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Boy do I miss the late Bishop John Bilock's singing. He loved to sing, especially in the Church Slavonic language! He really sang with his whole heart! May his memory be eternal, Christos Voskres!

Ung

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Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Boy do I miss the late Bishop John Bilock's singing. He loved to sing, especially in the Church Slavonic language! He really sang with his whole heart! May his memory be eternal, Christos Voskres!

Ung

You're not kidding! shocked I'm listening to it right now. Bishop Bilock had a fantastic booming voice. I had chills listening to him sing Christos Voskrese. Vichnaja Pamjat!

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I have nothing whatever against Church-Slavonic, which I am actually able to read and understand (unlike quite a few would-be "stalwarts" whom I've met and who have never even learned to read the alphabet), and which certainly has its uses.

But neither in Ukraine nor in Russia is Church-Slavonic in exclusive possession where Eastern Orthodox liturgical practice is concerned. In both countries the Church is faced with an enormous missionary challenge, which is not best met by insisting on the exclusive use of a language that almost no one in post-Soviet society can understand.

Moreover, there is no particular reason of "liturgical purity" to expect one Local Church to insist upon linguistic conformity to another Local Church. If you want Church-Slavonic, please learn that language yourself (if you have already done so, accept my congratulations), organize some like-minded people, and enjoy it. But one must attract people, not attempt to dragoon them.

Fr. Serge


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Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Boy do I miss the late Bishop John Bilock's singing. He loved to sing, especially in the Church Slavonic language! He really sang with his whole heart! May his memory be eternal, Christos Voskres!

Ung

You're not kidding! shocked I'm listening to it right now. Bishop Bilock had a fantastic booming voice. I had chills listening to him sing Christos Voskrese. Vichnaja Pamjat!

This is the whole reason we play Bishop Bilock on the Rusyn Heritage Program Easter program.

Many people requested to hear it because they do not hear any Church Slavonic today, especially with the implementation of the RDL. I am not talking about the older generation either, I mean the younger generation wanted to hear it (by younger I mean my generation, the "Generation X-ers").

The donations we received for our special Easter show came with requests specifically to hear Church Slavonic with Rusyn plainchant.

We will be doing the same thing on Orthodox Easter. We have some old audio files from St. Nicholas in Homestead from Easter Matins.

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Rusyn31,

Thanks for the Paschal programs!

Christos Voskrese! Voistinnu Voskrese!

Ung

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Originally Posted by Rusyn31
Originally Posted by Etnick
Originally Posted by Ung-Certez
Boy do I miss the late Bishop John Bilock's singing. He loved to sing, especially in the Church Slavonic language! He really sang with his whole heart! May his memory be eternal, Christos Voskres!

Ung

You're not kidding! shocked I'm listening to it right now. Bishop Bilock had a fantastic booming voice. I had chills listening to him sing Christos Voskrese. Vichnaja Pamjat!

This is the whole reason we play Bishop Bilock on the Rusyn Heritage Program Easter program.

Many people requested to hear it because they do not hear any Church Slavonic today, especially with the implementation of the RDL. I am not talking about the older generation either, I mean the younger generation wanted to hear it (by younger I mean my generation, the "Generation X-ers").

The donations we received for our special Easter show came with requests specifically to hear Church Slavonic with Rusyn plainchant.

We will be doing the same thing on Orthodox Easter. We have some old audio files from St. Nicholas in Homestead from Easter Matins.

Looking forward to the Orthodox Pascha radio show. Keep up the good work! Slavonic must be preserved, even if it means old audio files on a radio program.

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How much Slavonic was used during Resurrection Services?

None, because we didn't celebrate Pascha yet. :-)

Ray

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Originally Posted by 70x7
How much Slavonic was used during Resurrection Services?

None, because we didn't celebrate Pascha yet. :-)

Ray

I can already state that judging from last years Pascha, this year it will only be used when the Tropar is sung. frown

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I know I'm just Roman Catholic, but given our own experience with the near-total practical abolition of Latin in the Roman Rite from 1970 to 2007 and its devastating effects, I can't help but wonder why so many of our Eastern Christian brethren seem indifferent to the fate of their traditional liturgical languages.

Nobody is saying that the Eastern Churches must exclusively stick to Church Slavonic, Koine Greek, etc. The Eastern Churches have a beautiful heritage of celebrating the liturgy in the vernacular and this is something from which the West has learned (too much, perhaps). However, does the celebration of the liturgy in the vernacular entail having to disregard and cast the traditional liturgical languages into oblivion? Is that really necessary? Does it have to be an "either-or" proposition? Will the lex orandi of the Eastern expression of Catholicism stand completely undamaged from the total transition to the vernacular? Just asking.

It is my understanding that even some Russian monasteries kept Greek as a liturgical language until the early 20th century.




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Christos Voskrese! (Christ is Risen!)
Voistinnu Voskrese! (Indeed He is Risen!)

Thanks for the responses. It was heartwarming to hear so many people using Slavonic or Ukraninian. The songs just sound better in Slavonic for some reason. More "right." I know it's a personal thing. Nostalgia if you want to call it that. But It just feel better when singing "Christos Voskrese..."

God bless and keep you all

Tim


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#199

Presentation is (almost) everything. Slavonic isn't more magical but it is mystical. In the Exapostilarion Hymn of Light the XVI century Ukrainian melody was written for the Slavonic "Plotty". Modern Ukrainian does not fit the sailing musical movement and a common tone looses the integrity. English does fit better but there is too much thought to digest for the music to be inspirational, if you have a well trained singer. Voice is the only musical instrument made by God but it takes a well developed diaphragm, not visually but audibly.

I did hear it sung proficiently in English once. The American born grumbled, the priest saw the error of his ways never to do it again and today he has a crown to wear. That pregnant pause just before the soloist start is magical. You can feel it, the anticipation rush is mystical. Will he hit the first and especially the second high? If he doesn�t your turn follows, our old Rusyn lesson in humility� first soloist, second choir, third time beginning by soloist, completion by you. If it goes well you swell with the experience that Christ is risen and all is right in the world. If not there is always pascha bread and pysanky eggs.

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Originally Posted by Mykhayl
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#199

Presentation is (almost) everything. Slavonic isn't more magical but it is mystical

I lean more towards magical.

I went to the dedication of a new church once. It was raining so bad, I was waiting for Noah to float by. We were standing in old parish hall waiting to process over to the new church. The Bishop was there and all the priests were vested and ready to go. It still poured buckets.

Finally, the pastor enough, lets go for it. The cantor started singing ANHEL BOZI VOSVISTILTJA, O MARIJE, MARIJE.....

Well, the rain stopped, the skies parted and the sun started shining with the most GOREGOUS rainbow I've every seen...

Talk about magical....

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Quote
I can't help but wonder why so many of our Eastern Christian brethren seem indifferent to the fate of their traditional liturgical languages.


The reason they are indifferent is I think complicated to answer.
I would submit that the main reason is that eastern Churches translations into other languages are not tinged with the sort of heretical humanism of teillard de chardin that the Latin/vernacular Mass of Paul VI (novus ordo) is. They are simply better translations than have been produced of the latin liturgies. If you desire to see fine translations of the Latin Liturgy into english I encourage you to read "Beneventanum Troporum Corpus I; Tropes of the Proper of the Mass from Southern Italy, A.D. 1000-1250" (you'll thank me later, they are so close to eastern liturgies translations of today). Another reason is that the liturgical language in the east are not seem as a unifying force to unite a church all over a large continent or world as it was in the latin church (for example many 19th c latin priests sent to colonies would enjoy having conversations in latin because they could not understand each others native tongues). A third reason is that there is less of a perception of desiring to continue a certain legacy and holy grail of keeping alive the "holy roman empire" or something like charlemangne "pax romana" or heritage which many westerners seem to find unforgettable. Some of Fr John Romanides ideas may enlighten you there (although be aware he is considered to be anti-latin church in it's post schism form)
Fourth reason is that the nationalism of the 19th century which continues to the present around the world, such as in the Austro-Hungarian Empire or former Yugoslavia encourages national languages to be used. Those are some of the ideas I know of.
This is a great question worth studying by everyone which i myself must learn more of in the future.

Ideally at the very least there should be projects started to archive liturgies said in all liturgical languages which are threatened with extinction of living usage.

Quote
Russian monasteries kept Greek as a liturgical language until the early 20th century.


I did not know this, I am surprised if this is true but not shocked. Greek was it seems the earliest universal language in all churches with Aramaic/Syriac possibly sharing this status.
The Coptic Church has used greek in some liturgies done today as well, such as the Liturgy of St Cyril (St Mark). I really don't have strong opinions on the useage of liturgical languages.

The only strong opinion I have is that poor translations are dangerous and threaten the Church. One can find amazingly close to perfect translations in many languages. A few understandings may occasionally be lost but new understandings will also be gained. We should struggle to do excellent translations more than we should strive to preserve ancient liturgical language.
Perhaps a better idea is a balance of both. Keep the original liturgical language until a equal translations exists, than it is up to bishops and laity to decide.
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Yikes! I am very distressed to hear that the maintenance of the liturgical language is a value in itself, regardless of its effect upon the worshippers.

The Church is living baptized people. There is, certainly personal prayer - which I presume people accomplish in their native heart-inspired language while crying out to God.

There is also public prayer - both liturgical and non-liturgical. The point of "public" prayer is for the community to worship God and to both praise and petition God in light of our needs. To do so in a non-understandable tongue seems to defeat the purpose of prayer and worship. Maintaining a classical form of liturgy for fear of deviating from the 'accepted' form of salvation would appear to deny the efficacy of the Holy Spirit.

The Latin church used Greek in the Kyrie Eleison to have a public acknowledgement of the position of the Greek speaking church in the evolution of the Christian community. (I think it's still a good idea - and not just because I'm of Greek heritage.) Analogously, some use of Latin in all Christian liturgy to acknowledge the contribution of the Latin people(s) and tongue to the development of the Church (both Eastern and Western) would be a wonderful commitment.

But to insist on these non-living languages as the total expression of the faith is not going to serve the evangelization needs of a Church committed to the Gospel of "go out and get 'em!". We'll just end up as an eccelesiastical "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" with incantations and magical words. [Let it be noted that I love the Harry Potter series; I chuckle a lot when they do their "spells", since it's usually just basic Latin -- but it sounds 'mysterious' and powerful!!]

Enter Dumbledore: "Exite perfidos omnes!!"

Blessings to All!

Dr John

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Today was Slavonic Sunday at my parish. I belted out the Otce Nas like usual. Also Budi Imja Hospodne. I'm committing more to memory and will continue to do so. I don't see Slavonic dying out at my parish anytime soon, so this has been a good learning experience. smile

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