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clarification on Pentecost entry

Thanks for the comments!

I think my last blog entry was a good example of why one doesn't, in other media, publish something written in one draft at 11:30 p.m.! I'm embarrassed that some have thought that I was trying to argue for English-only Eucharists in multicultural community -- something I find appalling.

I just want to clarify: I'm totally in favor of readings in multiple languages in services, especially when they're read in languages that are spoken regularly by people in the congregation. I miss more than I can say the bilingual Eucharists I participated in while I lived in L.A. I think that language and culture go together, and we lose a great deal as a society when we discourage people from speaking (and reading) in their first languages. I'd like to see MORE readings throughout the liturgical year in first languages of parishioners, not less.

What doesn't work for me is the practice of having people do readings in languages other than English ONLY on Pentecost, and then doing the readings in languages that aren't the native tongue of anyone present, aren't regularly spoken even by the reader, and aren't understood by anyone other than the reader.  The effect is worse for me when people read in multiple languages at once, making it difficult to hear any one version of the reading. I suppose one could use such a practice as a teaching moment by pointing out in the sermon that having everything in the majority language the rest of the time makes those whose native language is different feel just as excluded as speakers of the majority language do now; I would hope that such a teaching moment would be a way of announcing that readings would be in multiple or alternating languages from then on.

It bothers me to have speakers of other languages treated as some kind of "exotic ethnic other" on Pentecost, which is to me a celebration of what just might be the first-ever (and, if we were to take the book of Acts' report as straightforward reporting, probably the most successful) example of intentional multicultural community. On the Day of Pentecost, nobody gave up their native language, and everybody understood. It strikes me as ironic to try to observe that with a liturgy in which nobody speaks their native language and nobody understands the readings.

I hope that clarifies my views -- thanks for pointing out to me the ways in which my last entry was unclear!

Blessings,

Dylan

May 28, 2004 in Acts, Pentecost, Special Feature | Permalink

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Dylan's lectionary blog: clarification on Pentecost entry

« Day of Pentecost, Year C | Main | Trinity Sunday, Year C »

clarification on Pentecost entry

Thanks for the comments!

I think my last blog entry was a good example of why one doesn't, in other media, publish something written in one draft at 11:30 p.m.! I'm embarrassed that some have thought that I was trying to argue for English-only Eucharists in multicultural community -- something I find appalling.

I just want to clarify: I'm totally in favor of readings in multiple languages in services, especially when they're read in languages that are spoken regularly by people in the congregation. I miss more than I can say the bilingual Eucharists I participated in while I lived in L.A. I think that language and culture go together, and we lose a great deal as a society when we discourage people from speaking (and reading) in their first languages. I'd like to see MORE readings throughout the liturgical year in first languages of parishioners, not less.

What doesn't work for me is the practice of having people do readings in languages other than English ONLY on Pentecost, and then doing the readings in languages that aren't the native tongue of anyone present, aren't regularly spoken even by the reader, and aren't understood by anyone other than the reader.  The effect is worse for me when people read in multiple languages at once, making it difficult to hear any one version of the reading. I suppose one could use such a practice as a teaching moment by pointing out in the sermon that having everything in the majority language the rest of the time makes those whose native language is different feel just as excluded as speakers of the majority language do now; I would hope that such a teaching moment would be a way of announcing that readings would be in multiple or alternating languages from then on.

It bothers me to have speakers of other languages treated as some kind of "exotic ethnic other" on Pentecost, which is to me a celebration of what just might be the first-ever (and, if we were to take the book of Acts' report as straightforward reporting, probably the most successful) example of intentional multicultural community. On the Day of Pentecost, nobody gave up their native language, and everybody understood. It strikes me as ironic to try to observe that with a liturgy in which nobody speaks their native language and nobody understands the readings.

I hope that clarifies my views -- thanks for pointing out to me the ways in which my last entry was unclear!

Blessings,

Dylan

May 28, 2004 in Acts, Pentecost, Special Feature | Permalink

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.