Smolensk, September 2, 2013
His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia has stated that it is impossible to renounce the use of Church Slavonic at services and has called upon the Church to work with those people who do not understand it, reports the Synodal Information Department of the Russian Orthodox Church.
"We cannot simply "turn the toggle switch" and translate into Russian," said His Holiness, answering questions about replacing Church Slavonic with vernacular Russian as the Liturgical language, posed at a meeting with university students in the Smolensk region.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church has stressed that such a change would be difficult due to the specifics of Church Slavonic, and pointed out that the Russian language cannot adequately express all shades of meaning written in Church Slavonic texts.
The Patriarch noted that it was difficult for some people to understand texts in Church Slavonic. For them His Holiness has suggested to extend and develop non-liturgical Church activities. In his view, participation of the youth, who are interested in Orthodoxy but cannot understand in Church Slavonic, in events organized as part of non-liturgical activities would help to familiarize them with Liturgical language and Russian spiritual culture, and ease their process of joining the Church.
"What are non-liturgical activities like? They are gatherings. Not a word of Slavonic: everything in the modern style, in modern culture familiar and clear to anone. So, half a year passes, or maybe a year. And a person who attends such gatherings becomes a Churched person and begins to understand everything in the Church," noted the Patriarch.
"Thus, without a Liturgical reform, without a conflict of generations, we can easily solve this problem. But for this our priests must work hard. This is now an explicit demand of the Patriarch to the whole Church," concluded Patriarch Kirill.