The new translation is about truth, not comfort: Head of UGCC explains whether non-use of new Service Book is a violation

April 19, 2024, 08:00 423

The new translation of the Divine Liturgy is not about comfort, it is about truth and correctness, it is about respect for the Ukrainian language, it is about the ability to better understand what I am praying. His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC, said this on the air of the Open Church program on Zhyve Television, answering the question of how comfortable he is praying with the new texts and whether a priest sins if he does not use the new Service Book.

The new translation is about truth, not comfort: Head of UGCC explains whether non-use of new Service Book is a violation

The Primate suggested that the new translation might be unusual for many people, with many reciting the prayers “automatically”. However, in his opinion, it is also a good opportunity to rethink the depth of the mystery of the Divine Liturgy.

The Father and Head of the UGCC affirmed that the new translation does not contain a single accidental word or decision regarding a new form or method of prayer.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav also shared his experience: “Personally, I am still learning, it is becoming a new habit of mine. For example, we used to pray the Publican’s Prayer in a different way. It took me two weeks to rearrange the words in my private prayer, but now it has become very natural, because we understand that we are asking God for mercy upon me, not to me,” said the Patriarch.

“Anything unusual is a well-thought-out decision, because the previous versions were inaccurate or even erroneous. Therefore, I invite you to adopt this new Service Book with all responsibility,” he said.

The Primate also explained that this change is also important for patriotic reasons and respect for the Ukrainian language.

When asked whether it is a sin for a priest not to use the new translation, the Head of the UGCC explained that a priest who does not fulfill certain liturgical orders of the Church commits a canonical, disciplinary violation. For no one has the right to arbitrarily change the text of the Divine Liturgy. Moreover, no one can adapt the Holy Liturgy to their notions of comfort or to their private ideas of what is right and wrong.

The Head of the Church also recognized that clergymen need time for prayer to become fluid in a new way and called for mercy to those who unintentionally make mistakes.

“Implementation of the Service Book is a process. I encourage everyone to be patient, wise and attentive. This will only improve our liturgical culture. This is a good opportunity to learn more about your faith, prayer, and the Divine Liturgy. I invite you to explore the depths!” added His Beatitude Sviatoslav.

The UGCC Department for Information

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