Definition of Church Slavic in US English:

Church Slavic

(also Church Slavonic)


  • The liturgical language used in the Orthodox Church in Russia, Serbia, and some other countries. It is a modified form of Old Church Slavic.

    • ‘Something of the rich doctrinal content of the services is inevitably missed by large numbers of Orthodox who have not mastered Byzantine Greek or Church Slavonic.’
    • ‘They translated the old Greek texts into their new language, known as Church Slavonic, and, blessed by both the Pope and the Patriarch, they embarked on their first mission to Central Europe to evangelise the kingdom of Moravia.’
    • ‘Ukrainian literature had been developing since the early 11 th century, when people of the early Kievan Rus drafted some of Ukraine's first works in early Church Slavonic, such as the Hypathian Chronicles.’
    • ‘The Divine Liturgy (not Mass) was conducted in Church Slavonic instead of Latin; priests could marry; and the old Julian calendar was retained.’
    • ‘Along with Old Russian, Church Slavonic was the primary literary language until the early eighteenth century, when it was reformed as part of Peter the Great's westernization and secularization campaigns.’