very occasionally and do not take any trouble to acquire some knowledge of Church Greek, they will not understand the divine services.  The false logic of saying, ‘I don’t go to church because I don’t understand it’ is obvious.  There is no ‘terrible situation’ in Europe.  Certainly in Russia, and I think in Greece, there is no demand for the use of modern language.  And in the case of Russia, modern Russian is incapable of conveying the Church’s theology as Church Slavonic does.

 

Also, I will argue that the translations between the Orthodox in the United Kingdom and those here in the United States will and should be different because we are already diverging in some ways. One significant difference is the use of Holy Spirit in the US versus Holy Ghost in the UK. Or "now and ever and unto ages of ages" in the US, versus "now and ever and world without end" in the UK.

 

The differences mentioned here are not significant.  The problem with English translations around the whole Anglosphere (not just the USA and the UK) is that there are so many of them in varying styles. 


But much has already been said elsewhere in these forums about these matters.


Edited by Andreas Moran, 30 July 2013 - 07:03 AM.


#47 Fred B.

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 02:33 PM

I absolutely love Byzantine Chant, but find it extremely difficult when using translations in Slavic traditions like my own OCA.

 

Have you ever heard Vassilis Hadjinicolaou's chant recordings for Vespers?  He uses OCA translations with Byzantine chant to great effect.

 

In regards to translations of Church Slavonic or Koine Greek into modern Russian or Greek - look at how many translations into English there are and the problems that result. Disagreements over translation, the great challenges of adapting ancient melodies to fit different languages, the fragmentation of liturgical memory, etc. Standardization of translation is a significant problem for English-speaking Orthodoxy, and that would be inflicted on the Greek- and Russian-speaking populations as well? 



#48 Rdr Daniel (R.)

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:11 PM

Also, I will argue that the translations between the Orthodox in the United Kingdom and those here in the United States will and should be different because we are already diverging in some ways. One significant difference is the use of Holy Spirit in the US versus Holy Ghost in the UK. Or "now and ever and unto ages of ages" in the US, versus "now and ever and world without end" in the UK.

I have to say I've never heard the terms Holy Ghost or world without end in any U.K. parish I have attended.



#49 Reader Luke

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 06:42 PM

I have to say I've never heard the terms Holy Ghost or world without end in any U.K. parish I have attended.

I hear it all the time from recordings on AFR, as well as in some of the podcasts from parishes there. It must be Anglican influence on Orthodox parishes.

 

 

Saints did indeed translate liturgical texts and the Holy Scriptures: SS Cyril and Methodius did exactly this for the Slav peoples.  This is what Elder Sophrony of Essex wrote about Church Slavonic (and what he writes can be applied to Church Greek):

 

"Human language is used for expressing realities at different levels: there is the worldly level of natural everyday needs; there is the linked but nevertheless distinct level of primitive human feelings and passions; there is the language of political demagogues; there is a language for science, for philosophy and for poetry.  And finally, above all these, there is the language of divine revelation, of prayer, of theology and of other relations between God and men, namely liturgical language.


The distracted consciousness of our existence has its roots in metaphysics; here belong science, philosophy and above all, the knowledge of God.  Words which express knowledge of this type, as well as the Names of God, issue from the metaphysical sphere of wisdom.  At the same time, there words characteristically cause different reactions in the mind or in the heart, and in this sense they are ‘conditional reflexes’ and have an instantaneous automatic character.


Each language has its own task, namely to take the listener or the reader to that sphere to which that particular language belongs.  Taking into account the ‘conditionally reflexive’ energy of words, we must pay particular attention to liturgical language which is meant to suggest in the minds and hearts of the faithful a sense of another, higher world.  This is achieved by the use of names and concepts which belong exclusively to the divine level; and also by the use of a small number of specific forms of expression.


Providentially, the Slavs have been blessed with a sacred language which has been used for centuries for divine services, for the Holy Scriptures and for prayer.  It has never been used for base everyday needs, nor even for Church literature.  We are absolutely convinced of the necessity of using this language for divine services.  There is absolutely no need to exchange Church Slavonic for some everyday language which would inevitably lower the spiritual level and thereby cause damage.  Arguments such as that many of the modern generation, and even those who are educated and generally literate, allegedly do not understand the Old Church Slavonic are irrelevant.  For such people to acquire a small vocabulary of words not used in everyday life would be a matter of a few hours.  Everyone, without exception, makes huge efforts to master the complicated terminology of different scientific or technical fields, of political and social sciences and jurisprudence, of poetry and so forth.  Why inflict on the Church the loss of a language which is needed to express the characteristics of the highest forms of theology or spiritual experience?


Everyone who sincerely wants to partake in the life of the Spirit will easily find opportunities to acquire the priceless treasure of the most holy Slavonic language, which in a most astounding manner corresponds to the great mysteries of the divine services.  Certain features of this language help to renounce the everyday passions: ‘Let us now lay aside all earthly care . . . ‘


If we should use during the Liturgy our everyday language, then it would cause a reaction of a base kind in the souls and minds of those present, namely of our physical existence.  The human word is a form of the Word of the Father of all eternity.  ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were made . . . for he spake and it was done; he commanded and it stood fast.’  (Ps.32:6 & 9).  So our word, too, contains a creative force.  ‘The word of our God will stand forever’ (Is.40:8); and equally our word reaches eternity if it is spoken within the confines of His will.  The Holy Sacraments of the Church are accomplished by calling the Names of God, including the transformation of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of our Lord.


The words of the Liturgy and prayer in general are not just human words but are given from on high.  The language of the Church relates to divine existence: it must reflect the revelation of the Spirit and the means suggested by the Spirit.  Through ‘hearing the words of God’ (Rom.10:17) man is inspired to have ‘a faith which conquers the world’ (1 John 5:4; cf. 1 Thess.2:13)."

 

 

This is entirely wrong.

 

 

The production of the texts of the divine services cannot be determined by popular error.

 

 

These points are answered by Elder Sophrony.  If people go to church very occasionally and do not take any trouble to acquire some knowledge of Church Greek, they will not understand the divine services.  The false logic of saying, ‘I don’t go to church because I don’t understand it’ is obvious.  There is no ‘terrible situation’ in Europe.  Certainly in Russia, and I think in Greece, there is no demand for the use of modern language.  And in the case of Russia, modern Russian is incapable of conveying the Church’s theology as Church Slavonic does.

 

 

The differences mentioned here are not significant.  The problem with English translations around the whole Anglosphere (not just the USA and the UK) is that there are so many of them in varying styles. 


But much has already been said elsewhere in these forums about these matters.

 

The idea that a specific language can be "especially holy" IS Roman Catholic. Elder Sophrony is just one man. The simple and plain fact, is that Koine Greek was the common language back when it was first used in the liturgy. We need to purge our church of these heretical Western influences, and the fact that the Greeks are so heavily influenced by the heretical Roman Catholics from Italy, and that the Russians have been also so heavily influenced from the heretical Roman Catholics from Western Europe shows that these ideas of a "holy liturgical language" is absolutely a western influence, and has absolutely no place in our church.

 

The languages of our church has ALWAYS been the vernacular. Yet somehow, Greeks and Slavs have started to become museums of linguistic antiquity, preserving the ancient languages because they mistakenly think they are more holy than the vernacular.

 

The absolute, most important thing, is for the people to understand the liturgy. The primary point of most of the liturgical language is not to somehow just bring our minds on high, but was primarily to help teach the faithful, to help catechize them, and also to worship.

 

To be quite honest, 99% of Orthodox aren't linguists, and will not care one iota to learn "extra words" for Liturgy, just because someone thinks such antiquated language is somehow more holy when it isn't.

 

Look at the Gospels, look at the early Liturgies, they were in Koine, not because that was "high" Greek. In fact, it was the opposite, it was the vernacular, it was commonly spoken. If they wanted to use a higher Greek, they would have gone after Attic Greek or some other form. This is an absolute fact. That is one reason why Christianity was so despised by many in the educated sectors of Greece and Rome, because the Holy Texts, and the Liturgy was served in the lower form of Greek, rather in the higher.

 

It doesn't necessarily matter to me what 20th Century holy men say about this issue, because they can be wrong too, and are very inclined to be influenced by the influences of heretical Roman Catholicism. Yet if we look at not in the last 100 years, not in the last 500 years, but if we look beyond that, to the last 1000 years, last 1500 years. You will absolutely see that I am right, and it was a later innovation that language can be "holy", and it was actually a Roman Catholic influence on Orthodoxy that brought about the ridiculous idea that Koine & Church Slavonic are somehow more holy than common Greek or Russian (or Serbian, etc...).

 

We've had a lot of reform in our church, and a lot of outside influences. I'm not for preserving ancient practices, but I am in favor of keeping to the ancient ethos. This includes rejecting outside influences from heretical groups, such as the idea of "sacred language" coming from Roman Catholicism.

 

I respect Elder Sophrony, but people tend to quote and cite him like people do Fr. Seraphim over here in the United States, and those people need to realize that holy men are guides for the spiritual struggle, but not for scholarly study, not for historical study and not for things relating to church history and historical fact.

 

The simple fact is, that we do have a lot of influences on our church that come from Roman Catholicism, it's been 1000 years since we've been in schism with them, and during that time, both Greeks & Slavs have had heavy influence by them.


Edited by Devin B., 30 July 2013 - 06:43 PM.


#50 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 08:13 PM

Dear Devin B,

 

You set yourself above saints, holy men, and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.  The Orthodox Church has long determined that in the case of Church Greek and Church Slavonic, these are the languages to be used in the Greek and Slav lands as they have been since time immemorial.  If you are to make assertions you must support them with authority and get your facts right: in the case of Church Slavonic, it was never a vernacular language but was devised, from the Slav languages, especially for worship and prayer.

 

Daniel R is correct - 'Holy Ghost' and 'world without end' are not used in UK parishes.  The only place they are used is in the Monastery of St John the Baptist because Elder Sophrony's translator, Rosemary Edmonds, took these expressions from the BCP.



#51 Reader Luke

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

Dear Devin B,

 

You set yourself above saints, holy men, and the Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church.  The Orthodox Church has long determined that in the case of Church Greek and Church Slavonic, these are the languages to be used in the Greek and Slav lands as they have been since time immemorial.  If you are to make assertions you must support them with authority and get your facts right: in the case of Church Slavonic, it was never a vernacular language but was devised, from the Slav languages, especially for worship and prayer.

 

Daniel R is correct - 'Holy Ghost' and 'world without end' are not used in UK parishes.  The only place they are used is in the Monastery of St John the Baptist because Elder Sophrony's translator, Rosemary Edmonds, took these expressions from the BCP.

 

You are wrong here, on the first part at least.

 

Church Slavonic, as we know it today, has only been in use since the 15th Century. Old Church Slavonic, on the other hand, was in use from the 9th/10th Centuries until the 15th Century. So if you want to argue that we should be using things "since time immemorial", then we ought to be using Old Church Slavonic, rather than Church Slavonic, since Old Church Slavonic is the one created by Ss. Cyril & Methodius.

 

I also wouldn't call 500 years "time immemorial". If you want to use the term "time immemorial" then we should be talking about 1,700 years ago.

 

As for Koine Greek, it was in fact, a vernacular language, and this has been absolutely proven through scholarly research by many. 

 

Oh, and you should know, when Ss. Cyril and Methodius translated the services for the Slavs, they did use the books in the Koine language, but when they actually formed the alphabet and language to be used for the Slavs, they used what would be called "Middle Greek". So while the Greek texts were in Koine Greek, Old Church Slavonic was partially based on Middle Greek (and partially on existing Slavic language).

 

You accuse me of something I do not do. I simply put forward the facts. I don't sacrifice by own brain and scholarly study in favor of the Church Fathers. I let the Church Fathers speak, but keeping in mind that like the Bible, they can err and in fact, have erred on many occasions when it comes to things unrelated to doctrine and the spiritual life.

 

For example, Holy Fathers have claimed that unleavened bread was a new innovation by Roman Catholics and didn't exist in the ancient church. But we know that, in fact, it existed almost from the beginning, and West & East both used leavened/unleavened bread without issue for the first several hundred years of Christendom. There have also been Holy Fathers who have claimed that it is a new innovation for Roman Catholics to have celibate clergy, when we actually know in fact, that is also an ancient tradition in the Church of Rome, far pre-dating the schism.

 

I don't like this whole cult that people form around Saints, and i'm not talking about a typical cult of a Saint. I'm talking about people who seem to think it is wrong to question Saints, or who think it is somehow prideful and sinful to question something a Saint has said. That somehow someone who studies history and seeks what are the facts is inherently questioning the real authority of the Saints, when that person actually understands the Saints are humans, but also very holy, and because they are human, they still are limited. I've seen this a lot here in America around people who have formed a cult around Fr. Seraphim Rose. I have his icon in my room, I venerate him, but I also recognize he isn't the "be all end all", and I understand he was human, and subject to his own limitations. If we refused to question Saints on every single thing they've ever said, many of us would be flat-earthers and geocentrists. Thankfully our Church doesn't demand that we obey unquestioningly and trust 100% of everything every Saint has ever said.


Edited by Devin B., 30 July 2013 - 09:36 PM.


#52 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 09:51 PM

 I don't sacrifice by own brain and scholarly study in favor of the Church Fathers.

 

This says it all.



#53 Reader Luke

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:06 PM

This says it all.

 

St. Basil also didn't sacrifice his brain and scholarly study in favor of the Church Fathers/Saints. He saw the value of both.

 

Which do we trust? Popular tradition which says the Trojerucica icon was painted by St. John of Damascus in the 700s, or history and scholarship which shows that no icon looked like that until the 1300-1400s? Of course, the middle road, is that the current Trojerucica icon is a copy of the original which was painted by St. John and has since been lost. But you get people who swear up and down it had to be really painted by him because the church says so.

 

Or of course, you have some who say the Epiclesis was universal in the ancient church, and is an ancient tradition, when actual study shows the epiclesis didn't exist in the first two centuries, and didn't come in till later, and only in the East. But of course, that doesn't make it invalid, it's just part of our tradition. What is wrong, is when such people argue the West needs to adopt it because they removed it (when they never had it).

 

Or even aspects of the Lives of the Saints, like the story about St. George fighting a dragon, which dragons do not exist. However the possibility is that the story is allegory and referring to Satan, or St. George defeated a real animal (but not an actual dragon).


Edited by Devin B., 30 July 2013 - 10:16 PM.


#54 Lakis Papas

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 10:46 PM

The myth of tradition contains salvation. While realism is hollow without salvation.
 
This is because myth always carries hope along with pain. Myth is the language of the heart, while realism is the language of the mind. This explains why hope and pain are present in myth.


#55 Reader Luke

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Posted 31 July 2013 - 01:17 AM

The myth of tradition contains salvation. While realism is hollow without salvation.
 
This is because myth always carries hope along with pain. Myth is the language of the heart, while realism is the language of the mind. This explains why hope and pain are present in myth.

Myth of tradition, when unrealistic, is often allegorically true. It's no less true than the historical facts. The allegory & myth of Adam & Eve and it's truth of mankind's fall, and disobedience of God is as true as the historical fact that a literal man named Adam & literal woman named Eve probably never existed.

 

The story of St. George is true, but not necessarily "actually factually" as Dr. Jeannie Constantinou puts it. But that doesn't make it less true.

 

The problem arises when people try to make everything "actually factually" true when it simply isn't.


Edited by Devin B., 31 July 2013 - 01:17 AM.


#56 Reader Luke

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Posted 01 September 2013 - 11:22 PM

I was listening to Ancient Faith Radio today and I finally caught the English church that was using a really different translation than Americans (and it seems various parishes in the UK). It's the Russian Orthodox Cathedral of London. The CD is from the cathedral's choir, and was done when Patriarch Pimen was hierarch of the Russian Church.



#57 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:38 AM

This CD was recorded in 1984 and the celebrant was Metropolitan Anthony with Archpriest John Lee and the choir directed by Archpriest Michael Fortunatto.



#58 Reader Luke

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:39 AM

This CD was recorded in 1984 and the celebrant was Metropolitan Anthony with Archpriest John Lee and the choir directed by Archpriest Michael Fortunatto.

 

Ah... I just though the English translation was quite odd. But it seems the Orthodox Churches in England no longer use the translation they used.



#59 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:42 AM

The English text (like that of other services) was prepared by the Diocese of Sourozh which continues to use them.  The text of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is not so very different from the Jordanville translation by Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore). 



#60 Reader Luke

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Posted 02 September 2013 - 01:44 AM

The English text (like that of other services) was prepared by the Diocese of Sourozh which continues to use them.  The text of the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is not so very different from the Jordanville translation by Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore). 

 

I just found the use of "Holy Ghost" instead of Holy Spirit, "Now and ever, and world without end" instead of "Now and ever, and unto ages of ages."  just odd, but that's my American English ear.

 

Of course, I also find some modern-english translations in the OCA sound odd. But I also got really used to the more traditional english (Thee, Thou etc...)


Edited by Devin B., 02 September 2013 - 01:45 AM.





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