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"God will understand and accept my sacrifice of praise and it is still communication" If you are not fluent in Coptic to the extent that you are unable to have a normal conversation with your parents...do you really contend that such prayer (praying in coptic) is acceptable before God when compared to praying with understanding in your native tongue?
First, Praying with understanding in a foreign tongue does not equal praying without understanding. You want to believe that, that's your choice. But there are thousands and millions of people who are praying with understanding in a foreign language (and as ophadece said, in a country that the primary language is the foreign language). You have judged the absolute fluency in Coptic is a requirement for prayer. This is not found anywhere in the Bible or patristic writings.
But back to your question.
Yes, prayer in Coptic is acceptable before God, even compared to praying in the vernacular. (Not more acceptable. Not holier. Not anything that I have been accused of) Here's my evidence "“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord." (Isaiah 55:8) and "Where is the wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the dispute rof this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?" (1 Cor 1:20). The conventional wisdom that absolute understand is only possible in the vernacular (even if it was proven) is still foolishness to God. (Do I need to repeat why?)
"The mind has role in prayer, we are not mindless parrots."
And there goes the judging again. What makes you adjudicate that prayer in a foreign language does not involve the mind? Have you ever considered the possibility that music and forms of language activate other areas of the mind that is not associated with colloquial interpretation? It is generally accepted that neural pathways that interpret every day conversation are different than neural pathways of music, and higher intellect, as well as lower intellect (automatism).
We are not talking about thinking something unholy during praise. And even if we were, one can think something unholy during praising in English. Language has nothing to do with it. As I said before, many people (even converts) are quite content with using a translation. Your assumption that this is inadequate because it doesn't use the same "amount of mind" is unsubstantiated. The mind is just as active listening and contemplating on God by hearing instrumental music as much as another mind singing in the vernacular (if not more). I can probably find some functional PET scans to prove this point.
"Do we really focus on the words when praising in coptic. Majority of us don't. "
This is a function of liturgical discipline, not language selection. If I am not disciplined to train my mind to focus on words, then I will not focus on words when praising in English. (And the majority included)
In Pope Shenouda's sermon, did he once say "Coptic must be removed from liturgical praise" (or something similar)? If not, then you are taking his words out of context. I didn't watch the whole sermon but over 30+ years I never heard Pope Shenouda once claim Coptic is the cause for the youth leaving. I have never heard him say liturgical worship must be in the vernacular. And he rarely prayed in Arabic. He favored Coptic in his liturgies quite often (even the Coptic gospel).
"We will stand on Judgement day, you hold onto Coptic, while I persist in not speaking in tongues but praising with understanding. Thank God, new servants are arising and this mentality of coptic only will be stopped."
Again with the judging. What you are implying is that people who have this "mentality of Coptic" are going to be stopped because it is against God. It is not amusing for anyone reading this when we are condemning others for holding different opinions.
I seriously had to pick up my chin off the ground when I read AntoniosNicholas' link to an article by David Merchant on "An Orthodox Philosophy of Music" which he posted yesterday on this thread: http://tasbeha.org/community/index.php?p=/discussion/15187/orthodox-mission#Item_136
Some of what David Merchant wrote resonates what I have been saying here all along.
On September 17, I wrote
"If you went to an Italian opera (in America) and I assume you don't know Italian, would enjoy it only for the way it sounds? Or would you find something that resonants with you personally? Even though you have no clue because you don't speak Italian, you still have a clue because some things are bigger than just words (and often it transforms you in some way)."
David Merchant wrote:
"From the moment the choir started singing, I found myself transported to a different place. Even though I couldn’t understand the words being sung, I was struck by the reverence and prayerfulness of the hymns and knew that what I was experiencing was something otherworldly. It was as if the presence of God was manifested through the beauty of the music. I couldn’t explain it at the time, but there was something special about the music I heard that night, and I will never forget that experience."
On September 15, I wrote:
“The moment one says 10% Coptic is ok, 50% Coptic is ok, but 100% Coptic is wrong, then you have automatically invalidated someone based on your personal preference…So the only real solution is for everyone to recognize the feelings of others and not invalidate them by stating English only or my preferential mix of Coptic/English alone is valid.”
“Its [evangelical worship’s] function is to mimic popular styles of secular music in the hope of attracting the “lost” and to appeal to the musical tastes of the worshipper….as an Evangelical Protestant. In worship, there was a sense in which I approached God on my own terms.”
David Merchant continues to explain how ancient music is more than conservatism or traditionalism. “The Church does not preserve its ancient chant forms out of a desire to reject interacting with the modern age but rather because its music is in some sense inspired by God and has a redemptive and deifying purpose that transcends aesthetic pleasure.” After acknowledging and listing external (cultural) influences on liturgical music, Merchant concludes “None of these developments, however, constituted a sudden or radical break with the previous tradition. Their evolution was slow and gradual, within the bounds of the Church’s tradition, guided by the Holy Spirit. Furthermore, these chant traditions retained a stylistic unity with one another and with the past and were all shaped around this principle of conservatism—this philosophy of music.”
While David Merchant spoke of the relationship of ancient music and contemporary practices, the concepts apply to ancient language and contemporary practices. What has been passed down musically is an expression of God that has redemptive power that transcends style and time. Liturgical language, if understood as a philosophy, also has redemptive qualities built around this same principle or philosophy of music. There are certain qualities of language that transcend style, external influences, competence and even cognitive esthetics, all the while being as functional (if not more) than the vernacular. Like music, one can’t approach God on his own linguistic terms (or preferences as I called them earlier), but one must be transformed by God through language.