Sacred or liturgical languages (from Greek: λειτουργια leitourgia "public service" from leitos "public" by λαος / laos people; and εργον / érgon work, service) are languages used in worship of the various religions (see also: liturgy ). These languages play an important historical role for the respective religious community , retain an independent continuity with the religious tradition associated with them and gradually separate themselves from everyday language . A widely used liturgical language is Latin in the Roman Catholic Church .
Liturgical languages in Christianity
In addition to the respective vernacular languages, older Christian churches continue to use liturgical languages.
- The Latin rite recognizes Latin and especially since the Second Vatican Council the respective national languages as liturgical languages , whereby the Latin language should retain a special meaning. The Eastern Catholic Churches use those languages in their liturgies that are also used in their non-Catholic mother churches.
- Koine-Greek , the language of the New Testament , is the liturgical language of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople , the Church of Greece and the Church of Cyprus , as well as the Greek Catholic Church in Greece .
- The Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and the Melkite Greek Catholic Church also used Koine Greek in the past, but have switched to Arabic .
- Church Slavonic is the liturgical language of the Russian Orthodox Church and other churches of Slavic tradition.
- In the West Syrian and East Syrian rites , classical Syriac is the liturgical language.
- In the Alexandrian rite , the Coptic language and the ancient Ethiopian language are the liturgical languages , and in the Armenian rite the Armenian language .
- The Amish , Hutterites and some traditionalist Mennonites in North America use an anciently colored High German, partly influenced by Pennsylvania Dutch or Hutterite .
- Kakure Kirishitan , a distorted and misunderstood gibberish of Portuguese, Latin and Japanese liturgical fragments of the Japanese underground Catholics .
- Wherever in the Protestant churches a certain language is specified for the liturgy, this is usually the respective national language; In dialect areas , however, the respective high-level language is usually used. But some Protestants also know a kind of sacred language; in Anglican churches z. For example, the old personal pronouns of the 2nd person singular from Early New English are often used - thou, thee, thy, thine, thyself instead of you, you, your, yours, yourself . In the German Lutheran tradition, Martin Luther's translation of the Bible becomes all the more unambiguous the further away Standard German from it, the rank of a sacred language, cf. Christmas story (Luther Bible) .
- In the broadest sense, the Rastafaris in Jamaica also belong here. They use a special form of Jamaican Creole that they have adapted to their beliefs through targeted language reform .
Other sacred and liturgical languages
- Sumerian : since 1700 BC No longer spoken, but continued into the 1st millennium BC Cult and literary language between the Euphrates and Tigris
- Hattisch the Hattier subjugated by the Hittites as a cult language in the Hittite empire
- Old Latin of the Salian priesthood in Rome from early Republican times at the latest
- Etruscan : Superseded by Latin as the language of use around the year 0, but continued to exist in the cult of the Haruspices into the 5th century
- Hebrew in Jewish worship since the Babylonian exile
- Aramaic in Judaism since middle antiquity for studying the Talmud
- The Avesta language , the ancient Iranian language of the Avesta , is the language of the sacred book of Zoroastrianism .
- Pali in Theravada Buddhism
- classical Tibetan in Vajrayana Buddhism
- Classical Chinese in Buddhism in East Asia , also outside of China (also in Daoism)
- The Haitian Vodoun Culture Language , a form of the Yoruba language, is used in the voodoo cult in Haiti exclusively for cultic purposes.
- Uwe Friedrich Schmidt: Praeromanica the Italoromania based on the LEI (A and B). Lang, Frankfurt am Main 2009, ISBN 978-3-631-58770-6 , p. 9.