I believe he's referring to the traditions (praxis, dogmatic expressions, liturgics, rubrics, hymnography, etc.) which formed out of the west... ie: out of Gaul we find the Gallican rite, out of Spain and Portugal we find the Mozarabic rite, also there is the Sarum, Latin and later the Benedictine. There are more but these are the major ones.
What are you speaking of, WPM? Being Orthodox in the west?
If so, I kind of agree.
The Orthodox faith, though, claims to be the universal Christian faith, not just the Eastern one. If this claim is false, then Orthodoxy is false, and no one should follow it, not even in the East. If, however, this claim is true, then everyone should follow it, including Westerners.
I am, however, in full agreement that the importation of Byzantine and Slavic liturgical and devotional styles into America and especially into Western Europe is less than ideal. Sadly, however, the Western Rite is not yet large enough to accommodate everyone. What are you going to do?
Since WPM didn't mention anything about a Western Rite, and you were the first to mention it, I'll respond to your comment, though I hope someone will reply if you don't care to.
Could someone explain what a "Western Rite" is and how it differs from Orthodoxy?
Sorry to ask such a basic question, but I'm really not sure what the term means. If I had to guess, it is a high church older Anglican or Roman Catholic method of conducting a church service.
Is it different because the music style is different?
Especially in the west throughout history we find that many liturgies and therefore catechisms existed at the same time, as regional expressions of the faith (read:Orthodox) while in the east we find that the Byzantine Rite (amongst eastern Orthodox at least) became the front running and eventually the primary rite.
Many of these exist in our present day as a way to bring back and express Orthodoxy to the West, especially converts from Anglican or RC backgrounds. There's a lot to take in on this subject but go to Orthodoxwiki and do a search for more.
That is well put. Christianity is incarnational in its essence. Different cultures, in different times and places, incarnated the mysteries of the faith in ritual, space, imagery, chant, hymn, prayer, devotion, etc. The Western Rite is a broad term that covers the way in which the various peoples of "the Western world" accomplished this throughout history.
As the Orthodox faith takes root in North America (and other western places, like England or Australia, for example) many wise and holy people (including some saints) have thought an Orthodox Western Rite could be a useful part of the Church's mission to draw Westerners back to the pure faith of the Apostles and Fathers.
I'm all for the use of Western Rite liturgies, since they have proven to be a good tool towards catching fish, but in America we have two contending Patriarchates which can lay claim to the privelege of being the Mother church. That said, only one is friendly to the use of multiple rites (ROCOR) Thankfully ROCOR is joined now with MP and supports the Autocephaly of the OCA.
I look at the American Antiochian church as an asset BUT... It complicates the issue of unification. It has a rich history in America and brings validity to the OCA and the issue of the need for unity. But will the Bishops cooperate when the time comes to relinquish control and step down from their lofty places?
It seems there is an unwritten rule amongst the OCA clergy that it can not support its own Western rite. I think this is good insofar as everyone maintains the walk towards one United North American Orthodox synod and eventual patriarchate.
But I find that there are many amongst the Greek clergy that seem to feel that there should only be one celebrated liturgy. It's a shame.
You know, my conversion was through a Gallican Western Rite orthodox church (in schism) and I had no previous experience with liturgy other than a childhood visit to a friend's Catholic mass. So I'm sympathetic to the cause and could see early on that it is Orthodox to use multiple liturgies, specifically regionally. I wish I could see what it would look like in a perfect thriving America of the future. It is at least exciting to be in the era of formation on this continent. I think we can see some of this new expression emerging.
At least, in that case, no one could accuse us of being 'organized religion'.
Your view of ROCOR is interesting. Locally, I had this completely different view of ROCOR being very strict compared to Greeks, and OCA seeming like they were dabbling in Roman Catholicism. The ROCOR I've experienced insists more on Russian being used, even of late by the people in Alaska, who really should have the Liturgy in their own language, not Church Slavonic.
The Greeks seem more a mix between culture clubs with organs and pews and English is Spoken Here, but their missions seem to reach out to everyone.
Maybe there are just more native Russian speakers at this point than native born Greeks where I live.
As for the Byzantine chant, that was a developed taste, and prefer that or Znamenny or plainchant or Georgian over anything else. I also prefer the monastic style without all the ornamentation and ostentation. But I'll still pray with any choir as best I can. I also think it is wonderful that people are working to preserve older forms of chant styles.
Then there is St. Nicholas of Myra Russian Orthodox church in Amsterdam where the Nave almost looks like a stripped down Baptist church. I know what a Baptist church looks like inside because I had to go in to do some work in one once. I've never attended a service there.
Catholic churches look odd to me because there are no iconostasis and they've turned the altar around and just have a table sitting out in the middle of nowhere. That's what it looks like to me anyway. Very strange. Someone said they turned it around some years ago.
Seems like different aspects of the Church draw people, but really the main thing is for a person to want to draw closer to Christ through the Orthodox Sacraments. It's my understanding that there is a definite sequence of events, preparatory prayers, etc. that take place before and during them.
Maybe certain trappings will draw them, but until they recognize that Christ is the ultimate goal, there really is no point to any of it. And anyone who stands in church for hours upon hours year after year will probably learn how wonderful icons are for that wandering attention span.