Worship Service Language Policy
Our worship services are in English!
Nicholas Orthodox Christian parish exists to serve the spiritual
needs of all people living on the western Slope of Colorado. It ministers
to all who are Orthodox Christians, or who wish to know more about
worship services celebrated in the Orthodox Church are ancient.
They evolved simply and logically from the the Old Testament
Temple and synagogue services. In their present form they were
compiled (not composed) between the fourth and seventh centuries,
and have been handed down to us in their original New Testament
(“koine”) Greek language.
texts we use today are therefore absolutely identical to those
that were common usage in the universal, undivided Christian
Church of the first two millennia. These were the services of
Western Christendom, which evolved into the Roman Catholic Church
and her Protestant denominations in the eleventh and fifteenth
only change to our services from the first centuries of
Christianity is that they were translated from “koine” Greek into
English for use in our parishes in the twentieth century. In other
parts of the world they have been translated into Romanian,
Spanish, French, etc. This was in keeping with their translation
into the Latin vulgate for Western Christians in the fourth
century, and into Slavonic (an early Slavic language) for
Russian-speaking peoples in the tenth century.
We are blessed to have an occasional opportunity
to hear some parts of the Divine Liturgy
in its original language!
reflect this rich, ancient liturgical tradition, whenever a hymn
or refrain is sung more than once in a service at Saint Nicholas
parish, it may be chanted in both its original “koine,” New
Testament, Greek and then in English translation. By doing this we
express the exact preservation and continuity of our services in
the language spoken commonly at the time of Christ throughout the
general, the following “thumb rules” apply when we determine “which language”
to use during the services:
- All of our services will be in English.
- We may (or may not) use the ancient, New Testament
(koiné) Greek language for those verses, hymns, or prayers
we repeat more than once, viz.:
- The verse, “Through the intercessions of the
- The verse, “Save us, O Son of God, who
- The resurrection Apolitikion on Sundays,
- The hymn at the Consecration, “We praise You, we bless...,”
- The Koinonikon (the hymn before Holy
Communion), “Praise the Lord...,”
- The Lord’s Prayer, “Our Father...”
- The hymn after Holy Communion, “We have seen
- Note that if we chant one or more of the above
in Greek, it will always be repeated in English so
there is no question of doing anything “only in
- We also may (or may not) intone the “Small Litany” at
the beginning of the Sunday Divine Liturgy in the koiné
Greek, and/or in Slavonic (Russian), and/or
- The Lord’s Prayer may (or may not) be recited in as
many languages as might be represented in the
congregation. Usually the Our Father is recited in its
Biblical (koiné) Greek original, as well as in Latin,
Ukrainian, Dutch, Spanish, and English.
- The above is exactly as the Sunday Liturgy has been
celebrated for over two decades at Saint Nicholas parish;
there has been no change to our “policy.”
simply, Orthodox Christianity is “for all people, at all times,
and in every place.” All are invited and welcomed.