Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Divine Liturgy in Modern Greek

In 2012 I had written an article entitled: ‘Translating Liturgical Texts from Ancient Greek to Modern Greek.’[1] The fact that the Liturgical language of the Orthodox Church, within the Greek world, is Ancient Greek creates a number of problems for the Modern Greeks, who do not speak Ancient Greek. However, this can be dealt with in a number of ways, as examined in my article.

Nevertheless, I was surprised to see that Apostoliki Diakonia, the official publishers of the Church of Greece, have published a book of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in both Ancient Greek and Modern Greek. The translation (or transliteration) was done by Metropolitan Dionysius of Servion and Kozanis. The objective of this small book is to emphasise how the faithful within the Orthodox Church are not just an audience, they take part in the services as well, with their presence, through the chanting and communion of the Divine Gifts. This is an indication that more and more people are using the language issue as a significant reason for not going to Church. Therefore, the Church of Greece wishes to solve this by publishing this interesting pocket book. Maybe the future will see more books like this one, in order for more faithful to understand the hymns of the services and the treasures of the Orthodox Church.

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