Sacred language

From ArticleWorld

A sacred language is not usually the first language used everyday but one that is used in religion. It is quite common for it to be a language which no longer has any native speakers or for it to be an ancient language. Tο use the language needs special training and the practice of it sets its users apart. As it is often used in liturgies and rituals, this lends the ceremony solemnity and dignity and its users an aura of having access to knowledge belonging to another world.

Western sacred languages

As its official language, the Roman Catholic Church uses Latin which is an ancient Indo-European language that was used at the time of the Roman Empire. It is also used nowadays in academia. The Greek Orthodox Church uses Koine Greek, an ancient Greek dialect which was the language used in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It was also used in the Roman Empire and was formed by the armies of Alexander the Great.

Old Church Slavonic is used in Eastern Europe as a liturgical language and was standardized in 862 by two apostles. Coptic is an Egyptian language most likely extinct as a living language since the 16th century but is used as a sacred language of the Coptic Orthodox Church.

Eastern languages

Sanskrit is used as a liturgical language in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism and as Latin is to Western Europe so Sanskrit is to India and SE Asia. Classical Chinese was used for formal purposes up to the 20th century in China, Korea and Japan but today is used mostly for ceremonial purposes.

Indigenous languages

The origin of Native American languages is still a matter of debate but they were once spoken throughout the entire American continent. Nowadays, they are not used in daily life but for religious rituals and ceremonies.