Church scraps modern service

The Church of Greece said yesterday that it was abandoning a nine-month pilot scheme to make New Testament readings more accessible by conducting them in Modern Greek, after youngsters showed a decided lack of interest. Worried that worshippers, especially younger ones, could not understand services, Archbishop Christodoulos instructed priests in Athens to adopt the program last September. Until then, the New Testament had 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. However, Christodoulos admitted yesterday that the scheme had failed since the young rarely attended church anyway, while older generations did not need the Biblical passages to be presented in simpler phraseology since they had already heard them many times.