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Church Slavonic

Church Slavonic, Old Slavonic or Old Slavic is a literary and liturgical Slavic language developed by 8th century missionaries Saints Cyril and Methodius, most important in eastern Orthodoxy and its spread into the countries of the Slavic peoples.

Cyril and Methodius hailed from Thessaloniki, and some scholars regard their artificial pan-Slavic language as an Old Bulgarian dialect. It has many South Slavic word forms.

Church Slavonic maintained a prestige status, particularly in Russia, for many centuries -- it had in the East a status analogous to that of the Latin language in western Europe, but had the advantage of being less divergent from the vernacular tongues of average parishioners. Some Slavic orthodox churches, such as Russian and Serb[?], still utilise Church Slavonic in their services and chants.



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