I have been a member of this forum for some time - but am rarely inspired to post.
I have to say - reading that essay on the evils of English Language was enough incentive this time. I am yet to decide whether I should laugh at its ignorance or to be infuriated.
First, allow me to note some relevant points:
1) I am a native English speaker with little (I'd say almost none) Russian. Certainly no Slavonic.
2) I live in a Anglo country where English is the only form of communication in schools, and everyday life.
3) I am an Old Ritualist - by birth - as is my entire family.
I make these points to demonstrate that firstly not everyone who wears that label 'Old Rite' is a backward thinking ethnocentric. My language skills may be poor - and whether you believe them to be a product of my socio-economic demographic - or perhaps my parents did not dedicate enough time to have me learn my heritage - however the fact remains that I need to read/write and study in English to acquire knowledge of any sort. Does this somehow prejudice me as a less worthy Christian? Perhaps due to this it is impossible that I could ever be seen as anything rather than evil in the eyes of the Saints and the Church? I think not.
I look to my late Grandmother. She was an Old Believer through and through. She was born in Russia, raised in China and had children and a life of her own there until she moved to the new world. She was a devout woman, who ensured her children attended Church, she prayed diligently for anyone and everyone, numerous times a day. She did not however have the skill of literacy. Like many White Emigres that fled the persecution of the Boshelviks, she could not read or write. The concept familiar to many Slavic people of common-stock was of an 'oral tradition' whereby the songs they sang, stories they told and faith they shared was passed down from one generation to another through the spoken word. Similar I may say to that of the people who lived in this world some 2000 years ago.
The language they used to convey their stories was Russian. Modern-day Russian if you will. To speak in Old Slavonic would have been to exclude many people from hearing the Good Word. Like has been commented on this forum already, Ss Methodius & Cyril likewise 'adapted' the Greek they used to create a new Lingua Franca in the Slavic world whereby those people could also hear of the Good Word. They were sainted for these works. Now when a parish priest tries to do this, he is condemned.
It is not a language that is evil, it is the person who uses that language to be vicious, hurtful, or crude that is. To think that perhaps the Lord's Prayer only holds true if it is said as Otche Nash rather than Pater Nostrum or, heaven forbid "Our Father". The words and sounds we use to glorify the Saints, Holy Fathers and God are merely a vessel by which we bring them forth. To pray in numbers is universally considered a good idea. To then exclude people from this because of their linguistic skills seems ansurd, and I believe: unchristian.
Of course, I am rambling (which no doubt is exclusively an English thing to do!) but I feel that we Old Ritualists have come so far in the last few years. I am not saying that we have anything to prove, but I personally like other jurisdictions of Orthodoxy (and Christianity in general)understanding us, often embracing us - as opposed to fearing us and hating us for being different. Mutual understanding and acceptance is a wonderful thing - and by relaying concepts such as "English is Evil" only hurts us all.
No doubt there are those from my jurisdiction of Orthodoxy that would not embrace what others do. I for one am a big fan of the work of the Old Ritualists of the ROCOR in Erie. Their prayer books in English and Slavonic have opened the doors to numerous young people to enter the church actively. They are now more knowledgable of church life and texts than their traditional parents ever were. In my own church, I sometimes see young people with their copy of the prayer book - following a service they know front to back in Slavonic - reading it in English so that they can fully comprehend the liturgy.
How anyone can state that such a thing is not good I do not know. I personally welcome the day when BK Old Rite churches hold some services in English. It will bring the youth back to the church. It is evidently clear here that young people do not participate as fully as they once did - and that the one barrier is a lack of understanding of the lanaguge. Now perhaps one could argue that their knowledge of English and little else is to blame for this and that English is the root of all evil. I woul say rather than looking at English as the cancer, perhaps English could be the cure? Use it to promote a Christian way of life - not blame it for its demise. Speak the language of the people and they will listen. Curse them for it (when it is not their own fault) and they will turn away.
I apologise to everyone for rambling on so. It just seems that there are so many small minded people out there who are so bent on seeing the world through their own eyes, that the bigger picture is often missed. The nuemrous divisions within the Eastern (and Western) churches is testimony to this.
My final little 'tongue poking' to the authors of that article is this: this website is a place, under the auspice of Catholics, whereby children of the Holy Catholic Church, both Eastern and Western liaise with children of the Holy Orthodox Churches (again Eastern and Western I believe) with perhaps some others in for the mix. And what is it that this mixed-bag does? It discusses the Old Rite. It shares common thoughts, shares prayers in times of need. It educates and provides a forum of learning. That cannot be a bad thing. And guess what? It is all done in English! Perhaps the authors ought to notice that.
Finally a quick question: did the authors write their essay in English originally or was it translated? Perhaps they shoudl only have published in Old Slavonic... but then again I guess they realise that not many people would hten have an opportunity to hear their word!
My two cents!