I think the mention about New Skete's preference "of Pasch" over "Pascha" is probably superfluous. It's another one of their eccentricities (not that I'm giving a value judgment here, it's just clearly not standard for Orthodox in North America). The discussion on Easter defintely needs to be expanded or else I think it should be cut. It seems to me Easter is Germanic usage, and I would defend it as a valid localization. That said, most places around the world still use "Pascha" or some derivative - i.e. in Indonesian, a Protestant or a Catholic would greet one another with Selemat Pascha for Happy Easter. We should note too that Canadians say "Pascha" in such as way as to rhyme it with "Itasca".
- Agreed and updated. (How does one say "Itasca"?) --Rdr. Andrew
"Itasca" is like Chaska, Shasta, Tabascah ( = "tabasco" in southern Appalachia?)!
On another note, I think the worry about "Easter" and it's pagan origins neglects the important connection between the timing of Pascha and natural religion. (This goes for Christmas as well.)"The first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox" - that's not an accident. It's the flowering of Spring, tied in with the cylces of the spheres!
There's a cool etymological point to make with pascha too. In Hebrew, as you mention, it's pesach - referring of course to The Passover feast, etc. Also there's a sense of "passing over into the dawn" here. In Greek, it's accidentally associated with the verb pascho, to suffer. Of course, we can see in that the gracious and marvellous sacrifice of Christ for our salvation. Cool, eh?
- I disagree that mentioning the English translation of Pascha is superfluous, but then I've been infected with the monks' desire to translate into English wherever possible. It is certainly an eccentricity: They're a monastery; they can get away with calling things whatever they want, because they don't interact much with the rest of the world. In the secular world, we have to use language that everyone else uses in order to be understood.
- I agree with the expanded discussion of Easter. The discussion of Independence Day is probably a little biased towards a compatibilist understanding of the term Easter, but that may be unavoidable.
- I think that Fr John's point about the coincidence with natural religion is important, too. I think Fr Alexander Schmemann suggested at one point having two different dates for Easter: One for the northern hemisphere and one for the southern. In any case, the discussion should make note of the similarities and differences. --Basil 15:07, 15 Jan 2005 (CST)
That's an interesting point about the two dates for Easter. Do you remember where he says that? Also, re: Pasch, what is English? What makes sense in terms of mathematical linguistics (precise conjugates or whatever) doesn't always make sense for practical usage. In accord with our style guidelines, and the desire for NPOV, I don't mind if eccentric readings or perspectives are mentioned in footnotes (or some equivalent). I just think for the main body of texts, things should be kept pretty mainstream. If a good portion of the English speaking world adopts Pasch, well then we'll change it.
Also, I think that OrthodoxWiki articles should be descriptive rather than prescriptive. Your personal arguments or preference for a particular position may indeed be quite valid. I don't think it would be bad to create some pages off of your personal page to explain and expand your perspective on things, arguing prescriptively for a certain reading. It seems to me that we should explicitly encourage that, as long as it can be done with charity and respect in a spirit of dialogue-- Again, just let this take place on Talk pages like this or on your personal page (which can indeed become a small personal site).
FrJohn 15:14, 17 Jan 2005 (CST)
- I certainly do not intend for articles to be prescriptive. I am too eccentric myself to go around prescribing what others should do. (I do enough of that foolishness on my own website, anyway.)
- As far as the etymology of Pasch is concerned, it has a long history as an English word, which I'm sure a reading of its entry in the Oxford English Dictionary would reveal. I do not have a copy handy (!), nor am I close to a good library. My guess would be that it comes from the French Pasque. The American Heritage states that Pasch has been in the language since Middle English. I'm not against borrowing from Greek or Russian when necessary, I just happen to have a preference for the peculiarities of English when possible.
- But then, that would get us into a discussion of the devolution of the English language, a topic for a rather different place and time, I am sure. :)
- Unfortunately, I do not remember where I read that about Fr. Alexander and the two dates. If I recall, I will be sure to make it known. On my talk page, perhaps? ;) Right now, my once voluminous library has either been sold off or is in another's care, or I would try to track it down. --Basil 20:29, 17 Jan 2005 (CST)
- "As far as the etymology of Pasch is concerned, it has a long history as an English word" - Hey, didn't know that. That's interesting too! English has a lot of words from French and German, so I guess "Pasch" was in the running for awhile, but the Germanic version won out! Didn't mean to sound accusing there about the "prescriptive" part... I'm grateful for your contributions! FrJohn
- I'm something of a logophile (i.e., a word geek), and I've not heard of Pasch before now. That doesn't mean it hasn't been around, though, just that I hasn't encountered it. My 1973 OED records it as referring to (Jewish) Passover since 1200 and to the feast of the Resurrection since 1131. It also lists the term as "archaic" or "historical," though, which means it wasn't in much use when the entry was put together.
- I think we can agree that "Pascha" is the most common form today, though. In any event, I'll make a note about "Pasch" in the entry. --Rdr. Andrew 06:26, 18 Jan 2005 (CST)
Communing at Pascha
I laughed out loud when I read the following: "Many parishes take the Paschal Sermon of St. John Chrysostom literately and commune all Orthodox Christians who are in attendance." It reminded me of my attendance at two different Pascha liturgies in the same parish. One year I was struck by the fact that, despite St John's exhortation for "fasters and non-fasters alike" to receive communion, the priest made his usual exhortation that those who had not fasted could not receive. The other year I noticed he moved St John's homily until the end of the liturgy after communion. So situated, St John's exhortation to come to the feast could only be interpreted as referring to the lamb dinner served in the parish hall after the liturgy! I do think that, if we are going to use St John's homily (and we should), then we ought not to follow practices at the same liturgy that blatantly ignore his exhortation. --Fr Lev 06:54, March 7, 2007 (PST)
I've made a few notes in the article, but at this point, its description of the celebration of Pascha is mostly based on the Slavic practice. This still needs expansion to include, for instance, the ceremony of the knocking on the doors to the tomb and the Gospel from Mark chanted during Orthros. —Fr. Andrew talk contribs 08:21, March 21, 2007 (PDT)
Blessing of foods
The article says "Foods from which the faithful have been asked to abstain during the lenten journey are blessed and eaten only after the Divine Liturgy."
Does it mean (in some places) foods which were abstained are blessed after the Divine Liturgy? I am in Japan, whose tradition is heavily influenced by the Russian tradition, and there our custom seems the priest s blesses foods (mainly eggs) after the Matin and the First Hour.
Of course we took no food before the Divine Liturgy! --Cat68 00:52, April 9, 2007 (PDT)