Thank you both for your replies! You've answered many of my questions in a very detailed way. The fact that parishes who converted from Anglicanism were allowed to retain much of their tradition (those that didn't contradict with Orthodoxy, of course) leads me to another question, though. Hypothetically, what do you think would happen if, say, a Baptist congregation decided to convert to Orthodoxy? Would they be encouraged to keep as many of their traditions, as well, or do you think that privilege would generally be reserved for Protestant groups with a more liturgical tradition like the Anglicans and Episcopalians?
It's an interesting question, for sure. My personal opinion is that they might try to absorb some of their distinctive qualities with the existing WRO tradition. This is ultimately what happened with the Rite of St. Tikhon; it was largely interwoven with the Roman Mass but kept many of its defining characteristics (Summary of the Law, Prayer for Christ's Church, Canon, Prayer of Humble Access, etc.). There are a host of other factors to consider though, both practical and pastoral. Do the parishes have their own building? Do they have icons? Do they wear vestments?
I mentioned in the last post that there essentially two guidelines set forth, both of which anything under consideration would have to meet, and I think they would apply here too:
1. Is the tradition consonant with Holy Orthodox (or can it be reasonably adapted to be so without killing the thing itself)?
2. Is it logically derived from pre-Schismatic usage.
I think the first would be easier to implement, the second perhaps not so much. That WR parishes were able to preserve so much of their heritage is testament to how close in form and spirit their tradition remained to the ancient West.
Now, for something more "official" all I can offer is this small section of the Vicariate's most recent Ordo (2013) which states the following:
Title III. LITURGICAL PRACTICE
A.) The clergy and laity of the Western Rite shall conform in all respects to the liturgical standards set by the Western Rite Commission and approved by the Metropolitan. No one shall introduce any modifications, variations, changes, amendments, revisions, “improvements,” omissions or alterations without the approval of the Commission. Where variations from the declared norms exist, they are to be moved toward conformity with prudent haste.
B.) Priests or others who may wish to suggest changes, revisions, or new rites or usages to the Western Rite Commission may do so at any time, but no such changes shall be introduced prior to approval by the Commission and authorized by the Vicar General.
C.) On the Mass: The Ordinary of the Mass shall follow “The Ordinary & Canon of the Mass” for the Rite of St Gregory as approved by Metropolitan PHILIP, or St. Tikhon's Canon as published by the Vicariate in 1977.
Hope this helps!