Poll: Hieratic or Colloquial?
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Thees & Thys & Thous in prayer
#11
Since I am a member of the Ordinariate in the U.S., I prefer hieratic. Our liturgy is in hieratic English. For mental prayer, I do both, but tend towards hieratic. I also pray in Latin - I don't know Latin, but if I have a prayer text in front of me with both Latin and English translation, I usually pray the Latin.

As far as I know, the Greek which was (and is) used in Liturgy in the Eastern Churches (and was used early on in the West), as well as the Latin which was (and is) used in Liturgy in the Western Church, are hieratic or sacral forms of those languages. It is only recently that you get the push for a vernacular which is not hieratic or sacral.
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#12
(01-18-2015, 09:34 PM)Heorot Wrote: Just to clear up any possible confusion: I would never change the "hieratic" forms of the Ave or Pater. I've tried to do it in the past, but the Ave sounds strange and the Pater doesn't work. How do you replace "hallowed" with a modern English equivalent, for example? You really just can't do it!

"Hallowed" is an archaic synonym for "holy", so it can be replaced very easily. I agree, though, that it gets ugly when you modernise it. I did it for a while but quickly reverted back to the hieratic way I learned it as a child, with the exception of "debts/debtors" instead of "trespasses/trespass against us", and "the evil one" instead of "evil".
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#13
I could be mistaken about this, but from what I understand "thee, thy, and thou" were historically the singular second person, with "you" being the plural second person.  So thou meant the same thing as you means today, and you meant the same thing that various dialects use you all/y'all/ye/you guys/you'ns, etc.

Similarly to French, where the plural form "vous" is more formal than the singular form "tu," even when speaking with only one person.  Thus, "you" (or "ye") became a way of addressing a single individual.  Despite the fact that "thou" was already on the way out of colloquial usage, Bible translations tended to keep it, either as a way of preserving distinctions between plural and singular in the original Hebrew and Greek, or as a way of emphasizing a personal and "singular" relationship with God.  (This is also why Quakers historically used "thee" to address others: to emphasize equality and familiarity).

Thus, it is a bit odd that we see it as formal and rigid today, when it was originally informal and friendly.  With that in mind, I rather like prayers that retain it.  I don't deliberately insert it where I haven't learned it, but I do certainly use it in the Hail Mary and the Our Father, and don't feel any concerns about it.
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#14
(01-19-2015, 05:34 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: I could be mistaken about this, but from what I understand "thee, thy, and thou" were historically the singular second person, with "you" being the plural second person.  So thou meant the same thing as you means today, and you meant the same thing that various dialects use you all/y'all/ye/you guys/you'ns, etc.

Similarly to French, where the plural form "vous" is more formal than the singular form "tu," even when speaking with only one person.  Thus, "you" (or "ye") became a way of addressing a single individual.  Despite the fact that "thou" was already on the way out of colloquial usage, Bible translations tended to keep it, either as a way of preserving distinctions between plural and singular in the original Hebrew and Greek, or as a way of emphasizing a personal and "singular" relationship with God.  (This is also why Quakers historically used "thee" to address others: to emphasize equality and familiarity).

Thus, it is a bit odd that we see it as formal and rigid today, when it was originally informal and friendly.  With that in mind, I rather like prayers that retain it.  I don't deliberately insert it where I haven't learned it, but I do certainly use it in the Hail Mary and the Our Father, and don't feel any concerns about it.

That's why I use "you": I can't get around the feeling that the "hieratic" is not only excessively formal, but someone else's words, such that I have difficulty meaning the prayer when I use it.
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#15
Optatus Cleary, very good points. The distinction between plural & singular vocative is pretty important. Shame we never kept that in our modern dialects of English.

(01-19-2015, 06:06 AM)Dirigible Wrote: I can't get around the feeling that the "hieratic" is not only excessively formal, but someone else's words, such that I have difficulty meaning the prayer when I use it.

Wow, you expressed my problem much better in a few words than I did in many words.

"I have often repented of having spoken, but never of having been silent". St. Arsenius, Saying #40.
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#16
(01-19-2015, 05:34 AM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: I could be mistaken about this, but from what I understand "thee, thy, and thou" were historically the singular second person, with "you" being the plural second person.  So thou meant the same thing as you means today, and you meant the same thing that various dialects use you all/y'all/ye/you guys/you'ns, etc.

Similarly to French, where the plural form "vous" is more formal than the singular form "tu," even when speaking with only one person.  Thus, "you" (or "ye") became a way of addressing a single individual.  Despite the fact that "thou" was already on the way out of colloquial usage, Bible translations tended to keep it, either as a way of preserving distinctions between plural and singular in the original Hebrew and Greek, or as a way of emphasizing a personal and "singular" relationship with God.  (This is also why Quakers historically used "thee" to address others: to emphasize equality and familiarity).

Thus, it is a bit odd that we see it as formal and rigid today, when it was originally informal and friendly.  With that in mind, I rather like prayers that retain it.  I don't deliberately insert it where I haven't learned it, but I do certainly use it in the Hail Mary and the Our Father, and don't feel any concerns about it.

You are not mistaken. Thee, thy, thou were the second person singular. It can also be seen in the conjugation of verbs. "Thou hast" is the equivalent of the German "Du hast" (2nd person singular), whereas the conjugation for you (you have) is that of the 2nd person plural.
So even though everyone thinks that English does (in contrast to many other languages) not have a formal form for addressing someone, in reality it does not have an informal form any more.

Ironically, in the French Church, exactly the opposite happened. Traditionally, God and Mary were addressed with the second person plural in French Catholicism, but after Vatican 2, the French Church switched to singular.
So the English speaking Church switched from singular to plural, and the Trads insist on using singular, whereas the French Church switched from plural to singular, and the Trads insist on using the plural.
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#17
Typically prayers that are memorized use the thou and such. If they are, I use them. I'm not one of those people who say "the Lord is with you, blessed are you." It actually sounds weird to me like that.

For private prayer, I see no reason why not to just use you and such.
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#18
Freudentaumel, that's fascinating and hilarious! Clearly, this issue goes far beyond our small Germanic language.
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#19
(01-19-2015, 02:46 PM)Freudentaumel Wrote: You are not mistaken. Thee, thy, thou were the second person singular. It can also be seen in the conjugation of verbs. "Thou hast" is the equivalent of the German "Du hast" (2nd person singular), whereas the conjugation for you (you have) is that of the 2nd person plural.
So even though everyone thinks that English does (in contrast to many other languages) not have a formal form for addressing someone, in reality it does not have an informal form any more.

Ironically, in the French Church, exactly the opposite happened. Traditionally, God and Mary were addressed with the second person plural in French Catholicism, but after Vatican 2, the French Church switched to singular.
So the English speaking Church switched from singular to plural, and the Trads insist on using singular, whereas the French Church switched from plural to singular, and the Trads insist on using the plural.

I think in most languages the usual way of speaking formally is to use a form of plural.

Its amazing that the French Church was successful in changing this sort of stuff, because, at least in the basic prayers, this is usually handed down within the family. So, for instance, I learned to pray with my grandmother, and when I pray these simple prayers in Portuguese (its usually in Latin) I use the plural (vós). There's no way I would change that because the priest started using the singular (tu); but this is probably the one thing nobody changed around here.

In mental prayer I mix both forms (only because sometimes I don't like thinking the correct grammatical structure for the unfamiliar formal form). I don't even like calling my advisor by the informal pronouns, much less God.

By the way, the Protestants use the singular, I don't know why, maybe because they think formal language is too royalist etc.

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#20
I use hieratic Engish in all vocal prayers. In silent prayer, I still use hieratic English, although I also pray in Latin more often than in English during silent prayer. As for personal silent prayer I would use my language, Tagalog.

The Tagalog language uses plural pronouns when traditionally referring to God and superiors. I also do the same.

N.
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