Church Slavonic language

Kiev psalter.jpg
Church Slavonic, also known as Church Slavic[1], New Church Slavonic or New Church Slavic, is the conservative Slavic liturgical language used by the Orthodox Church in Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Russia, Belarus, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of Macedonia and Ukraine. The language appears also in the services of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese and occasionally in the services of the Orthodox Church in America. It was also used by the Orthodox Churches in Romanian lands until the late 17th and early 18th centuries,[2] as well as by Roman Catholic Croats in the Early Middle Ages. It is also co-used by Greek Catholic Churches, which are under Roman communion, in Slavic countries, for example the Croatian, Slovak and Ruthenian Greek Catholics, as well as by the Roman Catholic Church (Croatian and Czech recensions, see below).

In addition, Church Slavonic is used by some churches which consider themselves Orthodox but are not in communion with the Orthodox Church, such as the Macedonian Orthodox Church, the Montenegrin Orthodox Church, the Russian True Orthodox Church and others. The Russian Old Believers and the Co-Believers do also use Church Slavonic.

Church Slavonic represents a later stage of Old Church Slavonic, and is the continuation of the liturgical tradition introduced by the Thessalonian brothers Cyril and Methodius in the late 9th century in Nitra, a principal town and religious and scholarly center of Great Moravia (located in present-day Slovakia). There the first Slavic translations of the Scripture and liturgy from Koine Greek were made.

By the early 12th century, individual Slavic languages started to emerge, and the liturgical language was modified in pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and orthography according to the local vernacular usage. These modified varieties or recensions (e.g. Serbian Church Slavonic, Russian Church Slavonic, Ukrainian Church Slavonic in Early Cyrillic script, Croatian Church Slavonic in Croatian angular Glagolitic and later in Latin script, Czech Church Slavonic, Slovak Church Slavonic in Latin script, Bulgarian/Macedonian Church Slavonic in Early Cyrillic and Bulgarian Glagolitic scripts ecc) eventually stabilized and their regularized forms were used by the scribes to produce new translations of liturgical material from Koine Greek, or Latin in the case of Croatian Church Slavonic.

Attestation of Church Slavonic traditions appear in Early Cyrillic and Glagolitic script. Glagolitic has nowadays fallen out of use, though both scripts were used from the earliest attested period.

The first Church Slavonic printed book was the Missale Romanum Glagolitice (1483) in angular Glagolitic, followed shortly by five Cyrillic liturgical books printed in Kraków in 1491.

Various Church Slavonic recensions were used as a liturgical and literary language in all Orthodox countries north of the Mediterranean region during the Middle Ages, even in places where the local population was not Slavic (especially in Romania).

In recent centuries, however, Church Slavonic was fully replaced by local languages in the non-Slavic countries. Even in some of the Slavic Orthodox countries, the modern national language is now used for liturgical purposes to a greater or lesser extent.

This page was last edited on 29 June 2018, at 12:28 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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