Church plans services in modern-day Greek

Worried that worshippers cannot understand services, Archbishop Christodoulos, head of the Church of Greece, has instructed churches in the Athens area to start conducting New Testament readings in Modern Greek later this month, a report said yesterday. Until now, the New Testament has been read in the original Hellenistic «Koine» or common language, a version of Greek spoken from the late fourth century BC to fifth century AD. Christodoulos is anxious that the young especially do not understand this form of Greek and cannot follow services, according to the Eleftheros Typos daily. In a major step for a Church that clings to its traditions, the archbishop received approval from the Holy Synod to start a pilot scheme in Athenian churches on September 19 which will see New Testament texts read in the original language before they are read again in Modern Greek.