RPTs ADVOCATES STUDY OF BASICS OF CHURCH SLAVONIC IN SCHOOLS
RIA Novosti, 24 June 2017
It would be desirable to include study of the basics of the Church Slavonic language in the school curriculum in Russia declared Alexander Volkov, the press secretary of Patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus Kirill on Saturday.
Church Slavonic now is the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox Church. Before the revolution, Church Slavonic, along with the Law of God, was taught in elementary grades. Many words of this language have migrated into the modern Russian language.
"It would not be bad to study in the schools at least the basics of the Church Slavonic language—simply for a general cultural level. Even if a person never in his life crosses the threshold of a church, this still would be an important element. It would be important even from the point of view of general cultural, intellectual development of a young person," Volkov said on a VestiFM radio station broadcast.
He said that Church Slavonic has "marvelous poetics," which are "very remarkable and profound and deserving of study."
The patriarch's press secretary also noted that a language that is not studied in educational institutions is often not understandable for people who attend worship services. "There are people who over the course of many years have attended church but who do not bother to learn what certain Church Slavonic words and phrases mean, which they hear but simply do not even attend to and are not interested in. Unfortunately, we have such parishioners," the priest admitted.
Volkov said that in many churches, the Gospel now is read in Russian—this constitutes one of the most important moments of the liturgy—or parishioners are simply given sheets with a translation of the Gospel into Russia. At the same time he affirmed that "a complete translation of the language of the liturgy [into Russian] is too massive and is not on the agenda."
There have already been suggestions in society of the inclusion of classes in Church Slavonic in the curriculum of Russian schools. Thus, in May of this year, the president of the Russian Academy of Education, Professor Liudmila Verbitskaia, who was participating in the presentation of the first volume of the "Modern Great Dictionary of Church Slavonic," called for consideration of this idea. Verbitskaia reported that such an idea had been discussed in a session of the presidium of the Society of Russian Philology. In her opinion, this suggestion is "very interesting" and therefore "it should be considered." (tr. by PDS, posted 24 June 2017)
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