Why Americans Need An All-English Liturgy by Robert Arakaki (Reprinted from Journey to Orthodoxy)
A note from the editor of OE:
The following article was brought to my attention today, although it is actually several years old. Although with some minor reservations (for example, I don't recommend the NIV translation of Holy Scripture), I recommend it to the readers of Orthodox Ethos. One of the lines that caught my attention and "propelled" me to re-post the article is the following: "mixed language worship is an innovation that has no precedence in the history of Orthodoxy." To my knowledge, this is correct and its pervasiveness in North America makes it conspicuously problematic. The examples we have of how saints dealt with the presence of many ethnicities in one parish or monastery do not, with perhaps one or two exceptions,* seem to point to a mixed language solution. For example, St. Savas the Sanctified at his Lavra near Jerusalem had groups of monks which were Greek, Armenian and Syrian. The saint did not collect them all in the catholicon of the monastery for one mixed language Divine Liturgy. Rather, he gave each group their own chapel and had several Divine Services occurring at the same time.
Likewise, when monks from Georgia came to become the disciples of St. Symeon the Stylite, the saint did not strive to teach them Greek or require them to l