An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Someone directed me to this article about the Catholic Church forbidding the naming of God during their Liturgy. It gave me pause to think about the fact that as far as I know the Orthodox have never used a pronunciation of the Tetragrammaton in any Liturgical service or musical setting.
I know I have blogged before about conversations I've had with a Jewish coworker regarding making reference to God. Not long ago I saw a movie (I don't recall the name and didn't like it enough to look it up) that starred Nicholas Cage as a Ukrainian illegal arms dealer. In the film there are some scenes in which the characters are speaking Ukrainian and they refer to God in the heat of a variety of passionate and decidedly non-religious moments. Anyone familiar with hearing some Slavonic in their services would immediately recognize the words...and as I heard them they REALLY struck me. Suddenly the "nails across the chalkboard" expression my coworker bore made all the sense in the world to me.
It was a strange experience...because I often hear (and admittedly sometimes say) the term "God" out of its (HIS) proper context and I feel nothing much unusual about it. But there I was hearing someone say "Gospodi" or "Bozhe" and it was really making me uncomfortable - even more than hearing hearing someone say our Lord's name in vain.
Anyway I hope the experience leads me to be a little more serious when I chant: "Set O Lord a guard over my mouth and a door of enclosure about my lips."
Fascinating observation. With everyday language, when using the Lord's name in vain is commonplace (in many if not most circles), the word's meaning and its use get separated and we get used to that schism. You have never grown accustomed to such a separation in the Slavonic, and it hit you! I never would have thought of that, but it makes sense.