Many thanks for clarifying, Asteriktos.
Yes, I do see what you mean.
I, too, was uneasy about this idea of compulsory western uniformity as an Anglican. I saw many Anglo-Catholic parishes using the current Roman Rite, following Roman ceremonial and celebrating Feasts according to the Roman Calendar. They did this based on the bizarre idea that, in order to be Catholic, they had to follow Rome to the letter, because this is the RC position for its own churches.
This was not always so in the west. The uniformity was brought in at the Council of Trent when (almost) all RC churches were required to use the (then new) Tridentine Mass. This was a reaction against the protestant reformation, and Rome tried to prevent further breakaway groups by ceasing permission to the local variations in practice that had happened until that time. Some rites still remained. I know that Carthusians still use a rite of their own and I believe that some other monastic communities do as well. Prior to the Council of Trent, there were many, many local and regional variations on the Western Rite, usually authorised by the bishop at the diocesan level and spreading to the surrounding areas. In Britain alone, there were the Sarum Rite (in the diocese of Salisbury), Hereford, Exeter, Bangor, York and others. Westminster Abbey had its own version of the Western Rite. Eventually, the Sarum Rite spread to mosty of the English south, Wales, Scotland and parts of Ireland and became the predominant use.
The main differences were ceremonial acts, the manner of observing certain feasts, the liturgical colour sequence varied considerably and there were some musical differences as well. I can only imagine that, on the continent, the variation was much more pronounced. These local, indigenous variations were all suppressed at the Council of Trent as a result of Rome trying to keep a tighter rein in light of the reformation, and this state of uniformity largely remains to this day.
I think that Orthodoxy, even in the West, can be free from this, for I believe it to be nonsense. Each bishop should be free to authorise variations of rites that are fully in accordance with the holy Orthodox Faith. This already seems to be the case in the WRite, where we have the Liturgy of St Gregory
, the Liturgy of St Tikhon
, the Sarum Liturgy
and the English Liturgy
. The latter two are based on the rites of Britain that I mentioned above, but corrected to bring them back in line with Orthodoxy (very little had to be changed).
So it isn't just about copying Rome, but rather bringing into Orthodoxy the rites and feasts and celebrations such as Corpus Christi, which have nourished the spirituality of people in the West for centuries and which are fully in accordance with the Orthodox Faith. Blessed be God!