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Author Topic: Questions on the Western Rite  (Read 639 times) Average Rating: 0
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icecreamsandwich
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« on: February 11, 2013, 06:08:59 PM »

Hi all Smiley.

I do apologise for the bad wording in this post but I don't know how else to present my questions.

I can't help but be fascinated by the Western Rite. Fortunately there's a parish not too far away so I can hopefully attend one day, if for nothing else than to see what it's like. I think that on an at least theoretical level, it'd be good to serve the needs of those who are more of a Western tradition, and I figure that before the churches split, most of the churches in the West were probably following a Western Rite of *some* sort, so I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed to continue.

However, I can't help but get the impression that *some* think it shouldn't be there, which I don't understand. One of the arguments I've heard leveled against it is a plain and simple "why?", and another is that there aren't very many seminaries (if at all) in the US so it's only really for Anglicans who want to come to Orthodoxy but not lose their general "style" of worship. Is this true? Is there somewhere where I can learn more about it? What are the practical differences between it and the common Byzantine Rite church?

Thanks, and again I apologize for the poor wording - I hope not to offend anyone.
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2013, 07:21:11 PM »

I, too, have yet to encounter a good argument against nurturing a Western Rite as part of the Orthodox mission in the Western world. Some people have put forward concerns that could possibly come to fruition if not carefully guarded against, but the re-establishing of the Western Rite in the Western world has largely been accomplished without those potential problems.

I think it often seems like it's "only for Anglicans" because, at least in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, only whole, established parishes could be received as Western Rite. And if you really think about it, where should they be expected to come from if not High Church Anglo-Catholics?

There are many differences between a Western Orthodox church and one that uses the Byzantine expression, but they are external, surface differences and not anything of substance. We hold to the same faith, venerate the same saints, etc. The vestments are different, the music is different, the prayers are different, the liturgies are different, the customs are different, the architecture is different. But they are different ways of doing the same thing.
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ialmisry
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2013, 07:42:37 PM »

It is certainly not only for Anglican converts-I have met EO cradles who have gone WRO.

The best thing, if you can, would be to get in touch with a WRO parish near you.  Unfortunately, in much of the West, they are few and far between right now.
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icecreamsandwich
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2013, 07:54:14 PM »

I, too, have yet to encounter a good argument against nurturing a Western Rite as part of the Orthodox mission in the Western world. Some people have put forward concerns that could possibly come to fruition if not carefully guarded against, but the re-establishing of the Western Rite in the Western world has largely been accomplished without those potential problems.

I think it often seems like it's "only for Anglicans" because, at least in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, only whole, established parishes could be received as Western Rite. And if you really think about it, where should they be expected to come from if not High Church Anglo-Catholics?

There are many differences between a Western Orthodox church and one that uses the Byzantine expression, but they are external, surface differences and not anything of substance. We hold to the same faith, venerate the same saints, etc. The vestments are different, the music is different, the prayers are different, the liturgies are different, the customs are different, the architecture is different. But they are different ways of doing the same thing.

Exactly, and thank you.

If I remember correctly from my reading of The Orthodox Church, Bishop Ware spoke of there being several contacts between Anglicans and Orthodox in returning to communion with one another so it does seem like it *could* work out (I do wonder why it's specifically Anglicans, though, and not Lutherans or another Protestant group).

Further to the point, though, is that (at least in my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong) if you are attending an OCA parish, then travel or whatever and visit a ROCOR/Antiochian/Greek/etc parish, you can still receive communion, but obviously would want to talk to the priest beforehand and let him know you're Orthodox so he knows not to refuse you. The point being it's not the service/customs of the service that are of issue - you're still in communion. Why not so for a church using a different Rite that is Orthodox in heritage, belief, customs, and so on? Does the failure to do so not imply that Orthodox = Byzantine?

And to your last sentence: I know the prayers are different (see http://oca.org/orthodoxy/prayers/evening-prayers vs http://www.antiochian.org/evening-prayers). I don't know about the songs, but on occasion St. Basil's Liturgy is used and it's not a far stretch to assume the customs are going to differ across different churches. Isn't the point of it being [country/people group] Orthodox Church is because it descends from those who have a strong Orthodox presence in their home countries? Ie Russian Orthodox Church doing things in the Russian manner, Greek Orthodox Church doing things in the Greek manner, etc?

I don't see it as being something completely foreign and ridiculous as, for example, trying to pass off a Guatemalan rite as having existed in 100AD. Again, I'm still learning, so someone please do correct me if my logic is off, but this is just how it appears to me.

It is certainly not only for Anglican converts-I have met EO cradles who have gone WRO.

The best thing, if you can, would be to get in touch with a WRO parish near you.  Unfortunately, in much of the West, they are few and far between right now.

Thank you. Quite honestly, I'm hoping to do so. I don't know when, but it's something I definitely want to do. I do have to ask, though - where do the priests come from?

« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 08:00:24 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

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ialmisry
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« Reply #4 on: February 11, 2013, 08:06:57 PM »

I, too, have yet to encounter a good argument against nurturing a Western Rite as part of the Orthodox mission in the Western world. Some people have put forward concerns that could possibly come to fruition if not carefully guarded against, but the re-establishing of the Western Rite in the Western world has largely been accomplished without those potential problems.

I think it often seems like it's "only for Anglicans" because, at least in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, only whole, established parishes could be received as Western Rite. And if you really think about it, where should they be expected to come from if not High Church Anglo-Catholics?

There are many differences between a Western Orthodox church and one that uses the Byzantine expression, but they are external, surface differences and not anything of substance. We hold to the same faith, venerate the same saints, etc. The vestments are different, the music is different, the prayers are different, the liturgies are different, the customs are different, the architecture is different. But they are different ways of doing the same thing.

Exactly, and thank you.

If I remember correctly from my reading of The Orthodox Church, Bishop Ware spoke of there being several contacts between Anglicans and Orthodox in returning to communion with one another so it does seem like it *could* work out (I do wonder why it's specifically Anglicans, though, and not Lutherans or another Protestant group).

Further to the point, though, is that (at least in my understanding, and please correct me if I'm wrong) if you are attending an OCA parish, then travel or whatever and visit a ROCOR/Antiochian/Greek/etc parish, you can still receive communion, but obviously would want to talk to the priest beforehand and let him know you're Orthodox so he knows not to refuse you. The point being it's not the service/customs of the service that are of issue - you're still in communion. Why not so for a church using a different Rite that is Orthodox in heritage, belief, customs, and so on? Does the failure to do so not imply that Orthodox = Byzantine?

And to your last sentence: I know the prayers are different (see http://oca.org/orthodoxy/prayers/evening-prayers vs http://www.antiochian.org/evening-prayers). I don't know about the songs, but on occasion St. Basil's Liturgy is used and it's not a far stretch to assume the customs are going to differ across different churches. Isn't the point of it being [country/people group] Orthodox Church is because it descends from those who have a strong Orthodox presence in their home countries? Ie Russian Orthodox Church doing things in the Russian manner, Greek Orthodox Church doing things in the Greek manner, etc?

I don't see it as being something completely foreign and ridiculous as, for example, trying to pass off a Guatemalan rite as having existed in 100AD. Again, I'm still learning, so someone please do correct me if my logic is off, but this is just how it appears to me.

It is certainly not only for Anglican converts-I have met EO cradles who have gone WRO.

The best thing, if you can, would be to get in touch with a WRO parish near you.  Unfortunately, in much of the West, they are few and far between right now.

Thank you. Quite honestly, I'm hoping to do so. I don't know when, but it's something I definitely want to do. I do have to ask, though - where do the priests come from?
The same place our Eastern priests come from.

Where are you located?
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icecreamsandwich
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« Reply #5 on: February 11, 2013, 08:09:26 PM »

Georgia, USA Smiley.

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« Reply #6 on: February 11, 2013, 08:16:35 PM »

I, too, have yet to encounter a good argument against nurturing a Western Rite as part of the Orthodox mission in the Western world. Some people have put forward concerns that could possibly come to fruition if not carefully guarded against, but the re-establishing of the Western Rite in the Western world has largely been accomplished without those potential problems.

I think it often seems like it's "only for Anglicans" because, at least in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, only whole, established parishes could be received as Western Rite. And if you really think about it, where should they be expected to come from if not High Church Anglo-Catholics?

There are many differences between a Western Orthodox church and one that uses the Byzantine expression, but they are external, surface differences and not anything of substance. We hold to the same faith, venerate the same saints, etc. The vestments are different, the music is different, the prayers are different, the liturgies are different, the customs are different, the architecture is different. But they are different ways of doing the same thing.

Exactly, and thank you.

If I remember correctly from my reading of The Orthodox Church, Bishop Ware spoke of there being several contacts between Anglicans and Orthodox in returning to communion with one another so it does seem like it *could* work out (I do wonder why it's specifically Anglicans, though, and not Lutherans or another Protestant group).

There has always been a deep kinship between Anglo-Catholics and Orthodox as there is very little that separates them. Many of our now Western Orthodox people see in Orthodoxy the fulfillment of their rich heritage and the culmination of what the original "reformers" of that ilk were setting out to accomplish. That being said, the current Asst. to the Vicar General was a former Lutheran. So it's not unheard of.
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2013, 08:24:03 PM »

Georgia, USA Smiley.


Anywhere near Acworth, (temporary) home of St. Nicholas?
http://www.snmoc.org/
http://snmoc.blogspot.com/2012/10/is-western-rite-truly-orthodox.html
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icecreamsandwich
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2013, 08:46:39 PM »


That's the parish I was thinking of haha. They're about an hour from me. I do hope to visit their service one day, but I don't know when yet.

Also, if I may, is St. John of Damascus your patron saint?
« Last Edit: February 11, 2013, 08:47:36 PM by icecreamsandwich » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2013, 11:49:46 PM »

However, I can't help but get the impression that *some* think it shouldn't be there, which I don't understand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot that think it shouldn't be there. A simple perusing of Western Rite videos on youtube will show the animosity there is toward it. The arguments range from "this is not Orthodox," "this is too Catholic/Anglican," to "these rites were never Orthodox to begin with," etc. A lot of them are people that are only acquainted with the Eastern traditions of Orthodoxy (either cradle or convert) and see the Western traditions as an abomination since they're not Eastern, or too closely resemble Catholicism/Anglicanism.

However, there are more educated opponents to the Western Rite as, IIRC, it was strongly opposed by the hierarchy in the U.K. I'm not sure why they oppose(d) it.
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« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2013, 12:29:55 AM »

However, I can't help but get the impression that *some* think it shouldn't be there, which I don't understand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot that think it shouldn't be there. A simple perusing of Western Rite videos on youtube will show the animosity there is toward it. The arguments range from "this is not Orthodox," "this is too Catholic/Anglican," to "these rites were never Orthodox to begin with," etc. A lot of them are people that are only acquainted with the Eastern traditions of Orthodoxy (either cradle or convert) and see the Western traditions as an abomination since they're not Eastern, or too closely resemble Catholicism/Anglicanism.

However, there are more educated opponents to the Western Rite as, IIRC, it was strongly opposed by the hierarchy in the U.K. I'm not sure why they oppose(d) it.
unfortunately because they wanted to please the official Church of England's hierarchy, who thinks itself entitled to a monopoly in Great Britain.  It has been an old story since the 1880's.  Orthodoxy is fine-as long as it is not for the British.
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If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
ialmisry
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« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2013, 12:30:24 AM »


That's the parish I was thinking of haha. They're about an hour from me. I do hope to visit their service one day, but I don't know when yet.

Also, if I may, is St. John of Damascus your patron saint?
Yes.
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                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2013, 06:01:06 AM »

However, I can't help but get the impression that *some* think it shouldn't be there, which I don't understand.

Unfortunately, there are a lot that think it shouldn't be there. A simple perusing of Western Rite videos on youtube will show the animosity there is toward it. The arguments range from "this is not Orthodox," "this is too Catholic/Anglican," to "these rites were never Orthodox to begin with," etc. A lot of them are people that are only acquainted with the Eastern traditions of Orthodoxy (either cradle or convert) and see the Western traditions as an abomination since they're not Eastern, or too closely resemble Catholicism/Anglicanism.

However, there are more educated opponents to the Western Rite as, IIRC, it was strongly opposed by the hierarchy in the U.K. I'm not sure why they oppose(d) it.
unfortunately because they wanted to please the official Church of England's hierarchy, who thinks itself entitled to a monopoly in Great Britain.  It has been an old story since the 1880's.  Orthodoxy is fine-as long as it is not for the British.

Quite right.

We had some serious issues trying to organise our Vicar Bishop's visit to the UK. I won't go into it in too much detail but there were some high-up people from the C of E who tried to wreck our plans. Thank God for college chapels, which are a law unto themselves, and the large number of Anglicans who aren't interested in ecclesiastical politics!

ROCOR Western Rite UK

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