A few things.
1. The basis of his less-than-favorable view of the Rite of St. Tikhon is a rather unfair (and unfortunate) comparison between the 1662 Book of Common Prayer (which bears little resemblance to the Rite of St. Tikhon) and the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It is unfair because the Rite of St. Tikhon is not of the same liturgical tradition as the 1662 BCP and there are some very significant differences. And it is also unfair because the Western Rite had a different historical development than the Eastern Rite of St. John Chrysostom; the Byzantine Rite is not the measuring stick by which the Western Rite is judged.
When properly understood as the "daughter rite" of the ancient Roman liturgy that it is, the Rite of St. Tikhon is wholly justified in the spirit of its language. It does not have to use the same brush strokes as the Byzantine Liturgy, or provide the same emphases that Prof. Frost thinks need to be there, because it is not responsible to the Byzantine development of liturgy. It is responsible to its own, authentic, equally ancient, equally Apostolic liturgical tradition.
2. Context is everything. Prof. Frost repeatedly made reference to the intentions of Anglican theologians as if the practice of the Western Rite within Orthodoxy were identical. Our spiritual context as Orthodox Christians is vastly different than that of 17th century Anglicans. And this is not at all unimportant. The habitat in which the liturgy exists is what gives it its meaning. The catechesis of Western Orthodox Christians, the homilies of our priests, the leadership of our bishops (who are all Eastern Rite), our experience of pan-Orthodox events and services, our reading of the great spiritual writings of Orthodox Fathers and Saints (both East and West), etc., all give meaning to the prayers and ceremonial of the liturgy. This did not seem to occur to Prof. Frost.
3. Most of Prof. Frost’s arguments had to do with his own specific feelings and associations made with the Book of Common Prayer, and were not in any way based upon the way the Western Rite is actually carried out within an Orthodox context. As an example, he had a problem praying the Jesus Prayer because any time he came upon the words “a sinner” he couldn’t help but have the vengeful, fearful God he associated with his Anglican upbringing popping into his thoughts. He then transfers these feelings to speciic prayers found in the Rite of St. Tikhon as if that is the only way one can understand them. This is, again, why context is everything.
4. Prof. Frost mischaracterized Met. KALLISTOS Ware’s thoughts on the Western Rite. Met. KALLISTOS does not place himself in the camp of those who have been vocally opposed to the Western Rite. He merely stated that, at that time (when he wrote his book), and in his particular situation (England), he didn’t think such an endeavor was wise. Fair enough. That has little to do with North American Western Rite Orthodoxy, which is the only place (to my knowledge) where the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon is celebrated.
It was an odd reflection, to say the least. I almost want to say it was lazy, but I don't want to be uncharitable. There was just nothing of substance, in my opinion.
And if strong language about sin and our unworthiness of the goodness of God is something he thinks is "unOrthodox" perhaps Prof. Frost should familiarize himself with St. Theophan the Recluse (and many other Fathers of our Holy Church).
“The more man contemplates his sin and the more he laments over himself, the more pleasing and accessible he is to the Holy Spirit, who like a physician approaches only those who recognize themselves as being ill....Look upon your sin, and search it out. Do not turn your eyes away from it. Deny yourself, do not over-value your soul. Give yourself up entirely to the contemplation of your sin, and weep over it. Then in due time you will become conscious of your re-creation through the incomprehensivle and inexplicale action of the holy Spirit...He will act in you when you have recognized yourself as quite unworthy of Him.”
“Consequently, there is never a single moment when we have nothing on our conscience, either voluntary or involuntary, and therefore there is never a single moment when our peace with God is assured. It follows from this that it is absolutely essential to cleanse our conscience in order to be at peace with God. The conscience is cleased by repentance: consequently it is necessary to repent unceasingly. For repentance cleanses all pollution from the soul and makes it pure. Repentance does not just consist in the words, ‘Forgive, O Lord; have mercy, O Lord.’ To receive remission of sins we must also realize to the full the definite impurity of each thought, glance, and word, of each kind of allurement, we must be conscious of our own guilt and of our own lawlessness and absence of justifiication, we must recognize our need to pray for God’s forgiveness, until the spirit attains peace.”
Can anyone honestly read that, and think this prayer to be inappropriate?
Almighty God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, maker of all
things, judge of all men; We acknowledge and bewail our manifold
sins and wickedness, which we, from time to time, most grievously
have committed, By thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine
Majesty, Provoking most justly thy wrath and indignation against
us. We do earnestly repent, and are heartily sorry for these our
misdoings; the remembrance of them is grievous unto us; the
burden of them is intolerable. Have mercy upon us, have mercy
upon us, most merciful Father; For thy Son our Lord Jesus
Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may
ever hereafter serve and please thee in newness of life. To the
honor and glory of thy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Heck, Prof. Frost should even familiarize himself more with his own liturgy.
"How shall I, who am unworthy, enter into the splendor of Your saints? If I dare to enter into the bridal chamber, my clothing will accuse me, since it is not a wedding garment; and being bound up, I shall be cast out by the angels. In Your love, Lord, cleanse my soul and save me."
Soiled garments, being tied up and cast out by angels, is that imagery not considerably more strong than committing sins "from time to time"?
And the Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon is replete with images of the goodness of God, of joy and thanksgiving, etc.
"and dost assure us thereby of thy favor and goodness towards us; and that we are
very members incorporate in the mystical body of thy Son, which
is the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs
through hope of thy everlasting kingdom..."
"And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy
goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succor all those who, in this
transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any
other adversity (the priest may commemorate specific names). And
we also bless thy holy name for all thy servants departed this
life in thy faith and fear; beseeching thee to grant them
continual growth in thy love and service. And give us grace so
to follow the good examples of blessed Mary and all thy Saints,
that, through their intercessions, we (with them) may be
partakers of thy heavenly kingdom."
"And we most humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, to hear us;
and of thy almighty goodness, vouchsafe to send down thy holy
Spirit upon these thy gifts and creatures of bread and wine, that
they may be changed into the Body and Blood of thy most dearly
beloved Son. Grant that we, receiving them according to thy Son
our Saviour Jesus Christ’s holy institution, in remembrance of
his death and passion, may be partakers of his most blessed Body
and Blood. And we earnestly desire thy fatherly goodness,
mercifully to accept this our sacrifice of praise and
thanksgiving; most humbly beseeching thee to grant that, by the
merits and death of thy Son Jesus Christ, and through faith in
his blood, we, and all thy whole Church, may obtain remission of
our sins, and all other benefits of his passion."
"O GOD, who in creating human nature hast wonderfully dignified it and still more wonderfully reformed it, grant that by the mystery of this water and wine, we may become partakers of his Divine Nature who deigned to partake of our human nature..."
"Let the partaking of thy Body, O Lord Jesu Christ, which I, unworthy, presume to receive, turn not to my judgment and condemnation; but of Thy goodness, let it avail unto me for protection of sole and body, that I may receive Thy healing..."