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Re: Why we need English [Re: Lester S] #386449 09/22/12 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Lester S


Look at the bright side: at least you won't have to fork over 250-500 bucks for a Rosetta Stone style language learning experience (which I'm a fan of, but too broke to buy one :p)


Very true, very true... I've gotten a pretty good hand on the Old Church Slavonic language from a Divine Liturgy book from 20 years ago (at least it's transliterated/Ruthenian, not Cyrillicized like in the Ukrainian Liturgy). I think I'd have to learn Cyrillic to make heads or tails of the Ukrainian Liturgy for sure. That's probably why I can easily pick up on the Ruthenian Slavonic Liturgy better.

Just sad that Ukrainian is not one of Rosetta Stone's languages of choice. The only one close to it is Russian, and there's an apples to oranges difference between the two languages. Although I think Russian is the closest Slavic language to the ancient Slavonic language that there is (at least the Russian Orthodox use Slavonic in their liturgies).

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Re: Why we need English [Re: 8IronBob] #386453 09/22/12 09:32 PM
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In the language of the people, quite frankly, would mean (in alot of parishes) two liturgies on Sunday.

Re: Why we need English [Re: Lawrence] #386454 09/22/12 10:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawrence

In the language of the people, quite frankly, would mean (in alot of parishes) two liturgies on Sunday.


Erm, well...right, I guess you have a point. Although back when the economy and the church were more robust, that was the case. You'd have one Mass or Divine Liturgy of a Catholic Church (depending on whether it's a Latin Rite or Eastern Rite) in English, then you'd have another in that nationality's language. This was when you had more immigrants that didn't know the English language, and they only knew how to worship in the tongue in which they had from the old world before they came here.

There was a Latin Rite Church that actually had a German Mass on the first Sunday of every month, which was good, since my mother was the first from her family born in this country, and her mother, father, and sister all came from Dusseldorf, even though they did pick up well on the English language, they still opted to worship like it was the old days all over again.

Re: Why we need English [Re: StuartK] #386467 09/23/12 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by StuartK
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By not using the native language of the people (in America English) the Church is being unfaithful to the Eastern Tradition, which is to have the liturgy in the vernacular.

This is only partly true. As Father Taft wrote in his book Through Their Own Eyes: Liturgy as the Byzantines Saw It , just how much of the Liturgy the Greeks of Constantinople actually understood is open to question. Much of the liturgical text was written in patristic Greek, the readings were delivered in Koine, and the homilists frequently affected an antiquarian Attic Greek--none of which were in daily use (hence not vernacular).

In any case, the strict vernacularists are presenting a false dichotomy: the issue isn't traditional languages OR the vernacular: the solution is traditional languages AND the vernacular, both coexisting, both familiar, both loved and appreciated.



This.

A few points to add:

In North America, we enjoy a culture where a good majority of the population speaks, as a native language, the same language and pronunciation they see on the TV. This is not always the case in other parts of the world - even in England (and yes, England, not the UK), there are plenty of people who do not talk at all like the guy on the BBC at home, and if I go to many more parts of England out of the way of officialdom I have a very difficult time understanding what people say (and my first language is English). But these same folk generally can quickly switch to the Queen's English and I have no problem understanding them. That is to say, outside of North America, no one necessarily expects the "language of the people" to be heard on TV, press, literature or in official government/corporate business.

Where I am now, in China, has this problem in spades: much of the country does not speak "Mandarin" Chinese as correctly pronounced and used as a native language, and the one that does is an elite enclave. Well over 100 million Chinese in fact do not speak the official language as a first language at all. Nevertheless, though local TV/radio programming exists, the majority of programming is in Mandarin as is all government documents. The "people" also have generally no hangup about hearing Mandarin or using Mandarin, however poorly, in commerce or interacting with government.

The same applies to the traditional languages: while it's true that the "tradition" of the Byzantine church is for vernacular languages, a standard needs to be set. For the Greek liturgy, it was fairly highfalutin' official Greek, since dialectiic variations were probably very strong in Late Antiquity. There needed to be some standard.

In fact, a number of the texts in the Menaion, Triodion and the like* are in highly poetic, sometimes even arcane Greek. This is because this is how you composed poetry back then, and because (as mentioned by Stuart/Father Robert) people found highfalutin' rhetoric (and debates using ostensibly dense and precise philosophic terms) a form of "entertainment". Moreover, the things these texts talk about are sublime and theologically precise, and IMO requires a translation that uses terms and concepts that modern humans are ignorant of, outside of graduate level theology classes.

So, the idea that people once composed Greek liturgies so that the Greek on the street could easily understand it is a myth with lots of attached modernistic assumptions. Translation is important, even pastorally necessary, but it needs to be done judiciously. I believe getting a translation of high English literary merit will be difficult, perhaps impossible, but at the very least it must be theologically precise or it's unusable.

I frankly get tired of much of the "traditional versus vernacular" debate, which is unaware of much of the points above, often debated by people who wouldn't know a Menaion or Triodion if it were put in front of them. Without a theologically accurate translation of at least decent linguistic quality, translation is useless. Most of the translations of the Divine Liturgy we have (one for almost every Orthodox/Greek Catholic jurisdiction) are decent, but the other texts are all over the map, generally of passable to poor quality.

SK, whose parish is almost 100% in English, with translations of decent to good quality.

* for those who don't know, the Menaion and Triodion are critical books of the Byzantine Liturgy

Last edited by Soson Kyrie; 09/23/12 04:59 PM.
Re: Why we need English [Re: Lawrence] #386473 09/24/12 03:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Lawrence

In the language of the people, quite frankly, would mean (in alot of parishes) two liturgies on Sunday.


While we should never do away with the ethnic parishes, if the non-ethnic English Liturgy is self sufficient, they should be in a separate parish.

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386476 09/24/12 09:21 AM
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Ukrainian or English?

http://www.cnewa.org/default.aspx?ID=1932&pagetypeID=8&sitecode=HQ&pageno=1


12 Sep 2012 – By Barb Fraze

WINNIPEG, Manitoba (CNS) — Many Ukrainian Catholic leaders serving the faithful outside the homeland face a dilemma: Do they serve the needs of the new immigrants and elderly by using Ukrainian in liturgies, or do they minister in English to keep younger people coming to church?

Ukrainian “has revived a little with the new immigrants,” who want their native language used in church so their children will know how to speak it, said Archbishop Stefan Soroka of Philadephia. Some places, he added, place an “inordinate emphasis” on Ukrainian- language liturgies.

Yet, especially among teens and younger Americans, “even those who speak Ukrainian don’t want to go to a Ukrainian service,” he said. Parents tell priests they are tired of arguing with their children about going to a service they do not understand.

“You don’t hear them protesting — they just walk away,” he told Catholic News Service.

In large Ukrainian Catholic parishes, liturgies are offered in Ukrainian and English. Of his 67 parishes, he said, only two would not offer bilingual homilies.

But the Philadelphia Archdiocese’s situation is even a bit more complicated: Many immigrants are from Eastern Ukraine, and their language is Russian, so priests minister to them in their native language. This upsets Ukrainian nationalists, Archbishop Soroka said, “but we can’t hold back evangelization because of Ukrainian nationalists.”

“If we don’t reach out to them,” Russian-speaking Ukrainians will go to Orthodox or evangelical churches, he said.

In Chicago, which has a large ethnic Ukrainian population, some fourth-generation Ukrainians still speak their homeland’s language, and many young people are forced to learn it, said Bishop Richard Seminack.

Yet after about age 15, “you become adapted to the American culture” and lose the language, he said. If liturgies are offered only in Ukrainian, young people “leave the church or go to the Roman Catholic Church or no church at all.”

Bishop Seminack, whose diocese includes the whole Western United States and extends into Hawaii, said in other Midwestern communities and along the West Coast, parishes have adapted English into the liturgy. But in Chicago, three of the Sunday liturgies at the cathedral use only Ukrainian, and only one is celebrated in English.

In the diocese that includes Great Britain and Ireland, “We still don’t have liturgies in English ... in all our churches,” said Bishop Hlib Lonchyna.

“It’s a problem and it’s a blessing,” he said. “It’s a blessing’ because — especially in London — new immigrants feel at home in the church.

But some parish priests cannot speak English well enough to celebrate English-language liturgies, and some elderly Ukrainian Catholics “get very tense when things get celebrated in English,” he told Catholic News Service.

“Because of this mentality, we have lost a lot of people,” he added.

Bishop Peter Stasiuk of Melbourne, Australia, said language is not an issue in his diocese, which includes Australia and New Zealand. Most immigrants from Ukraine arrived after World War II, and “we have integrated into the Australian community very well,” he told Catholic News Service.

The church has been using primarily English “for quite a while” and uses Ukrainian only “where people request it and where it is necessary.”

“The church’s role is to evangelize the people, not to teach language,” he said, adding, “Our biggest problem isn’t language, it’s secularization.”

The concept of what gives the Ukrainian Catholic Church its identity is “a work in progress,” said Winnipeg Archbishop Lawrence Huculak. Liturgy, music, icons, traditions vestments all “work to attract people to the faith,” he said. But church leaders must balance those items’ importance against the faith itself, he said.

When Ukrainian Catholics prepare traditional Easter food and bring it for a blessing Holy Saturday or early Easter morning, it is “a unique combination of food, culture, tradition and prayer life,” he said. Some items from Good Friday might still be set up in the church and “it just all works together.”

“The culture has stayed alive and found new creativity,” he said. “Unfortunately, perhaps language is the most difficult (cultural aspect) to maintain.”

Archbishop Huculak noted that French-Canadian Catholics face similar language problems.

The head of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk of Kiev-Halych, Ukraine, spent years working in Argentina.

“Our most vibrant parishes in Argentina are Spanish-speaking,” he said.

When Archbishop Shevchuk met with young people at a Winnipeg parish Sept. 7, he told them not to worry about not being able to speak Ukrainian.

“This is not a church of Ukrainians, it’s a church of Christ,” Archbishop Shevchuk said. “We are a global church. We are a church of the Ukrainian tradition.”

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386484 09/24/12 04:25 PM
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Well I do love the Ukrainian language but can be a difficult barrier. I like the mix of both. But UGCC parishes have to understand that if they are to set up missions in the west with the purpose of evangelizing the west then they need to use english. But if they are only putting up Churches to act as a sort of hospice for the homesick and cultural nostalgic, then they really need to rethink whether or not such a thing is a mistake. I do believe it would be a mistake to do that.

His Grace Bishop Hlib in Father Johns article above already made it clear that it seems to comfort those new immigrants who have just arrived from Ukraine. It's understandable that it would but if not assessed carefully it will only become a Church that preaches to the choir rather than a Church that seeks to evangelize and help Ukrainians adapt to the English/Irish Culture.

I am currently learning how to speak Russian, so I have no problem with the slavic languages. I only have a problem when I see Churches being created, not to evangelize but only to act as a hospice for the homesick as mentioned earlier.

When His Beatitude came for the Eucharistic Congress it was all in English, but all the responses were in Ukrainian and I thought that was a fantastic mix as I know most of the responses in Ukrainian anyway. But the whole language thing really has not bothered me that much at all and Fr.Serge would do the Homily in three languages, First in English, then Ukrainian and then Irish/Gaelic. Some Greek was used too so it was a fine mix.

But if the homily was just in Ukrainian? It would probably not be inviting and I would feel as if I am stepping into a culture and that I shouldn't really be there. My dad was saying ''This Church is all in Ukrainian, I like it, but its for Ukrainians not for us''. He couldn't be anymore wrong as most of you would know but I think his statement is evidence of a person who would like to attend but does not because he thinks its for Ukrainians only. If it was a mix of English and Ukrainian Greek I think many Irish would attend especially if there were more parishes set up around Ireland in the big citys and towns.

By the way the Ukrainians in Dublin are very welcoming and I thank them for all their goodness and kindness they have shown to me and my family.










Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386497 09/24/12 08:19 PM
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Well, I have been learning Church Slavonic quite a bit, since most modern Slavic languages are based off it, in much the same way that most Western and Southern European languages are based off of Latin. However, besides Ukrainian and Russian, which are the two most direct descendants of Church Slavonic, I usually opt to learn the ones where I can read the alphabet, like Slovak, Croatian, Polish, etc... I'll try reading and writing the cyrillic script once I mastered everything else.

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386512 09/24/12 11:33 PM
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Actually, Bulgarian is the modern Slavic language closest to Old Slavonic, which is sometimes called "Old Bulgarian".

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386513 09/24/12 11:36 PM
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Quote
Where I am now, in China, has this problem in spades: much of the country does not speak "Mandarin" Chinese as correctly pronounced and used as a native language, and the one that does is an elite enclave.


My daughter, the linguist, says Chinese is not so much a language as a family of languages, mostly unintelligible to each other.

Re: Why we need English [Re: rome1453] #386514 09/24/12 11:44 PM
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Originally Posted by Sbdn. John

“This is not a church of Ukrainians, it’s a church of Christ,” Archbishop Shevchuk said. “We are a global church. We are a church of the Ukrainian tradition.”


I love His Beatitude even more! I'm so honored to have personally met him.

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386523 09/25/12 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ConstantineTG
Originally Posted by Sbdn. John

“This is not a church of Ukrainians, it’s a church of Christ,” Archbishop Shevchuk said. “We are a global church. We are a church of the Ukrainian tradition.”


I love His Beatitude even more! I'm so honored to have personally met him.


Nice qoute especially what St.Clement says here on the homepage of byzcath.org : Get out of the Storm of the World – After toiling the whole night Simon and his companions caught nothing. But in the name of Christ they let down the net and immediately it was full of fish. … Many have taken part with the holy apostles in their labors, and still do, especially those who inquire into the meaning of what is written in the holy Gospels. For the net is still being drawn, while Christ fills it, and calls to conversion those who, according to the Scripture phrase, are in the depths of the sea (that is to say, those who live in the surge and waves of worldly things). (St. Clement of Alexandria)

certainly no coincidence. biggrin

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386529 09/25/12 02:52 PM
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In one parish I'm familiar with, a few years ago they had an English liturgy with about 20-30 people followed by a Ukrainian one with 60 or 70. Then suddenly the liturgies were combined with just one on Sunday that was typically two thirds in Ukrainian, though on somedays it was half and half, or even mostly English. Alot of people became angry because they felt Ukrainian was being phased out, but then the parish picked up a number of recent immigrants from Ukraine, and the liturgy was changed again to being about 3/4's or more in Ukrainian. Now there's a small minority angry again, only this time they feel that English is being phased out. It's in cases like this, where you really need 2 liturgies on Sunday.

Re: Why we need English [Re: Lawrence] #386534 09/25/12 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Lawrence

In one parish I'm familiar with, a few years ago they had an English liturgy with about 20-30 people followed by a Ukrainian one with 60 or 70. Then suddenly the liturgies were combined with just one on Sunday that was typically two thirds in Ukrainian, though on somedays it was half and half, or even mostly English. Alot of people became angry because they felt Ukrainian was being phased out, but then the parish picked up a number of recent immigrants from Ukraine, and the liturgy was changed again to being about 3/4's or more in Ukrainian. Now there's a small minority angry again, only this time they feel that English is being phased out. It's in cases like this, where you really need 2 liturgies on Sunday.


Our parish switches to one bilingual Liturgy every Sunday during the Summer months. Most of the regulars in the English Liturgy head elsewhere. I think this is where our attrition rates go up, especially for new people in the parish who are non-Ukrainians.

Sometimes we don't realize it, but given our ranks are thin to begin with, losing that one person or that one family is a big deal.

Re: Why we need English [Re: ConstantineTG] #386538 09/25/12 09:02 PM
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The fundamental problem with the UGCC in this country is the continuing waves of Ukrainian immigration. At least with the Carpatho-Rusyn, they came in one big gulp, and then they stopped coming. By the 1960s, most Rusyn families were second, third or even fourth generation American and totally assimilated.

With the Ukrainians, however, you had distinct waves of immigrants in the 1890s, the 1920s-30s, the 1940s-50s, and then after the fall of communism in the 1990s to the present. No sooner does one generation of immigrants assimilate, than another comes along , effectively resetting the clock. As the Church is one of the few (and strongest) centers of cohesion for an immigrant community, the new arrivals migrate to the Church, and naturally expect it to be "just like home". As immigrants tend to be zealous in their religious identification and observance (another form of group identification and solidarity), it's hard for the established members of a parish to resist them. What the UGCC needs is about fifty years when immigration from Ukraine just dries up. Then, finally, it will be able to shake loose from its ethnocentrism.

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