Why Russian appeal to the priests

History 17/02/20 Why Russians are turning to the priests “father” not “dad”

the image of the father – the archetypal image of all the peoples of the Earth, so both spiritual and secular leaders of the people is often compared to caring or strict parents, with the fathers. The title of the Roman Pontiff – the Pope is the most vivid illustration of the process of identification of the Church leader’s father.

From “father” to “Your Holiness”

As pointed out in the article “To the question about naming the Bishop of Rome Holy father” psychologist Vitaly D. Spasov, the first centuries of Christianity the Greek word πάππας “father” was known to all the clergy – the Church was one. Catholics have fallen away from the Orthodox churches in 1054. Later “fathers” began to call only the bishops, but after the split of the churches in the XII century the title was given to the two bishops of Alexandria and Rome. And soon the Roman leader was not just “dad” or “father”, but arrogated to themselves the right during the life called “the saints.”

In contrast, Orthodox priests believe that the sanctity of a man – that is the fate of his soul, which solves the Christ, may become apparent only after his death, and that is not right. Typically, between death and glorification of the Holy in Russia took place at least a hundred years. Signs of Holiness became popular veneration and miracles from the relics of the Saint, his tomb, or even his things.

In the Russian tradition the name “father” was fixed not only for spiritual but also for secular leaders, princes and kings.

Within the Russian Orthodox Church there are many different references to monks and priests. Depending on the situation they may be called “father”, “honest father”, “Reverend”, “Your Eminence” and even “Your Holiness.” But in the parishes for a priest who lives with his congregation side by side, has been called a “father.” In response the priest called his parishioners “bratlami and sisters.” Of course, we are not talking about a direct relationship, but of kinship in the faith. The priest in this case acts as the head of the family, father and pastor, and parishioners – as family and flock in need of spiritual driver. Called Russian priests and “father” – the name is more of a “family” parish – so often referred to those priests whom I know personally.

Why sir, not “Papa”

Because “father” – Russian word. According to the dictionary of max Vasmer, it comes from the Slavonic word batę, bat’a. On the territory of great Russia and the Ukraine since ancient times, father was a priest, Batey (from bat), in Belarus – father, but father, and in ancient times was called not only father, but also relatives – uncles and brothers. Later “fathers”, “father” began to call only the head of the family, the father of the family. And in the middle ages the name was transferred to the head of community, village and even to the chieftain. Spread it on the priests.

In the case of the clergy of the Russian Orthodox Church respectful treatment “Batyushka” as it includes them in the circle of close spiritual relatives, but it emphasizes their supremacy. In fact, in a peasant community, even the young priest could be in charge – he had the knowledge, was competent, he could explain the Scriptures and to evaluate the action or behavior of a parishioner. With it consulted in difficult situations, listened to him, believed him. A good, honest priest did become the father of his spiritual children.

the Word “Papa” was completely absent in the Russian language until the XIX century. It spread from the French language, which in those years knew the noble elite of the Russian state. No wonder, the first lady called their fathers in the French manner “Papa”. It is said that to spread the word “Papa” hand of the poet Alexander Pushkin.

Why not daddy?

Because the word “daddy” in Russia, firstly, it was distributed only in dialects, but not everywhere. And secondly, the word was too semeinym, reminiscent of baby talk. So the little kids called older relatives. The word “daddy” comes from the proto-Slavic word tẵta, the occurrence of which causes linguists disputes. Some believe that it came to us from the Hittite language, the other, which is from Turkic. But most likely this ancient word was Indo-European (Aryan) origin, so thought linguist Max Farmer.

the Word “Tata” as a more intimate “daddy”, “father” was common in Russia in the Arkhangelsk region, near Pskov, South-West and the Siberian villages where farmers were resettled from Belarus.

However, the Greek word πάππας still remained in the Russian language as a derogatory name of the priest – “pop”.

Maya Novik

© Russian Seven

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