fragments of an attempted writing.
I don't say this often, but kudos to Dreher for publishing this:

I had been in a couple of conversations with converts to Orthodox praising FM-G's commentary on the matter.  It never ceases to amaze me what nonsense people will believe so long as it is couched in pious terminology and postures.  Glad to see someone grant at least some of the convert phronemaniacs a little perspective here.

 Many Orthodox go into a rage at the slightest prospects of introducing modern Russian into the services...

But wait - Conciliar Press told me that Eastern Orthodox have historically used vernacular languages!?!? 


  1. The Church Slavonic (the language of the liturgy here in Russia) was of course a "vernacular", but it was the vernacular of the Slavic people of Macedonia ca. 900 AD. It's more understandable than the Anglo-Saxon of the Beowulf, but certainly is far from anything immediately understood by the populace.

    OTOH, various recently written (as in, within the last few centuries) kontakions and troparions may be in a more modern language.

    The liturgy of course is followed by a sermon in modern Russian.

  2. Point taken.

    I have a friend who grew up in the Caucasus speaking 4 languages. She ended up coming to the states and getting a PhD in linguistics. When we were in college together many moons ago I took her to a church slavonic liturgy at St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) in MPLS, MN. She had been to liturgy a couple times in Russia prior to that. She told me that she could understand about 25% of what was being sung, chanted, and said in church slavonic (some parts like the homily were in English). This girl (now middle aged woman) had the best knack for languages of anyone I've ever met.


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