Church to preach in English

Greece’s conservative Orthodox Church will begin holding regular services in a modern Western language for the first time tomorrow to cater to English-speaking churchgoers, it said yesterday. The Orthodox liturgy hails directly from the Byzantine church tradition and is held in third-century Greek. «The hymns will be still in Greek, otherwise the music would be destroyed. But all plain texts and the sermon will be in English,» Church spokesman Epiphanios Economou told AFP. The service will be from 7.30-10.30 a.m. in the chapel of Aghios Andreas in Plaka (19 Aghias Filotheis St). «This is the first time the Greek Orthodox Church has organized an English-language service on a regular basis,» said Father John Raffan, an Orthodox priest from Scotland who will conduct the weekly service. Athens expects a flood of foreign visitors during the Olympics, but Raffan, who converted in 1982 after coming to Greece, told AFP the service’s first aim is to look after the Greek capital’s homegrown, English-speaking Orthodox community. (AFP)

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