Nonetheless it is necessary to face the challenging issue of the interface between Orthodoxy proper - Eastern Orthodoxy and the revived Western-rite.
Two things. First, Orthodoxy "proper" is not
Eastern Orthodoxy. Eastern Orthodoxy is the name given to that family of Churches who continued to preserve the Apostolic Faith as the Undivided Church of Christ, as expressed culturally and spiritually in an Eastern/Byzantine manner. True Orthodoxy proper is what we see when all of the Apostolic Churches were in full communion with each other. One priest described it with this analogy: The fullness of the Faith, true Apostolic Catholicity is like electricity. Coming from a single source (the original Church founded at Pentecost), this electricity spread and was harnessed to form a myriad of beautifully colored lights, shaped and decorated by the peculiar genius of each People it connected with, shining the Light in unique, but equally beautiful ways.
Eventually, for various reasons, that electrical current in the West was misdirected, incorporating things that didn't reflect the beauty and purity of the Apostolic faith, resulting in expressions that obscured or defaced the beauty and truth inherent in what had been received from previous generations.
As a result, it was only those lights (in the East) that had not misused the Light (by channeling it into objects it shouldn't have been channeled into, or keeping the Light from shining where it should) that could rightly be identified as the guardians and inheritors of the True Light. These lights lacked nothing, and expressed the fullness of the Light in their own brilliant colors and shapes.
So, without making light of the heresies of the West (pun intended), and to touch on the second point I wanted to make: those lights of the West did not, as you're fond of saying, "die out" because of their misuse and mishandling of the Light. They did not stop shining altogether, despite the tacked on plastic bottle here, the darkened (or removed altogether) glass there. Their original glory was still there to be found, it just had to be cleaned or provided-for in one way or another.
This is where, in my humble opinion, the wisdom of the Antiochian Church really shines (pun intended). They did not insist that the inherited lights of the West could not express their full glory simply because of the objects that were tacked on or the beautiful objects that were removed. And additionally, they did not insist that those designs that were added on, even if they originated outside of the boundaries of the Undivided Church, were somehow incapable of expressing the Light in a fully true and beautiful way. They looked upon their lights and said, "We see in these lights of yours the Light we've always seen in our own. We will aid you in restoring what needs to be restored, adding what needs to be added, and blessing what needs to be blessed so that your lights might once again illuminate the fullness of the Light."
This is a far better approach than "reviving the DNA" (as you say) of liturgies that really have been cut off from the living memory of a People. That's the thing about Rites; they are organically connected to the People that make them and keep them alive and develop them. There is no "revival" in the Antiochian Church; there is the assuming and blessing of that which has been organically received from the authentically "Orthodox" heritage of the People.
Moving on to your other statements...
Really the label "Western" is not correct because there are Western-rite missions in the East, just as the Eastern Orthodox Church has had a long presence in the West since the Great Schism.
I do not think this is what is meant by "Western Orthodoxy" anyway.
It is not anti-Western-rite to discuss whether the so-called Rite of St. Tikhon was ever authorized for use in the lifetime of St. Tikhon.
First of all, it's not "so-called" that is
what it's called. And second of all, who is claiming or has claimed that it was authorized in the lifetime of St. Tikhon? I hear this thrown around a lot, and yet I've never seen it in print or heard it from anyone before. Methinks this might be one of the many rumors churched out be detractors. If someone has a link or anything documenting this, I'd like to see it, just out of curiosity. But this is not the understanding of those of us that use the Rite, as far as I know.
There is plenty of "ye olde Celtic (no we're not Latin-rite) we're Celtic Orthodox and by the way we've adapted the 1549 Anglican mass written hundreds of years after the end of Western Orthodoxy as a lived diocesan faith and fixed it up to make it Sarum" talk out there.
As a former Anglican, surely you're aware of the history and formation of the Book of Common Prayer, no? It wasn't "written" by anyone so much as it was compiled and edited from the inherited, authentically Orthodox heritage of the British Isles by way of the Sarum Use (which was in itself another compilation/editing project done not long after the Schism, usually dated between 1070-1085). Yes, there are some portions of the original BCP that were written or incorporated from non-Orthodox sources, and these things have to be dealt with (which has been done, quite wonderfully, in both the English Liturgy of ROCOR and the Liturgy of St. Tikhon in the AWRV, in accordance with the rulings of the Holy Russian Synod). But the BCP was not made out of whole cloth, brand new. And, as far as the Rite of St. Tikhon is concerned, the further developments of the received British liturgical heritage (by way of Sarum, BCP, etc.) made by the Caroline Divines, Non-Jurors, Scots, Anglo-Catholics and Americans brought it within such close proximity to its former glory that, as you like to point out, the minimal acts of adding a strengthened Epiclesis and removal of the Filioque, along with some Roman and Byzantine supplementation, were really all that needed to be done to make this liturgy a shining Light.
It is, as one person has described it:
Not the work of one man or of one age. It was not produced hastily, but by a gradual development attained its present form. It is ultimately traceable to perhaps a greater variety of sources than any known liturgy. The Churches of Eastern and Western Christendom, early, medieaval, and modern times have all contributed towards determining its structure or supplying its contents. Yet is is not disfigured, by the signs of patchwork, but possesses the unity and beauty of a living thing. It is an outcome of the patient and reverent study of Christian antiquity; but it is conceived in no mere antiquarian spirit, and is no product of a dilettante affectation of the antique. Like everything that lives, it came into being from a living impulse; but also, like everything that lives, it was sensitive to its actual environment and exhibited the living power of adapting itself to that environment without permanent detriment to its life. It is framed upon primitive models, and breathes the spirit of primitive devotion, while experience continually demonstrates its suitability to the needs of the living Church." - Bishop John Dowden, speaking of the Scottish Liturgy from which the 1928 American BCP (on which the Rite of St. Tikhon is based) was derived.
And isn't this really what it must come down to? Rather than trying to set the clock back 1,000 years shouldn't we acknowledge the history of a People and assume and bless that cultural, spiritual and liturgical heritage stretching back to the founding of the British Church which has been kept alive by the People? Isn't this what is so beautifully illustrated in the parable of the Prodigal Son? Did the father, upon the return of his son, demand that he become who he used to be before he left, forgetting about his time away from his true home and how that may have shaped him and made him the person he was? Does God ask that of us when we come back to Him?
We cannot speak and think of the Western Rite as isolated from the culture and People that produced it. It is one, continuous story. It was people of the Anglican Church that first approached St. Tikhon about returning home to Orthodoxy and it was an Anglican Church that converted in full to the Orthodox Faith that first celebrated the Rite of St. Tikhon in 1977. And, God willing, many more Anglican churches will follow suit. It is important for these people to recognize where they are in their story. And for someone like me, who was not of an Anglican background (or any traditional liturgical background for that matter), the Rite of St. Tikhon, like no other rite celebrated in Orthodoxy today, speaks to me of the true redemptive power of the Orthodox Church. When I pray this liturgy every week, knowing its long and varied history, I am reminded of the vast mercy of Christ in ways that would never be possible in worshipping in the Byzantine Rite.
It also seems as if the Western-rite has written off almost 1100 years of Latin-rite history in Continental Europe and indeed the Latin rite in England. Why aren't there WR churches dedicated to St. Augustine of Canterbury or seminaries dedicated to western Orthodox teaching and formation?
Because the Western Rite is new? How quickly do you expect these things to happen?
Finally those Orthodox who have gone West to the Roman Church or the Episcopal or Anglican Church have in most cases done so in good faith and I pray that they will come back. I'd rather they were western Orthodox than heterodox. What led to the loss of them? Maybe poor catechesis, and modernism - the New Calendar, organs in Greek churches, priests dressed like Anglicans outside of liturgical worship and slack teachings about fasting, fidelity and teaching Orthodoxy not as a denomination but a complete way of life in Christ are responsible. Pray God that they will come back.
Who are these people you speak of? Were they Orthodox people who left for the Roman or Anglican Churches?
I doubt that the Anglican BCP mass with an Orthodox epiclesis is going to cut it in getting them back though, just as it has failed to bring in swathes of Western converts in much of the western world.
Your ignorance is showing quite strongly in this statement.
I still see the Western-rite as a "watch this space" story.
Perhaps this is the problem?
If it is to last it needs to have all it's parishes and missions under their own bishops or be under diocesan bishops. If it is to last it will take more than talk of "ye olde Celtic" to bring Western people to Western-rite Orthodoxy. It will need the formation of seminary trained - and I mean Orthodox seminary trained priests. It will need monastic houses with monks and nuns in obedience under abbotts or priors who stay and pray and work like St. Benedict wanted. It is wonderful that so many WR monastics have answered the call of mission but arguably it is not monastic work - for their work should be to sustain the Church in the divine office.
Well, perhaps you should trying praying for us instead of spreading false information? Or perhaps you should try to become one of these Western Rite bishops since you seem to have it all figured out...
So while I am critical, I am not inimical to the sincere. For the ROCOR Columban nun to be, Mary Smythe making her profession as a Western-rite Columban nun on Sunday and her Superior, Abbott Michael (Mansbridge-Wood) of the ROCOR WR I pray that every blessing be on them both this Sunday. I hope her Columban rule habit will be truly Western - full length, long veil and a white wimple and not an Eastern habit. Western monastics whether Orthodox or Latin have a long and treasured history, and I hope we all get to see photos and videos of a Western rite mass and profession on Sunday.
I join you in this prayer.