Proglas - Herba - page 15

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and holy liturgy was sung upon them. Then he ordered the Slovien disciples to be
ordained. And after they were ordained they sang the liturgy in the Church of St Peter
the Apostle in Slavonic ...and they sang praises the whole night long ...“
Our poet looked at the Word that was at the beginning of the life of our nation and that
was its strength for generations: ”O, Lord preserve the word of our fathers, for that was the
manna on which our youth flourished and gave fruit, that was the manna that gave and will
give our people power to grow, even when hit by hard times ...“
Look at the ideas that were considered central in the lives of our forefathers.
This is a prayer that we can find in ”The Life of Constantine:“
”My Lord and my God you extended the sky and laid the earth, you made everything out
of nothing you always hear those that obey your will and your commandments. Hear my
prayer ...“
From the beginning our manna in the desert was the word of the Gospels. This word,
which later, due to unfavourable circumstances, was not used directly on our territory,
was in an astonishing way preserved among the heirs of eastern liturgy, kept alive though
the contacts with other Slavonic languages and incorporated in church songs that were
sung here for centuries.
Literary scholars characterised ”Proglas“, or the Foreword to the Gospels as a
universal and ”passionate poetic celebration of Slavonic translation of the Scriptures.“
In ”Proglas“ we can find the essence of Constatnine’s philosophy. In his view man as
a intelligent creature is able to understand the Word. It nourishes his soul, it is the source
of his strength, as God is the basis, and the source of everyone’s existence. Man must
gain knowledge of the “letters”, of the script, in order to find his way to the
“Law of God”, to spiritual life.
Critics dubbed ”Proglas” a ”unique piece of poetry, a fervent praise of the Word,
written with an exquisite sense for the beauty of the word and a gift to explain the truth
and mysteries through metaphors and images.“ A connoisseur of Old Slavonic and other
literatures of that time, wrote that such an invocation to a nation to cherish books written
in its own language is absolutely unique. ”Proglas“ demonstrates the high level that Old
Slavonic reached in the field of poetry from its beginnings. This all in age when most
of the other nations in Europe could boast no artistically demanding poetry forms
written in their national languages.
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