The Orthodox Western Rite

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1 The Orodox Western Rite A 2008 Clergy Symposium Workshop Paper by The Very Rev d Nicholas R. Alford St. Gregory Orodox Church Washington, DC Orodoxy has often been called a well kept secret and many people know little of e Orodox Church, save at it involves Russians and Greeks, icons, men wi beards wearing black robes, and elaborate rituals. We, however, know at e Orodox fai is e true and right fai and at e Orodox Church is e Church founded by Christ and His Apostles. While e vast majority of Orodox Christians worship in a manner at is culturally Eastern, a small but increasing number of Orodox Christians are joyful to worship and live out eir fai in a culturally Western manner - in e Orodox Western Rite. Wiin Orodoxy itself, however, e Western Rite is certainly a well kept secret. Many Orodox Christians have never heard of e Western Rite; oers may be confused or concerned about it. This paper will address e question of what e Western Rite is, followed by a brief history of e Western Rite, and conclude wi a few remarks addressing e matter of why e Western Rite is needed. First, ere is e matter of what is meant by e word rite. The Latin word ritus, from which our English word rite comes, means any form or manner of religious observance. So in at sense we may speak of e form used for e Liturgy or for Chrismation or for e blessing of a house or for any oer service of e church as rites. In a more general sense, however, e word rite is also applied to e whole body of services, ceremonies, hymns, prayers, devotions and practices of a religious people. In is way we may speak of e Byzantine Rite or e Roman Rite or e Coptic Rite or even e Presbyterian, Baptist or Pentecostal Rites (as Protestants undoubtedly have eir own rituals or regularly prescribed ways of doing ings, wheer ey will admit it or not). As we strive to relate to God (who is certainly "beyond description, beyond understanding, invisible (and) incomprehensible ), as we seek to know God and to enter into relationship wi Him, we must do so in a manner which we can begin to understand, at is at least in part comprehensible to us, in a language which speaks to us, in e language of our culture. A Rite is a cultural expression of e fai believed by a particular people. A rite is not e fai itself, but raer conveys e tru of e fai -1-

2 wiin e language of e culture, in e language of e people. His Beatitude Archbishop Anastasios of Tirana and All Albania has stated: This issue of culture is a very basic one. When e Gospel meets anoer culture, ree ings happen. One part of e culture clearly you have to accept - for instance, e language. Anoer part of e culture you have to reject - at which does not agree wi e Gospel... and ere is a ird part, which you have to transform. I can say to baptize, to use it, giving it anoer meaning... We have to see at oer cultures have eir own dignity, eir own interest and we must respect em... we have to accept our ignorance and be more humble in our attitude towards oers. We must accept e expression of eir feelings and eir life and not say, is is not Orodox! What is not Orodox? Not Orodox is to be impure, to be dishonest, to be against e will of God, is is unorodox. We know at e Orodox Church is e One Holy Caolic and Apostolic Church, e Church established by Christ and led by e Holy Spirit into all tru. For e first ousand years after e early life, dea and resurrection of Christ, ere was essentially one Church believing a common fai (yes, we can speak of e schisms following e Councils of Ephesus and Chalcedon - but e East and e West were still united). There was one church united in fai, but wi different cultural expressions of at common fai. In Syria e Liturgy of St. James was used, in Egypt e liturgy of St. Mark, in Rome e Liturgy of St. Peter (later called e Liturgy of St. Gregory), in Constantinople e Liturgies of St. Basil and John Chrysostom, and we could go on to speak of e Celtic liturgy and e Gallican Liturgy, and e Mozarabic liturgy and many oers - all different cultural expressions of e one Orodox fai, all important aspects of Holy Tradition. Gradually, wiin e two halves of e Roman Empire, Eastern and Western, two rites came to dominate. In e Eastern portion of e Empire, e Rite of e City of Constantinople supplanted oer liturgical forms, including replacing e ancient Liturgy of St. James in Syria by e 12 or 13 century. In e West, e Liturgy of Rome became e norm. At times ese changes were forced upon e people; at oer times e people wanted to emulate what was done in e imperial cities (for example, we know, in e early part of e 8 century, at e English Church historian, St. Bede, speaks of sending to Rome for books and teachers and chanters to learn how to do ings correctly). Before e schism of e 11 century, ese two dominant forms of worship, at of Rome and Constantinople, existed side by side wiin e Roman Empire and wiin e Orodox Church. -2-

3 One of e duties of e Church is to help us to become holy and e Orodox Church in e West and in e East equally produced many, many saints. In e Liturgy of St. Gregory we recall e early Popes after St. Peter and oers who were martyrs for e fai in e West: Saints Linus, Cletus, Clement, Sixtus, Cornelius, Cyprian, Laurence, Chrysogonus, John and Paul... We could mention St. Alban e proto-martyr of Britain who died about e year 202; St. Ambrose of Milan, who in e 4 century converted and baptized St. Augustine, wrote hymns and called e Emperor to account; St. Patrick e great 5 century missionary to e Irish; St. Boniface (e 8 century Apostle to Germany); and e list goes on and on. The prayers, liturgies, hymns and devotions which nurtured ese saints, which helped to make ese people holy are e Western Rite. This rite was Orodox for a ousand years. Then e West departed from e Orodox fai. This, at first, was largely e work of rulers and academics, exacerbated by linguistic differences, and en e rift was made worse by e crusades and e rise of Scholasticism, driving wedges between e hearts and minds of e peoples of e East and of e West. While ere was some continued Western liturgical presence in e East after e schism of e 11 century, such as at of e Benedictine monastery of e Amalfians on Mt. Aos, which existed until 1287, e real history of e restoration of e Western Rite begins wi Julius Joseph Overbeck in A former Roman Caolic priest, Overbeck left e priesood, got married, and en moved to England to teach. After studying bo e Church of England and e Roman Caolic Church, Overbeck determined at bo were seriously flawed. He was received into e Orodox Church at e Russian Embassy in London in Overbeck, along wi a number of Tractarian Anglicans, began to work towards e establishment of a Western Orodox Church, petitioning e Holy Synod of Moscow, and a Synodal Commission was established to study is request and e Roman Liturgy. Old Caolics, who had left e Roman Communion after e First Vatican Council also expressed interest in is work. The proposal received e approval of e Synodal Commission and Overbeck en turned to seek e approval of e Patriarchate of Constantinople, where e Patriarch, Joachim III, recognized e need and accepted e idea of a Western Rite. Ultimately, however, Overbeck felt at e Greeks in England were to blame for stopping e progress of is work and Overbeck died in 1905, wiout seeing his plan completed. There is some evidence at e Greeks in England were responding to pressure from e Church of England, where e establishment of a Western Rite was viewed as a reat. -3-

4 Meanwhile, St. Tikhon was serving as bishop in America and had befriended Caolic-minded Episcopalians, including Bishop Charles Grafton of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. In 1904 Archbishop Tikhon asked e Moscow Synod to review e Anglican Book of Common Prayer and e Synod prepared a report detailing what needed to be added and what had to be removed for e Prayerbook to be used in Orodox worship. St. Tikhon also attended Evensong at St. Mark s Episcopal Church in Denver, Colorado, which now, by e grace of God and e prayers of St. Tikhon, is St. Mark s Orodox Church. In 1911, e first Old Caolic Bishop in Great Britain, Arnold Harris Matew, entered into union wi e Patriarchate of Antioch, under e guidance of Metropolitan Gerasimos (Messarah) of Beirut. This union lasted only for a matter of mons, before e Church of England again brought pressure to bear against what could have become a reat in England. While Matew went on to have a raer unstable life, perhaps due to continued persecution, is temporary union does have significance for us, bo as e Patriarchate of Antioch saw e need for e establishment of a Western Rite, and as a young Anony Bashir served as Deacon to Metropolitan Gerasimos. The chaos and turmoil following e Russian Revolution brought e work of e Moscow Synod towards establishing a Western Rite to a sudden end, as ey had innumerable difficulties to deal wi. In Europe e situation was somewhat better and after a few false starts, six Polish congregations were received as Western Rite congregations by e Russian Church in In e 1930's, e French Orodox Church was received by e Russians; some in is group used e corrected Roman Rite, oers attempted to reconstruct e Old Gallican liturgy. The French Orodox Church has moved in and out of canonical Orodoxy: at times under e Russian Church in Exile, at times wi e Romanians, at times autonomous, and most recently, some of is group have been received by e Serbs. Back in America, Bishop Aftimios (Ofiesh), e successor to St. Raphael (Hawaweeny), in his attempts to start what was called The American Orodox Caolic Church, consecrated a former Episcopal priest, Ignatius (William Albert) Nicholas, as Auxiliary Bishop of Washington and gave him jurisdiction over e Western Rite. When bo Aftimios and Ignatius got married, in violations of e canons of e Church, e Russian Church broke communion wi is group. In 1932 Ignatius established e -4-

5 Society of St. Basil, a devotional society committed to e establishment of e Orodox Western Rite and in 1939 Ignatius consecrated Alexander Turner to be his assistant and successor. Turner was also e pastor of e Church of e Holy Wisdom in Mt. Vernon, NY. He knew at ultimately ere was no future for e Western Rite apart from e canonical church. He began discussions wi e Antiochian Archdiocese where Anony Bashir was now e Metropolitan Archbishop, and Metropolitan Anony issued his Western Rite Edict in 1958 (so we can rightly speak of 2008 as our 50 anniversary year). In 1961 Metropolitan Anony received e first ree Western Rite congregations. Bishop Alexander Turner en became Fr. Alexander Turner and served as our first Vicar General. Grow and e quest for stability was slow at first, but e situation improved beginning in e mid-1970's, as a number of former Episcopal congregations were received into e Archdiocese. Why did Metropolitan Anony take is action? As he presented his vision for e Western Rite to e Archdiocese, Metropolitan Anony stated two purposes for his actions: first, to provide a home in e Orodox Church for Western people of non- Byzantine cultural and religious background, and second, to witness to e caolicity of e Orodox Church to her Byzantine people, priests and eologians. In his report to e Archdiocesan Convention of 1958, to what was a predominantly Arabic audience, Metropolitan Anony stated: We Orodox teach at we are e one, holy, Caolic Church. We must not en force e whole world to become Eastern in order to enter e true Church and be saved! The fai must be one, and Orodox, but its expression has always been suited to e races and nations which accepted Christ. Food is necessary to life, but it attracts different races when it is prepared differently. We know at Yorkshire Pudding and Sauerkraut and Spaghetti are just as nourishing as Kibbi, it s just at we don t enjoy em as much! Metropolitan Anony, and for e past forty-two years, Metropolitan Philip, have supported and encouraged e Western Rite wiin is Archdiocese. We are organized bo as a department and as a vicariate of e archdiocese. Fr. Paul Schneirla has served as e Vicar General since e dea of Fr. Alexander Turner, e first Vicar General in His Grace, Bishop BASIL serves as our hierarchical overseer. Today we have about two dozen congregations scattered across e country and ere are oer groups in conversation wi us about entering e Orodox Church and worshiping in e Western Rite. There are also Western Rite congregations and monasteries wiin e Russian Orodox Church Outside of Russia. The French Orodox Church (which currently has a -5-

6 questionable canonical status) has Western Rite congregations, and ere are a number of small Western Rite groups who claim to be Orodox but who are not in communion wi e Church (but who do have a very large presence on e internet). While e French Orodox Church had sought to recreate e ancient Gallican Liturgy, at times in creative ways, Metropolitan Anony made it clear at e Western Rite wiin is Archdiocese should be based on e living liturgy of e West, in oer words on e Roman Liturgy as it existed in 1958, before e reforms of e Second Vatican Council. While is liturgy is sometimes called e Tridentine Mass, at is someing of a misnomer. The term Tridentine refers to e 16 century Roman Caolic Council of Trent, which took e ancient liturgy of e City of Rome and made its use mandatary for all places under Rome s jurisdiction which did not have an ancient liturgy of eir own. Our liturgy is at ancient Roman liturgy. To look at a brief history of our liturgy: St. Justin Martyr and Hippolytus bo give early accounts of what e Roman liturgy was like. The Roman liturgy was originally offered in Greek, but was offered in Latin by e time of Pope Victor who died in 202. Pope St. Gregory e Great who died in 604, took e ancient liturgy, stripped out what had been recently added and gave e liturgy its current organization, adding only one phrase to e Eucharistic prayer. An Antiochian Pope, St. Sergius I, who died in 701, added e Agnus Dei ( O Lamb of God, who takest away e sins of e world, have mercy upon us... ), sung shortly before receiving Holy Communion. There was substantial cross-fertilization wi e Gallican Church following e rise of Charlemagne towards e end of e eigh century and from at influence we have received e blessings of palms and candles and ashes and much of e dramatic nature of our Holy Week services. The Nicene Creed was added to e liturgy in Rome around e 11 century following e practice in Constantinople, ough e Creed had been professed in e West since e 4 century. Around e 13 century a number of prayers were added, which e priest says privately. At e time of e Council of Trent e intent was to keep e ancient forms of worship and all at was added were prayers of preparation before e mass begins (which had previously been said in e sacristy) and additional devotions which follow e dismissal, such as e reading of e Prologue of St. John s Gospel. So in a sense we can say at e liturgy, as we have it, is essentially unchanged from e time of St. Gregory at e beginning of e 7 century, and in terms of what e people hear spoken or sung during e Mass, e primary changes since Gregory s time have -6-

7 been made by Syrians: first e addition of e Agnus Dei by St. Sergius, and en in e 1970's e epiclesis from e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was added by e Patriarchate; e prayer, I believe, O Lord, and I confess... also from e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom was added in e early 1990's to our Western Rite at e request of Patriarch Ignatius IV, as a sign of our Orodox understanding of e reality of e Eucharist. As St. Gregory was e last to make any truly substantial revisions to e Liturgy, it commonly bears his name: e Liturgy of St. Gregory, even as we speak of Gregorian chant due to his work to collect and organize e chant of e Church as it existed in his day. Anoer form of e liturgy is also used wiin e Western Rite Vicariate of our Archdiocese. It bears e name of e Liturgy of St. Tikhon, not because it was composed by St. Tikhon of Moscow, but in honor of e work at St. Tikhon undertook on behalf of establishing e Orodox Western Rite before his dea in This liturgy is based on e service of Holy Communion from e Book of Common Prayer of e Protestant Episcopal Church, but as presented in e English Missal, which was an attempt to restore many elements from e Roman Rite which had been removed at e time of e Reformation (is Missal, and a similar work, e Anglican Missal, were widely used by Caolic-minded Anglicans and Episcopalians). While some have objected at is liturgy has a Reformation heritage, is did not appear to trouble e Holy Synod of Moscow when e liturgy was recommended for use wi corrections in 1904; ey merely stated what must be added and what must be omitted to bring e liturgy into conformity wi e Orodox Fai. For ose who are interested in learning more about is liturgy, ere is an eloquent defense of e Liturgy of St. Tikhon posted on e website of St. Mark s in Denver, showing its roots in e Sarum liturgy (e dominant form of e Roman Rite in use in England before e Reformation). Bo of our liturgies are contained in The Orodox Missal available from e Western Rite Vicariate and in a slightly different form in e St. Andrew s Service Book available from e Archdiocese. For e Daily Offices our congregations have a choice. The Roman Monastic Office may be used in its Benedictine form wi its seven day offices (Prime, Lauds, Terce, Sext, None, Vespers and Compline) and e night office (Matins). This complete office is rarely kept outside of monastic houses, but many of our clergy do recite much of e day office. The Monastic Office is contained in e Monastic Diurnal and e Monastic Breviary Matins, bo now available from St. Mark s in Denver in recently -7-

8 reprinted editions. The oer choice is The English Office, based upon e services of Morning and Evening Prayer found in e Book of Common Prayer. In e report of e Moscow Synod on e Book of Common Prayer it was noted at while e recourse in prayer to e Most Holy Moer of God, to e Angel Hosts, and to e illustrious saints, e glorification and invocation of em, forms an essential part of Orodox and Caolic worship, ese ings are entirely foreign to Anglican worship. It is absolutely necessary at ere should be introduced into is worship some such prayers (or hymns) in one or anoer form and degree. These enrichments, especially e Office Hymns and antiphons, compiled from traditional Western sources, are made available in The St. Ambrose Hymnal and The Antiphoner, bo available from St. Gregory s in Washington. A good example of what e report of e Moscow Synod was speaking of is found in two antiphon for All Saints Day: O Savior of e world, save us all, and let y most holy ever-virgin Moer intercede for us: aided by e prayers of holy Apostles, Martyrs, and Confessors, wi ose of holy Virgins, we humbly supplicate, at we may be delivered from all evil, and be counted wory, now and ever, to be filled wi all good ings. The glorious company of e Apostles praise ee; e goodly fellowship of e Prophets praise ee; e white robed army of Martyrs praise ee unceasingly: and all e Saints and elect wi one voice acknowledge ee, O blessed Trinity, one God. The English Office itself is available in The English Office Noted from St. Gregory s, e St. Dunstan s Psalter from St. Mark s and wiout music in e St. Andrew s Service Book. The official forms of e oer services and Sacraments are contained in e Orodox Ritual available from e Vicariate. This work is heavily based upon e old Roman Ritual and our forms for weddings, baptisms, chrismations, unction and funerals are essentially e old Roman forms, corrected for Orodox usage when necessary. For e most part, ordinations take place in eir Byzantine forms, is being e form familiar to our bishops. -8-

9 When Metropolitan Anony established e Western Rite Vicariate, he gave permission for us to make use of devotional practices and customs as are not contrary to e Orodox fai... Thus our people and congregations may make use of post-schism devotions, such as e rosary and sing hymns familiar to modern Caolics and Protestants, hymns which convey basic Christian fai and contain noing objectionable, noing which is contrary to e teachings of our Church. In addition to e Gregorian Chants called for in our services (which developed along parallel lines wi Byzantine chant), we also sing ancient hymns, such as ose by St. Ambrose and St. Gregory, and more modern hymns, such as ose by Charles Wesley and Isaac Watts; all of which convey a clear and Orodox Christian fai. Who could find anying un-orodox in words such as ese by William Chatterton Dix written in e mid 19 century: Alleluia, sing to Jesus! His e scepter, His e rone. Alleluia, His e triumph, His e victory alone. Hark, e songs of peaceful Sion under like a mighty flood. Jesus out of every nation ha redeemed us by His blood. Alleluia, King eternal, ee e Lord of lords we own. Alleluia, born of Mary, ear y footstool, heaven y rone. Thou wiin e veil hast entered, robed in flesh, our great High Priest. Thou on ear bo Priest and Victim in e Eucharistic Feast. Most of our congregations do make use of an organ to support congregational singing, as e organ has long been a distinctly church instrument in e West. While e use of ree-dimensional art, such as statues is optional, we adorn our churches wi icons. Some of our churches have made substantial effort to recover e ancient Western forms of iconography, oers use e commonly available Byzantine forms, knowing at e great old churches of Rome and Ravenna are filled wi Byzantine mosaics and icons. An important part of any rite is e observance of e liturgical year. In our Western Rite Vicariate we keep e same date for Pascha (and hence all e oer feast days based on e date of Easter) as all oer congregations of e Archdiocese. Our cycle of Saints days is based primarily on e Roman Martyrology, wi e addition of prominent Eastern saints. In addition to keeping essentially e same great feasts as our Eastern Rite broers and sisters, e Western Calendar has additional major feast days, -9-

10 such as Trinity Sunday on e Sunday after Pentecost and All Saints Day on November st 1. We have ree weeks of Pre-Lent instead of four (as e Byzantine Rite has) and Lent begins wi Ash Wednesday. Our Advent Fast begins on e Sunday nearest to St. Andrew s Day, November 30 (and e First Sunday of Advent is also e beginning of e Church Year in e Western calendar). We do not keep e Apostle s Fast or e Dormition Fast (as ey were never kept in e West), but we have oer fast days at are not found in e Eastern Rite, such as e Ember Days (fasts which have been kept since e 4 and 5 centuries). We also commonly make a distinction between fasting (by which we mean reducing e amount of food eaten) and abstinence (by which we mean not eating certain foods, such as meat and dairy). In e earliest centuries, bo Eastern and Western Churches used leavened bread for e Eucharist, ough we know at e use of leavened versus unleavened bread had become a point of great contention by e 11 century. Now Western Rite Orodox Churches are required to use leavened hosts in e Eucharist. Most of our congregations also follow e practice of distributing blessed bread in a manner similar to e custom of Antidoron. While is is typically ought of as an Eastern custom, e earliest recorded reference to distributing blessed bread apart from e Eucharistic gifts in e East or West is actually found in a 5 century letter of St. Augustine of Hippo. However, by e 19 century, it existed in e West only in France (where it was known as pain benit). The final element of our Rite to comment on at is time is our vestments. The Roman form of vestments developed along parallel lines to Byzantine vestments, bo initially derived largely from imperial court dress, but developing somewhat different patterns and style of decoration. The tunic at became e sticharion in e East became a number of different garments in e West: e alb and e deacon s dalmatic and e subdeacon s tunicle, and in later centuries, e surplice. What became e zone in e East became e girdle or cincture in e West. What became e orarion and e epitrachelion in e East became e stole in e West. What became e phelonion in e East became bo e chasuble and e cope in e West. While we do not have cuffs, we do have e maniple, a in strip of clo which hangs over e left fore-arm of e subdeacon, deacon and priest at e Eucharist, symbolizing bo e manner in which Christ was bound at His Passion and our sense of sorrow and fatigue over e burden of our sins. -10-

11 In e West e color of vestments to be used at any given liturgy is clearly prescribed. White (or gold) is used for all feasts of Our Lord, His Blessed Moer, e Holy Angels and saints who are not martyrs. Red is used for Masses of e Holy Spirit, including Pentecost, Masses of e Holy Cross, and Masses of Martyrs. Purple is used for Advent and Lent and for e Vigils (or day before) certain feast days. Green is used for e Sundays after Pentecost and e latter part of e season of Epiphany. Black is used for funerals and for Good Friday. We also have a lighter version of purple called rose used only on e ird Sunday of Advent and e four Sunday of Lent, indicating a brief lightening of e tone of e our preparation before Christmas and Easter. Much of is system has been widely adopted in e East, where it is done by choice, but for us it is a requirement. Some of our parishes will also use blue vestments for Feasts of e Blessed Virgin Mary, but strictly speaking is is not an official choice wiin e Roman pattern. While ere is much more we could discuss, is brief introduction has served to present a picture of what e Western Rite is, and at is e ancient Western manner of living out e Orodox fai. It is a full and complete system of celebrating e Holy Mysteries, of living e Church year, of saying our prayers and singing our praises. The Orodox fai is a way of life. The Western Rite is e traditional Western cultural expression of at life and we give anks at our bishops have blessed us to live out our fai in is way. As small as e Western Rite is wiin e Orodox Church, e amount of opposition at it receives is truly surprising! Often is opposition comes from converts of Western backgrounds who have decided at noing good ever came out of e West. Perhaps ese refugees from e West previously lived, not wi e full tradition of e West, but wi e watered down forms at are commonly used in modern Caolic and Protestant churches today. Oer concerns come from wise and cautious individuals, understandably concerned about change, or what appears to be new, wiin Orodoxy. We read many objections to e Western Rite on e Internet. We hear it said at e Western Rite is not truly Orodox, but en it was clearly a part of e life of e undivided Church, e Church at we say was e Orodox Church and none oer, and our bishops have blessed us to live and worship in is manner. We hear it said at only e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom guarantees conveying e fullness of e Orodox fai, but en we know at however wonderful e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is, it -11-

12 does not guarantee Orodoxy as e Uniate Caolics use e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. We hear it said at our people do not really convert but retain eir old ways of life wi eir old liturgies. This is certainly a danger for all converts, wheer ey worship in e Eastern or Western Rites. We need to work to convert our hearts and our minds. All converts need to work to acquire an Orodox mind and world-view and we believe at bo liturgies help us to do at. The answer is to fully and completely enter into e life of e Church, to strive to know and to live our fai. We hear it said at e liturgies used in e Western Rite are not e ancient western forms, but raer reformation and counter-reformation liturgies. This exposes a lack of understanding of e history of ese liturgies and e manner in which ey are lived out in our congregations. And en we hear it said at e existence of e Western Rite wiin Orodoxy is divisive, unwise and not pastorally sensitive, as it will confuse e faiful. Experience has shown oerwise. In e Washington, DC area we have every sort of Orodox life. The manner in which e liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is served is very different as you travel from Antiochian congregations, to congregations of e Russian Orodox Church Outside of Russia, to congregations of e Greek Archdiocese (not to mention e Bulgarians, e Serbs, e Ukrainians, e Romanians, and so for). This difference is bo understandable and appropriate due to e cultural backgrounds of ose congregations, but e fai is always e same. My church, St. Gregory s, is e only Orodox Church in e Washington area at is easily accessible via public transportation. When we have had visitors from St. Mary s in Brooklyn, St. Nicholas in Los Angeles or from Eastern Rite congregations in England or Switzerland or Lebanon, ey find our Liturgy unfamiliar, but e fai ey encounter is e same. Some years ago, when visitors from St. George s in Houston arrived ey rightly asked who our Bishop was, and when we said Metropolitan PHILIP, ey replied, well en, is is our Church! And ey enjoyed eir first experience of e Western Rite and broadened eir view of Holy Tradition. All concerns will best be answered by faifully living e Orodox life in our congregations. But is a Western Rite needed? We can now find e Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom offered in English in any large or medium sized city. There are numerous Eastern Rite congregations composed entirely or predominately of converts. Many Eastern Rite Christians venerate numerous Western Orodox saints. So why do we still -12-

13 need a Western Rite wiin e Orodox Church? First, because it is a beautiful and Godblessed part of our Orodox heritage. It is a part of Holy Tradition, and e Church would be poorer for excluding any part of her tradition at had nurtured so many saints. St. John Maximovitch encouraged a Western Rite abbot, saying, Never, never, never let anyone tell you at, in order to be Orodox, you must also be eastern. The West was Orodox for a ousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older an any of her heresies. And en, remembering e reasons at Metropolitan Anony Bashir cited for giving e Western Rite a home wiin is Archdiocese, we need a Western Rite to provide a lifeline to Western Christians who have witnessed e collapse of eir previous Church homes, and ese Christians have come to Orodoxy from every possible background. Now, we know at many such Christians have embraced e Byzantine Rite, are nourished by it and feel very much at home wi e Eastern Rite. Oer Christians, however, have found Eastern-ness to be a barrier to worshiping in e Orodox Church and do not feel culturally connected to what ey experience in e Eastern Rite. Still oer Christians, knowing and loving e Western liturgical heritage, while appreciating e rich beauty of e Byzantine tradition, are happy and blest to maintain e rite at has nourished em roughout eir lives, to preserve what is good and life-giving in e Western liturgical tradition and to restore it to its proper home wiin Orodoxy. Then Metropolitan Anony also mentioned e importance of witnessing to e Caolicity of e Orodox Church to her Byzantine Rite people, priests and eologians. We know at our fai should not be ought of as being limited to one cultural expression. A Church at knows itself to be universal cannot be limited to one cultural expression of e fai. The Roman Caolic Church recognized is when she accepted Eastern Churches into her communion, allowing em to keep eir own liturgies and customs (and before anyone ink of e Western Rite as a sort of reverse uniatism we should hasten to add at no one was ever forced into accepting Western Rite Orodoxy, and while many Uniate Caolics claim to hold a fai different from Rome, in Western Rite Orodoxy we know at to be in communion wi e Orodox Church we must hold e fullness of e Orodox fai). But as Rome acknowledges at e fai is not limited to one culture, so e Orodox Church acknowledges e same, and condemned e heresy of phyletism, e notion at church membership is tied to one s enic or national origin, in

14 There is yet anoer reason why e Western Rite is needed and is good for e Orodox Church, ough it may take some time for is to be made manifest. Some years ago, Pope John Paul II spoke of Rome and e Orodox Church as e two lungs of e Church, and while our ecclesiology does not acknowledge at ere can be schism wiin e church (but only schism from e church), we can perhaps see at ere is someing to his charitable remark. Historically, ere have been two principal ways of inking, living and praying wiin e Church: Eastern and Western. There are many differences in approach, while e two sides need not be of separate mind or world-view. For example, at times, some observers have characterized Eastern liturgy, like Eastern ought, as circular, while ey have seen Western liturgy, like Western ought, as linear. And ough e Eastern approach is to say someing many times in many different ways, e Western approach is more economical and more direct. One way is not better an e oer, only different, and one may better speak to one individual and e oer to e next person. For a ousand years e Church had an Eastern lung and a Western lung (to use John Paul s metaphor) or perhaps we could say an Eastern brain or way of inking, and a Western brain or way of inking and e church is healy and balanced and at its fullest wi e presence of bo. In a small, but important way, we hope at in time, e Western Rite may restore at brain, at lung to e Holy Orodox Church. Thus, we hope at e existence of e Western Rite is not only good for ose who delight to be Orodox and maintain e beauty of eir own heritage, but we hope it will be good for e Church as a whole. We give anks to God at we have come home to e Holy Orodox Church - e Church of Martyrs and Confessors, Teachers of e Fai, Abbots and Holy Virgins - e Church of St. Benedict and St. Bridget, St. Cubert and St. Monica, St. Laurence and St. Cecilia. Our Faers (and Moers) in e fai were Orodox, nurtured by a rich liturgical and devotional life expressed in e language of eir own culture. Now we are blessed as we strive to live at very same life. -14-

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