Orthodox Blow-Out Department

explode5th July 2013

One thing I and others have found about this blog is that when certain “buttons are pressed”, questions on the liturgy in particular, we get a string of off-topic comments concerning problems between Eastern Orthodox jurisdictional contentions and discussions on this or that bishop, hierarch, priest in charge of something.

These intra-Orthodox discussions can be interesting, and they can have a saturating effect on others. I would say that most readers of this blog are not interested in converting to Orthodoxy, so the western rite question is irrelevant. I would react the same way if I were getting endless threads on sedevacantism, the SSPX, the Roman missal of 1962 and the Novus Ordo, or even on the Ordinariates and Anglicanorum coetibus – these are issues proper to minorities of Roman Catholics.

Now, in a recent thread of comments to a posting of the Sarum liturgy, Dale kindly responded with some links and remained on topic. Then came Michael Frost to discuss Western Orthodox questions, and then the exchange began. I have therefore decided to ask Orthodox commenters to send whatever they want only to this page and no other. Such comments will now be deleted elsewhere unless they are a direct result of a posting specifically about Orthodoxy.

If Roman Catholics would like a Roman Catholic Blow-Out Department, I will set up a page for them, perhaps another for strict Prayer Book and 39 Articles Anglicans. So far, there seems to be no need. I keep an open mind.

So, comment as you want in the usual way. The gloves are off, but keep it here.

* * *

Michael Frost says:

Dale, I see that Fr. Novak’s parish, Holy Cross Anglican, in Omaha, Nebraska, was received into ROCOR’s Western Rite. He had been a prominent proponent of Anglican reunion with Orthodoxy over the past year or so. This gives Omaha two WR Orthodox parishes. And the Anglo-Catholic parish moving into Ordinariate.


  • Dale says:

    Well, we shall see how long the western rite, well, what ROCOR calls a western rite, lasts in his parish, already many of these parishes have gone Byzantine over the past few months: here is another web site of one of their parishes, could you please tell me what, other than the name, is “western” about it? http://www.stjohndsm.org/about-us.html

    Perhaps Fr Anthony Bondi can explain?

  • Michael Frost says:

    Dale, All I can say about Holy Cross and Fr. Victor is check out their extensive web pages and his blog. He and they seem pretty confident in their Anglican heritage. I would be amazed if they went Byzantine under Fr. Victor. If they do…I’ll agree with your thesis! :)

    As for the link, this is a tiny mission, worshipping at an ECUSA church, that uses a “Gallican” liturgy. Their priest is former ECUSA who then was ordained by French Orthodox Church, which likely is the key to using the “Gallican” liturgy. It certainly is a unique liturgy but not one that has any feel for Western liturgics. I found it too odd and off putting. A bizarre amalgam of Eastern & Western influences. But maybe that isn’t surprising given that it was a creature of the time period from about AD 500-800 and has been dead for over 1,000 years? I tend to concur with what Gregory Dix wrote about it in his magisterial Shape of the Liturgy. (I also think the priests at this mission celebrate Byzantine liturgies at other churches; thinking they are bi-liturgical.)

  • Dale says:

    But Michael, if one bothers to look at the rest of the ROCOR western rite web pages, nothing, at least in the photos, is western, and all directions for what to expect when attending their parishes follow Byzantine rubrics as well. Even in Novak’s place, one may notice in the photos that the altar missal is always, regardless of the period in the mass, on the Gospel side of the altar, this is typically Byzantine, and one can imagine that the priest simply stands in the middle of the altar, never moving, properly, from Epistle to Gospel side of the altar dependent upon the parts of the Mass, and bellows out a bunch of Byzantine inspired litanies, including the litany for the dismissal of cathecumens, not used in Greek recession parishes for centuries, and only used by the Russians, but surprisingly found in Bondi’s “western” rite! One can only conclude that more and more byzantinizations are on their way.

    Their parish of St Bridget’s, in Mississippi, which was also supposedly “Anglican” (haha), has already gone Byzantine and is now more Russian than anything outside of Russia: http://mississippiorthodox.com/

    No, Michael, I am sorry but the list of Byzantinized parishes in both the ROCOR as well as within Antioch are simply too long to avoid seeing it as anything other than a bait-and-switch.

  • Dale says:

    According to the ROCOR western (sic) vicariate website this is what Bishop Jerome had to say about what you are calling their “tiny” mission in Iowa:

    “We have one fairly large parish in Iowa. That’s the one that uses St. John Maximovich’s Western Rite. I served there last year. They have a lot of people, but don’t have their own building.” (http://rwrv.blogspot.com/2013/07/his-grace-bishop-jerome-of-manhattan-on.html)

    Someone is not telling the truth, but so many lies and innuendos about the western rite are emanating from the Byzantines that one would consider joining should be very careful indeed.

    Finally, noticed that Novak is dressed like a “Russian” priest, enough said (One suspects that dressing like an Anglican priest is simply not good enough, and in the end, either will any pretend Anglican rite amongst that collection).

  • Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Remember, when bishops visit parishes beat the bushes to bring in as many as people possible. Fill the pews. If memory serves me, he was ordaining their deacon to priest that day and a friend of mine, who is GOC, attended. I suspect there were a lot of people there that day.

  • Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Send Fr. Victor an e-mail. Ask him. Be interesting to see what he says about their liturgical practices before and after their reception into ROCOR. He has always been most kind and responsive to my queries. They seem to be a growing parish that started really small.

Dale says:

Michael, I think that I do need to point out that I am not at all opposed to the idea of a western rite in Orthodoxy, and if it were real, it would indeed be the natural place for many traditionalist Anglo-Catholics. But, having studied its history, acceptance, and liturgical practices, it is simply not viable. If the ROCOR actually had a truly western liturgical tradition, and not an invented liturgical mish-mash, with a bishop designate who served only the western rite and appeared in western clerics all the time (similar to what is/was their old rite Bishop [strange that a single parish would have a bishop, and the right to make the sign of the cross in their own liturgical tradition, but this is not offered to the western rite, but then, perhaps, it is because the Old Rite people are real Russians, and trusted, whilst the western rite are not; one could mention that the old rite priests do not dress in the modern Russian manner, as is demanded by all western rite clergy]) then it would be very, very appealing, but they do not have this; they have a liturgical three-ring circus going on, where it is obvious that a true western rite has no acceptance; and to be accepted must be so totally easternized that it is no longer recognizably western; so one is left asking, “Why even bother?”

The western rite in Antioch has no acceptance outside of North America, and even there its history is one of bait-and-switch, and regardless of Dale Crakes assurance that the new Patriarch is not anti-western rite, the new Patriarch’s behavior in both England and western Europe has proven this to be untrue; and history has also proven that it has no viable ecclesial existence and its parishes depend upon the whim of the local bishop; hence, in both England, Australia, New Zealand and now the Philippines all western rite parishes are being byzantinized at the behest of the bishop.

I congratulate both Fr Anthony Bondi and his Metropolitan for actually making an offer to Anglicans, NO Orthodox had done this previously. But I am simply, after many years of following the western rite, not altogether convinced of its sincerity or permanence. One step would be to have a true western rite, but if one studies their liturgical offerings, this does not look like the case, and I do not see this changing, but just the opposite, even more Russification will be taking place the longer the parishes are inside of the Russian Church Outside of Russia.

751 Responses to Orthodox Blow-Out Department

  1. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, One thing I forget to ask you is where you get the proper or required rubrics for Anglican liturgics. For example, you wrote,

    “Even in [Fr.] Novak’s place, one may notice in the photos that the altar missal is always, regardless of the period in the mass, on the Gospel side of the altar, this is typically Byzantine, and one can imagine that the priest simply stands in the middle of the altar, never moving, properly, from Epistle to Gospel side of the altar dependent upon the parts of the Mass”

    In USA, if I go looking for comprehensive Anglican rubrics, where do I go? 1928 BCP? The American Missal? Seems like the rubrics used are determined more by the style of the liturgy (Low, High, AC) than by any canonically mandated rubric promulgated by proper authority. Since at least the Oxford Movement, have Anglicans agreed on comprehensive rubrics? Is interesting that Fr. Novak’s REC was established in the 19th century in reaction against the High/AC movements and represented a tradition of the Protestant understanding of Anglicanism. They were Low Church and Evangelical.

    • Dale says:

      Michael, one place that one does NOT get rubrical directions for the Anglican tradition is from the Byzantine typicon!

      And since the use offered, supposedly, by the western rite is the missal use, one suspects that should also be the source for rubrics as well.

  2. Dale says:

    Fr Anthony, I think that this is a wonderful idea; but in retrospect, I think that most of the readers on this list are about as interested in the false offering of western rite Orthodoxy as they are in getting a root canal done; so I shall henceforth cease from falling for the bait!


    • Please try to keep the Orthodox conversation here. Then those who want to read the various exchanges can find it in this one-stop page. Let both (all) of you keep it here, and be all the freer for it…

    • Michael Frost says:

      Dale, Please do keep in mind that I enjoy hearing your perspective. You might be a wee bit nicer at times, but what you have to say is important. I don’t view the world thru rose-colored glasses. And I’m willing to follow the evidence. Which is why I appreciate what you share, esp. when it paints a more…accurate…picture of reality in some jurisdictions and their parishes. I like a fact-based presentation. And, most importantly, it is only from voices like yours that some ecclesiastical authorities can be moderated in their inclinations and others buttressed in theirs. Any WR can only thrive and prosper when those in it take it seriously and work hard to preserve it and those outside of it have some clear idea of what to expect inside of it and will be disappointed if the reality isn’t as advertised. I certainly want and expect our WR to survive. It won’t be perfect, nothing is, but it can be made better or worse by the choices people make and the actions they take.

      And I’d like to think there over the long-run, the future of CA has many interesting intersections with EO. Sadly, it seems like as the congregations age and the resources decline, jurisdictions and parishes may need to work toward reunion to stay viable.

  3. Fr Anthony, NY says:

    Dear brother in Christ, Dale, There have been 5 priests who started out in the Western Rite and for reasons such as “the people who came were all Eastern” or “I tried for 9 months to start a parish and it just didn’t happen…so I connected with the nearest Eastern church” went into the Eastern Rite. Some remain in the Western Vicariate and support it and others transferred into the local Diocese. However…that is 5 priests out of 66. I do not know where you get your information from but I do know of your past experience and your predilection of still seeing it that way. I can only tell you of my experience and I believe that I am in a position to know. Please pray for the continued success of the Western Rite…”It ain’t easy convincing Orthodox Christians who, for a thousand years have seen Orthodoxy as being only one way of doing things to accept another way as equally grace-filled…but it is happening…and it is a fact.” God Bless!

    • Dale says:

      Dear Fr Anthony (Bondi), five recently received clergy is really quite high, but the real problem is that the liturgy that you are encouraging, is not really a western rite in the first place. It also seems, according to Bishop Jerome, that several parishes are now celebrating the so-called rite of St Peter, which is simply the Byzantine rite with a few added western bits and pieces. The parish web sites of your own blog shows that most have adopted, wholesale, the Russian recession of the Byzantine rite. As mentioned before, several of your parishes have posted information of what to expect in a “western” rite church, and the directions are completely eastern, including great and small entrances! Here: http://www.snmoc.org/SomeThingsToRemember.pdf, and here: http://www.saintambroseorthodoxchurch.org/SomeThingsToRemember.pdf.

      What is even more bizarre is that none of the parish web sites of your group even showcase western chant: here is an example: http://www.stnectarios.org/
      What is that supposed to be?

      Finally, to offer a so-called “Anglican rite” is not very honest; in the end, it will simply be perhaps bits and pieces of the Anglican tradition, and the Russian recession of the Byzantine rite: The following outlines some of the very serious problems with the western rite in your own jurisdiction. I see no reason to disbelieve any of it:

      “What is interesting, however, is the suggestion that the continuing Anglican clergy join the World Patriarchates, and be ordained priests in such. We can assume it would be the Moscow Patriarchate; one wonders how this would take place? Met. Jonah has stated in the past the possibility of a non-geographical Anglican rite diocese. Would the MP actually do this? Or would it rather have them taken in by ROCOR-MP itself? However, if such a move actually transpired, would it not meet the same fate as the well-known Central American debacle, wherein, Bp. Jerome and others had seemingly organized the reception of a massive 250,000 or so person independent church to join ROCOR-MP following a Tridentine-style western rite, only to have the plans nixed after complaints from ROCOR bishops and clergy, when they realized that the new comers would far outnumber ROCOR-MP? In that case new requirements were placed upon the aforementioned independents: they should all transition to the standard Russian Orthodox liturgical praxis after a period of time. Of course, such stipulations were rejected, and the plans were called off (but, not without Bp. Jerome publicly eschewing those that he felt were responsible for such a move). How would such a similar fate be avoided for these Anglicans?” http://nftu.net/rocor-mp-continuing-anglicans-join-continue-is/

      The fact is, regardless of your own, which I feel are sterling, motives is that the history of the western rite is simply tragic and it shall probably continue. The wholesale Russifcation of the tradition as it exists in your own Vicariate is systematic of the reality of its non-acceptance.

      Fr Andrew Philips of England, a well respected Russian priest of your jurisdiction, has honestly admitted that the western rite is only temporary: stating:

      “It may be that with the dissolution of Anglicanism in particular, there is now a place for a ‘Western rite’ in Orthodoxy. Despite all manner of disadvantages and difficulties, a ‘Western rite’ could perhaps fill a temporary pastoral need for some specific small groups.” http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/westrite.htm

      You seem to be insinuating that I am inventing all of this, but it all emanates from members of your own church; they are not my ideas at all.

      • Dale says:

        Here is a copy of the “Liturgy of St Peter the Apostle” now being adopted by ROCOR “western” (sic) rite parishes. it is truly bizarre, and is basically the Byzantine rite, once again, “why even bother?”


      • Stephen says:

        For once, I agree with Dale (cue birds falling from the sky, the sun rising in the north, rains of frogs, and so forth). Uneducated in these matters as I am, it seems to me that the mixing of bits of different rites to create a frankenrite, and then declaring it to be Tradition, makes no liturgical or cultural sense and harms far more than it helps. Tradition evolves, it is not imposed. Perhaps in 100 years time, the Byzantine liturgies served in the UK will have developed organically into something that is both Byzantine and British. Who knows? I’ll be dead fairly soon (although recent health reports suggest that may not be quite as soon as I had feared), and I’ve more important things to worry about.

        It would seem to me more honest to either say “This is the Orthodox Church. We’re mostly Byzantine. If you wish to become Orthodox, this is the sort of liturgy you will celebrate”, or “This is the Orthodox Church. We have resurrected the Sarum/Cranmerian/ASB Liturgy [pick one] for you, with a couple of additions/subtractions to bring it in line with our theological positions. If you want to do liturgy in the Western Style, this is is the way you will do it, otherwise you do it in the Byzantine style”. Either approach is preferable to liturgical pick’n’mix.

        But on the other hand, it’s not my parish and not my bishop, and I really don’t have any right to go poking my nose in.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Stephen, As regards your comment: “It would seem to me more honest to either say “This is the Orthodox Church. We’re mostly Byzantine. If you wish to become Orthodox, this is the sort of liturgy you will celebrate”, or “This is the Orthodox Church. We have resurrected the Sarum/Cranmerian/ASB Liturgy [pick one] for you, with a couple of additions/subtractions to bring it in line with our theological positions. If you want to do liturgy in the Western Style, this is is the way you will do it, otherwise you do it in the Byzantine style”. In an information era like ours, where it is rather easy to see how various religious groups do their liturgics, I think this is what happens. ROCOR does publish their various Western Rite liturgies on their web site.

        The key seems to be in the phrase “Western Rite”. People see it an then tend to want to interpret it according to their tradition. So if they’re Anglican, they see it as “Anglican Rite”. Or if RC/OC/PNCC, as “Roman Catholic Rite”. Etc. But they then also expect it to be nearly identical to what they are used to and if it isn’t, then they don’t think the rite is in line with their expectation. I suspect the RCC is experiencing this with its Ordinariates.

        Now I certainly do think it is important that any WR, regardless of origin, be maintained in line with the historic tradition of the rite. I’d think that would mean only removing those elements that are seriously problematic theologically and adding only as little as is necessary in any areas where some ambiguity may be problematic theologically or where a desire uniformity is considered beneficial (e.g., the Antiochian WR adds the classic Byzantine prayer of the laity before receiving communion). But “Franken-liturgies” are certainly to be avoided at all costs. It would make no sense to try to create a single liturgy that blended classical elements of RC, Anglican, and Lutheran liturgies and then call it “the WR liturgy”.

  4. From Fr Smuts’ blog:

    Anglican Church Received into Western Rite Vicariate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

    From the Anglican Church in North America. Reception into Orthodoxy:

    Holy Cross Anglican Church has been received into full sacramental communion and visible unity with the 300 million-member Orthodox Church and is now known as Holy Cross Orthodox Church. Holy Cross is an Anglican Rite parish of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia…

    There is much more on Fr Novak’s blog here.

    The Parish website is here.


    HT:  Michael Frost.

    • Stephen says:

      I had an email from a friend in the US this morning, who is painfully close to the situation. It appears that Bp Jerome was receiving communities and ordaining priests with little regard to the spiritual formation of either. Thus there are embryo WR congregations around the US (and the UK) who have no real understanding of what it means to be Orthodox, and priests who can’t teach them. Bp Jerome was also acting unilaterally in situations where prudence and good manners (to say nothing of the concept of synodical government) would suggest that the rest of the synod of bishops ought to be carried along.

      The upshot of this is that there will be many small WR communities who are going to go through a lot of pain, and they need our prayers.

      Personally, I think that the synod overreacted and took more steps than were strictly necessary to resolve what was undoubtedly a grave problem, but I’m going to wait for a few months and see what happens next. And also try and remember that it’s not really my business.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Stephen, I completely concur in regard to their need for our prayers and that only time will give us a better idea as to what all happens.

    • Dale says:

      If these parishes had adopted the Russian tradition in the first place, none of this would be an issue…it is simply hatred for the west and nothing more…do you think that there have never been hasty ordinations in the eastern rite of convert priests and problems with them (actually, I could give several examples)? But those have never been an issue.

  5. Timothy says:

    Judging from the draconian nature of the synod’s actions, it seems that Dale has been correct for the most part.

    I was raised Roman Catholic, converted to Orthodoxy (OCA, then ROCOR), and then returned to the traditional Catholic milieu. Right now, I am not attending any church and I am going through a profound reassessment of everything, including the reliability of any kind of religious revelation.

    At one point several years ago, I investigated Christ the King, a ROCOR parish in Tullytown, PA that professes to be Western Rite. First, let me be clear that I never attended. But I did receive material in the mail, including a liturgical program. Their liturgy was clearly a hybrid of East and West. Even worse, the pastor told me they had received special permission to use the Novus Ordo “Mass of Creation” setting because the congregation, which had converted en masse from a charismatic denomination, was attached to it. The whole thing struck me as simply anomalous and platypus-like.

    There is a great deal of wisdom in Fr. Anthony’s counsel to stay in one’s own tradition. My own experience is that moving around doesn’t solve much. In my own case, it has left me quite jaded.

    On a positive note, I know Fr. David Straut, one of the clergy assigned to help the WR folks transition to the ER. He is a very good man. I cannot think of anyone more suited to the task.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Timothy, Please do keep in mind that ROCOR is separate from the long-established Antiochian Orthodox Western Rite, which dates at least back to the late 1950s. My former Antiochian WR parish, St. Vincent of Lerins (Omaha, NE), is still going strong and has been ever since its establishment around 1989. While my initial prayer is that ROCOR works to preserve its WR, I also pray that the Antiochians will stand ready pastorally to assist any ROCOR WR churches that want to remain WR. I’m hoping that ROCOR might be willing to allow their WR churches to move to a different jurisdiction if that is the only way they can remain WR? Being WR is not easy. Such parishes have to work long and hard to preserve their identity and maintain their existence.

      • Peter Jericho says:

        > While my initial prayer is that ROCOR works to preserve its WR, I also pray that the Antiochians will stand ready pastorally to assist any ROCOR WR churches that want to remain WR. I’m hoping that ROCOR might be willing to allow their WR churches to move to a different jurisdiction if that is the only way they can remain WR?

        I hope so too. But even if that is true, just the fact that the decree speaks _as though_ they would not be allowed to do so is, to my mind, the icing on the cake of this story.

      • Dale says:

        ALL of the parishes that became Antiochian in the 50s and 60s with the western rite are now Byzantine. I expect that the same thing will happen in Antioch with the passing of the present Metropolitan.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Timothy, You might check out the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese web site, which includes their WR. Here is a story there about recent episcopal oversight in their WR across the USA, including churches in Mass., Texas, and Colorado, in June 2013:


      • Dale says:

        Michael, I cannot believe that you would recommend the Antiochian western rite. What has just happened with the Russians was EXACTLY what was done to the western rite by the Antiochians in England; even you admit that the western rite amongst the Antiochians is predicated upon the personal whim of the local bishop. The western rite parishes, under Antioch, in Australia are now all Byzantine as are the ones in the Philippines; I fail to see any difference between the Russians and the Arabs.

        At least with the Russians those parishes who wish to leave may do so with their property; the first demand of the Arabs is title deed to ALL property, if the must leave to preserve their tradition, they leave with nothing.

      • William Tighe says:


        Perhaps you might be in a position to tell me whether (as I have read) the Antiochian WR in the Philippines was actually the 1969 “Novus Ordo,” complete with many of the “irregularities” that (as I have again read) accompany it in “cultural milieux” of a more “emotional” or “enthusiastic” sort. If that is/was indeed the case, I would not lament its disappearance; and I would imagine that it might be just as difficult to alter it to a more “trraditional” style WR as to replace it with the Byzantine Rite.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Here in USA, which is all I have direct knowledge of, I have absolutely no qualms whatsoever recommending the Antiochian WR to anyone. I believe my former local WR parish will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year. Over that period we’ve had three priests. I see no indication that in USA any WR parish is being forced against its will to become ER. I will concur with you that it is personally sad to me when WR priests and congregations voluntarily become Byzantine, but that is their choice and I can respect it. WR laity have to work hard every day to maintain their position. It isn’t easy and it isn’t for the weak or faint of heart. But we appear to have sufficient size and infrastructure in place now such that any of our WR parishes in USA that want to stay WR have no formal difficulty doing so. They just need to stay firm in their knowledge of, appreciation for, and most active participation in the beautiful, holy, uplifting, life-giving WR!

      • Dale says:

        Dr Tighe, there were several groups in the Philippines who were received, some quite conservative Catholic types; but those who used a more novus ordo directed liturgy were actually using a Syaric Catholic rite (which as you know has been very, very novus ordorized, with mass facing the people etc.). The primary culture of the philippines, where I lived for several years during middle school is fundamentally Hispanic and Catholic. If the Antiochians had been honest they would simply have introduced the Trindentine form of the Roman mass; but the need to Byzantine all and sundry is almost a fetish amongst the Byzantine Orthodox.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, Holy Redeemer in Los Altos, California, and St Stephen’s in Plainfield, NJ most certainly DID NOT BECOME BYZANTINE VOLUNTARILY! The same can be said for the western rite parish in Flemington, NJ. In the two latter two cases, the people left and returned to continuing Anglicanism, and in the case of St Stephen’s lost their parish plant to the Arabs. There are many, many more of these cases.

        I have been told, under fairly good authority, that when Metropolitan Philip passes, the first thing to go will be the western rite; it now only continues to exist because of his personal support; in ALL OTHER PLACES under Antioch it has been closed.

      • Dale says:

        Finally, Michael, where are all of the parishes of the western rite who came over in the 50s, 60s, and 70s? They are ALL now Byzantine as well. It is a property bait-and-switch; the fact that there are still people willing to believe in all of this simply shows how dumb people can really be; you can fool some people all of the time.

        St Peter’s. Miami, recently left Antioch protesting the continued Byzantinization of the western rite; as did St Barbara’s, also in Miami.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Sometimes you throw out too much unattributed, undated info. I have no idea what was happening in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. That was a long time ago.I suspect there wasn’t much WR infrastructure and there were various forces and pressures that weren’t conducive to some WR parishes. And sometimes you don’t make complete sense. You complain that the Antiochians want the deed to real property but then you talk about their own churches leaving the Archdiocese. How can a church leave if it doesn’t own its own property? Of course, clergy or laity can leave but not real property of the Archdiocese, without its consent.

      • Dale says:

        I dunno Michael, not too long ago you were making all sorts of claims about the Russian western rite as well, and I can only say…I told you so.

        Actually, quite a few western rite parishes were received in the 50s to 70s…where are they? I used to keep a list of Byzantinized parishes, it was far larger in numbers than the present existing, but not for long, western rite parishes of the Arabs…but why bother, you often simply say things without ANY supporting evidence whatsoever.

        Sts Peter’s and Barbara’s were rather smart in delaying for as long as possible turning their property over to the Arabs…in this they were much, much smarter than the Anglicans from whom it was easy to steal their assets…and they still held title deed when they left. The mere fact that the Arabs seem abnormally interested in real estate should be a signal to anyone contemplating them.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I haven’t made “claims” about ROCOR’s WR. Maybe I’ve had some hopes, dreams, and desires, but I know little about it. Seems like they only started making a big push around 2009 or so? Only thing I’ve know is the Antiochian WR. Worshipped within it for 15 years and my former local church is still going strong, nearing 25 years.

      • Dale says:

        So Michael, according to you, the western rite communities of the Russians in England can become western rite under Antioch? I think not.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Timothy, Here is the link to the Antiochian Archdioces WR page, which includes their statement about our WR:


  6. Michael Frost says:

    Just an interesting article, dated 7/12/13, out of Maryland on a Antiochian Western Rite parish. Antiochian Archdioces posted it on their web site and it links to the newspaper’s:


  7. Peter Jericho says:

    First thing that struck me was the article title, “Worshipers take unorthodox turn to Orthodoxy”.

    I guess that reflects society’s use of “unorthodox” to mean “unconventional”, generally not in a bad way.

    So then I read the article under the assumption that “unorthodox turn” was referring to the Western-Rite … but it turns out they never mention that the parish is WR.

    But regardless, I thought it was a good article.

  8. ed pacht says:

    Dale says:
    Sunday, 7 July, 2013 at 11:42 pm

    Here is a copy of the “Liturgy of St Peter the Apostle” now being adopted by ROCOR “western” (sic) rite parishes. it is truly bizarre, and is basically the Byzantine rite, once again, “why even bother?”


    I’ve accessed this liturgy and the page “Occidentalis” where it appears as well as the main page of the allmercifulsavior website. Thank you for drawing my attention to this page. It is a fascinating collection of texts, only a few of which are in use or even proposed for use., and not all of them even claiming to be Western. This Liturgy of St. Peter, according to its own introduction, is not presented as a Western Rite liturgy, but as a Byzantine form preserved in manuscript by the Old Believers, into which the Roman Canon had somehow been imported a very long time ago, before the reforms that resulted in the modern Russian recension of the Byzantine Liturgy. It is a document of great historical interest. I haven’t seen any evidence that anyone is using it today or has proposed to do so (though I suppose anything is possible). Some thirty years ago ROCOR had one parish (in Pennsylvania, if I recall correctly) with permission to use the Old Believers’ rites. Possibly they might have used this, though I think it a bit unlikely. I have no information as to whether this parish still exists or still uses it distinctive rites.

    At any rate, it would appear that this liturgy was once in use by extreme liturgical conservatives in Russia and perhaps in exile – hardly an example of either Westernization or of byzantinizing of a Western Rite. This thing is sui generis, and a fascinating side note to liturgical history.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Ed, It was my understanding that ROCOR’s WR had been working on its own Anglican Rite liturgy. Think it was going to be very close to the Orthodox BCP from English Orthodox Communications (Colo.). The edition sent to me was most interesting. There was even an optional provision to sing the Gloria at the end of the liturgy as in 1552/1559/1662/1928 Anglican BCPs. I’ve long want to experience that. Not sure what the status of it is now. I pray both it and their WR parishes survive intact! 😉

    • Dale says:

      “P. Jerome: Yes. There is a direct connection. One of the ancient liturgies is the Liturgy of St. Peter, which is a form of the Western Rite that is preserved on Mt. Athos, of all places. It exists in Greek, in Slavonic and in Georgian. I translated the Slavonic form, which is preserved in the manuscripts of the Hilandar monastery, into English. Three of our Western Rite parishes liked it so much that they began using that service as their regular order. That sort of bridges the gap. That same manuscript in the Hilandar monastery also contains the oldest known version of the liturgy of St. James.” (http://rwrv.blogspot.com/)

      So, according to Bishop Jerome, yes this liturgy is/was being adopted by several of their western rite communities. But this is now all water-under-bridge since they will soon all be forced to adopt the Russian recession of the Greek liturgy in English.

      • ed pacht says:

        Interesting. I hadn’t heard of that. This, of course, is not a byzantinized Western Liturgy at all, but a Byzantine liturgy with western features. From the bishop’s remarks, it would appear that the change in those parishes was not imposed from above, but made at the choice of the parish itself. The problem in ROCOR seems to have been not so much a pressure to conform as a lack of intelligent regulation of liturgical use, something approaching anarchy. In AWRV, on the other hand, there are two choices, and only two, for Western Rite parishes and a lot more stability.

      • Dale says:

        Yes, Ed, the Antiochians were very smart in their liturgical western rite; they, at least at one time, took it seriously enough that they quickly printed an “official missal” containing both liturgies (one Anglo-Catholic and the other Roman) and demanded at least some form of conformity to a living liturgical tradition (Although in practice the celebrations are often very, very Byzantinized). One of the reasons I have always been very apprehensive of the Russian western rite (besides having been personally involved in their western rite fiasco in Italy in the 1970s and their one “Anglican” rite parish in Escondido, California, in the 1980s [which was forced to celebrate the Antiochian Liturgy of St Tihkon with a full ikonostasis and wearing Russian vestments until if was fully Russified ) is that it was treated as liturgical fun-and-games with a multitude of “liturgies” each one more Byzantine than the last (and their Byzantinizations are only according to the Russian recessions following the 1666 Russian novus ordo). It was all a joke. I am not at all surprised at what has happened, what I cannot believe is that there are still some people who think that the western rite is going to survive this! But fanatics will continue to see black when the reality is white.

        But, and as I have said before, the future for the Antiochian western rite is also fairly bleak. In the not too distant future, all of their liturgical books will simply be interesting liturgical relics.

      • Peter Jericho says:

        Based on some things I’ve read (and mind you, I’m not making any claim about whether they were accurate) it seems there may have been a bit of bait-and-switch going on, in the sense of the road to WR priesthood initially appearing much easier than it really was.

  9. ed pacht says:

    I’m wondering if the right questions are being asked here. Does anyone join either the Orthodox Church or the RCC with the mental reservation that, if it doesn’t work out as they wish they can always go somewhere else? I’m sure some do, but is that included in the conditions under which they are accepted? I think not. Both churches are insistent that their particular body is the one authentic heir of the Apostles. Both bodies are insistent that new converts buy into the whole package of their teachings and discipline. Neither church has relinquished its right to determine how its people should worship. Both bodies have, to some degree, permitted various rites and variations for pastoral reasons, but neither recognizes lack of such permission as an acceptable reason not to convert, nor withdrawal of such permissions as an excuse for defection. Converts need to know that before they enter, rather than expecting that they can remake the church according to their preference. If I believed the claims Rome makes for itself, I’d have converted long ago, without waiting for such a thing as an Ordinariate, and, like it or not, would have had to put up with the Novus Ordo. If I believed what the Orthodox say about their church, I’d be there, in a Byzantine parish, even though much about that would feel alien. In both cases I would be very thankful if subsequently a rite I could love were to be allowed. I’d be Orthodox, Western Rite if possible, if not, not.

    With regard to that Liturgy of St. Peter (mentioned above, if +Jerome’s statement actually means that some of their parishes used that rite, that would be one of the reasons for the demise of ROCOR’;s WR vicariate. Whether right or wrong, the fact is that most Eastern Orthodox have grave doubts (at best) as to the validity of a Eucharistic liturgy without a descending Epiclesis after the Eastern pattern (“Send down thy Holy Spirit…”). Only a minority would see “carried up…by thy holy Angel” (the ascending epiclesis of the Roman Canon) as acceptable without the insertion (found in the other Western Orthodox liturgies). This liturgy contains only the ascending form. That, in itself, would be very troubling to most of the bishops, and could be a proximate cause of the recent actions. This liturgy may be Byzantine in appearance, but even the “Anglicanish” Liturgy of St. Tikhon is closer in theological content to the Byzantine liturgies as they now exist.

    I am outside the Orthodox Church. Therefore I have no standing to criticize their inner workings or to question their protectiveness of what they consider important. It is true that I fail to agree with many of their standards and actions, but it’s not my place to rail about what they do in an effort to be consistent with them. If you don’t like what you see, don’t go there. If you do go there, accept it for what it is, not for some idealization that is in your mind.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Ed, Lots of interesting thoughts and much to think over!

      I sometimes wonder if what gets lost at times is the understanding of the inherent equality of members within a Church. There should never be something like a “second class” member of a communion, at least not officially or theologically. But sadly in our fallen world one can experience a type of discrimination or separation within a community, that often leads to segregation, voluntary or otherwise. I suspect in USA that Eastern Rite RCs may feel that they or their communities are somehow “less” than the overwhelming Latin Rite. Same for American Western Rite EOs in relation to the much larger Byzantine communities. I suspect same may be true for the non-High Church/non-Anglo-Catholic members of CAism, who seem to be in the minority. The PNCC is an interesting historical example of what can happen when one group believes they are being mistreated by another (Poles in relation to Irish & Italians), and look what has happened to them in relation to where they came from. They aren’t quite who they used to be and can’t just easily re-unite with Rome. And in USA some Eastern Rite RC churches and clergy became EO because of these sorts of concerns.

      Of course, ensuring the equality of members isn’t easy, because it presumes the inherent legitimacy and equality of their respective religious cultures, liturgies, hymns, devotions, etc. Yet that is so hard when there is so little interaction between the communities. And even harder if the episcopal structure, seminaries, and other institutional entities overwhelmingly favor a majority. And when the majority clergy and laity have so little knowledge about the minority. Thus, in our fallen state we have the eternal comparisons and disagreements, even within the same Church? The thinking of “neither Greek nor Latin” isn’t easy to execute when one is in Rome or Constantinople or a stranger in a foreign land dominated by a majority?

    • Dale says:

      Ed, one of the problems is that these people, our own kind, have often been given certain promises and assurances that the Byzantine Church would respect and nurture the western tradition, but once property deeds etc are turned over to them the game plan is changed; or in the case of the Russians, the fear of too many un-assimilated konvertzi are considered a danger to the basic Russianish of their denomination . It is fundamentally dishonest.

      But you are correct, if one wishes to go Byzantine, simply learn to enjoy passing water over the graves and traditions of one’s own ancestors…but even that is never good enough for the Byzantines…they really want one to squat down and make number two. But one should never, in the end, believe that anything other than the ethno/cultural traditions of Byzantium will ever be accepted in the One True Byzantine Church.

      Once again, the Byzantines firmly believe that their imperial byzantine traditions are the fullness of catholicity.

      • ed pacht says:

        Dale, your scatalogical second paragraph is absolutely uncalled for. No one else has sunk so low as that and I believe you need to apologize if you ever expect anyone to take you seriously again. What I’m seeing is a wretched soul so filled with rage as to be unable to keep a civil tongue or to think rationally. O sincerely hope that is a false impression, but… Please, just stick to the issues.

      • Dale says:

        Bit judgmental today, Ed?

    • Dale says:

      Ed, on a more theological point, St Nicholas Cabasilas’s “Commentary on the Divine Liturgy” accepts the Roman ascending epiclesis as completely valid. The refusal to accept the canon of St Gregory the Great as valid as is is very modern amongst the Byzantines and is more reflective of ethnic hatred than anything else.

      • ed pacht says:

        Perhaps so, but what needs to be remembered is that it is indeed the prevalent opinion among Orthodox today that a descending epiclesis is essential. Those adopting this liturgy should have known that, and +Jerome should certainly have made sure they knew about the problem. This was an example of asking for trouble and gratuitously giving those uncertain of WR acceptability reason to get tough.

      • Dale says:

        All of the approved western rites in Orthodoxy have a descending epiclesis, so I fail to understand your point.

      • ed pacht says:

        That “Liturgy of St. Peter” that you linked to does not. I read it, especially the anaphora/canon several times to make sure I did not misspeak There is only the ascending version, I said I had not heard of it being used You quoted +Jerome as saying that some liked it enough to use it. Does that make it an approved liturgy, or was it used in spite of not being approved? Either way, if it was actually used, the problem I’m referencing exists. If it was not, then my Initial surmise holds.

      • Dale says:

        In the end, the reasons had nothing to do with the use of this liturgy, which almost certainly had a descending epiclesis in its approved parish use; the so-called stated reason was that Bishop Jerome ordained multiple priests at the same time. This is simply pretense. They were all only looking for a reason to shut it down. What is also strange is that none of the priests ordained in this multiple ordination rites are now being accepted as valid; the implications are far beyond the Russian jurisdiction since Metropolitan Philip of the Greek Antiochian jurisdiction did the same thing, hence, now, the sacraments of literally dozens of his clergy are suspect as being invalid. But this issue will not really surface since the real reason was what was stated on an Orthodox site concerning the demand that all conversions in Latin America follow the Russian tradition: “Bp. Jerome and others had seemingly organized the reception of a massive 250,000 or so person independent church to join ROCOR-MP following a Tridentine-style western rite, only to have the plans nixed after complaints from ROCOR bishops and clergy, when they realized that the new comers would far outnumber ROCOR-MP? In that case new requirements were placed upon the aforementioned independents: they should all transition to the standard Russian Orthodox liturgical praxis after a period of time.” (http://nftu.net/rocor-mp-continuing-anglicans-join-continue-is/). In the end, the real problem was numbers, and fear. Regardless of the song-and-dance, for the Byzantines to be Orthodox means to be Byzantine, end of debate. They love to have a few self-loathing converts who try so very, very hard to be almost as good as a real Russian or Greek, but never quite measure up, but a large movement of converts who remain attached to their ancient traditions; this will never be accepted. Even in the end of the 19th century the conversion of a few thousand Syriac rite Nestorians had to be dealt with by complete and total Russfication.

        The Russians where satisfied when the western rite was a few, elderly, monastics who doddered around saying a heavily byzantinized service, so that when anyone posited that they could not pretend to be the One, True, Church if they were limited to one cultural tradition they response could always be; “But is neyt true, we be having vestern ritesky.” It was all fundamentally dishonest. Once there was any real growth it was shut down. That this should come as a surprise to anyone is simply beyond belief.

        Ed stated, and I believe quite rightly, that “but what needs to be remembered is that it is indeed the prevalent opinion among Orthodox today that a descending epiclesis is essential.” The only thing that this proves is regardless of the Byzantine blather about how they never change and that their theology never changes is not really true.

        In the end, the Russians will do what the Byzantines always do, they will blame the victims of this charade.

        Finally, Ed, on several occasions you have degenerated into personal, vindictive, and nasty ad hominem against me. I do not know why you do this, but the last example was both egregious and self-righteous; I was involved with the debacle of the Italian western communities in the 70s when I was a young seminarian, I was also involved in the dishonesty of the Antiochians in the “Pilgrimage to Orthodoxy” in England (I was at the first meeting in 1978 between Frs. Paul Lansley and others that started the movement, only to see the rank lies and dishonest practices of the Byzantines). I am sorry if my very deep experiences with the Byzantines offends you.

      • ed pacht says:

        it is not your content I am objecting to at all. I would love a chance to consider the statements you make in a rational and documented discussion. There may well be something in them, but what I’ve seen so far is a dogged insistence on attacking and attempting to discredit those you feel wrong, without documenting your statements, and without being willing to consider anything that does not fit in with what you have decided. When that goes so far as to use scatalogical imagery directed at anyone whose liturgical decisions does not please you, as if those you consider to be among the abused are themselves guilty of disgusting actions, that does call for a comment. I’m sorry (and hope I’m mistaken, although I doubt that) if all I can see in your comments is an intense rage, such that any response I or any of the others may make is beyond the necessity to take seriously. Furthermore I found it strange that my comment concerning what at least appears to be an extreme judgmentalism on your part would be answered by accusing me of judgmentalism.. Ah well…

        I believe you do have knowledge that the rest of us may not possess, but it doesn’t come through if it is presented in such a manner as this. I’ve been asking, no, begging, for a calm and considered discussion of these things. They do interest me considerably, but so far all I’ve learned from you is that you don’t like Byzantines and believe they have done awful things. That’s not enough and it frustrates me. I’m not the only one who has asked for documentation, and it has not been forthcoming.

        If you had provided some private way of communication, I would not have responded publicly as I have, but would have written privately. It isn’t easy at all to communicate with someone behind an alias. If you would like to communicate with me, please do. I don’t conceal my email, which is edpacht1@myfairpoint.net

      • Dale says:

        Ed, if you will look at many of my entries, especially in response to Fr Anthony Bondi, you will see that I have indeed cited my sources.

    • Dale says:

      The acceptance of the Liturgy of St Peter was simply a pathetic attempt to grain social acceptance from the Russians and still retain something western…emphasis on pathetic.

      • ed pacht says:

        That may be your opinion, but can you back it up with anything but surmise?

      • I created the “blow-out department” exactly for blow-outs. Please, gentlemen, try to avoid provocative language or over-ripe imagery. I agree that it would be a good idea to back up anything with facts and cool reasoning. Make the effort even if it is a blow-out!

      • Dale says:

        Ed, simply looking at the own posted picture of their parishes, their need to dress up in Russian get-ups etc. shows that they were trying very, very, very hard to be accepted as one of the regular hairy guys of the Russian Church. I predicted that even their pathetic attempt at a western rite would only be a temporary concession, and in this I have been proven correct. I do know the Russians and the Byzantines; what I am surprised at is no one is willing to admit that I was right about this all along.

  10. Venedykt says:

    If I may speak away from my field of expertise (none), I think it would be interesting to speculate to what extent the Liturgy of St Peter passes the criterion of ‘organic liturgical development’, but since there appears to be so little evidence of its history, I suppose speculation would lead to no conclusions. Could it not, I wonder, have evolved from the liturgical practice of the monastery of Amalphion and insinuated itself in the observance of other monasteries on the Holy Mountain? In that case it might represent an endorsement of the western rite by their fellow monastics who adapted it, to what extent they could, to their own liturgical context.

    There doesn’t seem to be any discussion of the western rite among the one Old Kalendarist jurisdiction which has made serious efforts to accommodate and encourage it, viz. the Autonomous Metropolia Of North America and the United Kingdom (formerly of the Milan Synod, and ultimately the Synod of Auxentios) which derives its apostolic pedigree from Bishop Leontij of Chile and had the blessing and encouragement of Metropolitan Philaret. It’s current Metropolitan spent 30 years translating and adapting the Sarum Office to English texts. With such a personal investment in the rite there is a virtual guarantee against a programme of assimilation to the Eastern Rite. Two of their sister synods (True Orthodox Metropolia of Russia under Metropolitan Rafail Motovilov and the True Orthodox Autonomous Metropolia of western Europe) also have a definite western rite presence which in the case of Moscow is becoming a flourishing one. I realise that the Old Kalendarist reality may seem to be a confusing one to those outside it, as I am, but I think it shouldn’t be entirely ignored. Or perhaps Old Kalendarism is considered unsavoury.

  11. Venedykt says:

    And a follow up. I have known Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion for many years, and the western rite project was one that he gave all possible encouragement to, sincerely cherished and was always eager to discuss. Not all bishops of the Synod were of like mind, and it is unfortunate for the survival of the rite that those who were, such as Bishops Alexander Mileant, Nikon, Daniel, etc., have in the meantime reposed. Over the years there has been a shifting of individual agendas and opinions, but there was not until recently a concensus againt the western rite and I think it ‘s fictitious to imply that this end was somehow in view from the start. I’m getting the impression that this assumption, even if it isn’t being asserted, is in the back of some minds and that nobody, or almost nobody, in ROCOR took the idea of a western rite seriously.

    • Dale says:

      Venedykt, the so-called western rite offered by your people is if anything even more byzantinised and Russified than what was on offer by the ROCOR; no thanks, I love my traditions too much to be involved in such a charade.

      • Venedykt says:

        ‘My people’ are ROCOR of the Russian rescension. I have attended one western rite liturgy, served by Dom James of Christminster in its Rhode Island days, therefore cannot speak from experience of the rite. However, if there was any byzantinisation going on in that instance I failed to notice it. It’s all moot now, of course.

        That aside, I would ask you to cite one single example of byzantinisation in the texs of the Metropolia in support of your asssertion. Just one. Or let me save you the trouble, since you’ll never find one…

      • Dale says:

        Venedykt, I have already posted several sources from you own parishes, mostly pictures, that show the western rite celebrated with Ikonostasis, kalmilavkas and byzantine rite vestments. Here is an example: http://www.stjohndsm.org/about-us.html

      • Venedykt says:

        That’s not my point. What are we talking about? When I mention the Autonomous Metropolia you respond with a criticism of ROCOR about which I have said I have almost no personal knowledge. Can we at least clarify the topic?

    • Dale says:

      In your own words: “‘My people’ are ROCOR of the Russian rescension.” And now you are not ROCOR? Very confusing.

      If it is this group, it is if anything more goofy than anything on offer, temporarily, by the ROCOR: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=89I-S_76bhc

      • Venedykt says:

        I was baptised in ROCOR and, with the exception of one ROCOR western rite celebration as stated, have attended services only in ROCOR churches of the Russian recension ever since. How any statement I made leads you to conclude that I don’t belong to ROCOR is bewildering but not perhaps surprising. If your insistence on misinterpreting what you read is a strategy to trivialise the conversation until it becomes meaningless, I would concede that it is effective on some level but is not one that I can respect or will any longer respond to. Do pobochemo.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        I’m in agreement with Venedykt. That particular non-canonical metropola does know what they are doing liturgically. I have studied them for years. They really do use a missal taken from the Sacramentary (often called Missal) of Robert of Jumieges. Liturgically they serve as a good example to those in ROCOR, even though they are non-canonical.

        You dale, need to learn to have more humility. You are far too arrogant. You have no direct evidence of the old english use liturgy being goofy, it lacks byzantinzation, it is very pure. You are slandering them unfairly. It is disgraceful. The music in the video is authentic plainchant /gregorian tones being used they appear to be doing a commemoration or finishing up part of vespers or the beginning of matins.

      • Dale says:

        If this is the group, well, what can one say?

      • Dale says:

        This one is even more exotic, really spooky actually. Sarum? I think not…

  12. Stephen K says:

    I am a little lost over the byways of this thread or threads, but I would like to share with you all, that the little experience I have had of Orthodox (perhaps I should say ‘Eastern’) worship is confined to attending evening vespers over a week in the 1970s at the Russicum in Rome and later, much later, taking my children to a nearby Russian Orthodox Liturgy one Sunday. The former appealed deeply to my musical being, the latter to my sense and appreciation of colour (I remember lots of gold, white, sky or cerulean blue etc). Following the vespers, each evening, I could not suppress an impulse to declare “I’m going to be a Russian!” (Of course I never did).

    And of course, somewhere along the way in between I read ‘The Brothers Karamazov’. and other works by Dostoyevsky where they sit alongside a volume of ‘Enchiridion Patristicum’. I have dipped a little into works by Timothy Ware. Perhaps a germ of awareness of the vast and rich tapestry of Christian traditions began for me one sunny morning in the Vatican Radio Chapel, looking out through the window over some vista of the city roofs and domes, and hearing four or five clerical students from the Russicum and the Collegio San’Anselmo chanting the harmonic “Gospodi pomilou”, where something large filled (perhaps transitorily) my being.

    Reflection on all this has helped bring me to an understanding that perhaps ultimately faith or relationship with God cannot be ever satisfactorily understood and certainly never circumscribed by definition. As a corollary, I think, religion, religious experience and appreciation and affinity can never be uniform. I may be wrong on all counts, but I don’t think ultimately we miss the point or much of the point if we do not simply ‘go with our flow’ where our religious sensibilities lie. That is, I don’t think there’s terribly much hanging on the differences, in the long and eschatological run. Forget ‘Byzantinism’ or ‘Romanism’ or ‘Anglicanism’ etc. Just ask, does this worship fill me with large and good thoughts and feelings towards God and my fellows? If it doesn’t go somewhere else; if it does, delve deep into the moment and direction of it.

    • One book that has fascinated me is The Empire of the Tsars and the Russians by Anatole L. Leroy-Beaulieu. If you want the hard copy book, click here for where you can order it.

      I have read it in its original French version. The language is 19th century and shows extraordinary understanding of the old Russian spirit. I have also found great insights in Soloviev and Berdyaev. There is a terrifying melancholy about those people, but a toughness in harsh conditions and adversity that defies all belief.

      I started trying to learn a little Russian when I was at seminary, but I didn’t get very far. I like the sound of the language.

      • Stephen K says:

        Yes, I like the sound of the language too. Another thing that fascinated me was that all those years ago, I can’t remember now in what context, I was read an account, book-length, of the wanderings and spiritual journey of a (19th? 18th? century) Russian ascetic who taught and spread the “Jesus prayer”. And I once had a book that dealt with mysticism and theology with discussions of Bergson (I think) and Berdyaev. I will have to see if I can find it as I think I would appreciate it more now.

        I was watching a programme about the 70s and 80s phenomenon of the ‘Charismatic’ movement. It really was something unfamiliar and foreign to me. But I realise the challenge is to see beyond one’s native formation and the level of sensibility and be alert to or discern what value or truth it reflects or manifests at some level. Some forms will be more difficult. But some will be more obvious.

    • Dale says:

      Yes, Stephen, I can still remember, also in the 70s attending services in the Russicum; absolutely beautiful…of course, at least in my case, it did not result in any feeling that I needed to become a Russian!

      In some ways, I preferred the services of the Greek College of St Athanasios; it was there that i came to love Byzantine chanting; and agreed with one of my professors that although Russian westernized music might be beautiful, its beauty was similar to that which one finds in opera, sometimes very sentimental, whilst the Byzantine chant has a spiritual quality very akin to Gregorian.

      One of the things that most impressed me was that both of these communities are in full communion with Rome, it was indeed an example of diversity of liturgy united in Faith. (Even though it is a faith of which I have serious reservations).

  13. Rdr. James Morgan says:

    Dear Stephen: The book you are referring to is “The Way of a Pilgrim” by an anonymous russian fellow in the early or middle 19th century. There are now at least three translations of this text into English. It has become quite a classic. See Franny and Zooe by JDSalinger also.

    Rdr. James Morgan

  14. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Have you looked this over:


    Interesting that reportedly he didn’t want to say anything about abortion while in Brazil. RCs are always one pope away from either getting what they want or getting what they don’t want? 😉

  15. Michael Frost says:

    Is good to see some news from ROCOR about their WR. Here is something from August 14:


    This part really caught my eye:

    “The Commission has only recently obtained access to all of the contact information for the ordinands who were immediately impacted by the Synodal Decree issued in July. It is their goal to review and resolve the current status of all the ordinands as quickly and as prudently as possible in order to effect their regularization within ROCOR. The Commission realizes that this has been a painful and confusing time for those affected by the decree and it is their intention to carry out their work in a way that will not keep these good men of God from exercising the ministry to which they were called. The care of souls and the work of the Church is of paramount importance and the Commission is aware of the hardships and struggles that this situation has caused for many. They ask for your patience and your prayers for just a little while longer so that they can finish the task at hand as quickly and expediently as possible. The process of regularization has already begun and some ordinands have already been approved and scheduled for regularization.”

  16. M says:

    I notice with interest that commentators have so far referred mostly to the sad but both predictable and predicted demise of Western Rite in ROCOR. It had survived in ROCOR very respectably for some 37 years with one, then two then three small Western Rite monasteries and some monastery missions. However the recent problems arose with the instant reception of some vagantes and attempted instant promotions combined with a very naive bishop. The Synod at the urging of both Eastern and Western rite clergy investigated and found some very serious misbehaviour by the vicar-bishop and his assistant. Both were stripped of all titles and the bishop compulsorily retired. There were fictitious emails, misrepresentations, bullying and illegal ordinations, so small wonder that the Synod took drastic action. There will almost certainly be nothing recognisably Western Rite in ROCOR within a twelve month period.

    On a brighter note – so far unremarked here, the Metropolitanate of Moscow has established a diocese of the United Kingdom and Western Europe under its young Metropolitan Daniel. It is enabled to use Western Rite and to be administered from within the UK. I commend the websites http://metropolitanateofmoscow.org/ and http://westernriteorthodoxuk.com/ and http://orthodoxwesternrite.wordpress.com/ to you. I understand that this is entirely different from other Western Rite initiatives within Orthodoxy. As you can see the Metropolitanate of Moscow is large and is reaching out. It is a serious initiative. Interestingly the Metropolitanate has no Eastern Rite parishes in the UK or Western Europe – so no clashes or friction. It does however have very strict policies as to who it will receive. There is no hint of Byzantinisation.

    • I wish every success to this venture in England. I would hope that those involved would keep links of dialogue with continuing Anglican Churches and not embark on a policy of “true church” apologetics. Surely, if we descend into a “new dark age”, a marginal Orthodox group alone has little chance of doing anything for anyone or “saving the world”.

      Whatever, I wish your community well, and hope that in spite of the impossibility of any links of communion between the Churches, we can each witness in our contemplative solitude and liturgies to the love and light of the one God.

    • Dale says:

      If this group also involves Fr Michael, it is more than ingenious to state that “There is no hint of Byzantinisation.” His liturgies, from the very beginning were and are havily Russified. On his web paged, which you have linked it shows a picture of him celebrating some sort of service, in which he is in the posture of chanting the Collect, with hand extended, very extended one might add, ON THE GOSPEL SIDE OF THE ALTAR. At no time in the real western rite is this posture taken on the gospel side, but only on the epistle side. Totally hookey.

      • Dale says:

        This one is even better! Here is Fr Michael celebrating what one suspects is one of the new and improved western liturgies in a Byzantine phelon and the server in a Byzantine stikhar! http://metropolitanateofmoscow.org/photo-gallery/the-holy-island-of-iona/

        One can only suspect that when these people say that there is “no hint of byzantinization” they must mean something completely different than those of us who consider the western tradition our heritage.

        One is also tempted to ask, why leave Continuing Anglicanism for non-canonical Byzantine break-away sects?

  17. M says:

    We already have occasional contact with Bishop Damien who seems very friendly to us. Personally I wish he would join with is in this venture which is intended to result in the long term in a national Church.

  18. M says:

    On Iona, with the blessing of Bishop Kallistos (Ware) celebrating the Chrysostoma Liturgy for ERITE people on retreat in early 2012. The other picture to which “Dale” refers, is taken at a very small university chapel altar – and I am standing in the middle of it – as can be deduced from other pictures shown.

  19. M says:

    As for “Russified” ……. no idea what the man is talking about …. and I doubt he has either.

    • Dale says:

      You’d be surprised. But could you explain what was happening liturgically in the picture that has the liturgical vesture of the Collect(s) and post-communion(s), but on the Gospel side of the altar? Very odd indeed. One can only deduce that you have no idea what “western” means.

  20. Dale says:

    Well, at least “M” is correct about one thing, the so-called western tradition in the ROCOR is about over; as for his contention that the altar was so small he had to stand in the middle, one is tempted to ask, in the true-Orthodox Russian tradition of the Sarum rite is the altar missal and stand placed in the centre of the altar?

  21. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, I keep praying for Holy Cross (Omaha) and Fr. Victor. His blog has been silent since the July 2nd announcement about them going ROCOR. Both his blog page and the Holy Cross page still say ROCOR WR. The ROCOR WR news page has had a couple recent updates. Last one I read said they were trying to stay in close touch with parishes like Holy Cross and the clergy in Fr. Victor’s unfortunate situation, including arranging pastoral visits and regularizing clergy. So I keep checking various web sites to see what is going on. I pray all ends well for them and him. I hope for the best. But if ROCOR can’t be their home, for any reason, that Antioch might be able to take them under their wing?

    • Dale says:

      Thanks Michael. But I have noticed that even Antiochian reception of western rite parishes has stalled as well; although, especially with a viable Western rite parish in Omaha, it would seem to be the natural place for Holy Cross.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I’ve only been to Holy Cross once, back in 2010. They have an interesting location. Hard to describe. And why I don’t think they post pictures of the outside. Only way I can describe it is that they are in an underground area of a strip mall-like complex, near the loading zone area. Was more like a storefront which does look outside but under concrete and with large concrete pillars supporting the upper area. I had a devil of a time finding it. So the initial impression when you first see it from your car is…odd.

        So, that leads me to wonder if they lease the space. If they do, and they don’t own their own space, then the Antiochians are less inclined to want to take it in as a parish. Seems like they want you to have a building, money, a congregation, and a priest before joining. Probably smart, but it does have its downsides? Could be a reason why ROCOR was more willing to take them in–at least they had a priest and congregation? Though just a pure guess on my part.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, yes that is true, without property the Antiochians really have no interest in a western rite parish, although they will readily support eastern rite start-up missions that have no property. Also, western rite parishes are expected to self-fund all of their liturgical needs as well, whilst eastern rite missions are heavily supported by the archdiocese when they begin.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I think the Antiochians are a bit more cautious all the way around when it comes to missions and new parishes. Friend of mine has been involved twice in starting an ER mission in Ames, Iowa (college town–ISU– north of Des Moines). Both times the Antiochians declined. They wanted the whole 9 yards before committing. And both times the OCA took the chance. First time with visiting priest and it collapsed in 2010 after a few years. This time, starting last month, with a newly-ordained FT priest. Interestingly, this time it is thru the OCA’s Bulgarian jurisdiction. (Each time the local RCs provide the worship space, which is nice of them.)

  22. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale Crakes Does anyone what the reasons for the changes made to the Roman Mass Sunday Lectionary around the time of Trent? I’ve done some googling but nothing specific yet

    • Dale says:

      Other Dale here, I do not know if this is actually true or not. I do know that the readings for the 1962 Missal are different since it follows a new Calendar; but I have made a quick, emphasis on quick, comparison between some of the main readings in the “Missalis Romani Editio Princeps: Mediolani Anno 1474 Prelis Mandata” and the 1570 Missale Romanum, and they are all the same. Actually almost everything is the same, giving a lie to those who believe that the Missale Romanum dates only from 1570!

  23. Michael Frost says:

    Definitely a change of pace and issue for this Orthodox Blow-out? More for either the RC Blow-out or some liturgical post? 😉

    • Dale says:

      I don’t know, since the Roman rite is also used in your Orthodox jurisdiction it would appear to also be an Orthodox blow-out issue as well.

      Oh, meant “IT can also be downloaded!”

  24. Dale says:

    I know, I can’t seem to help myself, but here are some more really goofy so-called western rite Orthodox pictures of their liturgy! Bizarre is not the word for it; notice that the absolutions are done on the Gospel side of the altar! In another post the altar missal is on the Epistle side of the altar during the Canon of the Mass (Oops, Anaphora of the Divine Liturgy)! The really, really strange thing is that they are just as ignorant of the Byzantine liturgy, the Proskomedia is NEVER done on the Antimensium!



    • Fr Anthony, NY says:

      At the Monastery: It appears that you missed the fact that the Table of Pre[parathion for the Proskomedia is different than the altar.
      In England: You are correct. I will gently this new priest….as a matter of fact you could have with brotherly charity have done the same thing.

      • Dale says:

        But fr. Anthony, if you look closely, the priest, in Germany, is making the proskomedia preparations at a table of preparation, but upon an antimensium, and later pictures show the transfer of the elements, in the Byzantine manner, to the main altar. In the real Byzantine tradition the antimensium is never placed upon the table of preparation, but upon the altar. In the end, it simply shows a vast ignorance of the western tradition and just as much a confusion regarding the Byzantine tradition, and in this case a rather disagreeable mixing, badly, of both of them.

        As far as the pictures of the Divine Liturgy of St whomever in England, it is obvious from the placement of the missal that there is no transfer of the missal from the Epistle to the Gospel side at all. The missal, even during the kyrie is slanted towards the priest (and in the Mass the missal is only slanted towards the center when it is on the Gospel side, never when it is on the Epistle side, on the Epistle side it is always aligned to the edge of the altar…these are things that even a well-trained 12 year-old altar boy should know), showing that the priest does not move from the centre of the altar to the ends of the altar for certain parts of the liturgy, but, like the byzantine liturgy, simply stands for all liturgical actions in the middle. If this is the level of knowledge of our traditions it is perhaps better that the move to the Russian recessions does happen and the sooner the better.

        The liturgical oddities taking place in S. Nicholas of Myra parish in the American state of Georgia are even more bizarre! Well, bizarre is not the word for it. Here http://www.snmoc.org/ if one looks at pictures of the liturgy on the right, besides a tiny, little cube, Russian altar, one can see the priest censing the altar by holding the censer up over his head! If this were not a pretense to my own traditions, I would be laughing out loud!

        With ridiculous liturgical actions and lack of knowledge like this, is it any wonder that no one takes any of this seriously?

      • Dale says:

        Oh, it is also interesting to note that in Georgia the missal stands, all the time, on the Gospel side of the altar. I guess that everyone simply makes it up as they go!

  25. Dale Crakes says:

    Thanks very much for the 1474 Roman Missal, Toronto Un site.

    • Dale says:

      Dale, your welcome! I really like it myself and have downloaded and am taking time to study it closely, although I have owned the Vatican reproduction for several years it is very difficult to read because it contains not only medieval Latin contractions but a very hard-to-read typeface. I really, really tire of, mostly Orthodoxy commentators, who declare that the recession of 1570 is a new product and has nothing to do with the “ancient” Roman rite. One commentator, of the Russian variety, even declared that all of the prayers at the foot of the altar, including the Confiteor, were only introduced in 1570! (Yet, there are all there in the 1474 edition!). One continues to be shocked at the very, very limited knowledge of both western liturgical practice and tradition from so many practitioners of so-called western rite Orthodoxy.

      I am wondering, who told you that the readings had been changed in 1570?

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, When you write–“I really, really tire of, mostly Orthodoxy commentators, who declare that the recession of 1570 is a new product and has nothing to do with the “ancient” Roman rite.”–I wonder if what you’re actually commenting on is more the underlying theological change in the “meaning” of the Eucharist and Liturgy in the West say from the time of Leo the Great to Trent? The understanding about the nature of the activity underwent a radical transformation and whether it is EO, Lutheran, Reformed, or Anglican, the fundamental disagreements with Rome tend to be over the medieval scholastic dogma expressed by various pre-Reformation Western theologians and the purely Western council decisions. Thus, for example, the explicit rejection in the Lutheran AC and Anglican 42/39 Articles of nearly all that change. One still sees all of this innovation in the RCC’s CCC at places like paras. 1032, 1371, 1376, 1378, 1471, 1478, and more. So even if the words change very little in places, what they were intended to mean and do had been radically altered.

    • Michael Frost says:

      One would have to study the changes to the Roman Rite very carefully over the centuries. It might depend on which text one used, i.e., from a particular time and place? As the Wiki entry for “Pre-Tridentine Mass” points out:

      “The recitation of the Credo (Nicene Creed) after the Gospel is attributed to the influence of Emperor Henry II (1002–1024). Gallican influence explains the practice of incensing persons, introduced in the eleventh or twelfth century; “before that time incense was burned only during processions (the entrance and Gospel procession).” Private prayers for the priest to say before Communion were another novelty. About the thirteenth century, an elaborate ritual and additional prayers of French origin were added to the Offertory, at which the only prayer that the priest in earlier times said was the Secret; these prayers varied considerably until fixed by Pope Pius V in 1570. Pope Pius V also introduced the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, previously said mostly in the sacristy or during the procession to the altar as part of the priest’s preparation, and also for the first time formally admitted into the Mass all that follows the Ite missa est in his edition of the Roman Missal. Later editions of the Roman Missal abbreviated this part by omitting the Canticle of the Three Young Men and Psalm 150, followed by other prayers, that in Pius V’s edition the priest was to say while leaving the altar.

      From 1474 until Pope Pius V’s 1570 text, there were at least 14 different printings that purported to present the text of the Mass as celebrated in Rome, rather than elsewhere, and which therefore were published under the title of “Roman Missal”. These were produced in Milan, Venice, Paris and Lyon. Even these show variations. Local Missals, such as the Parisian Missal, of which at least 16 printed editions appeared between 1481 and 1738, showed more important differences.

      The Roman Missal that Pope Pius V issued at the request of the Council of Trent, gradually established uniformity within the Western Church after a period that had witnessed regional variations in the choice of Epistles, Gospels, and prayers at the Offertory, the Communion, and the beginning and end of Mass.”

      • Dale says:

        Hello Michael, you stated, “these prayers varied considerably until fixed by Pope Pius V in 1570. Pope Pius V also introduced the Prayers at the Foot of the Altar, previously said mostly in the sacristy or during the procession to the altar as part of the priest’s preparation,”

        Both of my copies of 1474 have the prayers at the foot of the altar exactly in the same place as in the 1570 Missal. What is different is that there is no last Gospel. Nor is it even mentioned that this was to be said as a private prayer for the priest on his way back to the sacristy. On these issues, I will perhaps trust the primary source materials.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I didn’t state anything. See the quoation marks and the attribution. I shared something.

        Before the printing press no two editions of any lengthy work were identical. Even afterwards, a printed text could depend upon who and where it was printed. This included printings of the Roman Rite before 1570. You use one source for 1474. Where was that edition originally printed? It wasn’t the only printed edition of the Roman Rite. Just one. The link you provided is from an 1899 book published in London. How accruately does it represent what was actually printed in 1474? I don’t know. But from the link you provided, reportedly, “it is a collation with other editions printed before 1570”.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, As regards “primary source materials”, to say you have it would mean you have either original 1474 & 1570 printed editions or photographed exact copies of same. And you also have to know exactly who printed it and where it was printed. An edition from London done in 1899 is not original source material.

      • Not knowing anything about the London edition of 1899, through I suspect it might be of the Henry Bradshaw Society as liturgical texts of that vintage often are, I would suggest using the term critical edition. Nothing wrong with that – the author of the critical edition would cite his primary sources.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, I have the Vatican photostat edition of the actual “Missalis Romani Editio Princeps: Mediolani Anno 1474 Prelis Mandata.”

        I do know what true primary source materials are.

      • The publisher of this missal is CLV – Edizione Liturgiche, Via Pompeo Magno 21, 00192 Roma. This reproduction of the 1474 missal shouldn’t be confused with the Editio Princeps of 1570 published by the Libreria Editrice Vaticana.

      • Dale says:

        I also have the photostat copy, from the Vatican Press, of the original 1570 “Missale Romanum: Editio Princepts.” (what is interesting about the original edition is that it is in Gothic and not Roman type. The photostat copy is so good that it is usable for altar use (it is also quite large as well).

        These, along with other very interesting liturgical books are issued by “Libreria Editice Vaticana.”

      • Dale says:

        Yes, Fr Anthony (Chadwick), they are not only well done, they are very, very affordable as well. As I mentioned earlier their definitive photostat copy of the 1570 Missale Romanum is actually usable on the altar once one becomes accustomed to the Gothic script and the old contractions (Which are also used in liturgical books in Church Slavonic as well); the music of the missal is exactly the same as found in pre-Vatican II editions of the missal.

        But my original contention remains, those who insinuate that the 1570 Missal is a new production and a new rite, this drivel usually comes from the usual Byzantine suspects, are simply wrong; and regardless of what Michael has insinuated about my scholarship, I do know what constitutes acceptable primary source materials.

        I posted the 1899 English redaction of the 1474 because it is available as a free download, and for those who are not trained in reading old print styles and medieval contractions, it is much, much easier to use since it uses a modern typeface and full use of syllables in the original Latin. Why the so-called western rite Orthodox have not simply made use of this missal, with their removal of the filioque and their odd bowdlerized canon of the mass is beyond me. But I have come to realize that most of these people seem to have had very little real liturgical, academic training of any sort whatsoever and simply base their liturgical fantasies on the modern, usually Russian, recession of the Byzantine rite.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Most Orthodox I’ve met could care less about RC medieval scholastic theology and liturgics. And the same could be said about their views on the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. So they could care less about any RC missals from these time periods, whether 1474 or 1570. What few who do take much of an interest seem far more interested in the period before Leo the Great. Probably because they focus on the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom (who predates Leo). So, I’m sure you’re right that there is much ignorance of the details for the vast majority of us in many of these areas. [Yet, oddly or interestingly, I can’t seem to find any RCs I interact with personally who give a care in the world to anything pre-Vatican II. For them, it is dead ancient history.]

      • Dale says:

        Michael, it is obvious that you know very, very little about Russian theology, especially as taught in theological schools and academies. The method was completely Thomistic; so to state something as odd as this, “Most Orthodox I’ve met could care less about RC medieval scholastic theology and liturgics,” can only show how limited your circle of Orthodox must really be.

        Please see here a link to the catechism of S Peter Mohila, perhaps a perusal might be enlightening for you?


        The catechism in question uses western scholasticism as its basis. The fact that none of this interests the new-fangled konvertzi to Byzantium only seems to prove that if anything Orthodoxy changes its spots rather more frequently than is usually admitted.

        Also, does not your own denomination base its Roman rite liturgy on 1570? So, obviously there must be some interest in all of this. Of course if the following is true, and I have no reason to believe otherwise, even that pathetic attempt at the western rite is not going to be around too long either:

        ” As for the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate, Benjamin Anderson, a former AWRV principal who left Orthodoxy for Rome, says this:


        As much as I hate to say it (because I still have many friends in the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate) I would not be at all surprised if, upon the (almost certainly) inevitable elevation of Archbishop Joseph of LA to the office of Antiochian Metropolitan, knowing his opinions on the WR, he might follow ROCOR’s lead. . . .

        One of the great problems of Western Rite Orthodoxy is the absence of canonical structures. Essentially, WRO, wherever it has existed, has been entirely at the whim of Byzantine primates and their synods. Orthodoxy simply does not have in its canonical toolkit anything like the jurisdictional structures that Catholicism has developed to protect ritual minorities (ordinariates, personal prelatures, etc.); nor does it have the means (as has the Catholic Church) to update its canon law to develop such solutions.

        The other great problem, of course, would be the lack of specifically WR training and formation programs ensuring the continuation of the rite. For instance, the vast majority of AWRV communities whose founding priest had passed away have not been able to survive, either because no priest could be found for them, or they simply decided to go Byzantine.

        And the last great problem would be the lack of cohesion and vision among the WRO, and this comes from differing visions of what constitutes the Orthodox Faith and how “far gone” the Latin Church is understood to have been in different periods of its existence. The sheer number of different liturgies authorised in the former RWRV (1928 BCP, Tikhonian, at least two different versions of Sarum, Tridentine, reconstructed “Gallican”, and all of the above in various forms of Byzantinisation) is undeniable proof of the problem.”

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, As regards WR liturgics and the Antiochian WR, for the men and women in the pew we use the materials that are provided for us. We aren’t big on dissent or complaining. We follow and support our bishops. I remember in 1995 when the Missal came out just how thankful we were to finally have it and to be able to use it! We rejoiced. I don’t remember anyone digging too deeply into it or worrying where parts of it came from or if it was too Anglican or RC or not Anglican or RC enough. My parish has used the Liturgy of St. Tikhon as its primary liturgy. Our former long-term priest (now retired archpriest) used to use the Roman Rite-derived liturgy only at low mass; not sure if the current priest ever celebrates this liturgy.

      • Dale says:

        Since I knew Fr Angwin quite well and was around when the Anglican based liturgy was being prepared, single-handedly by Fr Angwin by the way, all of these things which you so summarily dismiss were indeed considered important. Thank God that Fr Angwin was indeed a liturgist and a scholar and realised that to go back to some mythological past liturgical history would simply result in personal eccentricities, which are so evident in the Russian variety of the western rite, and his understanding that the medieval liturgical uses are indeed a living tradition dating back centuries and that without a living witness the western rite would simply become personalities and degenerate into true bizarreness; and unfortunately, that is exactly what has happened in so many cases.

  26. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale Crakes here. I’m interested in tracking the history of the Mass Lectionary changes with particular reference to the changes around Pentecost/Trinity which caused ripple effect changes to subsequent Sundays I’ve heard that supposedly the Cranmer changes reflected an early Sarum Lectionary which themselves reflect a pre-1000AD approx lectionary. OR are the changes more directly related to the rise of the Feast of the Most Holy Trinity. I guess the questions are what were the Sarum lessons , at what time, if ever did they reflect the Roman lessons and finally are Cranmer’s lesson s of this portion of the liturgical year Sarum or Cranmer.

    From Wikipedia: By others the Office was said on the Sunday before Advent. Alexander II (1061–1073), refused a petition for a special feast on the plea, that such a feast was not customary in the Roman Church which daily honoured the Holy Trinity by the Gloria Patri, etc., but he did not forbid the celebration where it already existed. John XXII (1316–1334) ordered the feast for the entire Church on the first Sunday after Pentecost. A new Office had been made by the Franciscan John Peckham, Canon of Lyons, later Archbishop of Canterbury (d. 1292).

    From Guerangerr referring to Alcuin & Boniface: This Mass, however, became a great favorite, and was gradually circulated through the several Churches; for instance, it was approved of for Germany by the Council of Seligenstadt, held in 1022.
    In the previous century, however, a feast properly so-called of the Holy Trinity had been introduced into one of the Churches of Belgium—the very same that was to have the honor, later on, of procuring to the Church’s calendar, one of the richest of its solemnities. Stephen, Bishop of Liege, solemnly instituted the Feast of the Holy Trinity for his Church, in 920, and had an entire Office composed in honor of the mystery. Riquier, Stephen’s successor in the See of Liege, kept up what his predecessor had begun.

    The feast was gradually adopted. The Benedictine Order took it up from the very first. We find, for instance, in the early part of the 11th century, that Berno, the Abbot of Reichenau, was doing all he could to propagate it. At Cluny, also, the feast was established at the commencement of the same century, as we learn from the Ordinarium of that celebrated monastery, drawn up in 1091, in which we find mention of Holy Trinity Day as having been instituted long before.

    In England it was the glorious Martyr, St. Thomas a Becket, who established the Feast of the Holy Trinity. He introduced it into his archdiocese of Canterbury in the year 1162, in memory of his having been consecrated Bishop on the First Sunday after Pentecost. Some Churches celebrated this feast, not on the First, but on the Last Sunday after Pentecost; some on both the First and Last Sundays.

    It was evident, from all this, that the Apostolic See would finally give its sanction to a practice, whose universal adoption was being prompted by Christian instinct. Pope John XXII, who sat in the Chair of St. Peter as early as the year 1334, completed the work by a decree, wherein the Church of Rome accepted the Feast of the Holy Trinity, and extended its observance to all Churches.

  27. Dale Crakes says:

    Something further: At this site http://www.lectionarycentral.com/trinity/Phillips.html there is a related piece on the purpose of the trad Anglican Trinity lectionary which also has some historical info.

  28. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Vast majority of my interactions inside Orthodoxy have been with OCA, Antiochians, and Greeks; more converts than cradle born. I have had few interactions with Old Believers, Old Calendarists, and other Russian traditionalists. And I’m talking the average man in the pew. Not talking about the dedicated theologian exceptions. And yes I’ve read some Florovsky, Khomiakov, Lossky, Bulgakov, Meyendorff, etc. (pls forgive the off-the-top-of-my-head misspellings). And things like Peter Mohiglia’s old 17th century catechism, which is very Latin influenced. That was then, this is now.The older Russian schools of thought (except for some things like The Way of the Pilgrim) don’t appear to have much influence on the majority of canonical Orthodox in USA today.

  29. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, I don’t summarily dismiss anything in the Missal. I still have my dogged-eared and marked up copy I bought when it came out in 1995! We were elated it was published and available for use. I remember seeing them in the pews and we then removed all the pamphlet materials that had been there. That was a great time. The only thing I took for granted was that the materials were officially sanctioned and completely appropriate for our us. (The only thing I don’t like at all is the Last Gospel. When I discussed this with the local Anglican Archbishop some time back, he told me a funny story about how their parish suddenly stopped doing that a few years ago. I’m so thankful they don’t do it. Doing it makes a complete hash out of the end of the liturgy. Like one is ending something then suddenly re-starts it for no reason and then re-ends it equally suddenly.)

  30. Philip says:

    Having just come across your blogsite, I’ve been reading it through with great interest and fascination. I had been thinking of making a proper contribution to this western rite debate. However, having seen the vitriolic, abusive and definitely discourteous comments made by one or two people, notably Dale, I have no desire to indulge in public brawling, so I shall desist, and this will probably be my one and only contribution.

    To help set the record straight, I am a member of the newly formed WR mission of the ROCOR in the British Isles. From what you have written I guess that most of you are our cousins across the pond. We are presently few in number, as the mission is in its infancy, but we are confident and full-hearted in pursuing the mission we have been given by our Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of ROCOR.

    I am bemused by the frequent assertions in this blog of our imminent demise, also of the apparently crazy make-up of our forms of worship. There is also an unflattering reference with website photos to our priest, Fr. Thomas, to which I must take great exception.

    Let me explain. We are all converts, most of my brethren were formally Roman Catholics, while I was an evangelical Anglican. Therefore we are all new to Orthodoxy, and are learning more of the Orthodox way of life and way of worship as we go along. We all came into Orthodoxy individually through our respective local churches, and only subsequently came together to form the WR mission. We have chosen to celebrate the Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Great as our main service, and this is one of those authorised by ROCOR, so we have absolutely no desire to invent some amalgam of our own concoction. This liturgy long predates the Conquest, which to those of us in these islands is a more meaningful record of the overthrow of the Orthodox episcopacy by the new centralist Norman papacy than the more conventional 1054 date for the Great Schism.

    Regarding our reasons for being western rite, this is not primarily because any of us have some overwhelming desire to reject the eastern rites of our Church, but rather because, as a mission to the people of these isles, we believe that we should be seeking to take the Gospel to them and bring them into the faith and worship of the Church in their own culture which they can understand. Unlike the situation in North America, it is worth noting that the arrival of Christianity on these shores predates its arrival in Kiev by several centuries. So, while we remain eternally grateful to the Russian Church for hosting and supporting us, we are following in the footsteps of the saints and martyrs of the ancient Catholic Church of these isles, and we wish to follow them also in the forms of worship they used.

    Furthermore, we see no fundamental distinction between the range of so-called eastern and western rites of worship of the Church, and we are equally at home worshipping with our eastern brethren in parishes where we individually live, as we are when we meet together in Oxford each month as a mission.

    Finally, regarding the passing reference which has been made on this site to the Metropolitanate of Moscow and its diocese in this country. In fact, your correspondent ‘M’ is F. Michael Mansbridge-Wood, who was originally charged with leading the ROCOR mission, but was later stood down by Metropolitan Hilarion for various infractions. I understand that the new Moscow mission is part of the True Orthodox Church, which of course is not in communion with ROCOR or other parts of so-called World Orthodoxy (better known as the canonical Churches).

    • Michael Frost says:

      Philip, Well said. Wishing you and your mission all the best. The UK needs both evangelism and Orthodoxy. I pray your group maintains cordial relations with non-ROCOR Orthodoxy and continuing Anglicanism. My AWRV parish in USA uses the Anglican-derived Liturgy of St. Tikhon for Sundays and major feasts; the Roman-derived Liturgy of St. Gregory is used for low liturgy. Works for us. I do think Dale means well. He is right to be wary of prelates and clerics who oft seem inclined to use the WR as a temporary home before Byzantinizing them. That is something to be avoided at all costs. Either the WR is valid and equal or it is not. If it is, then it shouldn’t be unnecessarily easternized. Here in USA we keep waiting and watching to see what happens with ROCOR’s WR after all the turmoil and tumult earlier this year. I pray for their parishes, priests, and parishioners. 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Here is the web site of one of their so-called “western rite” parishes, they have dropped the use of “Western rite” and are advertizing that the priest of this parish along with other western rite clergy have been attending a liturgical workshop…not to learn to properly celebrate a western liturgy of course! Since that would appear to be a waste of time, but to learn to celebrate the Russian recession of the Greek liturgy: http://www.snmoc.org/

        Please if anyone can find anything at all western rite about this parish, let me know.

        Once gain, Philip, I do not have to make any of this up.

        Not only is this rank proselytism, it is dishonest proselytism as well.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Philip, Here is a web site for a previously Continuing Anglican church in midwest USA that went ROCOR WR this past summer. Their priest, Fr. Victor Novak, proudly Anglican, wrote some interesting blog pieces discussing Anglicanism, Orthodoxy, and why he/they went Orthodox. You should check out his blog. There is a link on the parish web site.


        Dale, The Acworth Georgia SNMC web site says they are a home church. So whatever they are, they don’t appear to be very large. No idea if they are growing.

      • Dale says:

        Hello Michael, one should mention that Holy Cross is no longer listed on the Russian western rite (sic) website as one of their parishes; one can only wonder what has happened to them. Personally, I have no reason to disbelieve Fr Andre Philips about the expected direction that the western rite under the Russians is expected to take, let’s not forget both what happened in Italy, where it was demanded that they adopt the Greek rite, and in Czechoslovakia where the same demand was made. Unfortunately, the past history of the western rite has not been honest at all.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I’m not exactly sure what is the current status of Holy Cross. All I can continue to do is pray for them and Fr. Victor. Being Antiochian WRV I’m not that up on ROCOR’s activity. I’m just glad my former long-term AWRV parish has been WR for nearly 25 years and I’d bet they’ll be WR 25 years hence. 🙂

    • Dale says:

      “However, having seen the vitriolic, abusive and definitely discourteous comments made by one or two people, notably Dale”…well then Philip, if your group wishes to avoid people who actually know that the western rite is from making comments, learn to celebrate it properly, instead of making it up as you go along. One can see by the bizarre pictures posted, by group, not by me, it is obvious that you are not celebrating the Roman rite, but the rather self-invented “Liturgy of St Gregory” of the ROCOR; what is strange is that the originally approved Roman rite of 1870 does not seem to be on offer.

      Perhaps someone in your group can visit the local library to find out if they have Lamburn or O,Connor’s ritual notes…or do you plan on continuing to simply make it up as you go along and dumping in a lot of stuff from the Russian recession of the Greek rite when in doubt?

      This is not vitriolic, it is simply an honest appraisal of your liturgical fun-and-games.

    • Dale says:

      Oh by the way, this is what a Russian priest in England has said about the western rite in your jurisdiction, honestly admitting that it is only temporary, one supposes for formerly pagan Anglicans who are so removed from Christianity that they may need a western rite before they are mature enough to become completely Russian, i.e. Orthodox:

      “It may be that with the dissolution of Anglicanism in particular, there is now a place for a ‘Western rite’ in Orthodoxy. Despite all manner of disadvantages and difficulties, a ‘Western rite’ could perhaps fill a temporary pastoral need for some specific small groups.” http://orthodoxengland.org.uk/westrite.htm

      Philip, this is what people in your own jurisdiction are saying, not me…

  31. Father Martin says:


    I couldn’t agree with you more. I have been on the periphery of Western Rite Orthodoxy for more than three decades and I must say your observations a quite accurate, you hit the nail on the head. The parish you reference in Acworth, GA, St. Nicholas of Myra, is lead by a priest named Darren (Benedict) Simpson. He, as many of us have done, has converted his garage into a chapel where he celebrates a very Byzantinized “Mass”, complete with a Byzantine deacon’s litany. The walls of the chapel are covered with icons, not medieval English in style, but pure unadulterated Greek and Russian icons. He would not suffer a statue, an organ or Stations of the Cross anywhere near his property. He came to Orthodoxy from a very western church, Continuing Anglicanism, and for a time was involved in an organization known as The Company of Jesus. At one point in his career he performed an exorcism which was televised and is featured on You Tube.

    The former vicar, Anthony Bondi, made many promises to potential western converts but could deliver on very few of them. The ROCORWRV is nothing more than a tool to convert westerners to Orthodoxy via a familiar liturgy and then force them to abandon their heritage and adopt the Russian Recension of the Divine LiIturgy of St. John Chrysostom. I’ve seen this tactic first hand, it’s nothing more than a bait and switch scheme.

    We are very fortunate that Father Anthony has given us this place to “air our dirty laundry”, if we were this candid on an Orthodox blog we would be anathematized and sentenced to the Gulag.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Fr. Martin, I’m curious as to your thoughts on and interactions with the Antiochian’s WRV.

      My former WR parish, due to a move, where I worshipped for 15 years has been WR since about 1989 and are still going strong as WR. Have a few statues, some icons, an organ, stations of the cross, and celebrate the Liturgy of St. Tikhon on Sundays and holydays and the Liturgy of St. Gregory as low liturgy. No rood beam or screen, though they might if they had the money and space in our small church building. (My only “beef” of any consequence is the use of the Last Gospel. Not a fan but it isn’t the end of the liturgical world. Thankfully the CA parish where I now do most of my worship, very high church, dropped the Last Gospel some years back. )

      • Father Martin says:


        Thank you for this opportunity to explain my position. My experience with the AWRV has been limited. I cannot fault them for Byzantinizing the WR liturgies. I have always thought of AWRV parishes as the Orthodox counterpart to RC Melkites. Melkite parishes are thoroughly Byzantine, yet with a statue or two thrown in to prove their union with Rome. AWRV parishes are thoroughly Roman, yet with an icon or two thrown in to prove their union with Antioch. The only negative aspect of the AWRV I can suggest is based on the experience of a long time friend and colleague. He discovered, much to his disappointment, that the Antiochians were not interested in a missionary WR priest, only those with an established and property owning parish need apply.

        My personal experience has been with the ROCORWRV. I first contacted them about three years ago. The vicar general, Anthony Bondi, was most accommodating, promising the moon and the stars. According to him we could keep our statues, organ, Stations of the Cross, and Roman chasubles (fiddlebacks). Even Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament was acceptable. Things began to change, almost imperceptibly at first. I have always preferred the Sarum Rite, either in Latin or English, however, the ROCORWRV version is not the Sarum Rite I know. They named it the Liturgy of St. Peter, its connection to the saint is anyone’s guess. It has been Byzantinized to the point that it even contains a deaconal litany. Many of their WR priests are now celebrating this peculiar liturgy and another they call the Liturgy of St. Gregory whilst wearing Byzantine vestments. The church in Acworth, Georgia is a prime example.

        The source of many problems was Bondi’s recruitment of many questionable clergy, the most questionable of all was a priest named Nathan Monk. His unusual moniker is only the beginning. He was for a while an Old Catholic priest of one of the many OC jurisdictions. He announced his conversion to Orthodoxy, via the AWRV, on You Tube. After being rejected by the AWRV (his parish did not own their church building) he came to the ROCORWRV and, after minimal studies, was promptly ordained by Bishop Jerome. This was the beginning of the end for the ROCORWRV.

        Once again using You tube as his means of communication he announced to the world that he renounced the priesthood and the Orthodox Church because the church does not perform same sex “marriages”. Monk is a prime example of the unfit men Bondi solicited for conversion and ordination. Initially I believed that Anthony Bondi was a priest, after all he was addressed as “Father”. Yet I began to read various blogs and there were numerous accusations which at first I assumed were merely sour grapes. A woman who comments on several sites claimed Bondi was not a priest but merely a sub-deacon and rassafore monk. She was telling the truth. Due to numerous marriages and divorces, which he had hidden form the hierarchy, he was not ordained to the diaconate or priesthood. Perhaps this vitriolic woman was one of his ex-wives, you know what they say about a woman scorned!

        Despite my years of contact with the ROCORWRV and my studies for the WR priesthood via Holy Resurrection Seminary, when it all came to an end I did not receive a telephone call or an e-mail, nothing. I discovered that the ROCORWRV had been dissolved through another Orthodox website. It is due to these experiences that I want nothing to do with ROCOR and am pursuing other options. The Byzantines, and the Russians in particular, should be avoided like the plaque.

        I hope my comments have not offended you but these are my experiences with Western Rite Orthodoxy.

      • Dale says:

        Dear Fr Martin,

        After almost fifty years dealing with so-called western rite Orthodoxy and the Russians, Greeks, Serbians (actually perhaps the worst of the bunch) and Arabs, I could tell you stories that would make your hair stand on end, or even fall out!

      • Dale says:

        I would also like to add that this Monk fellow, to whom everyone is blaming so much, was not western rite, he quickly left the western rite and had become the associate pastor of a Russian Orthodox parish; this was only used as a pretense to close down the vicariate by the Russians, and their self-loathing, running lackey dog converts (Sorry, couldn’t help myself). What is interesting is the Russian parish that courted him to become their associate pastor has now deleted any reference to him as connected with them. The ROCOR was simply looking for a pretense, any pretense, to shut it all down.

        As for “Father” Anthony Bondi, in the byzantine tradition all monks are referred to as “Father,” even if they are not ordained; so he was not presenting himself as something he was not. Personally, I sincerely believe that Fr Bondi truly believed that what he said was the truth, unfortunately, he has had, until recently, very little real experience of the Russians and what they are really like. I had several conversations with him and when I pointed out the complete failure of the western rite amongst that group his honest response was that “time have changed.” Well, obviously they have not.

        Personally, I think the end came with the possibility of several of hundreds of thousands of possible western rite Orthodox in Latin America; the Russians were happy to have a few, as I have mentioned before, tottering old monks rambling through a heavily Byzantinized office for themselves and no one else, but when it looked like it might actually become serious, they closed it. This has been the history of the western rite. It should be noted that the Antiochians have behaved in exactly the same manner in the Philippines; which offered the possibility of a viable and large western rite community, it has now been forced to become Byzantine.

        Anyone who does believe in catholicity, will not find it amongst the Byzantines…

  32. Philip says:

    Dear Michael, many thanks for your kind note, which is very much appreciated. We shall continue to fight the good fight with all our might! Please take comfort from the words of our Lord in Saint Matthew’s Gospel: 25 vv 34-40. Your reward will surely be awaiting you in heaven.

    Dale, those of us on this side of the Atlantic are brought up to treat people with courtesy and respect. I’m sorry we have fallen so far short of the standards you expect of us. As oafs and clowns, our pitiful behaviour must be a great embarrassment to you on the high plateau of your intellectual and liturgical perfection. We are weak and frail human beings and miserable sinners, and we must trust in the grace and mercy of our Lord to bring us home to the glory of His perfect heaven, not ours. May I refer you to the words of Saint Paul in Galatians: 5 vv 13-15.

    And now, if you will excuse me, I will leave all those who take pleasure in denigrating the worship of others. You know who you are, and we shall not communicate with you any further.

    • Dear Philip, I’m sorry to see you go. I set up this particular “forum” to remove discussion of Orthodox issues (I am a Continuing Anglican) from other posts that venture into the subject of liturgy. I decided from the outset not to censor this “Orthodox Blow-out” thread except in the case of obvious trolling or extreme rudeness.

      I too am English and took a feather out of Dr Winch’s cap – that being courtesy and respectful discussion. I think I can understand Dale in the light of his experience with Orthodoxy (which I don’t have) and the question so many ask me: Why hang onto old forms of liturgy rather than accept the modern style and stick with mainstream churches where most Christian people seek their spiritual nourishment? For me, it is a matter of what brought me to take an interest in Christianity in the first place, regardless of my later discoveries and human / spiritual development, giving substance to the form.

      Dale can be the way he is at times, and I found your own tone mocking and not very nice.

      We now live in a world where people have their choice, like between the products in a supermarket. This is a simple fact of the consumer society until some powerful Church entity gets the secular regime of its country into its pocket like the bankers and big businesses do now. The choice needs to be left open for all. Dale has been or is Orthodox. I never have been, even though I once studied the possibility. I respect all regardless of whether they are believers or non-believers, Christians or another religion, Catholics, Orthodox and Protestants.

      It’s a free world. Nevertheless, there is no harm in expressing we have the preferences we have and why they should continue to exist even if almost no one is interested. Laissez faire, laissez braire!

      • Philip says:

        Dear Fr. Anthony, many thanks for your reply, much appreciated. I wasn’t intending to withdraw from the discussion group altogether, simply that I find it very painful to read some of the outright criticisms of western rite followers, when I recall my own struggles over the years to find the right spiritual ‘home’ to worship God in a way I can understand and participate in.

        My background is Anglican, in fact my forebears in the direct line of my father’s family (Welsh) have been Anglican priests for over 200 years continuously, although I’m the first generation not to be ordained. I considered it when I was at university in the ’60s, but took up an alternative offer from the NHS, and found my own Christian vocation in health service management until I retired in 2001.

        I had fallen out of active church membership for some years as a consequence of various events in the Anglican Church over the years, arising from its increasingly liberal stance and flirting with heresy. After a short period when I was worshipping in a Baptist, then a Methodist church, reflecting the influence of evangelicalism on me during my university years, I felt very bereft by the mid ’00s. I regarded the latter churches as a form of ‘lifeboat’ to get from the Titanic of the foundering of my beloved Anglican Church to some trustworthy successor.

        I have always been attracted to Orthodoxy since reading Timothy (now Metropolitan Kallistos) Ware’s little pocket book, ‘The Orthodox Church,’ and found myself in total agreement with the explanation given of the historical reasons for the split with Rome, and with their theology. However, coming to terms with the Orthodox way of worship has always been a great struggle and challenge. After trying to assimilate to the Byzantine services and failing miserably, I was at my wits end until I came across the new ROCOR mission in this country. For a short period, in fact, I attended a FiF church in Devon, but felt that I was just stagnating and fudging the issue. Certainly Rome could never attract me, so my mental wanderings have always been between classical Anglicanism and Orthodoxy.

        So now I am where I am, not as a great protagonist on behalf of this church or group rather than that, but as a survivor desperately clinging on to whatever vessel I can find which will help me on my way. Where the future will take me, I do not know, nor what I will do if or when ROCOR disowns its WR, as many of you think it will do.

        I am in touch with one or two of the US WR folk, and I’m sorry to hear of their recent experiences. So far in this country we have not been threatened, our main challenge is in persevering during a period in which silence and uncertainty are the main concerns.

        Hope this helps the conversation, but ‘shipwreck’ is always a topic in mind, and a desire to avoid it.

      • How many “wrecked” ships we are! Perhaps with this blog, we can help put the pieces together and support each other in our common purpose. We are all frustrated and some are tempted to go to extremes, but we need to keep Christian charity and hope in our hearts. Safety is an illusion, so all we can do is continue. We just have to keep bitterness out of the picture. Thank you for your warm and sincere writing.

    • Dale says:

      Philip, what can I say, you denigrate others yet seem to hold yourself up as a paragon of virtue, this is usually, on both sides of the pond, called hypocrisy.

      Playing around with other people’s traditions and making them nothing but games, and then you have the audacity to portray yourself as the victim when this is pointed out? Please…

      “Dale, those of us on this side of the Atlantic are brought up to treat people with courtesy and respect”; please give this a rest; I was raised and educated in Europe; and some people even on your side of the pond most certainly know that this is clap-trap.

  33. Father Martin says:


    I hope you are correct in your estimation of Anthony Bondi, he always seemed to be sincere in his vocation. Yet I recall many conversations when we were discussing the celebration of the various “western” rites used in the RORCORWRV and I had the distinct impression he was celebrating these liturgies. Also he was often referenced as “Archmandrite Anthony”. On several websites sponsored by various ROCOR priests it was said that he and another bishop from his former independent juriscdiction would be granted this title due to their former positions of authority and they would be allowed episcopal vesture, i.e. miter and crozier. At some point I noticed this title was no longer used in reference to him, he was then merely called “Father”. Could it be that he was ordained to the priesthood and after the “cat was out of the bag” he was stripped of the title but was allowed to celebrate privately, so as not to scandalize the faithful?

    I and several of my colleagues knew one of the tottering old monks you mentioned, Father Augustine Whitfield. He was a fine and very erudite gentleman. His western liturgy was one of the best (least Byzantinized) used by the ROCOR and at the time (more than thirty years) I considered affiliating with them, however, I could never convince myself of the validity of the Julian calendar. If Orthodoxy is what it claims to be why would it not use a calendar in “sync” with God’s creation, even if it was designed by, as the Orthodox call them, “Godless papal astronomers”?

    • Dale says:

      Hello Fr martin,

      Yes, the whole history of the ROCORWRV is simply too bizarre for words. But I think that it is parcel with the whole of the Russian Church Outside of Russia mentality, which is simply odd at best; am I the only one to remember when they were actually re-baptising people coming to them from the Moscow Patriarchate at their London Cathedral, oh sorry, Sabor? And they are mean; and I mean really, really mean. What is so strange, is now that they are “canonical” (meaning in full communion with the pro-Abortionist Patriarch of Constantinople), they are the most nasty group when it comes to non-canonical Byzantine groups. So, I am not certain that Fr Bondi was portraying himself dishonestly, it was simply the normal situation in ROCOR.

      I have had interesting conversations with him, and enjoyed them, he is also, very strange for an Orthodox, quite humorous at times. We, of course, began to not see eye-to-eye when it became clear that I knew, especially the Russians, inside and out and have a cataloque list of their playing about with the western rite; also, he really was pushing the very odd “Official Liturgy of St Gregory” which is a liturgical monster of the first degree; and an embarrassment to anyone with a modicum of training in western liturgics.

      What I also find really disturbing about the Byzantines is that I usually I post what their own people are saying about the western rite, and they then make the attacks ad hominem against me, as if they were things I was saying and that they were lies. Notice that Philip has not dared to touch what one of his own Russian priests in England has declared about the bait-and-switch reality of their offer? Simply typical. it leaves a very nasty taste in the mouth. So, you are correct, thank you Fr Chadwick for providing this forum, the Byzantines delete any messages that make their denomination look, well like what it really is; then one gets shut off and then they start a personal campaign of character assassination, this was done to me personally on ad Orientem’s site.

      The Calendar issues within Byzantium are simply systemic, again, of deeper problems. They have attempted to limit the Divine reality into a little, closed cultural box. I actually had a very sweet Russian nun tell me that we cannot allow two dates for Christmas and Easter because it will confuse God! They will declare that only one calendar is Orthodox, the Julian, and then not question the fact that they are in full communion with the Orthodox churches in Finland and Estonia that use only, even for Easter, the new Calendar. That they would prefer a defective calendar made by a pagan Roman Emperor over that made by god-hating Papists is, well, almost comical. In the end, how can one accept any of this as serious? But it does tell one about their general attitudes towards anything that is not Byzantine.

      Finally, and I have mentioned this before as well. The Byzantines hate not only everything western, when it was within their power, they happily destroyed all the ancient eastern traditions as well, Coptic, Armenian, Ethiopian, Syriac etc. It is best to stay as far away as possible.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Yes, ROCOR appears to be their own unique world at this stage. I pray they re-integrate and harmonize with the rest of Orthodoxy as quickly as possible. I think their practice regarding re-baptism is archaic and not in conformity with the mind of Orthodoxy. (Though interestingly it “works” to the benefit of some. So if you were an Anglican priest who was divorced and remarried, the non-recognition of any of the sacraments means you can now be baptized, married, and ordained as if nothing in the past had ever happened. That cause problems when the other Orthodoxy priests in the area find out about this past.)

        Much of the worst vitriol I’ve seen on web blogs and forums seems to come from the non-canonical “EO”. They types who argue all the patriarchs are in error. Many were fans of ROCOR up until ROCOR became canonical. Then they had to abandon that ship since ROCOR was now tied to heretics.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, As for the calendar, have you ever looked up when other nations and Empires went Gregorian? Thinking the British waited almost 200 years. Given that Orthodoxy can often move at the speed of molasses, an Englishman’s 200 years is like a Greek’s 600? 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Yes, England and I believe the United States went Gregorian in 1750; but at least Anglicanism did not make it question of theology! Personally, I do not care if a church is new or old Calendar, actually quite a few eastern rite Catholic churches are still old calendar, but I think it actually ridiculous to make it a demand, especially in the west.

        Also, making the calendar a theological issue is, well, foolish!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, So we’ll agree to give the Greeks and Russians their 600 or so years of time necessary to study and appreciate calendar-related issues? By then even the Gregorian calendar will likely be off by a few days and we’ll all make another jump in time, as determined by our best and brightest astro-physicist types? This time together. 🙂

        Speaking of stars and rotations, see the movie Gravity. Mind blowing. Even in 2D.

    • Dale says:

      Fr Martin,

      I would very much like to write to your personally. Fr Anthony, with Fr Martin’s permission, is it possible for you to either send me his email or mine to him?

      Thank you,

    • Michael Frost says:

      Fr. Martin, I do wish more CA and others who ended up looking to ROCOR had seriously inquired and worked with the Antiochians. Say what you will about us, but we have our own missal, hymnal, etc. If you join our AWRV, you know what you’re getting. Just open the Missal and read over the two liturgies provided (one Anglican-derived, the other Roman-derived, though both with some modifications).

      I do think the Antiochians are right to want to have viable churches rather than rely on a ton of missions or house churches. The sad reality of our modern world is that if a jurisdiction ordains a priest (esp. if he has a family), they have a moral obligation to provide for him (and his family). Trust me, that isn’t cheap! From what I know and think I’ve gleaned, it seems like ROCOR may have been willing to ordain many men but they made no real provisions for taking care of most of them. There is no “contractual” or employment obligation. They are essentially individual contractors responsible for themselves. Kind of individual sink or swim.

      I do chuckle at some of Dale’s comments about Orthodoxy. Often what he says can be equally applied to the world of CAism! I see a constant, perpetual war between Low and High Church. Anglo-Catholics and Anglo-Papalists. Between the world and mind of say 1559/1662/1928 BCP and the heavily Romanized American Missal BCP. When I worship at the local ACA parish I bring my Orthodox BCP (2009). Works far, far better than trying to rely on the 1928 BCP in the pew. Since they follow the American Missal tradition (adding back many things Cranmer removed, e.g., Introits, etc.), I have no trouble following along about 97% of the time. (Sometimes I’ve reminded them about the Anglican rubrics–e.g., the periodic communion exhortation, and, unfortunately, they never say the full Decalogue.) Usually that means only now and then is a proper different. And they sing before the Gospel reading, eliminating the Gradual and Alleluia.

    • Dale says:

      Michael you stated, correctly, the following: “(Though interestingly it “works” to the benefit of some. So if you were an Anglican priest who was divorced and remarried, the non-recognition of any of the sacraments means you can now be baptized, married, and ordained as if nothing in the past had ever happened. That cause problems when the other Orthodoxy priests in the area find out about this past.)” What is interesting is that they were unwilling to do this for Bondi when his group came in, one wonders if that was based upon a strong reserve against the western rite?

      Also, at least in the past, Antioch has also ordained divorced and remarried former Anglican priests and Protestant ministers, that includes one in Las Vegas (Now it appears serving with the Greeks) and another fellow in South Carolina who is infamous for pushing several western rite communities into the Byzantine rite (actually causing most of the original members to bail and return to Anglicanism); not too long ago ALL Antiochian parishes in South Carolina were western rite, now none of them.

  34. Father Martin says:

    Thank you Father. The time here is 8:03 PM, are you 5 or 6 hours ahead?

    • Continental Europe (except Portugal) is 6 hours ahead of East Coast Time, and the UK is 5 hours ahead (as is Portugal). Our time went back last Saturday. Your message of 8:03 pm came in at 1:04 am my time – so I think the American clocks haven’t gone back yet.

      • Father Martin says:

        We return to standard time at 2:00 AM November 3, I would prefer to stay on Standard Time all year. Daylight Savings Time is like the Julian Calendar, it’s out of sync.

  35. Michael Frost says:

    Fr. Martin & Dale, I think the following comment by Fr. Martin’s is accurate but needs context: “The only negative aspect of the AWRV I can suggest is based on the experience of a long time friend and colleague. He discovered, much to his disappointment, that the Antiochians were not interested in a missionary WR priest, only those with an established and property owning parish need apply.”

    In my area, my EO friends found this also applied to them. When they created a mission about 8 years ago they ended up going OCA as the Antiochians wanted to see a firmer foundation before investing, so to speak. The mission failed 3 years ago. They’ve restarted it again this summer. Same response from Antiochians. But OCA’s Bulgarian arm was willing to supply a full-time priest recently out of seminary, ordained later in life. (The small OCA parish about 100 miles south, in a small rural town, also has a FT priest who works FT for a company and their church is in a 2nd storey storefront on main street.)

    I think the RC Ordinariates might be instructive here. They ended up with a lot of priests but few buildings. John Bruce is the only person I’ve seen try to track this. His data from June 2013 shows only 7 parishes in the entire USA that went lock-stock-and-barrel into RCC! Down from his earlier estimate of 9. Local ACA parish in my area went down the Ordinariate path but voted against joining. The priest, however, left. He is now working for the local RC diocese doing normal parish work using Latin Rite. (I assume that is costing them some coin. Moving family about 65 miles west, rectory renovations for his family, salary, benefits, etc.) I wonder if Rome cut back on accepting priests because they didn’t get many functioning parishes? All those current and future costs and not a lot of revenue or assets behind them.

  36. Father Martin says:


    I agree with your estimation of the Antiochians, however I must add, without sounding a bit arrogant, that I and my friend are both self-supporting. He’s fortunate to have a family legacy, although not infinite, he does live comfortably. Neither one of us ever expected a salary or stipend. Perhaps they feel they couldn’t control us by monetary means.

    I can’t speak for him but I can for myself, my biggest complaint with Orthodoxy is its genetic predisposition for ethnocentricity and xenophobia. If it’s Catholic, as it claims, it has a very strange way of showing it. None of the Byzantine bishops, with the exception of Bishop Jerome, celebrate the Sarum or Roman liturgies, this speaks volumes (and we see what happened to John (Jerome) Shaw). Their refusal to consecrate a WR bishop says even more. They don’t trust us, how can they? We’re not Russian, Greek, Arab, etc., we are descendants of the evil crusaders, they’ll never forget it.

    I’m proud of my RC and Anglican forebears and refuse denounce my heritage. Perhaps I’m at fault here, but that’s how I feel and nothing will change it. I honestly hope you remain happy in your situation but as far as I’m concerned I want nothing to do with the Byzantines, yet I remain as Orthodox today as I was three decades ago. Not one aspect of my personal theology is contrary to Orthodox theology but if I must express it through the Oriental Rites or heavily Byzantinized Occidental Rites then I’ll remain a man without a church.

    • Dale says:

      It is also worth mentioning that for the past forty years all of the vicar generals of the Antiochian western rite vicariate have been byzantine rite priests! Even though today, there are several well educated individuals, when it comes to giving any modicum of power, it is always given, even when it is a convert, to those who are byzantine.

      Also, and Michael seems unable to understand this, all of the western rite communities n Antioch, outside of the U.S., have been closed! And if Brother Benjamin Anderson is correct, and I have no reason to disbelieve him, since he spent many, many years in the Vicariate, the days of the western rite even in the United States are numbered since Archbishop Joseph, almost guaranteed of election as Metropolitan, has already let it be known his dislike of the western rite. My own take, is that he will not actually close the western rite, but will let the few remaining ones die out on their own, go byzantine, and no new communities received. Actually, they have quit receiving communities for quite some time and the last one received has already gone super byzantine. The fact that no Antiochian bishop has ever wasted their time in learning to celebrate the western liturgy is telling; as is the fact that for over fifty years of its supposed existence, a western rite mass has never been offered publicly at diocesan conventions.

      The books put out by Antioch are nice, paid for by western rite communities themselves, but they will soon simply be slightly interesting relics. The BCP has no legal standing.

      Yes, Michael continuing Anglicanism is as divided as Byzantium, but it is still our home, in a way that Hellenism will never be.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I’ve repeatedly said I stick to my knowledge base, the USA. I don’t pretend to have any inkling what is happening in far off places (like the Philippines, where I lived in 1990-1991). And I’ve long said that all WR people, regardless of location, have to fight long and hard to ensure a viable WR. Not easy nor for the weak or faint of heart. Only for those with great patience, determined perseverance, and quiet humility. And Dale is right to beware of wolves amongst the sheep and bait-and-switch tactics. Trust but verify. Keep your eyes and ears open. Be knowledgeable. Don’t be gullible. Up to every member and each small group from the very beginning.

        I suspect my positive view of the AWRV is tied to the neear 25 consecutive years of my former long-term parish. Still going strong WR. And the support the parish has gotten and gets from her bishop, Basil. He makes his visitations and sees his people. It is always most interesting to see him at his chair during the liturgy. And the priest usually reminds us how to properly greet a bishop in advance. 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Michael, has your bishop bothered to lean the western rite to offer a pontifical high mass when he visits? Or, is your parish treated differently from the byzantine parishes where he officiates at the mass? Why become Byzantine to be treated like a second class citizen?

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I’ve never seen him when he makes his visitation to our cross-town ER sister parish. It is much larger. Our little church is like a big classroom to them. I find it distracting enough on our small altar when there is a priest, deacon, sub-deacon, and acolytes. I’m always afraid they’ll crash into each other or trip on the small stairs. 😉

    • Michael Frost says:

      Fr. Martin, All I can do is hope and pray for viable WRVs, AWR & RWR. If only there were an established AWRV very near to you. Only way to really tell about it/them is to worship with them over time.

      Please do realize that both you and Dale are preaching to the choir when talking about respecting the best of the RC and Anglican traditions. And I say the same for Lutherans, Reformed, and Methodists. I have no trouble worshipping with CAs. The local parish near me, which I’ve interacted with going back to 1981, is most wonderful. They are friendly and inviting. The liturgy is reverent. The hymns uplifting. The sermons relevant. A most dignified liturgy they do in a bit under an hour with all the hymns. And the Wednesday evening low liturgy is a joy of humble simplicity. I think done in about 20-25 minutes or so.

      • Father Martin says:

        I think I should explain my background so that my current situation and rather strong opinions become more clear. I come from a Roman background and was forced out of the RCC by the heretical travesty known as Vatican II. Shag carpet liturgies, horse blanket vestments, Our Lady of Pizza Hut churches and holding hands while singing “kum ba yah” were not for me. I remained within the RC orbit as a Tridentine Traditionalist for some time and was ordained to the priesthood. After realizing the futility of my position I turned toward the East (having had experience with Maronites and Melkites) and became quite enamored with the Byzantine Liturgy (Antiochian Archdiocese) which, by the way, I love and in many respects I find it more beautiful than a Solemn High Tridentine Mass. I’ve also had experience with Continuing Anglicanism and have many times celebrated according to the Anglican and American Missals for those groups who did not have a priest. I have known WR Orthodoxy both canonical and non-canonical as well as Gregorian and Julian Calendar jurisdictions. I have seen a lot in my time but my wanderings have all had one thing in common, Apostolic Succession and an all male priesthood. I have never and will never leave the Apostolic Church.

        I’ve seen many liturgies celebrated under many different circumstances and by many different clergy. I know or have known William Francis Forbes, Anthony F. M. Clavier, Frank Benning, J. Dominic Fesi, Carl Pruter, Edward Ford, Andrew Vanore, Robert Shepherd, John Lobue, John Humphreys, James H. George and Augustine Whitfield (an anomaly among ROCOR clergy). I never met Marcel Lefebvre but I knew one of his secretaries. I list these men not to impress, many of them are rather obscure, but to give you an idea of the time and distance I’ve traveled. They represent the full spectrum of Catholic Traditionalism, Western Rite Orthodoxy and Continuing Anglicanism. I’m cynical by nature and a good judge of character, yet in all my ramblings I never met a clergyman of any stripe more arrogant, self-righteous, pompous and mean spirited than a ROCORWRV priest. I must add my experience with ROCOR’s ER clergy is very similar.

        I have great respect for many of the independent and so-called non canonical priests and bishops I have known, I would take them any day over their “canonical” counterparts. I possess valid sacerdotal orders and will eventually find an appropriate home in which to utilize them but you can rest assured it will not be within one of the “canonical” WRVs.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Fr. Martin, Your trajectory sounds a bit like Fr. Anthony’s.

        Have you ever considered the PNCC? Rome accepts their sacraments as valid. Though they–like the Episcopalians, Lutherans, Reformed & Methodist–have also been impacted by the liturgical and other changes related to Vatican II. I used to enjoy worshipping at a PNCC church when travelling to visit my ex-in-laws in upstate NY.

        I found your following comment interesting though a bit confusing–“I come from a Roman background and was forced out of the RCC by the heretical travesty known as Vatican II. Shag carpet liturgies, horse blanket vestments, Our Lady of Pizza Hut churches and holding hands while singing “kum ba yah” were not for me. I remained within the RC orbit as a Tridentine Traditionalist for some time and was ordained to the priesthood.” The things you specifically mention aren’t dogmatic (e.g., music) , so they wouldn’t count for heresy. And all the things I’d count as heresy as an Orthodox (the filioque, papal infallibility, papal supremacy, purgatory, indulgences, offering the liturgy for those in purgatory, etc.) are likely not what you mean. Though I’m not sure why you left the TT movement. You seem much akin to some types of Anglo-Papal Anglicans who seemingly accept the dogma of Rome but for whatever reason can’t join her sacramentally.

        There is an interesting small Anglo-Lutheran Catholic Church movement that, like Newman’s Tract 90, accepts the AC as authoritatively interpreted by Trent, Vatican I & II, the RCC’s CCC, and her other post Reformation dogmatic decisions. Though for whatever reason they, too, remain sacramentally adrift from Rome.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Fr. Martin & Dale, Just fy… I see that the OJC blog is excerpting portions of our discussion here. He even takes a guess at Fr. Martin’s identity. Can you confirm or deny his guess? 🙂


      • Dale says:

        For some time, many, many years ago I had several long telephone conversations with Fr. Forbes, very interesting. For those who do not know, he was the last actual western rite dean for the Antiochians, who was actually western rite, and he succeeded Fr Turner in that position. After increasing demands by Metropolitan Philip to adopt the Byzantine rite in all of the western rite parishes, he left and took who he could with him and founded a non-canonical western rite Orthodox diocese. It was through his knowledge that I found out the real scandal and property theft of Holy Redeemer in Los Altos, California, which emanated directly from the mouth of Metropolitan Philip. He warned me at that time to stay as far away as possible, but at the time I simply thought things had changed, sound familiar (?), and believed the Antiochian lies about the permanency of the western rite in their denomination.

        One thing that needs to be said is that before the reception of Incarnation Parish in Detroit, there had been no western rite communities left at all, they had all been byzantinized, and Holy Redeemer by the personal demand of the Metropolitan. When I pointed out to Fr Forbes the fact that new parishes were being received, this was in the late 70s, and an Anglican use had been approved, his reply, now in retrospect prophetic, was that the Metropolitan smells Anglican money and property. I know that this sounds mean, but in retrospect, probably true.

        Here is the webpage of the former flagship western rite parish of the Antiochians; if any one can see anything western, please let me know: http://www.orthodoxredeemer.org/about-us/history-of-redeemer

  37. Dale says:

    Just noticed that the Antiochian Church of St George in Wellington, NZ, which was originally founded as a western rite parish, then forced to offer, half Sundays of the year, the Greek liturgy, is now only offering the Byzantine rite. Antioch does not really have a very good record vis-a-vis the western rite, they also byzantinized the one western rite Antiochian parish in Australia quite some time ago. Antioch is about as trust worthy as the Russians.

  38. Father Martin says:

    I apologize for failing to make my theological position perfectly clear. I realized not long after my ordination that one cannot accept papal infallibility, etc. and deny the results of V II. You either accept the papacy, warts and all or you renounce it. I renounced it. Therefore I resigned my position as a parish priest and headed East. You mention that Rome accepts the validity of the PNCC, whether Rome accepts or rejects me, the PNCC, the OC, the EO, the C of E or the CA makes no difference to me. Rome is nothing but a vile cesspool of sin,heresy and corruption (the child abuse and cover-up being a fine example) and I want no part of it. V II opened my eyes to the errors of the Bishop of Rome, when I walked out and closed that door I never looked back. My loathing for the pope and his “church” knows no bounds. If I told you what a truly think of the pope, the RCC and all its heretical dogma Father Anthony would delete my comments in the twinkling of an eye.

    As for the PNCC, I have two objections, their eighth “sacrament” and their Novus Ordo type liturgy. I also feel ethnocentricity plays a big role in their church, perhaps as much as it does in EO. You ask can I confirm or deny my identity, yes I can, but I choose not to.

    • We can all get frustrated and bitter, so we all need to take a step back and work on ourselves. We can’t change institutional churches. We need to fit in somewhere by means of some kind of compromise, the most acceptable possible. We don’t need to attack the Roman Catholic Church – I have been in it too and have suffered. Let’s put the past behind us and make something good of the present and the future. I won’t delete you for expressing what you think is wrong with the Papacy, but I think it would be insensitive of you. You will just alienate the Roman Catholics who come to this blog, and who are good people.

      As I see it, you can either become so extreme in everything that you cut off your nose to spite your face, or settle down in some way and get ready to grow old [and wise]. That’s just a bit of advice from another soldier on the front lines!

      • Father Martin says:

        Father Anthony,
        Thank you for your understanding, kind words and good advice. The RCC is one of the few things which can boil my blood faster than ROCOR. I sincerely apologize to you and your readers if I offended anyone, I shall henceforth make every attempt to avoid sullying the good reputation of your most excellent blog. I’m truly honored to be allowed to express myself, even if I do go “overboard” at times. You mentioned growing old, I’ve already done that, it’s the wise part I’ve not yet mastered.

    • Stephen K says:

      Father Martin, I think your logic about papal infallibility (as it really is applied) and the whole package is ruthlessly compelling. I myself am inclined to believe that in the realm of religious discernment and affiliation most of us are protestant, either at heart or in effect or both! However, it occurred to me that you might very stimulatingly begin populating Father Chadwick’s “Roman Catholic Blow-out Department” which at last glance had no customers but might very well prosper with the sorts of issues you might raise.

      • Father Martin says:

        Stephen K.
        I’m most truly overwhelmed with your suggestion, I often think of myself as nothing but a “bitter and disgruntled old man who can’t adjust to a dramatically changing world”. Sir, you flatter me more than you can realize with your suggestion. I wouldn’t know where to begin! It’s been so many years since my time as a Traditionalist RC that the memory of it has become blurred, perhaps for the better. I’m afraid that to do so would resurrect many profoundly disturbing memories which would not only anger me but perhaps the new friends I’ve made on this blog. I don’t want to cause Father Anthony more problems than I have already.

      • I don’t want to be misunderstood, but taking up sailing was about the best thing for my emotional and spiritual life over the last few years. If you don’t live near the sea, there are many ways of finding yourself through solitude and God through that wonderful interplay between nature and your inner life. Inland, there is walking, cycling, driving long distances with a camper van – the possibilities are endless.

        We have to be able to let go to put the past behind us and get a new perspective on what we find important even if no one else cares. Never mind the “others”, just ourselves and our nearest and dearest.

        “Dramatically changing word”? Urban society and what man is able to do to nature to make money. There’s still a lot left of this world that man hasn’t been able to appropriate. That is where we will find our soul. You, like I, are a priest. Just carry on the way you think best, and be open to anyone who might want to come along and discover. Sometimes, we are better in solitude whether in a boat or at the altar or quietly saying the Office. If we become more interior men for it, others will “feel” it and that can be our silent witness.

        I have been through it all, but “knocking” Rome or anything else just isn’t the way. We do more harm to our own soul than anything else. Set your sails to the wind, and that’s what I’m trying to do with this blog.

  39. Father Martin says:

    I’m pleased to here you new Archbishop Forbes, I met him personally after he contacted me concerning my attempts to establish a traditional parish. I immediately liked him. He died a week or two before Christmas in 2008, unfortunately I didn’t discover this until over a year later. Are you aware that his parish, St. Basil’s, still exists in Nashville? What do you know about his chief consecrator, Thomas Jude Baumler? Like you, I too was duped by the “canonicals”. Perhaps we should put our heads together and write a book entitled “A Westerner’s Guide: How To Convert To Eastern Orthodoxy And Survive”.

    • Dale says:

      Fr Martin, I know nothing about Baumler, and I only got in contact with Fr Forbes because at the time, in about 1979 I could already see that the wr in Antioch seemed to have far too many skeletons in the closet and I was specifically told that I was never to speak to Forbes! So needless to say, I simply called him! He was very kind and level-headed. He did not scream and yell about the Antiochians, but only told the truth about their western rite. He mentioned that during the time of Bashir the rite was ignored, but left in peace, but with the advent of Philip the attitude, from the get go, was it’s about time these people became real Orthodox and he commenced a demand that parishes adopt the Byzantine rite. I think that the last parish to hold out was Mount Holly, New Jersey. All the other parishes and missions that had come in under Turner were all closed by the end of the late 60’s or early 70’s. New life was breathed into the whole organization with the reception of Incarnation, which, true to from was closed after Fr Angwin retired.

      By the way, we do need to be more circumspect with the Antiochian western rite. Although it looks very, very western on paper, it is often very Byzantinized in practice; the last service I attended, about two years ago, in St mark’s, Denver, had already adopted many Byzantinizations, especially censing of the altar and people, which was all done according to Byzantine rubrics. And if you read the history of Holy Redeemer, posted by themselves, the rite was heavily Byzantinized immediately after the death of Fr West.

      And although there are voices still telling the same lies about the rite, and that parishes are no longer able to go Byzantine, the last parish received, Sts Peter and Paul, Arkansas, has already adopted the Byzantine rite; things do not really change too much. The fact that anyone can still believe these people is,well, it shows that people will believe what they want to.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Could you at least be intellectually honest and provide approximate dates for events you discuss? I mean, Bashir died how long ago? And Metropolitan Philip has been in charge for many decades! So much of what you discuss goes back to the 1960s-1970s-1980s.

        Why don’t you ever say how long some of the current AWRV parishes have remained WR? Starting with St. Mark’s Denver? My former priest is from St. Mark’s. His current parish, St. Vincent of Lerins Omaha has been going strong WR since 1989. All under Metropolitan Philip and his bishops.

        The Antiochian web site lists Sts. Peter & Paul Arkansas as a Mission. Not sure they even have a web site. One article I found using Google said they started in 2007. So has it ever really been a full fledged “parish”?

        And please, please, please apply the same liturgical standards to CAism as you do ER and WR Orthodoxy! So if a little censing really bugs you, make sure to complain about all the low CA churches that do a very simplistic liturgy in their simple setting and all the Anglo-Catholic parishes, whose Anglo-Papalism can rival Rome, with their statues of Mary, benediction/reservation of the blessed sacraments, confessionals, celebrations of the feasts of the immaculate conception and assumption of Mary, prayers for the souls in purgatory, etc. One could go to any 2 CA churches in the USA and come away with completely different sense of what one was doing. In one the rector would be saying how good, important and useful are the 39 articles and in another a priest would be saying those same articles are wretched. (I can’t print here what the local Anglican priest in my area says about the 39 Articles!)

      • Dale says:

        Michael, Bashir was the one who set-up the western rite Vicariate, under Turner, in the early 1960’s. None of the parishes received at that time are now western rite.

        When Incarnation was received in 1977 it was the only western rite parish in the Antiochian Archdiocese since all of the older places had been byzantinized. The “Western Rite” Vicariate was a paper-organization that was kept open, with no parishes or communities, to kept as a hobby for Paul Schneirla. The approval of the Anglican liturgy and the imploding of the Episcopal Church saw a flurry of western rite communities in the 70s and early 80s…all of these communities are now Byzantine, or closed and their property sold.

        As for Sts Peter and Paul, here is a listing for the mission which shows it as western rite:


        It is now eastern rite, according to the directory of the archdiocese:


        Here is an example of censing in one of your parishes, calling it western, could only insinuate a complete lack of ignorance of the western tradition, or are you insinuating that the Greek censing tradition was utilized in England? The same fantasy that one finds amongst the Russians:

        Michael, instead of playing games with dates, could you please write to assure people here that the western rite in your denomination, say suppose in England, is alive and well? I think not.

      • Father Martin says:

        Archbishop Forbes was truly a gentleman and a dedicated priest. He drove over 250 miles to administer the last rites to my mother and two months later, in one day, he drove over 600 hundred miles to celebrate her Requiem and burial without accepting a stipend of any kind. He was well received by the RCC and ECUSA. When his mother died only a few months later we celebrated her Requiem at the RC cathedral in Nashville. All church doors were open to him, with the exception of the Orthodox. He was memorialized by the Tennessee State House upon his death in 2008. Corinne, his wife, died a few years later. I could find only two faults in the man, he trusted others and took them at face value, much to his detriment, and he didn’t appreciate good Tennessee whiskey.

        RIP + William Francis Forbes

      • Dale says:

        Fr Martin,
        Yes, that was very much my opinion as well. A complete gentleman, well educated and from a good family. When I first rang him, I had expected that he would be some horrid little toad, judging by what the Orthodox were saying about him; but now, many years later, I know much better, that anyone who dares to point out the defects in Byzantium immediately falls prey to an unremitting personal attacks and innuendo. An Antiochian priest of whom I have pointed out some very real problems, simply dismissed the problems by making a very personal, and nasty attack against me as someone who crawls out from under stones! Their inability to tell the truth, or to admit that there might even be problems is telling in itself.

        The one I especially love is when the realty that Byzantium is basically an ethnic sect, their only response is to scream, “Well so is the Anglican Church!” Not realizing that we are indeed an ethnic church, we do not pretend to be anything else, but we are also not trying to convince people that we are one, true, and only Church, outside of which everyone else is going to hell! I especially love it when they confuse Byzantine imperialism with catholicity!

        For a very long time the Byzantines would get away with virtually anything; they were not well known, and more importantly, they are just so damn cute with their beards, funny accepts, and exotic hats. Unfortunately, the better known they become, the harder it becomes to cover all sins with exotic folklore, and they often have no response other than the ad hominem.

      • Dale says:

        Also, Fr Martin, when people of the stature and abilities of Fr Forbes leaves the Antiochians, we should have paid attention.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Your obsession in regard to focusing on the history of the AWRV from about 1960-1990 without taking into account major societal changes and challenges obscures rather than reveals. Who today remembers the furor over PECUSA Bishop Pike in the 1960s? Though there wasn’t much of an exodus. And ECUSA’s ordination of women and revised BCP in the 1970 led mainly to a highly fragmented CAism, not to parishes joining Rome or Constantinople. And never forget the fascination in the USA with all things “eastern” in the 1960s-1980s. The era of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Kung Fu, and Bruce Lee. To be different was hip and to be radically different was very chic indeed! Is it any surprise that few Episcopalians went Orthodox in the 1960s and 1970s and the few communities that did didn’t tend to remain WR? So the few survivors of this era are the St. Mark’s in Denver, but they’d been doing their own thing for some time.

        The WR was somewhat revitalized in the late 1980s and early 1990s as CAs saw the growing impasses towards their own corporate reunion, divergent theologies, scandal, more and more division, etc. But even here, there weren’t that many entire parishes that went WR. And unless the parish went in lock-stock-and-barrel with their property owned and finances in good shape, making a permanent transition to the WR was difficult. There just weren’t that many potential members or converts. So many of the Episcopalians were older and they didn’t have much of a missionary or evangelistic bent to begin with. So a parish coming it during this time is like St. Vincent of Lerins in Omaha, which is still going strong and did so on the hard work of so many and the financial generosity of some wonderful patrons.

        And as the Gene Robinson fiasco showed–confirmed by the Ordinarate’s failure in USA, John Bruce’s June 2013 study showed a grand total of 7 parishes that brought their property with them–few “orthodox” Episcopalians were left in the 2000s. Those still there were mostly quite comfortable with WO, the new BCP, etc. So no real impetus for our WR or Rome. We struggle like all traditionalist, conservative liturgical groups inside RCC, ECUSA, PNCC, LCMS, etc. Vatican II and the dumbing down of America has all but destroyed 2 if not 3 generations’ memories of what used to be normative liturgics, hymns, devotions, etc. So anyone trying to start a WR mission in the 2000s has quite the struggle indeed. They use a “dead” liturgy, worship in somewhat archaic language, have a convoluted history. and just don’t seem to active or relevant to most outsiders today.

        Oddly, if any group might’ve easily appealled to traditionalist Episcopalians it was the PNCC. Yet how many, if any, parishes joined the PNCC? Here was a “western” group that had bishops in the apostolic succession and “valid” liturgies/sacraments that didn’t have all of Rome’s baggage on papal infallibility, divorce/remarriage, Free Masonry, auricular confession, birth control, and more. A natural fit that went unavailed.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I should add that the environment in the 2000s involving Episcopalians in the USA seems absolutely poisoned by the Robinson mess. Over the past decade I’ve met and talked to many now ex-Episcopalians who left over this situation. But few ever looked at Rome or Constantinople. A few bounced around LCMS or some conservative Reformed or evangelical groups but didn’t care for their liturgics or hyms or theology. So seems like so many just…dropped out. Stopped going to church. Stopped caring. Gave up. Remember the last time I tried to work with one of these. 2009. High Church type. Begged him to try our WR church once. Showed him the missal, hymnal, etc. He just didn’t care. He’d dropped out. He’d seen his beloved ECUSA destroyed and he either couldn’t or wouldn’t find a replacement. Seems like we got so few Episcopalian converts after about 1995. There just weren’t many traditionalists left by then. Now we tend to get them from evangelical and Reformed worlds or from the educated unchurched starting families.

        And I feel for CAism. I know an ECUSA member who is very “traditionalist” for them. He misses all that he grew up with. And he doesn’t agree with WO or their homosexual stance. Yet…each Sunday he goes to his local ECUSA church and the lesbian priestess conducts the service. Absolute cognitive dissonance. Or shell shock? No amount of begging or pleading on my part about the local ACA church did any good. And he lived about 1/4 mile from the ACA church!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Of course our perspectives are shaped by our experiences. My experiences with AWRV have been positive. Same for those with CAism. And when I compare both in my tale of two cities the AWRV seems to be on somewhat firmer ground.

        I lived in Omaha from 1991-1993 and 1995-2010. When I arrived there were two “flagship” High Church Episcopal parishes. One lost their priest to retirement and to us. I don’t think it is High Church any more except in architecture! The other eventually joined the RCC’s Ordinariate and the local Episcopal Bishop sold them their building so they’re the rare case of them getting to keep what they worked so hard to build. So I don’t think there are any traditionalist ECUSA churches left. And the CA movement seems not to have had much success. When I left, the CA parish about a mile away from St. Vincent’s (which is going strong AWRV since 1989), the one that actually had a building and grounds, had just closed and sold out to some Protestant denomination. I think maybe there was a small mission trying to meet in a Holiday Inn. The one “viable” CA-type church, REC affiliated, was in an underground mall parking area. And they’ve since gone RWRV. I haven’t looked since 2010 to see if there is any CA parish operating.

        In my current city the CA church I’ve interacted with since 1981 has a nice church and grounds, good finances, but very few members and an older, rapidly aging congregation. They almost went Ordinariate, though eventually it was just the priest and his large family who left (and he is now doing normal RC pastoral work in their Latin Rite under the local diocesan bishop in a semi-rural setting about 70 miles away). Average age of usual Sunday attendees might be in range of 65-70. The long-term future looks somewhat bleak, though thankfully God does tend to provide for his faithful. ROCOR has tried to start a WR mission here since 2010 though it doesn’t seem to be going too far. I believe they still worship in an ECUSA church and use the odd Gallian liturgy. Their priest, a former Anglican, isn’t big on Anglican liturgics. (I’ve told you of the struggles my Antiochian ER friends have had over the past 8 years or so trying to start a mission in the large college city north of here. First one failed in 2010. They tried again earlier this year and it is too early to tell, though I wish them the very best.)

      • chcate@juno.com says:

        I think one issue is how Byzantinized is being defined, here. At Saint Mark’s we don’t think of Deacon Vladimir’s censing habits as Byzantine, just awesome, since there aren’t many who can swing the censer like he does. We use the 2009 Book of Common Prayer, with a second printing of it on the way. We also use the 1940 Episcopal Hymnbook and we have an excellent choir that sings WESTERN music. We process with the cross every Sunday, we have stained glass windows, a pipe organ and a new Stations of the Cross set that I put together ten years ago back when I was an Anglican in the AMIA. We also have flags of England and Scotland that decorate our parish.

        When you add in a few Byzantine elements to the rest of what we have, it’s just good. We aren’t hurting for Western Church Culture at all in our parish. Reports of the “demise” of the Western rite in Antioch USA are a bit exaggerated in my opinion.

        I would like to see more growth in WR parishes like Saint Marks. Hopefully that will come in time.


        Columba Silouan

      • I’m very happy for you. Do you live near your church? If you decide to convert to Roman Catholicism, I could recommend some nice Benedictine abbeys where you can attend Mass within, say, four hundred miles of Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Columba, When you mention St. Mark’s parish, are you specifically referring to the Denver CO parish? If so, I see in the 11/13 issue of The Word, in the report from the Department of Missions and Evangelism, mention of them working with a St. Columba Church, Denver CO, and a St. Augustine Church, Denver CO. Are you familiar with either? Are they WR? Denver seems to be a good hotbed for WRO! 🙂

      • Dale says:

        “At Saint Mark’s we don’t think of Deacon Vladimir’s censing habits as Byzantine, just awesome.”

        So when this deacon serves in a Byzantine rite parish he censes according to the proper western tradition and everybody there thinks its awesome…I sincerely doubt it.

  40. Father Martin says:

    “I’m pleased to here you new Archbishop Forbes,” should read “I’m pleased to hear you knew Archbishop Forbes”. I’m utterly humiliated! My fingers are faster than my brain.

    • Dale says:

      Yes, Father, I look over some of my postings and shudder at the stupid typos and grammatical mistakes!!!!

      In the end, the only way to survive conversion to Byzantium is to be happy as a pretend Greek or Russian…Romanian anyone? But if one does believe in catholicity, Byzantium is not for you!

  41. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale Crakes here: AWRV member. I’ve been following the Orthodox WR on the internet since the mid-90’s, usually as a lurker. There have always been strong feelings pro & con, as well as real and exaggerated horror stories to tell. Recently I’ve been following, what I expect to be demise of the ROCOR WR and the sniping is nasty. A number of things trouble me about the WR as a topic on the internet. First people who I shall call enquirers get a really bad image of Orthodoxy and Christianity in general on many of these sites. They see vitriol, bellicose postings, name calling and a majoring in negativity. Of course if your take on the WR in Orthodoxy is purely negative I guess that’s understandable, human nature being what it is. I think Fr Chadwick’s name for this section of his blog (?) is is very informative. Orthodox Blow-Out Department. The characterization has and continues to apply to the vast majority of sites dealing with the WR. The foregoing was the rational for a site a couple of AWRVers are developing. It will NOT be an OFFICIAL site of the AWRV or Antiochian Archdiocese. It will only have articles, book reviews, links, etc directly or indirectly related to the WR in Orthodoxy. The content will be supportive of the Antiochian position as to what constitutes the appropriate WR patrimony for inclusion in WR Orthodoxy. The Antiochian position differs from the still unfolding ROCOR position. There will be no place for comments, etc. It will be solely a resource site for visitors, hence free from the usual internet jousting. I will, if Fr Chadwick permits, give the link or the url once the site is up.

    • Dale says:

      “The Antiochian position differs from the still unfolding ROCOR position”; Dale, since the Antiochians have closed their western parishes everywhere except the United States, how is their position any different than that of the Russians?

  42. Dale Crakes says:

    To all it may concern: My post was simply to make people aware of an upcoming site.

  43. Father Martin says:

    I’ve discovered the worst ad hominem attacks come not from the ethnics themselves but from the convertsi. Apparently they feel they can prove their loyalty to the ethnic synods by attacking us. I learned this first hand while, in a state of denial and delusion, I served as MC at my local Antiochian parish. My training for the Byzantine priesthood was short lived (less than two years) but nevertheless very enlightening. Your observation about ethnicity and Anglicanism is something I have often thought. Yes, Anglicanism is an ethnic church but nowhere in its history has it claimed to be the one and only valid expression of Christianity. This could be its fatal flaw. The old axiom “Blood is thicker than water” holds true, I can relate to my fellow Anglo-Saxons, no matter where they are, more intimately than I can to Greeks, Russians , Arabs, etc.(or Italians, though I love Scarlatti and Vivaldi). While in Chicago for seminary training I felt rather isolated. I’m a Southerner, my family has been in the South since they arrived in the 17th century and now I found myself surrounded by people who ate strange food and spoke with strange accents, Yankees. In the neighbohood there was a restaurant which specialized in “Soul Food” owned by a black family. I dropped in one afternoon and discovered I had come home, they spoke with Southern accents, they served the food I had known all my life. Despite the racial differences, I was among “home folk”. You and I live 2,500 miles apart yet we have more in common than I do with the Greeks who live in the next block. I don’t fault the Orientals for preserving their culture, I would do the same. Occidentals who know or care little about their ancestral culture and history can convert to Orthodoxy with few ramifications, but those of us who love and celebrate our heritage have problems from the very start. The Greeks and Romans were to the Ancient World as the British and Spanish are to the Modern World. Despite their many flaws and mistakes, our ancestors brought the light of Civilization and Christianity to the most uncivilized and barbaric people on earth. Am I proud of these accomplishments? Yes!!!

    • Christopher William McAvoy says:

      “Not one aspect of my personal theology is contrary to Orthodox theology but if I must express it through the Oriental Rites or heavily Byzantinized Occidental Rites then I’ll remain a man without a church.”

      I have read much of the conversation. I want to say that I very much sympathize with your view, Father Martin.I could almost be as you say a man without a church. I almost feel the same as you do, but am quite willing to compromise myself to be within a church by necessity. Western rite Orthodoxy, as idealistic or peculiar as it is to some people, does indeed fulfill a niche that doesnt exist anywhere else in the world today, but probably ought to, a way to avoid the various mistaken developments that occurred in western christianity, leading down the path of humanism, protestantism and agnosticism and death, while still remaining within a bonafide orthodox/catholic hierarchy. Or shall we say “The True Church”.

      The “Liturgical Movement” coming from the benedictine abbeys in the Roman Catholic Church in the late 19th century and early 20th century was I think an attempt very similar to Western Rite Orthodoxy, though within the boundaries of post reformation Roman Catholic Culture and theology. Had that liturgical movement been successful, it may have kept many people content, indeed the Roman Catholic Church would have been immensely stronger and vibrant, spared of it’s current crisis. There are ways to view something such as Papal Infallibility in either a positive or negative light. (I’ve never been bothered by the concept, as I think the power of the Pope, in an average RC diocese, is not that profound.)

      My preference for the pre-Tridetine Roman Rite (the Tridentine as well, but to a lesser degree) is very much a matter of principal, an idealology. If I divorced myself from what I feel is the obligation of my ancestors and culture, I could live fully in the byzantine rite and theology without desiring or needing the latin rite patrimony. But because I have that obligation, making the byzantine rite my main liturgical culture is rather difficult. I find the priests of the byzantine rite orthodox churches to be very holy God fearing men, certainly they give sermons on the gospel as well as any traditional western rite priest. While I love to visit their divine liturgies and research the byzantine rite, and, as it is quite glorious having much to be learned and admired, but I don’t want to live there exclusively. I have a hard time calling the byzantine rite my home. Being of not just irish but spanish descent, I can connect to much the food and culture of the east well, it’s only the details of the theological culture that brings some challenge, though always it is rewarding.

      Even though he is retired, Bishop Jerome is actually still celebrating a Latin rite Pontifical Liturgy, November 17, at Christ the King Church in Tullytown, PA for All Saints Day. Metropolitan Jonah is also attending it along with many seminarians from the Jordanville Monastery/Seminary. It seems some interest still exists within the Western Rite of ROCOR, but I am certainly concerned that it has suffered a loss in trust from many individuals. It’s future is a mystery. I think that too much speculation on the future of WR is a bit dangerous. I am certain it is not dead, but I do agree it may yet have more challenges ahead, though I am confidant it will survive somehow, despite it’s serious flaws.

      • Dale says:

        Christopher you stated: “celebrating a Latin rite Pontifical Liturgy, November 17, at Christ the King Church in Tullytown, PA for All Saints Day.”

        But this is one of the real problems. The good bishop, whom I feel has been horribly treated, is NOT celebrating a “Latin rite Pontifical Liturgy,” he will be celebrating some self-invented, byzantinesque liturgical bastard.

        Not too long ago there was posted an example of his “Latin mass” celebrated at Keble College, the number of negative posts, from people who actually know the western rite, was so negative, that it was deleted from youtube.

        That anyone can still believe that this is going to work is simply beyond understanding.

      • Dale says:

        Sorry, I should have written “Latin Divine Liturgy,” I think we are all aware of the Byzantine hatred for the word Mass.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        I partially agree with you Dale, by no means do I find that I prefer this ROCOR liturgy in the contemporary english, but I have in the past put up with it. I am good at putting up with things, certainly it was more traditional and historic than the “novus ordo” or Mass of Paul VI. http://www.rwrv.org/files/SaintGregorytheGreat.pdf. At heart it is still the tridentine mass with a third gospel, optional litany and more contemporary english translation.

        To your delight, you and many others in fact, may be pleased to know that ROCOR’s commission for overseeing the western rite communities created in July 2013 has stated clearly on their clergy message board that they want to abolish this liturgy and use one that is more traditional in hieratic english. Whether that means they are going to use the Antiochian version or the pure Sarum or what I do not know, but it is a fact that most Eastern rite clergy of ROCOR do not want a Latin liturgy that conflicts with the liturgical language of their own, contemporary english most definitely will not do.

        In fact, like yourself, I greatly prefer the Mass of St. Gregory the Great as used in Antiochian WRV, which is the regular tridentine mass with a less tinkering done to it. I don’t mind the Mass of St. Tikhn as the BCP variation is called, to the extent that it uses Sarum propers, I think that is my first choice after ROCOR’s Sarum liturgy typeset by Fr. Aidan in TX.

        As you can imagine from this blog, I prefer to see the “Liturgy of St. Peter” the Sarum use be the main form of the liturgy in general, other varieties that are traditional are adequate for me however.

        Click to access SarumMass2011c.pdf

        If anyone here can point out serious flaws or oddities with this liturgy – I will eat my hat.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        I ment to say old testament lesson, not third gospel, eheheheh.

        (Imagine a mass with three gospel readings??? could that be the reform of the reform of the reform in the year 2200? 😉

      • Dale says:

        Christopher stated: ” I am good at putting up with things, certainly it was more traditional and historic than the “novus ordo” or Mass of Paul VI”; but the offertory sentences, in both the tacked on Russian Proskomedia and in the liturgy are almost exactly the same as the ones in the novus ordo, lacking any stated intention. If one tarted up the novus ordo, it would very closely resemble this so-called Orthodox Byzantine western rite. One of my own laughable moments is that the asperges follows after the Introibo prayers! Why they simply do not use the Overbeck rite, the traditional Roman Mass with a Byzantine epeclesis shoved into the canon of the mass (for we know how incompetent St Gregory the Great was regarding liturgy!), as it was approved in 1870 simply shows that this is a make-believe, liturgical fantasy land.

        The level of liturgical abilities of most, all (?), of the so-called western rite hairy Russian priests is abominable, but guess what? instead of correcting this, the Russian church is sending them off to Russian liturgical training! One may make up the western rite as one wishes, but God help any priest who tries the same thing with the all-holy Byzantine rite! This simply shows their general dismissiveness to the western tradition found amongst the Byzantines.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Yes, Dale, I think I agree with your view of ROCOR regarding liturgy. LIke many of us, I was interested in ROCOR WR for the Sarum use or Tridentine in their pure anglo-catholic variants (I still their their Sarum Mass Ordinary is the accurate, it does have latin version as well), if ROCOR had stuck with these two liturgies, it would have been much better off, preferably being identical to at least Antioch’s 2 forms of Mass. Their really should not be too many different latin rite translations used throughout the Orthodox Church. They do need a bit of uniformity. I am for the time being disillusioned with ROCOR. Though I do think in time it will redeem itself and use less peculiar, more authentic latin rite liturgy, and become similar to the Antiochian WRV in the ways that unite men – not divide them.

      • Dale says:

        Christopher, the Sarum rite you posted is still pretty bizarre. Here is a copy of the actual rite to compare with the one you posted: https://archive.org/stream/cu31924092460033#page/n65/mode/2up

        I also noticed that the Russian version has the priest making the sign of the cross in the modern Greek manner; one must sincerely doubt that this is historically valid, since this form of making the sign of the cross was only recently introduced in Russia itself (1666); and the Russians had preserved the more ancient Byzantine form of the sign of the cross being made with two and not three fingers; so how did the ancient English Church predate the modern Greek form?

        Also, one suspects that this rite would have as its pew missal the one produced by Aidan Keller, which supposes a modern Byzantine style ikonostasis, he even uses the term as well as references to receiving communion before the royal doors of the inkonostasis, standing, with hands crossed, corpse like over the chest; which means that the ancient tradition of the housling cloth must be unknown by these people.

        I could go on and on; but it is not really worth it.

      • I have already published information on the Sarum Use as celebrated in England in the early sixteenth century in Sarum Missal in English. You can find links to whole books, like the Warren translation which is in Prayer Book style English. I ought to remind readers that the Sarum Use is simply a variant of the Norman liturgical tradition derived from various sources descending from the ancient Roman sacramentaries. It has many similarities with the Dominican rite, though High Mass contains more elaborate ceremonies. Low Mass is very simple and almost “monastic”. The link I give also enables you to find a copy of the Dickinson edition in Latin, which I use each day for Mass.

        It also has to be said that the Use of Sarum had its equivalents in other dioceses and in other countries before the Reformation and Counter Reformation, and even afterwards. There were diocesan uses in France until the 1850’s and some of the variants, even after the introduction of the 1570ff Roman rite, remained until the 1970’s. Sarum is not the Book of Common Prayer with a few bells and smells added, and it is not a hypothetical reconstruction. It was simply the mainstream liturgy in England until 1549 like the “Tridentine” rite in any ordinary Roman Catholic parish until 1969.

        My experience is that few want to revive Sarum even though there is an immense amount of academic interest. I have no interest in attempts to adapt and expand the Sarum liturgy in an Eastern Orthodox context.

      • Father Martin says:

        I agree with Father Anthony. My short, but very enlightening, time with the ROCORWRV taught me several things. The traditional WR, whether Sarum, Tridentine or Anglican, has no future in the ethnic jurisdictions. No matter how much they deny it, they will by hook or crook Byzantinize or Russify any WR liturgy proposed for use in their ethnic churches. The preservation of traditional WR Christianity is best left to the people who created in the first place. The “bearded men in black” are paranoid of all things western and will in time eradicate any vestige of the WR over which they have jurisdiction. A quick perusal of the various websites purporting to represent WR Orthodoxy will prove my point. The ethnics are to be avoided at all costs!

  44. Christopher William McAvoy says:

    As far as serious flaws with Western Rite Orthodoxy, I want to point an article that discusses one of the more interesting ones – that is it’s lack of ability to fully accept the canon laws of the latin church from before 1054 AD. What we have now really, is simply a latin liturgy.
    There is no true Latin rite in it’s fullness existing within the Orthodox Church, only the provision for a latin liturgy, which is ultimately one of the reasons why very few traditional roman catholics have been able to take it as seriously (besides of course their loyalty to the Pope of Rome). Though to the extent that you have parishes using the latin liturgy and following byzantine canons it is a perfectly legitimate combination, though a downright peculiar one. I think though, that it is a respectable peculiarity nevertheless!

    I quote Dr. Jack Turner:

    “a rite “must be seen as a Church’s theological-liturgical-cultural reality. It is not some theological- liturgical-cultural ‘suit of clothes’ worn by the one Church in order to create an impression of variety and diversity.”3 A rite is therefore the totality of the life of that church within a given theological-liturgical-cultural framework. A rite is more than a eucharistic liturgy: it includes the disciplines surrounding that liturgy, the forms of celebration of the other sacraments, devotional practices, monastic activity, and the theological reflection that grows from the worshiping community, to name a few points. In summation, a rite is the totality of the local church being the Church.

    The Western rite does meet some of the criteria for “rite” in the definition above, but the only place where the Western rite seems fully formed is in the area of liturgy, and even then there are disputes about what constitutes the authoritative text for celebrating the Eucharist. The formation of other aspects of the rite has been very uneven, particularly within the AWRV. For example, while medievalisms are permitted in the celebration of the rite, especially in the area of devotional practices, monastic orders are theoretically only allowed to exist according to the Rule of Saint Benedict since it antedates the so-called Great schism.’ While Metropolitan Anthony’s Edict on the Western Rite directly states that “Western rite parishes and clergy are subject to the canons of the Orthodox Church “and while this seems acceptable initially, there are serious problems that arise from such an edict because the canon law of the Orthodox Church envisions only one rite, the Byzantine, making strict adherence to this portion of the edict impossible without modification to the Western rite in ways that are not normally envisioned and that would not conform to the substantive definition of rite. ”

    The Ordination of multiple clerics to the presbyterate was one of the main objections involved in the scandal in ROCOR last July (in 2013). Although it could be said that the lack of canonical standing within byzantine rite law for the ordination of multiple men to the priesthood in one liturgy was not the primary concern with the disciplinary actions, but rather an excuse, it was nevertheless one of the reasons given by the ROCOR synod for its actions in retiring Bishop Jerome Shaw. Being that the ordinations of multiple married men was a legitimate tradition in the latin church for hundreds of years before 1054 A.D. it seems to me to be a fine example of an inevitable conflict occuring when a “latin liturgy” matures into a “latin rite”. The rest of the Orthodox Church finds it to be a manifestation that is unknown and peculiar to them. Ultimately it is a conflict that must be resolved in order for Western peoples to regain confidence that the Western rite is not merely a “latin mass in english” but is a serious respected rite of the historic Orthodox Catholic Church. Clearly further trust needs to be developed between latins and greeks.

    See the below two links to the full article and comments from which I quoted above:

    Thank you, Fr. Anthony for your fine forum!

    • Michael Frost says:

      CWM, Can’t say I specifically disagree with anything you’ve written above, though I do think you may be putting carts in front of horses? I think the experience of the various RC Uniate bodies in regard to canon law might be instructive for us. Certainly can’t happen over night. A long drawn out process. I’m no expert on RC Eastern Canon law but I suspect it took a long time for them to work out and then apply to their plethora of Rites.

      I do think the RCC’s Ordinariates are facing the same issue, since they are considered part of the Latin Rite. Thus priestly celibacy is the expected norm and marriage the exception. Will be interesting to see if Rome ever creates an Anglican Rite. The small size and spread out geography probably works against it today.

      But a much more immediate, precursor step is the ordination of bishops, or at least a bishop, for the WR. It always saddens me a bit when I realize that my AWRV doesn’t have a bishop, someone from her ranks to carry out what Paul describes: “hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.” (Titus 1:9, ESV)

      The mere presence of an active, faithful WR bishop shows a level of respect and equality that is immediate and concrete. Then follows a lengthy period of experiencing the life and teaching of WR bishops. Who interact as equals with their ER peers. I suspect that would be the start of the long hard process that culminates in a dedicated living canon law for the WR. But unless and until there are WR bishops, I seriously doubt there is any hope whatsoever of a dedicated canon law.

      • I think of this in very simple terms:

        The Roman, Catholic Church has made changes and is no longer “equipped” to deal with its own old Roman rite of rites of a Church it theoretically (at least) considers as heretical.

        The Orthodox Churches are not equipped to deal with western rites as anything other than a reluctant concession in such a way as those western rites and their adepts don’t interfere in “normal” Orthodox life.

        The Anglican communion has introduced its new liturgies, women priests / bishops and same-sex marriage.

        I compare things to someone who wants to leave his country and ask for political asylum in another.

        These seem to be as many reasons for Continuing Anglican Churches and attempts to establish independent Catholic communities. Where’s the line drawn? I would say between a community that breaks away for serious reasons and an individual who gets himself consecrated and wants to build up something to justify himself. Most of Continuing Anglicanism seems to be in the former category, therefore as legitimate as anything else. That being said, if someone wants to convert to a Church on becoming convinced that it alone is the “true church”, they have to think carefully about what it all entails. Far from me to “knock” anyone!

        I have seen the difficulties of “Tridentine uniatism” in the RC Church, the Ordinariates, Western Orthodoxy, Forward in Faith in the Anglican Communion, and how frustrating they all are. In the end we can only dig our heels in, make ourselves a “home” somewhere and stick with it.

      • Father Martin says:

        I doubt the Antiochians or the Russians will consecrate bishops solely for the WR, Bishop Jerome was/is bi-ritual, yet he celebrates the Byzantine Rite much more frequently than the Gregorian. The ethnics do not trust us with the episcopate, therefore as long as they are in control the WR has no chance of long term survival and growth. Perhaps it’s time for those priests who wish to establish WR parishes or monastic communities to do so without seeking the approval – with biretta in hand – of the Byzantines. There are sources for the episcopate other than Constantinople, Moscow, Antioch, etc.

      • In the absolute, the solution seems to be the idea of independent or “continuing” Catholicism focused on liturgy and a “conciliar” ecclesiology. The problem is the fate of Old Catholicism in Europe, the fact the PNCC doesn’t suit everybody and they can be as “choosy” as the Orthodox. The small independent Churches often lack credibility or “critical mass”. There’s still the problem of churches not recognising each other’s order – so creating barriers and “sub conditione consecration” systems.

        Out of the upstarts and independent Churches, it seems that the Continuing Anglicans like the ACC, APCK, ACA, TAC, APA and others have been most successful. We need to foster pre-Reformation liturgies and monasticism. Minor orders and the subdiaconate would be a plus. We need churches with critical mass and credibility, but which are yet fundamentally western rite Catholic.

        Also, easier in the USA than in Europe or England…

      • Michael Frost says:

        Seems like the usual focus is on Anglicans and Catholics, Roman or otherwise. If only there were any possibilities for other larger unified groups… Why can’t there be any significant body of conservative traditional Swedish Lutherans. High Church with bishops. Or some similar Weslyans? Oh well. Come Holy Ghost! 🙂

    • James Morgan says:

      Strange that Bp. Jerome was ‘retired’ for ordaining multiple priests at one service, whilst Metr. Philip did exactly the same thing with the ‘Evangelical orthodox’ some years ago and his patriarch didn’t do anything to him, or to them, at least not publicly (there were gasps of horror from the other EOs in the USA over that kerfluffle).

      • Father Martin says:

        The ROCOR commissars used the multiple ordinations as an excuse to punish +Jerome and eventually to convert the WR parishes to the BR. It will happen, no matter how much they deny it. Stay tuned!

      • Dale says:

        Hello James, this was simply a final excuse to get rid of him and the western rite at the same time. They also used the Nathan Monk fiasco as a reason as well, and what was bizarre about that one was that Nathan Monk had long deserted the western rite and went Russian before he went off the deep-end.

        The real issue was that it looked like the western rite might actually become something other than a hobby for a few tottering old monks in ROCOR with the conversion of tens of thousands of individuals in Latin America, in the end, the end was because the ROCOR demanded that this large scale conversion MUST adopt the Russian recession of the Greek rite or go elsewhere. This has always been the modus operandi of the canard of a western rite. One may perhaps hope that Byzantium may someday embrace catholicity and escape from its cultural captivity, but personally I sincerely doubt it.

        The same was done in Italy in the 70’s, England in the 80’s, and now this; what is impossible to understand is that there are still people selling this long-past due date tripe, and that there are still individuals dumb enough to believe it!

      • Dale says:

        James, it becomes weirder and weirder. The Russians are actually re-ordaining the men who were ordained in the mass ordination service, according to the Russian rite.

        If this is taken to its logical conclusion, one can only suppose that men ordained in a multiple priest ordination ceremony are not validly ordained. So, that means that in Antioch there are several dozen clergy who are not real priests! The things to ponder in Byzantium!

        Of course, perhaps because Metropolitan Philip is a “real” Orthodox and Shaw is nothing more than a Konvertzi, Shaw’s ordinations are invalid, while Met. Philip’s are valid based upon ethnicity? Seems like it.

      • (Fr.?) Dale, you’ve got their number. Keeps me reading here. What you describe is not their doctrine but, considering their scatterbrained sacramentology, you’ve largely described how they think. Though I’d never heard of them second-guessing an Orthodox ordination before. Bigotry, plain and simple. Anti-Westernism is their reason to exist as a separate church.

  45. Christopher William McAvoy says:

    Part of the problem with both ROCOR and Antiochian Western Rites is that they no longer attract men who were former Anglican catholics or “high” Lutherans to their priesthood any longer.

    Basically they attract low protestants who have very little education or either historic church music or liturgy. Therefore they become less competent regarding Liturgy, their priests are more likely to accept whatever is given to them whereas lifelong anglo-catholics would immediately reject them. I was quite dismayed with how liturgical uneducated many of their priests are. They are good men for sure, but that is something they must improve over time if they want to survive against independents, continueing trad. anglicans, and well prepared RC latin masses.

    • Dale says:

      Well said Christopher,

      But one of the problems is that once a critical mass of unlearned men become the majority, it becomes virtually impossible for anyone really trained in western liturgics to be accepted as anything other than a problem.

      One simply needs to read the rather nasty and insinuation postings by Philip from England concerning the obvious liturgical ignorance of the Russian “western rite” fellow in England whose liturgical ignorance can only be considered appalling, and to see what the response is when their make-it-up-as-we-go liturgical circus is pointed out to them becomes; mean spirited ad hominem.

      And finally, the Russian Church is expending quite some effort in training these men to lean to PROPERLY celebrate the Russian recession of the Greek rite, one cannot but realize what the end result of all of this will be.

      Good Lord, one can actually, for free, access on youtube tutorials on how to properly celebrate the Roman rite…but let’s face it, none of these men is really interested, they dream of Klabooks, hair, pony tails, risassas, and jangling neck crosses (three-barred of course).

  46. Michael Frost says:

    The Nov. 2013 issue of The Word has the reports from the 51st Antiochian Archdiocese Convention. Some updates from the Western Rite Vicariate Report:

    – “It is our special joy that [Met.] Philip appointed Bishop John as the Auxiliary Bishop for each of our parishes throughout the Archdiocese.”
    – Today there are “24 parishes and missions which have 31 priests and 11 deacons.”
    – “Since the last Archdiocese convention, [Met.] Philip has blessed the ordination of five deacons and three priests to serve the missions and parishes of the Vicariate.”
    – I see Fr. Hughes’ report thanks Dale Crakes for his help. 🙂

    In the Dept. of Missions and Evangelism Report: “We work with congregations of both the Eastern and Western Rite, cooperating with the Western Rite Department, headed by Fr. Edward Hughes, in the latter. [I note they have a St. Columba Church in Denver and are working on a St. Augustine Church in Denver “(in the fall)”. Denver seems to be a hotbed of WR activity?]

    And Met. Philip responded to a floor question by acknowledging “that the Archdiocese does not declare a community a mission in the absence of 25 pledging families. If the 25 families cannot support a priest, then the priest will find a dignified second job.”

    • Dale says:

      Michael, how are the ten parishes received as western rite in England now doing?

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, As we’ve discussed before, my personal direct knowledge of events outside the USA is pretty limited. So no idea. What jurisdiction are you talking about? Antiochian? ROCOR? Something else? All I could do is share what I saw in the recent issue of our national publication. Do I wish 24 parishes and missions was more like 42 or 84? Certainly. But at least it isn’t 12. All I can do is pray. And hope that all WRO work as hard as they can to create and strengthen parishes and develop and strengthen clergy. 🙂

  47. Dale says:

    The Pontifical liturgy offered by Bishop Jerome has been celebrated, and yes Metropolitan Jonah, of the Russian American Church was there, and pictures have been posted, and it is exactly as I had predicted, a liturgical bastard. The church itself has a temporary iknonostasis in front of the altar, one suspects that the people receive communion in the modernist cafeteria line format. The pictures of the liturgy show that none of the alignments of ministeri are kept, following byzantine fashions they simply stand about or amble around; and this is the best; they have drikerion and trikerion siting on the altar, although no pictures of the Bishop using them, but it must have been bizarre at best; one suspects that some of our byzantine friends will tell us about the ancient western use of these accoutrements!

    • Dale says:

      Oh forgot, the missal is, from the beginning of the Mass, excuse me, Holy Divine Liturgy, ialways on the Gospel side of the altar. Strange, in the photos from England, it is always on the Epistle side…it is indeed an let’s make up as we go along…but so long as it is “awesome” who cares?

    • Michael Frost says:

      Dale, I fully agree with you that our WR would be greatly strengthened if we had our own bishop. I’ve done what little I can. When I was a delegate at the national convention in 2004 I voted for the one WR priest who was a candidate to become bishop. Sadly, it was not to be. And I agree that it certainly makes sense and is highly desired that the head of the Vicariate come out of the WR. I really don’t think you and I disagree too much. You tend to focus more on the problem areas (and we need people like you to do that) and I focus more on the positive areas (and we need people to do that, too). What is the saying… Trust but verify? Or the price of a working WR is eternal vigilance? Or some such pithy saying. 🙂

  48. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Did you see this recent comment from James C. on the “Quinones and Cranmer” thread here: “I had my first experience of the Ordinariate Use this weekend in Oxford, and I have to say that Msgr. Burnham and his collaborators have done a spiffing job! I could so far as to say that they have succeeded where the Caroline Divines failed.”?

    I wondered if you’ve had chance or opportunity to study the new Ordinariate-approved liturgy. And, most importantly, what your basic thoughts are on it vis-a-vis the respective Anglican-derived liturgies approved in the AWRV and RWRV. [They don’t appear to be publishing it on line at the moment. From the few detailed comments I’ve seen, my first impression is that our liturgy is “more” Anglican (esp. in the Eucharistic canon) and theirs is “less”. From my understanding, they’ve swapped out the Anglican canon for a translation of the Tridentine Latin? They, like us, have added back all the “lost” things like the Asperges, Last Gospel, etc.]

    • Dale says:

      Michael, I haven’t yet seen a copy of the new Ordinariate use, but it seems to be a vast improvement over the 1979 BCP inspired mess that was originally approved.

      Personally, I am very satisfied with the Antiochian approved Anglican liturgy, plus, as you have stated, it does have a real Anglican canon of the Mass; but, and this is my real problem, it is simply a short term investment, see how long it was permitted as a use in England, about three months, before the parishes were all forced to go Greek. By the way the new Patriarch, who appointed him, has recently met with Hallam and this man, who has stated that the western rite used by Antioch is theologically defective and will never be permitted in England, has been elevated in rank with even more control over the direction that your denomination takes in Great Britain: so, I think that its days are numbered. And as has been pointed out it is possible that the next Metropolitan for North America, Archbishop Joseph, is bitterly opposed to the western rite, such as it is. And when rank byzantinizations of the tradition are called “awesome” the future is most certainly bleak.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, You know I won’t go quietly into the good night if there ever is forced Byzantinization of AWRV parishes! I can’t speak for England. And only God knows our future. All I can do is pray. And maybe prepare the “resistance”? 🙂

        I’m so very curious to see the entire Ordinariate liturgy, esp. all the propers and proper prefaces. I wonder how they compare to say the 1662 and 1928 BCPs. I’d like to think our AWRV propers are, for the most part, very “Anglican”. And I’m curious as to the specifics of the Offertory. The AWRV missal Offertory is far more pre-Reformation Anglican than the 2009 Orthodox BCP’s, though it can be hard to tell exactly what the priest is saying during a rousing hymn! I can’t ever tell what my local CA parish’s clergy are saying at this time. I suspect they are following the American missal, and are thus actually more like the AWRV than say the 1928 BCP.

        Dale & Ed, I forgot to say… Many, many thanks for your recent kind words. I greatly appreciated that you expressed your thoughts. 🙂

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Speaking of potential or actual “Byzantinizations”, have you seen the latest news from ROCOR’s WRV web site? Their most recent story is from Tullytown PA parish of Christ the King. An Episcopal visititation. A story, some pictures, and a slide show.


      • Dale says:

        Yeah, the pictures of the liturgy simply show how bogus the offering from the Rooskies, regarding a western rite, actually is. Trikerion and Dikerion? Notice that the clergy simply amble about in the byzantine manner? What a jokski.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Dale, I don’t know what Church you part of, but I can assure you that many of my friends in the Ordinariate of St. Peter would feel be “tickled pink” if they were privileged to be allowed to use “The Orthodox Missal” that contains the Mass and propers for both the “Liturgy of St. Gregory” and “Liturgy of St. Tikhon” (much less the original Anglican books that it came from). I’d be happy to live on a desert island liturgical utopia with you and and with that being the main form of mass and office. 😉

        It may very well take the Roman Catholic Church between five to ten years, three at the very earliest, to allow this sort of traditional missal in English to be used. (other than perhaps the 1965 Tridentine in English)

        Presently there is a good Ordinary of the Mass in place, but the rest of it is most uncertain….and is also of relevance.

      • Dale says:

        Yes, Christopher, the Antiochian “Orthodox Missal” is quite nice, and I have always supported it; having known Fr Angwin for many years; but here is the problem: It is only temporary and its use has been discontinued and forbidden in the following areas of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch:

        Great Britain

        All of Western Europe (the present Patriarch refused to allow its use when he was in charge of the Antiochian diocese of Western Europe)


        New Zealand (one old, retired priest is using it, he has a congregation of his wife)

        The Philippines

        So, it may look wonderful on paper, but it is not even a paper-tiger, he is simply a bait-and-switch in an attempt to attract western parishes with property and money.

      • Columba Silouan says:

        The focus on how we do censing at Saint Marks in Denver is rather silly, IMO. Some of us who are converts to Orthodoxy have travelled along way to get there. I began my Christian life as a fundamentalist Baptist and was exposed to the charismatic, Pentecostal and Francis Schaeffer Evangelicalism before I became an Anglican, then an Episopalian, then an Anglican again after Gene Robinson, then finally Eastern Orthodox (I was catechized by Greek Orthodox Christians before joining up with the Western Rite. You’re selling Saint Marks and the Western Rite Christians of Colorado a bit short. We have the 2009 BCP published by Lancelot Andrews Press with a second edition coming out soon. We also have them beginnings of a Benedictine monastery at the Saint Lawrence Retreat Center. We have stained glass, a pipe organ, we use the 1940 Episcopal Hymnal, have a children’s sermon, and the blessings of birthdays and anniversaries. All very Anglican in flavor. The use of incense is relatively new to my experience, coming out of Protestantism, so I enjoy it that way, not really caring what style it is. Our Archpriest is good and tough and won’t be rolled by any Byzantines whatsoever. You might pray that Bishop Basil becomes the next metropolitan of Antioch, because he is very supportive.

  49. Father Martin says:

    Have you seen the photos of Darren Simpson’s garage chapel in Acworth, Georgia? Excepting the vestments, there is nothing remotely WR about it. Even his chalice is Byzantine. The place has more icons than the local Greek parish. How can they in all honesty call this WR? It defies logic. I was initially disappointed with the recent developments in the ROCORWRV, in retrospect I’m glad I wasn’t more involved.


    • Dale says:

      The Antiochian place in Lynchburg, Va, is not much better. A friend of mine who was considering bringing his rather large parish into their vicariate attended the western rite place in Lynchburg before pursuing any further and his response to me was that it was completely eastern in inspiration; he further explained that it was odd because the prayer book in the pew looked just like an Anglican BCP, but that the altar was basically byzantine, the walls were covered with cheap paper ikons, and the priest keep running around the whole place censing all and sundry with a little Greek censer with bells on it. For him the whole effect was rather distasteful and it would be for me as well. I love my own heritage too much to see it so cheapened…but hey, for some, it is “awesome”!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, You’ve set the bar pretty high. As if any and all change to an “Anglican” liturgy is inherently bad. WR Orthodoxy is about being both Western and Orthodox, taking the best of Western Christendom over nearly 2,000 years and adapting it to today. While keeping in mind many things from the East (e.g., making sure there is a strong epiclesis in the liturgy). I suspect incense is a strong part of that tradition. One that was much more prevalent in pre-Reformation English worship. Thus the AWRV ends up with an Anglican-derived liturgy and a RC-derived liturgy. You may think incense is more appropriate for the latter than the former, but I think it can be appropriate for both, when done reasonably and for the right reasons at the appropriate time(s). I would tend to agree with you more on icons, esp. if they are too prominent. But then I remember telling my former long-term priest (now retired) that I wasn’t a big fan of trying to put in place the rood beam and screen he wanted, that was a part of the pre-Reformation English Church.

        And one thing that does make it hard for us to interpret your comments about liturgics is that you rarely discuss what exactly it means when you say, “I love my own heritage too much to see it so cheapened…” Is that heritage following the 1928 BCP to the letter? Or the 1662 English BCP? Or is it following the 20th century English or American Missal to the letter? On various Anglican sites I see one Anglican priest saying how important it is to follow the BCP, but on another it is the Missal tradition that is the more legitimate. They are quite different and yet both purport to be equally “Anglican”. So what is the appropriate “Anglican liturgical heritage” that you appear to want WRO and the RCO to follow? Is it one, or the other, both, or something else entirely? 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Michael, the question is not one of the use of incense, but the manner in which the censing is done; there are established, ancient, traditions in the proper manner to cense the altar in the western tradition, one does not use a little Greek censer and run all over the place censing all and sundry; the censing of the altar in one of your so-called western rite places that I already posted is an example. One could only imagine the howls of protest if one were to use western rules of censing in a Byzantine church. The rules for censing in the western tradition are easily explained in either Lamburn’s or O’Connor’s Ritual notes.

        You do not seem to have a problem with rank byzaninization of the western tradition because this is some sort of pretended “pre-reformation use”, but honestly, how much of the western tradition is now evident in any of your eastern rite parishes? When was the last time you attended Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament in an eastern rite church of the Antiochians, or the stations of the Cross? I think not; so according to you, it is all right to dump in a bunch of easternism in the western rite, one suspects because the western rite is considered inferior, whilst any westernization of the eastern rite would be decried.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, At my AWRV parish we did benediction and stations of the cross every Friday in Lent. And the litany every Sunday in Advent and Lent. (I didn’t think benediction was done by classical Anglicans. Just thinking about the 39 Articles and the 1662 BCP.)

      • Dale says:

        But have you ever attended these services in one of the eastern rite parishes of your diocese? Although it seems acceptable to easternize the western rite, the alternative is not at all supported; hence, one can conclude that there is very little respect for the western tradition in Byzantinism at all.

        If your jurisdiction is easternizing the western rite, it should also be just as open to westernizing the eastern rite! If they were indeed equal.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Dale and Fr. Martin I wonder if this could be an area where I diverge from you on this issue, let me see if I can understand your view on sacred art according to the western tradition more closely. This is an important question for me to ask because I wonder if am unusual amongst western Christians in this regard, or if others see eye to eye here.

        For myself, one of the main attractions to the Orthodox Church, not only the Byzantine rite not also the so-called “Western rite” vicariate, was in fact the sacred art, frescos and panel paintings.

        What I wonder is whether you find a carefully painted fresco or wall paintings within a church to be as gaudy as the multiple cheap icons of saints that many “western rite” orthodox churches appear to put up. There’s no question that there is a sort of politics of appearing to be “genuinely orthodox” or “baseball card collecting” attitude to this. Many people who do this do not realize that it may also appear to a newcomer from more iconoclastic western church to be a disorganized mess.

        Most cradle Orthodox Churches and Missions that I attend, have the emphasis on the sacred art, but it is usually quite elegant and neatly organized. And in that situation it creates what I think is a more universally pleasing impression upon people.

        If we compare a chapel in Ravenna, than that’s where I am happiest, and the various Italo-Byzantine and Italian pre-Romanesque and Romanesque basilicas I simply adore them. I often dream of retiring in Italy or some place similar north of the Alps (Switzerland and German also have many historic early medieval frescoed chapels) and worshipping there before in my last years before I die or at least paying to build a replica where I live.)

        My taste is very for the late antique Roman art and the earliest Christian art up until the Gothic period, when the scholastic humanistic individual oriented “court” realism began to take over, and I tend to lose the passion for it. I don’t quite hate or dislike the later medieval art, but it does not move me as much after the 13th century ends. The later medieval art is definitely not my preference to the extent that I have a choice of choosing. At the same time however, all the art from before the reformation strikes me as better than what came after. The baroque bothers me even more, yet ultimately I am happy simply not to have to have modernism imposed on me. As they say when the Church is in crisis , beggars can’t be choosers.

        DO you appreciate for instance the 11th c. Novalesa Abbazia chapel of St. Nicholas and Eldradus: http://www.palazzomadamatorino.it/postazioni/img/0934691c6acd956969a53d795899a940.jpg

        Is this suitable for the western rite today?

      • Columba Silouan says:

        Please pardon some of my typos above. Typing with an I-Pad is an inexact science. I like keyboards much better.

      • Columba Silouan says:

        Saint Marks sets the bar. We have our own Iconographer who has her very own studio who uses all the traditional materials other Orthodox do to craft original icons for us. No cheap paper icons for us! The other parish you mention is probably more akin to a small Mission church with limited resources. I’m on the vestry of my parish and we take a solemn oath to uphold and defend the BCP. The 2009 version is worth using and defending and the new edition with all the corrections will be even more useful. I encourage all Anglican Catholics to look into this and buy some for Parish use. This is one way to spread Orthodoxy beyond formally Orthodox jurisdictions. I would encourage Holy Cross in the APA to use this one, since they are now free from ROCOR’s restrictions. I never liked ROCOR’s approach, since they dismissed the BCP tradition out of hand.

      • Dale says:

        I agree, the 2009 BCP is wonderful. But let us once again try for honesty here, it is not approved, period. And I agree it is the BCP that Holy Cross should simply adopt. But once again, it is not approved, and even the rite for Anglicans that has been approved is only limited in use to North America; and Dean Hallam, who is very close to the present Patriarch has declared that the western liturgies approved in Antioch are “theologically defective.” I think, considering his contact with the Patriarch, that is is Hallam’s opinions that will prevail, they certainly did in England where all parishes were told to adopt the Greek rite or leave.

    • Father Martin says:

      The 11th c. Novalesa Abbazia chapel of St. Nicholas and Eldradus is very much to my liking, I think it’s absolutely beautiful. I’m attempting to build a small chapel on my property, unfortunately the funds needed to recreate this work of art are beyond my abilities. I object to the tasteless and cheap paper icons glued to plywood which cover every square inch of these ROCORWRV chapels. Not only are they tasteless but in my opinion they are hideous, equal to cheap plaster versions of Our Lady of Grace and the Sacred Heart (a Roman devotion I’ve always disliked). We’re probably very close to agreement on this issue.

  50. Father Martin says:

    Although the question was not directed toward me, I will, however, attempt to point out those items to which I object. Looking at the photographs of Darren Simpson’s chapel in Acworth, Georgia I can say without any reservations that the whole thing appears to be a cheap attempt at a Byzantine altar. The cubical altar, the central candelabra, the excessive use of icons (every square inch of wall space is covered), the bells on the censer, the Greek tabernacle, the Byzantine processional cross behind the altar, the Byzantine chalice (made by an Indian company – ReligiousChurchSupplies.com), the icon lamp over the altar, the Romanian skufo (hat) on the altar, the bells on the altar like a Greek church, the blessing cross to the right of the tabernacle, etc., are not part of our noble and stately liturgical heritage. From these photographs one can deduce that the only thing worthy of saving from our traditions is a much bastardized liturgy and Gothic revival vestments. I can assure you, having spoken to Simpson more than once, that there is not a single three dimensional image to be found nor would he tolerate the greatest contribution to western liturgical music………an organ. Those foolish enough to remain in the ROCORWRV after the great debacle will continue to go out of their way to prove to themselves and to the Russians, particularly Hilarion Kapral, that they are thoroughly Orthodox. After all, the beards and the multitude of icons prove it. I remain Orthodox in my theology but I am thoroughly western in my manner of expressing it. I do not need them to provide me with valid orders, I have had them for almost forty years, and will continue to celebrate the traditional mass in my private chapel for myself and a few friends. After wasting several years, I am very thankful that I severed my relationship with the Russians and their self-hating obsequious converts.

    • Dale says:

      What is interesting about Kapral is that he is a self-loathing Ukrainian doing his best to be accepted as a Russian!

      • Father Martin says:

        Excellent point, I’ve never understood how his old friend John Shaw (Jerome) has been able to tolerate all the nonsense. Has he ever regretted converting?

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Even though I am no longer involved in ROCOR I genuine;y like Metropolitan Hilarion and wouldn’t want that harsh statement to be read by him. I am aware of Ukraine and Russia’s history of rivalry and power struggles within both secular and church politics.

        Hilarion is a very nice holy man, making the most of a deeply challenging flawed situation, and perhaps not with all the expertise some of you have here.

        Surely his weaknesses are no greater than many Roman Catholic Bishops today, who have often much more severe weaknesses.

    • Dale says:

      My problem with the pictures is that the deacon simply stands about reading from some sheets of paper; and any one with a modicum of knowledge of the tradition knows that in a properly celebrate mass following the rubrics and not making it up as they go along the deacon’s place, at all times of the mass, is known…well at least to those of us who bother to know the tradition.

      Actually, the parish in question is now celebrating the Russian recession of the Greek rite and one can find pictures of the same priest celebrating in baroque style Russian vestments; one can only deduce that in that tradition he will follow the received tradition, or there will be hell to pay, he cannot just make it up as he goes along.

    • Christopher William McAvoy says:

      I think I largely agree with what you’re saying. The Antiochian Western rite Church of St. Gregory in Washington, DC does have a small organ in it, and it is used tastefully.

      By no means should one feel they have to prove themselves Orthodox.

      Yet also I sympathize with the avoidance of organ and the avoidance of more modern western art, without taking a puritanical attitude toward absolutely none, I would definitely encourage more of the older Christian practices over excessive use of the newer. I personally do not like the organ to dominate the liturgy too much. All the best traditional Latin masses that I have been to that regularly use the original elaborate Gregorian chant melodies sing them a capella. There’s no question that the use of the organ in mass to excessive degrees is a post-reformation custom that borders on abuse. While it was certainly used before the reformation it was mixed more evenly with a capella singing with instrumental interludes in between, and tended to provide a very gentle accompaniment to the voice for certain motets, hymns or propers.

      To entirely avoid all three dimensional western art is impossible and impractical.
      But to minimized it as the main form of sacred art in the church building is quite easily done without offending anyone, and without appearing to be overly paleologan era late Byzantine.

      I think I largely agree with you, but I do think some of their motivations ideas are essentially good, simply taken too far, too puritanical, even if well meaning.

      • Father Martin says:

        You say you are no longer involved with ROCOR, are you at liberty to divulge your reasons for leaving? Were you among the ordinands whose ordinations were declared null and void by the Russians?

  51. Father Martin says:

    Speaking of Ukrainians, are you familiar with a non-canonical bishop in one of the many Ukrainian jurisdictions….Michael Kirkland? He was consecrated by Peter Zurawetsky in the 1986 and claims to be the “Metropolitan” of the Orthodox Church of America (not to be confused with the OCA).


  52. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, I’ve only been checking up on Holy Cross parish in Omaha about once a month. Just found this on their we page:

    “Holy Cross parish is a congregation of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Anglican Province of America. We celebrate the Holy Eucharist every Sunday at 10:00 AM according to the traditional Anglican Rite”.

    So they’ve left REC to join ROCOR and now they’ve returned to a CA jurisdiction, the APA, which apparently has a “Western Rite”. I believe Fr. Victor was one of those ordained as a group right before ROCOR pulled back on its WRV.

    • Dale says:

      Michael, thanks for the update. It is perhaps sad, but not at all unforeseen by those of us paying attention to the false offering of a western rite within holy Byzantium.

  53. Dale says:

    Michael, here is the Roosky take on all of this, notice their use of inverted commas to demean “Father” Novak. This is simply typical of these people, they treat anyone who is not a Russian like dirt, and then when they leave, the Russians turn around and behave like this. Of course, the Antiochians treated “Father” Forbes about the same”

    There have been some emails seeking clarification regarding a Father Victor Novak and his parish, Holy Cross “Orthodox” Church in Omaha, Nebraska. ‘Father’ Victor Novak was an ordinand who was ordained as clergy into ROCOR in June of this year. He was affected by the Synod of Bishops’ edict regarding those ordinations and has since elected not to be regularized in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

    His parish website indicates that he has since been received into the Anglican Province of America (APA) and is helping to create an “Orthodox Western-Rite” jurisdiction within the APA structure. As of 12/16/2013, his blog page, which has not been updated since June has information on it that incorrectly states that he is canonically resident in ROCOR.

    Please be advised that Victor Novak and his parish are not canonically resident in ROCOR and to our knowledge, are not in communion with any other canonically recognized Orthodox jurisdiction.”

    What is bizarre is not too many years ago this same group of Russians were themselves not “canonical” (which means being in communion with an openly pro-abortionist Ecumenical Patriarch), and were even re-baptising “converts” from canonical Byzantine denominations.

    • Michael Frost says:

      Dale, Yes, the history of ROCOR, and its interaction with the wider world of Orthodoxy, is most interesting if also difficult to follow or make much sense of. Is the proper word “checkered”? Not unlike the French Orthodox Church and all of its historical oddities.

      Though I will say there are some other different truly bizarre groups out there trying to pass themselves off as “Orthodox”. Remember one, the Gnostic Orthodox Church that had their HQ and monastery in Geneva, NE, before they moved somewhere in OK. No idea if they’re still around. Went there once in 1989 on my way to TX. Spent the night. They were friendly, if theologically messed up. They had a thriving business painting & selling icons.

      • I have already written on the issue of simple independence and misrepresentation. For example we Anglican Catholics call ourselves Anglican, but everyone who goes to our churches is informed that we are not a part of the Anglican Communion (Canterbury / Lambeth Conference). It’s the same with independent Orthodox – if they are Orthodox in the generic meaning of the word and not the “proprietary” meaning of that word.

        There is an old saying that came from Satre – L’enfer c’est les autres. Hell is other people. We love crapping on others but don’t call our own camp into question.

        There are many bishops and priests we wouldn’t invite to dinner, but that doesn’t take away the same religious freedom from them that we claim for ourselves. We have no duty or authority to “protect the gullible”. Everyone is free to find his “true church” for himself. Furthermore, if something is calling itself “Gnostic Orthodox Church”, where’s your problem? It’s likely to be what it says on the label, and people can choose whether they are interested in that kind of thing or not.

      • Michael Frost says:

        I was certainly polite and respectful when I was there. I spent the night. Did evening and morning prayer with them. Ate with them. As I said, they were most hospitable. But guess I should’ve said they had a lot of focus on eastern (non-Christian) mysticism. Reincarnation. Etc. Which wasn’t immediately apparent back in the days of no internet and no way to know about a group except from pamphlets. Knew they were interesting when I saw their library had just as many, if not more books, on Buddhism, Hinduism, and other eastern groups than on Christianity. So it ended up being very hard to tell what, exactly they believed and how it related to either Christianity in general or EO in particular. I still have a few of their icons.

  54. George says:

    There is some information regarding the “Western Rite Vicariate” here:

  55. William Tighe says:

    This is comic in the extreme; fancy a Continuing Anglican group (and one so ambidextrous even by Anglican standards, and having a divorced-and-remarried man as its archbishop to boot, and other D-a-R bishops as well) regarding itself as the “center of unity” for Western-Rite Orthodox, at least those of Anglican provenance. Have they somehow “forgotten” about the Western-Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church, which has certainly been larger, more stable, and liturgically less eccentric than the ROCOR lot? But, then, too, the way in which this Omaha Anglican parish seems to embrace a practically “congregationalist” ecclesiology, with its willingness to jump here, there, and everywhere if they don’t “get what they want” from whatever “church perch” they can find for themselves doesn’t give a good impression concerning their ecclesiological seriousness.

    Grundorf has long been known as a kind of ecclesiastical “bottom feeder,” willing to take on all and sundry congregations and groups which seek him out, and willing to be “all things to all men.”

    But, still — golly.

    • Well, that seems to be the problem with the American notion of religious freedom. Perhaps Obama could take a leaf out of French laïcisme – impoverish Roman Catholicism, marginalise the Protestants and repress the cults.

      I have to be frank and find that this set up of a “Western Orthodox” grouping under a continuing Anglican jurisdiction defies conventional wisdom. I don’t know +Grundorf or the APA. I had enough in the way of problems with Archbishop Hepworth until the bomb went off and the air cleared. The whole point of being “Western Orthodox” is fitting western Catholicism into an Eastern Orthodox jurisdiction. If they are under a generic Anglican jurisdiction, then they are simply Anglican Catholics (high-church Anglicans, Anglo-Catholics, you name ’em). But of course many of the subtleties are wasted on me because I’m not American!

      If there is no good anywhere and Roman Catholicism looks like it’s going left under Pope Francis, either the atheists are right or it’s the end of the world.

    • Father Martin says:

      When you refer to a divorced and remarried bishop are you referring to Anthony Bondi or Walter Grundorf? Last year there was a “woman”, I believe with the OCA (said to be a transexual calling himself/herself Barbara, with a very nasty temperament), going about the blog circuits claiming Bondi had been married twice and divorced twice, the second wife previously divorced from an OCA priest. Considering the dubious credentials of the man/woman spreading these rumors I’m inclined to question anything I hear concerning this. The whole thing is simply bizarre. I have spoken to individuals still allied to Bondi, they say he has severed all ties to ROCOR and is once again styling himself as “Archbishop”. With that said I’m still unable to comprehend an “Orthodox” parish subject to a CA bishop. Despite the many things Anglicanism and Orthodoxy have in common there remain significant differences, otherwise I would be an Anglican (I’ve yet to become accustomed to kissing icons, priest’s hands, etc). But this isn’t the first such arrangement. A similar situation involved Rene Vilate and the Episcopalians in the 1880s, currently in the US there’s a church calling itself the Orthodox American Church (Toombs Succession, ROCOR) which within the last two years entered into communion with a CA group calling itself the Anglican Independent Communion – Original Province (its bishop being rather eccentric and pugnacious). We live in desperate times, some clergy are resorting to desperate measures.

      • I vaguely remember a “Countess Oliva” and have her e-mail address on my moderation list, because the style is that of a very nasty and destructive troll. That is why I have no desire to involve myself in or believe these rumours. My ideas of becoming Orthodox died in the 1980’s when I was a student and saw the reality through meeting the late Dr Raymond Winch in Oxford. The idea again flashed through my mind in about 2000, and then that was it.

        Despite religion in America being “free market”, there are articles here and there affirming the late arrival of European-style secularism in America. All too often, Christianity is its own worst enemy, and these intrigues between canonical Orthodox Churches and eccentric groups do nothing to improve the situation.

        Between the alternatives of giving up and leaving Christianity or trying to survive in some way, which is the better? Desperate times? Indeed. Now what do we answer to the atheists?

      • I need to note my error in referring to Bishop Grundorf as an archbishop. See here. His official style is Bishop Ordinary and Presiding Bishop. Fr Anthony Bondi’s former title as an independent prelate was Archbishop. Whether he has resumed this or not, I have no independent information.

      • Father Martin says:

        Here is a link to the dispeptic transexual mentioned above.

      • William Tighe says:

        “When you refer to a divorced and remarried bishop are you referring to Anthony Bondi or Walter Grundorf?”


      • Michael Frost says:

        When it comes to the issue–“having a divorced-and-remarried man as its archbishop to boot, and other D-a-R bishops as well”–I’m always thankful that the Donastic controversy settled once and for all that the holiness (or lack there of) of the bishop, priest, or deacon has nothing to do with the efficacy of Christ’s Church’s Word or Sacrament. All clergy are sinners, equally in need of repentance and a Savior, just like those they minister to. If the Gospel or our baptism hinged on the sanctity of the minister who preaches it or administers it, God help us all. Thankfully it doesn’t.

    • Dale says:

      Almost as comical as the “Orthodox in communion with Rome” game some Byzantine rite Roman Catholics are playing at one supposes.

      • William Tighe says:

        True, except that I would see it as “even more comical.”

      • Dale says:

        But with a caveat; Byzantine rite Roman Catholics have an assured position within Rome; those parishes western parishes that entered into the Russian religion did so after certain promises had been made, promises that they were assured were to be permanent; then, in the blink of an eye, the game plan was changed out from under their feet. What does one do? Fr Novak has done, perhaps, the only thing viable in his position. Also, Dr Tighe, you did mention the Antiochians, but I think most of us realize that that is even more of a bait-and-switch. Would you have made, or do make, the same remarks concerning those Greek Catholics who went to the Russians because the Roman Catholics in the United States had reneged on promises made in the Union of Brest-Litovsk founding the Russian Orthodox GREEK CATHOLIC Church?

      • William Tighe says:

        “Fr Novak has done, perhaps, the only thing viable in his position. Also, Dr Tighe, you did mention the Antiochians, but I think most of us realize that that is even more of a bait-and-switch. Would you have made, or do make, the same remarks concerning those Greek Catholics who went to the Russians because the Roman Catholics in the United States had reneged on promises made in the Union of Brest-Litovsk founding the Russian Orthodox GREEK CATHOLIC Church?”

        What bothers me most about all this is what seems to me to be a profound lack of ecclesiological seriousness underlying these shiftings, almost as though the unstated default ecclesiology were in fact a sort of “we must be allowed to do as we like” congregationalism. And I am not sure, regarding “promises made in the Union of Brest-Litovsk,” (a) whether these “promises” were intended to be geographically universal or unbounded in scope, or limited to a certain place or circumscription, and (b) Rome regarded itself as making “promises” at all, as opposed to “gracious concessions,” the scope of which, whether for expansion or for contraction, was for Rome alone to determine. Put otherwise, if one is not a papalist, and certainly if one be an anti-papalist, one has no business entering the “Roman Communion” on any terms whatsoever; and if one is not willing to profess that the Orthodox Church(es) constitute the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church” spoken of in the Creed, then one ought, likewise, not to come into her communuion — and if one does come into her communion, it makes one look frivolous and barely honest if one subsequently leaves with the cry “But Mummy didn’t give us what we wanted.”

      • Dale says:

        Dr Tighe, most of what you have written makes no sense to those of us who do not believe in Roman claims to universal authority; but in the end, you seem to saying that when Rome changes the game-plan, eastern rite Catholics better just sit down and do what Rome wants. Well, it is nice to know that any Greek Catholics who return to Orthodoxy because of Roman betrayal do indeed receive your approbation. It is obvious that many of them do not understand their very second-class citizenship offered by their often forced submission to Rome (as former Jesuit once informed me, the “union” of the Orthodox in Eastern Europe was actualized by the Austrian and Polish army!).

      • Dale says:

        “What bothers me most about all this is what seems to me to be a profound lack of ecclesiological seriousness underlying these shiftings, almost as though the unstated default ecclesiology were in fact a sort of “we must be allowed to do as we like” congregationalism.”

        I think that what bothers many of us is ecclesiastical imperialism; but that would be hard for a Roman Catholic, to understand.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Just wanted to wish you a happy and safe New Year’s Eve, Day, and Year! Keep on being you. The world is more interesting with you actively in it. And I say that having been in your (figurative) gunsight more than a few times! 🙂

        I find your recent comments more interesting. I think I know exactly what you mean and am mostly in agreement. Though I know Dr. Tighe can handle his way around a blog. I’d pay to read the two of you discussing the new Ordinariate liturgy. From what I’ve seen it is mainly a cut-and-paste of a few bits of the traditional Anglican liturgy (e.g., the Prayer of Humble Access) onto a translation of the Tridentine canon? But so far they refuse to publish it on line. Please let me know when you find it on the web!

        When it comes to the APA’s WRV… I just try to keep in mind the mess ROCOR made. I have the utmost sympathy and respect for Fr. Victor et al under the specific circumstances. For example, he went out on a huge limb and opined at length about union with Constantinople. ROCOR accepted him. He and others were ordained. But… then ROCOR changed the rules, undid their own ordinations. I find his ordination to be entirely legitimate and canonical. I don’t see how ROCOR could attempt to depose priests they just ordained. I only had hoped and prayed that my Antiochians would’ve stepped into the breach, where possible & appropriate, to keep them within canonical Orthodoxy. Yet, I’m glad they’ve found a home, one that appears willing to accept them as they are, which is pretty Anglican indeed. I hope they thrive, esp. to remind ROCOR of their own error in this matter. And maybe as a beacon to those Anglican todays who in their hearts really are true “heirs of the Non-jurors”!

      • William Tighe says:

        “But so far they refuse to publish it on line. Please let me know when you find it on the web!”

        It won’t be published/publicized until the translation of all the propers has been completed, which is not yet the case. There is no more to it than that.

    • Christopher William McAvoy says:

      I concur, I would rather spend the rest of my life in the SSPX mission in Falls Church, VA that I visited not long ago, than have anything to do with another “western rite experiment” within the confusing world of continuing traditional Anglicanism. The fact that the Monk “Father” Anthony Bondi may have some connection in all this is also strange. I would reckon have more hope for unity with Rome or Moscow within the SSPX than I do within that group.. Maybe I could be proven wrong. I don’t understand it…

      I will grant that this idea could make some sense in the right context. If the entire Ordinariates of St. Peter, Walsingham and the Southern Cross detached itself from Rome and came together and united with the the Western rite Orthodox of both ROCOR and Antioch into a single jurisdiction representing purely Catholicism and Orthodoxy without any “funny business” or questionable validity, I could see that having success. A single united jurisdiction based on historic Anglicanism with bishops. If you took Bishop Jerome Shaw and Bishop Peter Wilkinson (especially if he had been ordained within RC) and made them the head..than you;d be on to something. More of an alternative to the SSPX but with greater emphasis on English patrimony.

      But for a single small continuing Anglican jurisdiction, I don’t trust it personally. I think it’s misguided. Yet it is flattering that an Anglican church wants to continue this idea. This proves that the ROCOR WR Vicariate did offer a great deal of hope to traditional catholic influenced Christians who wanted a home in a huge historic catholic church that had never been tainted by protestantism. I understand the motivations, I saw the people and spoke with them first-hand. But it only made sense to me within the Context of the Canonical Orthodox or Roman Catholic Church…it doesn’t make sense to me any other way.

      Someone asked if I was an ordinand for ROCOR. No I was not. I suppose that I am back with the Roman Catholic Church, which as we know continues to be a rather unpleasant battleground between the ways of death (innovation) and the way of salvation (tradition.) I do not neatly fit with any particular faction. The unity of the Orthodox Church will always be a greatly appealing concept, despite it’s lack of catholicity and lack of acceptance of the full Latin rite patrimony within it. (The Antiochian WRV is only about the use of the liturgy and smells and bells of Sunday mass, not the full panoply of what a rite entails, as one finds in the SSPX.)

      I’ve been told by a number of people over the years that I ought to consider the priesthood. The older I am, the more I understand why people think of this idea when they know me. In theory it’s a good idea, but practically speaking probably not part of God’s plan for me anytime soon – if ever. I intend to serve the Church in smaller ways such as baking for coffee hour or festivities. Lately my primary service is the singing and typesetting of pre-reformation chant and polyphony in English and Latin in the footsteps of G.H. Palmer and C.W. Douglas.

      I will do my best do be a faithful genuine Roman Catholic in the footsteps of my ancestors and yet also not compromise with any false teachings that are presently in vogue with many of her laity and hierarchy.

      • Thank you for such an eloquent comment. The idea that keeps coming to me. Keep your innocence! Often the cost of ordination is being burned out. The smaller and humbler we can be, the better for our own spiritual peace.

      • Dale says:

        Christopher, I would also like to thank you for this message. You are correct, it appeared that the ROCOR might have had so much to offer, but instead preferred to retreat into ethnic sectarianism; and not only did they do this retreat, they were incredibly nasty about it; happily destroying people along the way. But the problem with Phyletism is that it tends to consider people not of a specific ethnic origin to not really be human; and hence, may be treated abominably.

  56. Neil Hailstone says:

    I have never visited this Orthodox Department before. I would just like to add to a comment made some days back. In fact Anglican Catholic members of the Society of St Wilfrid and St Hilda do have the service of The Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. We are not the only Anglican Catholics who hold this service. We do not follow the 39 Articles in this and certain other beliefs and practices.

  57. Michael Frost says:

    Columba, You wrote: “We have the 2009 BCP published by Lancelot Andrews Press with a second edition coming out soon.” Do you know the publication date for the 2nd edition? Is it going to be soon? Early 2014? Or sometime later?

    BUT I will say, dammit, dammit, dammit regarding a new one by EOC/LAP. My 2009 Orthodox BCP is in wonderful shape. Developing that lovely used patina on the leather. And the dating of Pascha in Appendix I clearly goes to 2199 so I had reasonably thought I’d get at least 190 years out of it! But now you tell me I’m going to have to junk a perfectly good OBCP. Bummer. I wonder if they could wait till 2198 to release the update? That would seem to be the Orthodox way (slow and prudent). (Though I might be inclined to the new one if the Calendar adds St. Faustus of Riez on September 28th.)

    Merry Christmas and Merry Christmastide!

    • Dale says:

      Michael, I know what you mean! But, there are a few improvements to this excellent BCP that could be made; I am not home right now so I do not have the BCP in front of me, but some improvements that could be made would be to include all of the priestly private prayers of the mass in the BCP as well as including the secret, which was left out for some reason, although all of the other Propers are included. This BCP fulfills all of the dreams and hopes of Anglo-Catholics. It is very much like the old “Manual of Catholic Devotion for Members of the Church of England” (the mere fact that I not only still know about the Manual, but use it, simply shows my age!).

      One should also mention that the altar edition of the American Missal made by the same Press is exceptional, and the cost is, like the BCP, incredibly realistic (Personally, I do not know how they manage to produce these things and sell them so cheaply!), it is a vast improvement over the original Missal. Besides the full 1928 BCP rite, it also contains the full Antiochian Anglican use as well as the Gregorian canon in both Latin and English, and not the Byzantine bowdlerized version, the original of St Gregory.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Yes, know what mean about the Secret. But since we’ve got the 1995 Orthodox Missal in the pews, and that has the Secret, I didn’t worry much about it. And it usually is all of one quick sentence. Of course, no one single work of this type is ever perfect. Just hope they don’t go crazy trying to constantly improve and come out with an update every few years. Merry Christmas and Christmastide! 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Merry Christmas Michael, Personally, I would not really worry too much. I think that anything that Fr John Connely produces in regards to western rite liturgical material will be excellent.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I’m sure you’re right. [Besides the Secret, about the only other items I wish were in our OBCP are…. a 2nd preface for use on Trinity Sundays. (The one use gets a bit boring by about the 13th Sunday in a row! And the local ACA parish uses the one in the 1928 BCP that isn’t in our OBCP.) … Psalm 151. … Readings & propers for St. Nicholas’ Day. … And a short catechism in the back, one appropriate for children and catechumens.]

      • William Tighe says:

        Well, Dale, some would differ from the sentiment that “anything that Fr John Connely produces in regards to western rite liturgical material will be excellent,”and as I wrote here:


        “Strangely, however, when in 2009 The Book of Common Prayer (subtitled The Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church in the English Parochial Tradition according to Orthodox Catholic Usage), an attractive and beautiful book, appeared, there were further changes of a puzzling nature to its Eucharistic Prayer. (Other changes in the rite appear to be matters of style and “lay-out”). In the first place, the exordium of the includes elements of both the 1764 Scottish and the 1928 PECUSA prayers. It runs:

        All glory be to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that thou of thy tender mercy, didst give thine only son, Jesus Christ, to suffer death upon the Cross for our redemption; who made there (by his own Oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world …

        where the 1928 American runs “who made there (by his one oblation of himself once offered) a full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice …” (etc.) and the 1764 Scottish “who (by his own oblation of himself once offered) made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice …” (etc.). Later on in the Prayer, in the petitions taken from the Roman Canon, the first, the Memento etiam is translated differently than in the 1977 version — this may be a matter of style, although I prefer that of 1977 — while the ensuing Nobis quoque peccatoribus is abbreviated and paraphrased in its beginning as “And vouchsafe to give unto us some portion and fellowship with …” (etc.) which seems as undesirable as it is unaccountable a change. I have been given to understand since my original posting of “Thoughts on an Anglican Use Mass” on March 8 that these changes, or some of them, may represent no more than the singular and eccentric usage of one particular Western-Rite Orthodox priest and parish that by regrettable inadvertence was published as the “canonical” version, and that this shall be corrected in the future.”

        It was Fr. Connely himself who made these bizarre and objectionable (as well as theologically incoherent) alterations to the anaphora — objectionable not only to me, but to the former domine fac totum of Lancelot Andrewes Press (now another sort of Dom), who himself posted a comment on that same thread, which included these sentiments:

        “I am in total agreement with Dr Tighe about the 2009 Orthodox BCP (LA Press) “recension” (if you can call it that) of the Liturgy. The first thing I would say is that the 2009 BCP is in no way an official production of the Antiochian Archdiocese or the Western Rite Vicariate. It hasn’t been condemned or disowned, but it hasn’t been approved or even publically acknowledged by the powers-that-be. This book really reflects the usage of one prominent AWRV “Tikhonian” parish.

        (It might also be pointed out that the Vicariate has never approved any form of the Pastoral Offices derived from the BCP tradition; and yet versions of these, based on the 1956 SSJE “Manual for Priests”, appear in the 2009 BCP).

        The ‘editio typica’ of the Liturgy remains the original text of 1977, reprinted in “The Orthodox Missal” of 1995, with two significant changes made by competent authority: (1) The addition, by order of H.B. Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch, of the two Byzantine pre-communion prayers (mentioned by Dr Tighe); and (2) the removal, by order of the Vicar General (now emeritus) Fr Paul Schneirla, of the 1552 Zwinglian language from the Words of Administration (“Take and eat this in remembrance … “Drink this in remembrance …”).

        It is my understanding that Lancelot Andrewes Press intend to issue a 2nd edition of the 2009 BCP, correcting typographical errors and conforming the text of the Liturgy to the 1977 ‘editio typica’.”

      • Dale says:

        Yes Dr Tighe, so much better to use a very theological problematic 1979 BCP with the Roman Canon interspersed with some odd modernist hand shaking as is produced by the Anglican Use people…glass houses and stones comes to mind.

      • Dom Benedict says:

        Dale: The AU folks, such as Fr Phillips at Atonement in San Antonio, would be the first to acknowledge many unfortunate features of the AU (that is, pre-Ordinariate) Mass. It was produced in some haste, and had to walk an almost impossible balance between satisfying both traditional Anglo-Catholics and modernist liturgical personalities in Rome (if I’m not mistaken, the commission which produced it was chaired by Archbishop Piero “The Bad” Marini). One would hope that the AU communities not in the Ordinariate would transition away from the old AU Mass and towards the new Ordinariate Mass which, though it could be criticised in some points, is a vast, vast improvement.

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Fr. John Connelly and his friends are noble men. I admire them even if I am not able to follow in their footsteps. They are the reason that I and many others gained respect for the potential that Western rite Orthodoxy had to develop into on a larger scale. Sadly I find that there are not enough people like him that find a home there, for reasons that have already been dicusssed. Yes, that press is outstanding in what it has republished and edited for reuse .

      • Christopher William McAvoy says:

        Dom. Benedict, until the Personal Ordinariate Mass uses the one year lectionary identical to the Latin Tridentine, or BCP/Sarum Missals of old, it is not enough of an improvement.

      • Dom Benedict says:

        I tend to agree, Christopher. At the very least the traditional lectionary readings should have been included as alternatives to the 3-year cycle. But I think it’s important not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good.

      • Dale says:

        Dom Benedict,

        I am also very confused about a 3 year cycle (Good Lord most people cannot even remember a one year cycle much less a three year one!); but does this not mean, since the other changeable parts of the mass are all built around the Epistle and Gospel readings that a full three year cycle with Introits, Collects, Graduals etc. must also be produced? Otherwise, very little of any of it will make any sense.

        Finally, since the only reason it appears to have a new cycle as well as calendar (what is Ordinary?) is to have more readings would it not make more sense to do what Anglicans have always done, and continue the full cycle of morning and evensong with their readings instead? Or are Ordinariate AU people expected to become like most Irish-American Catholics in that they are the Mass only crowd with the offices limited to monasteries?

      • Dom Benedict says:

        Dale wrote: I am also very confused about a 3 year cycle (Good Lord most people cannot even remember a one year cycle much less a three year one!); but does this not mean, since the other changeable parts of the mass are all built around the Epistle and Gospel readings that a full three year cycle with Introits, Collects, Graduals etc. must also be produced? Otherwise, very little of any of it will make any sense.

        What I would recommend to the Anglican Ordinariate folks is that they follow the post-V2 edition of the Graduale Romanum (and *not* from the Pauline Missal, where you find essentially Bible sentences completely removed from any reference to the Gregorian tradition … the ultimate triumph of Low Mass culture). In the modern Graduale you find the traditional “Minor Propers”, substantially as they appear in the traditional Missal and Graduale, but keyed to, and adapted where needed, to the modern Sunday cycle.

        Finally, since the only reason it appears to have a new cycle as well as calendar (what is Ordinary?) is to have more readings would it not make more sense to do what Anglicans have always done, and continue the full cycle of morning and evensong with their readings instead? Or are Ordinariate AU people expected to become like most Irish-American Catholics in that they are the Mass only crowd with the offices limited to monasteries?

        I don’t know the answer to these questions. I would hope that the Ordinariate communities will foster a robust Divine Office tradition, and show the way to their Roman cousins.

  58. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Have you seen the APA WRV Update info sent out by Fr. Victor? Quite interesting. Some excerpts:

    “We will soon have a new Vicariate website up and running and will also have our congregations and ministries listed on the online church directory of the [APA]…. Vicariate clergy are eligible to participate in the Pension Plan of the [APA].

    … Logos House of Theological Studies is available to support your ministry with distance learning classes…Logos House has been training future clergy through distance education since 1998.

    … The [APA] self identifies as “the Orthodox Church of the West” (see the website of their provincial cathedral), does not compromise with liberal modernism, is not in sacramental communion with any church that purports to “ordain” women, and was in corporate reunion dialogue with ROCOR.

    … The [APA] is also in full communion with the [ACA], and the two jurisdictions are in the process of merging. … The [WRV] has been re-established by an unanimous vote of the House of Bishops of the [APA] just as it was on July 8, 2013, the day before its suppression at an Extraordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR. The [WRV] of the [APA] remains a stavropegial jurisdiction, directly under Archbishop Walter Grundorf, primate of the [APA] and will always remain so. Through the [WRV] the Roman, Sarum and Gallican Rites have been reunited with the traditional Anglican Rite in one national ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Vicariate clergy will continue to baptize, chrismate and communicate infants, and may continue to use any liturgy approved for use in ROCOR on July 8, 2013. This includes the (traditional) Roman Rite, the Sarum Rite, the Gallican Rite, and both the ROCOR and Antiochian Uses of the Liturgy of St. Tikhon, in addition to the Rite of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Vicariate congregations may use the Gregorian or Julian calenders. We returned to the Gregorian calender at Holy Cross parish on the First Sunday of Advent (New Style) 2013.

    … The [WRV] is open to, but not limited to, the clergy of the former ROCOR [WRV] and those who were in the pipeline when the Vicariate was suppressed by the Decree of July 12th. ROCOR clergy and those in the process of becoming ROCOR clergy may simply transfer to the APA [WRV] by requesting to be received. It is as simple as that. However, the Vicariate is not limited to such clergy. Anyone interested in serving in the Western Rite Vicariate should contact me. Chaplains will receive their endorsements through the [APA].”

    • William Tighe says:

      “… The [APA] self identifies as ‘the Orthodox Church of the West’.”

      On the same basis, and with the same plausibility, that I might “self identify” as Justinian or as Basil Bulgaroktonos.

      • Perhaps the morale of these two comments of our good friend is not to become Orthodox and not to appeal to that word as a self-identification. Fr Novak and his community were originally Anglicans. If I were him, I would simply join my local Anglican diocese (Continuum or otherwise). I find it difficult to justify using the name “Orthodox” in an Anglican context, unless this community needs a “temporary home” until it finds another canonical Orthodox Church willing to have them. Round holes and square pegs indeed…

        That being said, I can’t judge Fr Novak’s sincerity. Do you know him?

      • Dale says:

        Or using “Orthodox in communion with Rome” moniker…glass houses again.

      • Dale says:

        Now if they were calling themselves the Byzantine Church of the West one can see a problem. Orthodox, much like Catholic, is far broader than the Church of Byzantium.

      • Dale says:

        But Fr Anthony, can one justify using “Anglican” in a Roman context? Say as in Anglican-Use Roman Catholic? What I find almost hilarious about Dr Tighe’s criticism of the 2009 BCP used in some parishes in Antioch is that unlike the Roman so-called “Anglican Use” Liturgy it at least does at least indeed have a real Anglican canon (I suspect that Dr Tighe’s real dislike is simply Anglicanism, period), unlike that semi-Roman bastard propagated by Roman Catholics in their attempt to reel in Anglicans. Perhaps in the end what Dr Tighe is telling Anglicans is that one should not become either Byzantine Orthodox or Roman Catholic.

  59. Dom Benedict says:

    I say this not to mock, but the Holy Cross Omaha saga reminds me of a little conversation a WRO priest once had with a Melkite priest at an ecumenical meeting. The WRO priest, known for having an acid wit, said that he was dissatisfied with his current jurisdiction and asked if the Melkites, like their Greek Orthodox cousins, had a Western Rite Vicariate. The Melkite answered, “Oh, yes, in fact, it’s quite large.”

    • Michael Frost says:

      Cute and funny. My only thought to the joke is…unfortunately that large body isn’t orthodox. 🙂

    • Dale says:

      Yes, very large, and with balloon and clown masses included! Dom Benedict…very nice indeed to find you here!

      • Dom Benedict says:

        You’ll get no argument from me about the abysmal state of the offering of the august Eucharistic Sacrifice in most places in the Latin Church; but thanks be to God I have yet to encounter a clown or balloon Mass; nor even to have I met anyone who has!

      • Dale says:

        Hello Dom Benedict, balloons seem to be a regular in the Roman diocese where I now live, but I was a seminarian, in France, in the 70’s…I could tell you horror stories! Spent much of last summer in France, it seems that at least for weddings vestments are now simply a hit or miss. I am afraid that with this new Pope, very much a media darling, much of the 70’s may be coming back in a very big way.

      • My experience of novus ordo masses in France seems to be more that of a tedious “middle-of-the-road”. I haven’t personally seen much of the “circus” or “mega-church” style. How would I characterise it? The garb tends to be an alb looking a little like a Cistercian cowl (not always with a pointed hood, but a roll collar type of collar) and a very long and wide stole. There is a tendency in many parishes to have a little crucifix at the centre of the altar facing the people and for more priests to wear a chasuble (at least the priest presiding at a concelebration). Lay people read the Old Testament and New Testament readings, and usually there is someone to direct the chant. I think there is some improvement in the chant with almost an “Anglican” pastiche style. The spirit among the younger clergy is generally “reform of the reform”, a result of the “Benedict Bounce”, but such clergy are concentrated in dioceses like Toulon, Paris, Lyon and Versailles.

        In the 1970’s, people still had memories of the pre-conciliar period and Paul VI was a product of the Pius XII era. However, I would concede that the Roman Catholic Church will be dominated by a kind of archaic and obsolete modernism (as opposed to post-modernism and pre-modernism in philosophy and culture). French Catholicism will concentrate in the cities (Paris in particular) and where there is a strong right-wing, military and Gaullist conservative presence like in Versailles – and become more conservative and traditionalist. In the rest of France, Catholicism will become extinct like liberal Anglicanism. That’s how I see it.

      • Dale says:

        Fr Anthony, when I was a seminarian I was still young and often participated in ecumenical youth activities of the Romans, the youth masses. pilgrimages etc where horrifying. I wonder how many of these, then, young people dancing around the altar during mass, playing loud rock music still even consider themselves Christians of any sort? But what you have said is completely correct, the novus ordo is not really even edgy or shocking anymore on the parish level, it is simply banal.

  60. Columba Silouan says:

    Okay, the new Book of Common Prayer is out. I’ve got my copy. It’s a red, HARD BACK edition with beautiful Gold Embossing on the cover and spine. There is an elaborate gold cross on the front cover and the symbols on the spine of the book include the Crown of Thorns, The Nails, The Spear and Rod with the Sponge the soldiers used to quench the thirst of those being crucified, and the dice the Roman Soldiers cast for Christ’s robe. The lettering Common Prayer is also in Gold and the font is Old English. The pages have red leaf. The book will be great in the pews of any Anglican Catholic or Western Rite parish. The insides look fantastic and of course the typos and other errors of the 2009 edition have been corrected. Check it out at the Lancelot Andrewes Press website! Well Done!!

    Reader Columba Silouan of Saint Marks in Denver

    • Dale says:

      Columba, thanks for the info!!!!

    • Dale says:

      Columba, do you know if they have posted the new edition on the Press website? I have looked but cannot locate it. I have purchased copies of every liturgical book that they have published, both new and reprints. Excellent quality, and very good prices.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Columba, Yes, thanks for the information. But like Dale, when I go to their web site I can’t find it. Appears they are discounting the original OBCP (2009 edition).

  61. William Tighe says:

    Question – does this new edition remove the strange (and pointless, IMO) alterations to the Prayer of Consecration (alterations, that is, from that found in the original 1977 version) that, as Ben Andersen (as he then was) informed me, were included by mistake in the 2009 version, and which were alterations produced by Fr. Connely on his own initiative? If there is any theological rationale for these alterations I have not seen it.

    • Dale says:

      Other than a rather long list of almost pointless minutiae, could you please explain what, if any, theological issues these “alterations” present?

      • William Tighe says:

        The introduction of “there” in the exordium, for starters, repoens the door to seeing Christ’s “oblation” happening exclusively on the Cross, at his death – a view which the Scots revisers of 1764 wished to exclude.

      • Dale says:

        Once again, this seems more akin to a personal opinion that anything bordering on theological heresy.

        The only real problem was that in the original 1977 edition of Fr Angwin’s was his retention of “Feed on him in your hearts with faith”; which is open to a very receptionist understanding of the Eucharist and this was removed in later editions. The rest of your continual posturing on this issue and your implication that somehow Fr Connelly is not to be trusted for some reason because of insignificant changes is really rather bizarre. The changes you have overblown to an almost pathetic scream are less troublesome than linguistic differences of translations between the Byzantine jurisdictions of the same liturgy of S John. Are you simply upset that Fr Connelly did not go to the Ordinariate?

        Perhaps you should invest this much time and energy on your own denomination’s really horrible “Book of Divine Services” for your “Anglican-Use” communities. Now that is a book with some real problems.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, The words “…, and feed on him in thy heart by faith, with thanksgiving” are in the 2009 OBCP. Set inside parentheses with this note: “That the words in the parentheses are not part of the official text of the Liturgy, but are used in some places.”

        The AWRV Missal (1995) has these words with no parentheses or note. See p. 191.

      • Dale says:

        Yes Michael, but my point was that these words, which are not part of the consecration prayer are the only, slightly, questionable part of the whole Mass. In Incarnation Fr Angwin always used the second person plural instead of the second person singular form since he usually gave communion to each individual with “The Body of Christ,” and “The Blood of Christ,” and then when several were communicated he would turn and say the rest of the form of communion using the plural form over several communicants at the same time (an old Anglo-Catholic manner of communicating), which explains what you may have thought was my faulty memory. The other minor changes between different editions of the canon of the Mass which Dr Tighe feels are so dreadfully important, are not…and make no theological changes as the western rite Mass is understood in the context of the Byzantine Orthodox Church. I have never understood why Dr Tighe spends so much time harping on this non-issue.

        In an Anglican parish that had converted in the 1980’s to the Moscow Patriarchate in Escondido, California, the full Antiochian Anglican form of the Mass was used with two differences, the Patriarch of Moscow was mentioned in the “Prayer for the Whole State” and the deletion of the the “Feed on him.” This parish was very quickly Russified and all of the members returned to continuing Anglicanism.

      • Dom Benedict says:

        The 1552 parts of the words of administration, as far as I can remember, are present in both editions of the OBCP, but in brackets. The editor-in-chief of the OBCP (I’m sure he wouldn’t mind me saying this) has never quite accepted that these phrases have been officially banned from the Antiochian service; he doesn’t think that there is a theological problem, because the words are combined with the 1549 words, which he sees as an objective statement of the true Presence.

    • Dom Benedict says:

      Bill, as I did the corrections myself, the new OBCP does indeed fix the problematic parts from the Prayer of Consecration, bringing them into line with the ‘editio typica’ which was blessed by the GO Patriarchate of Antioch.

      • Dale says:

        Thanks for these clarifications. The “Problems” that Dr Tighe has mentioned again and again, are simply not that dreadful and present no real theological problem that I have been able to discern. What you have mentioned about the words of administration is exactly the same response that I received from Fr Angwin; and I do not have a problem with them.

        One problem that I can see, is that in the really wonderful re-edition of the “American Missal”the words of institution are referred to as the “moment of consecration”; although not problematic for either Anglicans or Romans (who will never use a liturgy as conservative and out-of-date as the “American Missal” anyway), but will fly red flags for most Byzantines.

  62. Columba Silouan says:

    I would suggest that anyone who wants one of the new prayer books pull up the LA Press Facebook or Twitter page and ask them how to go about picking one up. This should work until the website is updated.

    • Michael Frost says:

      This is the complete e-mail response I received today from ALP to my e-mail inquiry from earlier today about the revised OBCP:

      The BCP is in print with 40 page corrections. The web site issue is in development and currently loaded on the Chinese rocket to the planet Mars. We expect radio contact in about four weeks… or that is the best science I have.
      The direct way to buy the new second printing of OBCP is $ 24 USD by check to
      L A Press
      PO BOX 460186
      Glendale, CO 80246

  63. Francis says:

    As far as I know the former LA Press BCP retains the Pian “restorations” of the Holy Week – what about the new edition? Thanks.

  64. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Didn’t know if you’d seen this one recent small piece of good news from the Antiochian WRV web sit. About a new priest for an established parish in Ft Worth:


  65. Dale says:

    This is simply a short up-date concerning the new Orthodox Book of Common Prayer. It is available and for those in the United States it can be purchased for $20.00 (American, including postage) if one is in the United States: simply send a cheque to the following address:

    LA Press
    PO BOX 460186
    Glendale, CO 80246

    For those of us who have already purchased items from this Press, all of the books are high-quality and reasonably priced. Actually, I do not know how Fr John Connely is able to offer liturgical books so cheaply; the altar missal priced at $195.00 (including postage for the States) is fantastic.

    I will give an update on the BCP when I receive my copy.

    Oh, by the way, the older edition, also very nice, is still available for $10.00.

  66. Peter Jericho says:

    This might be one of those question better left unasked, but I’ll ask it anyhow: Is the title “And a parish came back in from the cold” (about a continuing Anglican parish that joined the ROCOR, then later returned to continuing Anglicanism) tongue in cheek? I ask because, on the one hand, I’ve never heard Anglicans use “coming in from the cold” in reference to Orthodox becoming Anglican, and on the other hand I’m sure there are a lot of Orthodox (I don’t know how many) who would happily use that phrase w.r.t. Anglicans becoming Orthodox.

    • Sometimes, my titles come off the top of my head and are tongue in cheek. I must of thought about The Spy who Came in from the Cold and Russia, and came up with that one. I’m sure you are right and it could work the other way round.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Ah, John le Carre! The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, 1963. A classic and still eminently readable today. Don’t know why but I after bingeing on Graham Greene novels in 2009 (I couldn’t put them down and read every single one of them plus his travel books & short stories), I suddenly picked le Carre’s classic spy novel up. Fell in love with the writing and before I knew it I’d spent much of 2010 reading all of his early mystery & later cold war novels (save one odd love story), up to A Perfect Spy, plus The Tailor of Panama. Eleven of his novels. I wonder if that reading–plus a love for the works of Amis, Burgess, Conrad, Huxley, and Orwell– might make one an “honorary 20th century Brit”?

    • Michael Frost says:

      Peter, You might check out Fr. Victor Novak’s blog and the web site for his parish, Holy Cross (Omaha, Nebraska). I think Fr. Anthony’s description is appropriate. They and he journeyed to Constantinople in the summer of 2013 only to have ROCOR pull the rug out from under them when they pulled back on their Western Rite. Suddenly homeless, they then found a home. While I wish the Antiochians had been able to step up, such apparently wasn’t the case. Suspecting that it is cold without a home, esp. in the midwestern United States, coming back in from the cold makes sense for this sad, odd situation. I pray for the best for Fr. Victor and his church; they appear to be doing well.

      • Peter Jericho says:

        Good post. For the record (the internet being what it is) I should say that asking whether the title “And a parish came back in from the cold” was tongue in cheek, wasn’t meant as a complaint.

        However, I have to question one thing in your post: where you say that the ROCOR’s decisions last year left them homeless.

        Frankly, it seems to me that there’s a double epidemic going on — nearly everyone who talks about those decisions either exaggerates them (is it really accurate to say the parish was “suddenly homeless”, as though it got kicked out or something?) or else downplays and whitewashes them.

        Where’s objectivity?

      • Peter Jericho says:

        P.S. To be fair, Michael, you didn’t exaggerate nearly as much as some have.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Peter, Not exactly sure what you want in regard to “objectivity”. Only God knows “all the facts”. And here on Earth in this particular case one all we can mainly do is read the information that is out on the web. As I mentioned, you should read over Fr. Victor’s blog since its inception. He wrote a lot about crossing over to Constantinople. And see his parish’s web site. We can also read what little ROCOR has put out about what they did and why as regards their Western Rite. As well as various responses around the web to the action. Is that “objective”? It is about as good as it gets for us. And like I said, we can pray. For healing. For growth. For Christian fellowship.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Peter, I should’ve asked, have you read over what ROCOR has put out? Have you read Fr. Victor’s blog? And other blogs from priests and parishes that were or still are in ROCOR’s WR in similar situations?

        If you have any direct knowledge about what ROCOR did, why, and how they are implementing their decisions to their priests and parishes, I’m all ears. 🙂

        I had the pleasure to worship at Holy Cross once back in 2010. It was a very nice worshipping community that has grown a lot since then. I was most excited when Fr. Victor started advocating for a journey to Constantinople. I had great hopes for them within canonical Orthodoxy. Seemed like he and his parish made a good faith effort to become Orthodox. Too bad the timing was off? If ony he and they had done it in 2011 or 2012 like some of the other ROCOR WR parishes, at a time when ROCOR was actively encouraging new parish formation.

        From what little ROCOR put out, I wonder if the real issue wasn’t a fear of a growing WRV. Somehow a loss of “Russian-ness”? Seemed like ROCOR had issues with the WRV oversight and how they were acting? With priests and parishs caught up in that mess (“collateral damage”)?

  67. Peter Jericho says:

    > Peter, Not exactly sure what you want in regard to “objectivity”.

    Well, I don’t want to rehash everything I’ve read on various sites, but much of it was far from objective, in my opinion. Like I said earlier, you’ve got the exaggerating and you’ve got the downplaying/whitewashing. (Personally, the Orthodox downplaying/whitewashing the whole thing bothers me a bit more than the exaggerators, because I’m certain that the same Orthodox would be outraged beyond belief if Rome did to Greek Catholics what ROCOR did to WRO.)

    > As I mentioned, you should read over Fr. Victor’s blog since its inception.

    OIC. I’ve spent some time on said blog, since you mentioned it yesterday, but mostly I just looked at posts from the last year, not the pre-Orthodox posts. I’ll get back to you on that…

  68. Peter Jericho says:


    > As I mentioned, you should read over Fr. Victor’s blog since its inception.

    Alright, that’s done. (Well, assuming you don’t mean Read *every* post on said blog. 🙂 ) Anything in particular you want to discuss about it?

    • Michael Frost says:

      Peter & Dale, Keep an eye on Fr. Novak’s blog and Holy Cross’s web site. I think we’ll be seeing some very positive developments from there in the near future.

      An old friend of mine in Omaha told me over the weekend that he’d heard some interesting things going on there. So I e-mailed Fr. Victor, who was kind to send me a lengthy response. All of the information was positive. What a difference 6 months makes. I’m just going to wait until they make their news public.

      • An Awkward Aardvark says:

        I’m confused, has Fr. Novak’s parish been received again by the Orthodox? What happened to the APA “Eastern Rite” he was creating?

    • Dale says:

      Peter, I will second what Michael has written, I might also mention that one can simply ring up both Fr Novak as well as Bishop Bondi (I have had long telephone conversations with both men, who are by the way, fine individuals as well as upstanding clergymen) and speak to them. They are open and honest; albeit a bit anti-Orthodox at the present time, although it may be they are simply rather anti-Russian more than anything else; but, in retrospect, who can blame them? But do not take this from me, simply ring and speak to them.

      • Dom Benedict says:

        What’s going on with Holy Cross now? From the looks of Fr Novak’s blog, they’re back with ROCOR (???)

      • Peter Jericho says:

        Thanks, Dale. I’m not sure yet what to say about it, but I’ve now read it.

        For anyone who hasn’t, I’d say this is the most relevant paragraph:

        “Fr. Anthony and Fr. John will be returning to Omaha next month per our request, to give Fr. Michael and I instruction in the Eastern Rite. While Holy Cross is a Western Rite parish, this instruction will help Fr. Michael and I to be fully integrated with brother clergy of the Eastern Rite who make up the majority of Orthodox Christian clergy. This will be especially helpful when we worship with Eastern Rite clergy at clergy meetings and retreats.”

      • Michael Frost says:

        While I do fully join the chorus that bemoans any actual or potential Byzantinization of these Western Rite parishes, overall the developments sound positive. And in all my discussions with Fr. Victor, he has never given me the impression that he is anything other than one who is fully intent on preserving his Anglican liturgical patrimony. So… I’d be willing to be that even if ROCOR were so inclined, Holy Cross will remain Western Rite. (I only wish they’d been able to become AWRV, though this may be more an issue tied to Holy Cross not owning a church with both land and a building.)

      • Dale says:

        One is tempted to ask, are the Russian clergy also learning the western rite so that they will be able to worship with clergy of the western rite? I think not. Give it a short time and Holy Cross will be Russian rite if they are dumb enough to go back to the rooskies.

      • Dale says:

        Once again here is an example of one of their “western rite” (sic) churches, perhaps someone could tell exactly what is western about it?


      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, This SJWW parish is certainly unique. Highly anomalous. Their senior priest is a former Anglican priest who then became a priest in the non-canonical French Orthodox Church. Before being re-baptized and brought into ROCOR. And they may be the only Orthodox church in the world using a “Gallican liturgy”, essentially an attempt to reconstruct a liturgy that had been dead for over 1,000 years. About as weird as it gets? They’ve been plugging away for about 4 years with little to show for it (e.g., still worshipping on Sat night at an ECUSA church). What was truly odd was when a year or two ago ROCOR ordained another priest for this church. A tiny parish like this hardly needs two priests. (If ROCOR keeps it going, will be interesting to see if they don’t attempt to make it Eastern Rite, if just to see if there is any growth potential.)

      • Here is a link to an article on Bishop Germain’s site about the principles they went by to produce their “Gallican” liturgy – http://eglise-orthodoxe-de-france.fr/restauration_de_la_liturgie.htm (in French)

        The rite itself in English – http://eglise-orthodoxe-de-france.fr/the_divine_liturgy_of_saint_germanus.htm

        I have occasionally attended their liturgy in France, and people seem to relate to it reasonably well. I once considered joining ECOF but never did. Bishop Germain is a nice enough fellow. I think they have gone downhill since they were no longer with the Romanians.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, virtually all of the still supposedly western rite parishes of the ROCOR are this byzantinized…all of them.

  69. Jacob Flournoy says:

    Victor Novak and his parish have once again abandoned Continuing Anglicanism and have “rejoined” ROCOR. How a Reformed Episcopalian parish becomes Orthodox and then Continuing Anglican only to return to Orthodoxy is mind boggling. If they owned a church the Arabs would have bought them…..hook, line and sinker. The Greeks and Arabs always judge a potential parish by its monetary assets.

    • The Greeks and Arabs always judge a potential parish by its monetary assets.

      Wouldn’t you if you were a bishop? 😉

    • Dale says:

      it is worth noting that this parish is already adopting many, many Russian practices, they no longer kneel and receive communion in the novus ordo fashion, standing. One suspects that the Scriptural references that at the very Name of Jesus every knee shall bend does not apply to them!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Is there mandatory uniformity within American CAism about how to recieve communion? If there is, the local CA parish in my area must not have gotten the memo. While most do kneel at the railing, a few do stand. While many take the host in their hand and drink direct from the chalice, many others hold the host in their hand and wait for the priest to return with the chalice where he then intincts it and puts it in their mouths.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, even you must be aware of the Russian fixation of no kneeling on Sundays; in the older pictures of Holy Cross, when they were still Anglican, people knelt during the canon of the Mass and for reception of communion (these photos have all now been removed), now they follow the modernist Russian tradition, along with how they make the sign of the cross. Usually in Anglican churches one is commanded to receive “meekly kneeling” and only those with physical aliments stand for communion.

        By the way, the Russians are completely wrong on the kneeling front, the actually canon, which they purposely misuse, only mentions that one may not make prostrations on Sunday, something quite different from kneeling. Of course, an ecumenical council has forbidden receiving communion on a golden spoon, but I do not see them too worried about that one…the hypocrisy of the Russians, well what can one say?

  70. An Awkward Aardvark says:

    The Antiochians will only create a Western Rite parish that is a) existing and b) owns their property?

    • Michael Frost says:

      I’m not sure there is that much difference here with the AOC in America when it comes to Rite. A friend of mine was part of a local group that was trying to start an Eastern Rite parish in a college town in my state. The Antiochians weren’t interested unless there was a building, decent finances, and congregation. They ended up going thru the OCA and its Bulgarian wing. Though even here seems like all they “got” was a newly ordained priest who had to be self-supporting (I believe he is older). Will be interesting to see how this new mission develops and whether it survives or not.

    • Dale says:

      Oh, and the parish has to turn ALL of their assets over to the Arabs, who then often steal the parish plant and give it to the local Arabs. Here is one such former western rite Antiochian parish, in a very high rent district, stolen from the original Anglican convert founders (small track homes cost over a million dollars in the area): http://www.orthodoxredeemer.org/

    • Dale says:

      Sorry, to forgot to add that the Byzantinization of this parish began IMMEDIATELY after the death of the founding priest:

  71. Michael Frost says:

    Dale, Thought you might be interested in some preliminary intelligence I acquired this morning at the local Anglican church. Their priest attended their recent Diocesan Synod (the parish is part of ACA, which is in process of merging with APA, said merger to be completed in 2017 after the necessary two consecutive national synods have approved it) and gave his report. He mentioned three things as having been decided by their House of Bishops.

    First, they were moving the age for confirmation down to better align it with the RC practice of first communion; they’d still have some form of instruction for these kids as they got older. (I mentioned to him that Rome is going in opposite direction. Local RC diocese in my area is now confirming kids at 17/18. About time when seniors in High School.)

    Second, they are going to go through the (slow) process of removing the filioque from their recitation of the N-C Creed. (Finally! As I told him, this is about time given what Anglicans told us EOs back in the 1970s/80s in the Dublin & Moscow ecumenical discussions. Our bishops keep reminding Anglicans, cointinuing and otherwise, of their 40 year-old commitment to doing this.)

    Third, they have authorized the use of The Liturgy of St. Tikhon, our WR liturgy (used by both my AWRV and the RWRV).

    IF accurate and IF actually pans out, seems like some positive developments. Since Rome’s Ordinariates didn’t pan out, maybe a move towards Constantinople may bear fruit in the long run? I pray so. And I’m going to keep my eyes open to see if/when this info is posted officially on any of their official web sites. So like I said, take this as preliminary intelligence. The “reportedly”… 🙂

    • Dale says:

      Thanks Michael! Indeed interesting information.

    • I don’t often participate in the blow-out department, but this seems like encouraging news. Continuing Anglicans need to be seen in cooperation so that is there is to be a move towards Orthodoxy, it should be on a corporate basis (as was the plan with Rome under Archbishop Hepworth).

      This whole space needs to be carefully watched. If for example Antioch is more accommodating, we need to watch for evidence of an opening up outside the USA, especially in the UK and continental Europe. We need something to go on if anything “they” say is to be believed.

      I suspect that most Continuing Anglicans will observe events very carefully, but will not assume the water to be warm until someone has actually dipped a thermometer into it. A Geiger counter might also prove to be a useful piece of equipment too.

      Anyway, we need to keep an open mind and see how it all evolves.

      • Jacob Flounoy says:

        You’re right, a Geiger counter would come in handy, the Russians are as slippery as eels and not to be trusted. I know a priest who had been involved with them several years ago, they are conniving and duplicitous. Kyril and Putin, Sergius and Stalin……..different names but similar personalities. Does anyone remember the Cold War? If the ACA and the APA know what is good for them they will stir clear of the Russians and all the Orthodox.

      • Of course the comment was about the Antiochians, not the Russians. A detail, perhaps. Yes, I’m old enough to remember the Cold War and nightmares about atomic bombs. I’m also Christian enough to believe that things can change. If I believe some of what I read, the West and its financial system is as much of a danger to world peace as any risk of new Russian imperialism. I just don’t know what to believe and keep my head down, praying that God will spare us from World War III!

      • Dale says:

        I am going to second what Jacob has said. The Russians are dreadful in both politics as well as church questions, actually both about the same, and NEVER, NEVER to be trusted. But, the Antiochians are not any different, their treatment of any non-Byzantine tradition is not any different than that of the Russians; their destruction of the western rite movement in both the Philippines and England should not be forgotten.

        If we Anglicans look anyplace regarding Orthodoxy, it should perhaps be towards the Oriental Orthodox, the Byzantines need to simply be forgotten, they are welcome to our former members who are self-loathing and consider our heritage to be “baggage” but that is about all.

      • Michael Frost says:

        No one here should put carts in front of horses. I only pointed out some reported recent developments and then offered an opinion. But there is nothing in anything above that would lead me to want to hold my breath or make any assumption that there is any plan on a move toward Constantinople. I assume that at best even IF they wanted to, it would take a decade or more to make any real such move. IF what was reported is true, I think it is more likely that this CA jurisdiction is just wanting to be more ecumenical and more Orthodox friendly. (If I was a CA, I’d always start my serious ecumenical discussions with the PNCC. That would seem to be the most natural area for better formal relations in USA.)

      • I think you are right. The Orthodox don’t need us, and why should Anglicans expect them to be any more “charitable” than anyone else. They have their own ecclesial life. Who can blame them?

        The PNCC has had enough problems setting up the Nordic Catholic Church and keeping it “contained”. They are committed to a “Novus Ordo” type liturgy and are deeply suspicious of more “traditional” aspirations. I know of no continuing Anglican jurisdictions remotely interested in pursuing that avenue.

        The experience of the TAC, the Portsmouth meeting of October 2007, Anglicanorum Coetibus and the rest will teach us Anglicans to be much more careful about hankering after “recognition” and “respectability”.

        We need to be more aware of our own identity and just be satisfied with what we have. Just keep going…

      • Dale says:

        Fr. Anthony, often not mentioned is that several traditionalist Anglican churches did indeed join with the PNCC in the 1980’s, including the present western rite Orthodox parish, St Mark’s in Denver, Colorado, USA. The experience, and I do have this information from Fr Connely, was not at all pleasant. The PNCC tends to be both liturgically and theologically quite modernist. Although the Anglican Missal had been promised the Polish hierarchy very much expected their Anglican rite parishes to adopt the novus ordo as soon as possible. The whole movement was a failure and all of the Anglican parishes that had associated with the PNCC removed themselves.

  72. Dom Benedict says:

    “If we Anglicans look anyplace regarding Orthodoxy, it should perhaps be towards the Oriental Orthodox”

    Dale, as you know I have extensive experience with the AWRV. Not having a lot of experience with the Non-Chalcedonian Churches, I am intrigued by this comment. Would I be mistaken in my assumption that Western Rite folks would have a bigger problem with the Oriental Orthodox in terms of “post-schism” things? For instance, surely the veneration of St Leo and other Western saints since Chalcedon would be a big no-no, right? What would a non-Chalcedonian Western Rite look like?

    • Dale says:

      Yes and no, perhaps. The local Ethiopian parish, well quite a ways actually from where I now live, I live in a very rural area, has a very large, very Italian, picture of the Sacred Heart above their altar. Western rite parishes that went Oriental Orthodox, in India, retained their western rite, pure in form, in Latin, from 1889 (with the conversion of 20 parishes) until the last parish adopted the Syriac rite in 1985, the issue was that the last parish, still completely western looking, including its old Latin high altar had become culturally Indian over time and wanted to worship in the vernacular. This is a lasting power that no Byzantine western rite can match, at all.

      The group I was with went to the Ethiopians, we kept the two rites of the Antiochians, the Anglican directly from the Antiochian Missal and the Roman in its pure 1570 form with no alterations to the canon and the only changes being the removal of the filioque and communion in two kinds. The Ethiopians have dozens of different canons of the Mass including the Roman…dating from the time of the Portuguese occupation. This union was short-lived because of the death of Archbishop Yesehaq and the incompetence of our own bishop. The Ethiopians had a Latin rite (a formerly African Orthodox community which is an older schism from the Protestant Episcopal Church) functioning in New York from the 1960s to the 1980s. It is now, unfortunately, closed. They also have no problem with using unleavened Hosts. The issues of saints and calendar never really came up to be honest; we simply stuck to early saints and if later saints in the western tradition had masses said on their feast days, it was done simply personally by the priest. The rite, at least in our small group of parishes was completely western; as an example, I always celebrated with Roman Style vestments.

      Recently a very large group of converts to the Syraic Orthodox Church has been received in central America, their orders came from the Brazlian National Catholic Church, they were all received in their orders; this group has been using a very modernistic novus ordo and has decided to adopt the Syraic rite.

      Unlike the Byzantines, the Oriental Orthodox have a multitude of different rites and liturgies and for this reason seem far more open to liturgical diversity, including a western rite. Unfortunately, almost all Anglicans are still fixated upon the Byzantines; but after the fiasco of both the Antiochian and ROCOR western rites, I think that any Anglican who still yearns to cross the rather polluted waters of either the Dnieper or the Bosporus have to be simply too stupid to live and deserve just what they get. it is interesting to note that the very well educated and articulate sub-deacon of St Micheal’s western rite parish in California (now also being heavily Byzantinised) has recently returned to Rome.

      The Copts, on the other hand, mainly because of the influence of Mr folklore himself in England (no need to mention names) has no interest in a western rite and demands rebaptism of everyone.

      • Dom Benedict says:

        Thank you for the detailed answer, Dale. Very interesting!

      • Dale says:

        Also should mention that the Oriental Orthodox cross in the ancient manner of left to right, since Christ sits at the right hand of the father, so that is another non-issue as well. Only the Byzantines and the Nestorians cross from right to left! They also ordain more than one man at an ordination, another Byzantine fixation that seems truly bizarre as well.

      • Jacob Flournoy says:

        ” The Copts, on the other hand, mainly because of the influence of Mr folklore himself in England (no need to mention names)”

        Would you be referring to the “beturbaned” nephew of the former Patriarch of Glastonbury and Catholicos of the West, Hugh George DeWillmott Newman?

      • Dale says:

        Now, now Jacob, let’s try to kinder and gentler, but perhaps you have hit the nail on the head! “[B]eturbaned”; could not have said it better myself! One suspects that for some even Byzantium is simply not exotic enough. I love it when he declares that his group has, are you ready for this, a “British ethos.”

  73. Jacob Flournoy says:

    I hear that +Joseph has been “elected” metropolitan of the Antiochian Archdiocese. This is probably the death knell for the Western Rite Vicariate.

  74. Dale says:

    The end of the western rite within Antioch, already accomplished in Australia, New Zealand, England, the Philippines and Western Europe, will not be done as crudely as by the Russians; the Arabs are a bit more cultivated in their destruction. But, and I have said this before, it will not be a forced change, but no new parishes will be accepted (it has been quite some time since any new western rite parishes have been received anyway, and the last one received as already gone Greek), but it will simply wither on the vine with the clergy as they age and retire being replaced with ones only trained in the Greek tradition. This is exactly what bishop Antoun said many years ago about Incarnation in Detroit (the original one, the present one has nothing to do with the original one at all); when asked about the “scandal” of having a western rite parish his response was “when the grocer dies, we are closing the shop” and that is exactly what happened.

    That there are people who still believe in this whole canard is unbelievable. It is worth noting that Mr Anti-Gnostic is a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese and his Byzantine ethnocentricism is more real than the pretend catholicity of their pathetic western rite “vicariate”; one in which the vicar-general has, since the death of Turner and leaving of Forbes, ALWAYS been a Byzantine rite priest. One should mention that not a single Arab bishop has even bothered to waste his time learning to celebrate the western rite by the way; that is more telling than all the lies about its permanence.

    In then end, the only reason that the western rite even had a small renaissance since the 1970s was that the Arab leadership smelt money to be made off converting Anglican congregations. That movement is more or less over, so the bait and switch is over as well.

    • Jules says:

      I have mentioned on several occassions that phyletism is a heresy, but that’s not the point I am trying to make. I am Orthodox in the Anglo-Catholic tradition, with Orthodox faith and patrimony, and Anglo-Catholic heritage and liturgy. “Western Orthodoxy” is simply an embarrassment to the Orthodox Catholic Church. There’s no other way to put it, but embarrassing.

      The embarrassment comes not from the attempt to create a high church, Anglo-Catholic form of Orthodox Catholicism, but the fact that there is little to no respect for our Anglo-Catholic traditions and practises. Our liturgies have been botched, resembling almost a copy and paste from three different sources with no regards to whether or not the three sources even made sense together. This botched liturgy is thoroughly Byzantinised to the point that “Western Orthodoxy” is not even recognisably Anglo-Catholic.

      Liturgical organicism and liturgical diversity are not sins. Before the Council of Trent, nearly ever diocese and religious society had a unique usage of the Roman Rite. The general Orthodox sentiment that Western liturgy, Western theology, scholasticism, Western sacred music, and Western ideas are inferior to Eastern ones is the heart of the issue. Until that sentiment vanishes, the Orthodox Church will never make any progress when it comes to the Western rite.

      • I try to see this whole thing in simple terms. Most of us who are sacramental Christians (as opposed to Protestants, Unitarians, etc.) are born and raised in one of three traditions: Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism and high-church Anglicanism or Lutheranism.

        For those alienated from Roman Catholicism on account of liturgical traditionalism and / or doctrinal and moral conservatism, there is the possibility of “uniate Tridentine” communities, or the SSPX in canonical rupture. For those alienated from the Anglican Communion for analogical reasons, there are the Continuing Churches or the Ordinariates (in which nobody says anything other than Fr Hunwicke, Deborah Gyapong and the Expatriate blog).

        Roman Catholicism and Anglicanism have more in common than between Roman Catholics / Anglicans / Lutherans on one hand and the Eastern Orthodox on the other. There is too much divergence. Eastern Orthodoxy cannot assimilate a western tradition that is quite badly defined by its own protagonists.

        My advice to anyone is not to “convert” out of his own tradition, unless he is willing to relinquish it completely and assimilate the traditions of the church to which he is going completely and without reserve. Same thing for an Anglican or Lutheran becoming Roman Catholic. Stay in the Church of your origins and accept the status quo, or go to one of the traditionalist or continuing Anglican communities corresponding with your native tradition.

        As far as I see it, there is no hope with Orthodoxy, unless you go like someone with no previous religious tradition or “baggage”, slowly becoming a member of your parish and becoming a part of it, then being admitted to the Sacraments through formal reception by the priest or Baptism.

        The alternative is to do away with religion, seek your way in other religious tradition or reinterpret Christianity as a simple philosophy of life you can live on your own without need of any church. That’s my tuppence worth.

      • Jules says:

        Interesting points. I am Orthodox, theologically and in many ways spiritually. I am not Eastern in terms of liturgy in any way, shape or form. I have been a Lutheran, I have been an Anglo-Catholic, I have been an Anglo-Papalist, I have never been an Eastern Orthodox Christian, and I don’t want to be one. I want to be an Anglo-Catholic in communion with the East. In many ways, I don’t know what to do. Should I remain in what I believe is the Catholic Church and pray for the best? Or should I return to the religion of my Christian childhood (I speak metaphorically), Anglo-Catholicism.

        I have wistful memories of the autonomy that Continuing Anglicanism and high church bodies have. Quite careless, quite freeing. But at the same time, I am an Orthodox Christian at heart. I breath Eastern theology, yet I also breath Western liturgy and practises. Mon Dieu, aidez-moi! I know not what to do. Any suggestion would help, Father.

      • I think you should relax and take up something like sailing, cycling or hiking and get out into nature. Spend time alone with some books and think it all out, as yourself. You might find square pegs and round holes everywhere. I belong to the Anglican Catholic Church. Most of our dioceses and parishes are more Tridentine or Prayer Book than I am. I am more for a “Sarum” approach with medieval theology, spirituality and aesthetics – or perhaps in my case, a Romantic version of this view. My Bishop is very good with me about these things, knowing that I conform to diocesan usages when serving the faithful. You need to be where you can find openness and tolerance, a community in which some difference is tolerated and accepted (as long as you tolerate others).

        Perhaps there are more tolerant and open Orthodox Churches than others. You can have an eastern outlook in a Continuing Anglican church. I am very fond of Berdyaev (who was very unorthodox to Russian Orthodox standards). Be yourself. Be critical. Be calm and patient and do what you think is best – not what someone else says you must do.

      • Jules says:

        “Or should I return to the religion of my Christian childhood (I speak metaphorically), Anglo-Catholicism,” should read “Or should I return to the religion of my Christian childhood (I speak metaphorically), Anglo-Catholicism?”

        Okay, now that I took care of my pedantic editing disorder, my comment. I think that often times I worry about being the round peg in a square hole. I romanticise the Oxford Movement, the Victorian era, the days gone by. I am a child of the Enlightenment’s Western world. I acknowledge and accept that.

        I think that I am becoming more of a conciliar and confessional Anglo-Catholic. I am beginning to accept the fact that Christianity is a multilayered religion, coloured with elusiveness, innuendo, and of course, romanticism. The richness of our faith cannot be confined withing a communion or a single confession. One of the things I have been plagued by is single vision. There is a singular truth, that is the orthodox Christian faith as received from the Apostles, but each Christian tradition offers a certain beauty to the masterpiece that is the faith. In the words of Paul Evdokimov, “Each church, in its more pronounced form, displays, according to its own native spirit, a particular version of the unique revelation. So, for example, Roman Christianity is characterized by filial love and obedience expressed towards the fatherly authority hypostatized in the first Person of the Trinity: the Church is there to teach and to obey. For the Reformed Churches the vital thing is sacramental reverence for the Word; it is the Church’s duty to listen and reform itself. The Orthodox treasure the liberty of the children of God that flowers in liturgical communion, while the Church hymns the love of God for the human race.” Treasured in Anglo-Catholicism is the majesty and beauteousness of God within our world.

        I think I will read Jan Hus and perhaps some Augustine or Saint Gregory the Theologian. Thank you for your advice. I suppose I should end my rambling with a quote. “Beauty is truth, truth beauty.” Keats understood that best.

    • Dale Crakes says:

      Dale Crakes here. I was intrigued by your comment “It is worth noting that Mr Anti-Gnostic is a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese and his Byzantine ethnocentricism is more real than the pretend catholicity of their pathetic western rite “vicariate”;s”. Could you please identify “Mr Anti-Gnostic”? I enjoy this Blow Out Dept.

  75. Jacob Flournoy says:

    I am inclined to agree with you, I visited a “western” rite parish in Lynchburg, Virginia. Not only was it one of the ugliest missions I have ever seen, the liturgy was a hotchpotch of this and that, it was neither fish nor fowl. They had installed a so-called “rood”, painted electric blue, it was utterly hideous. The look and feel of the place was one of makeshift experimentation. The people seemed to lack a sense of identity and culture, the whole thing was in exceedingly poor taste. It is probably just as well that the Western Rite cease to exist, too many Anglicans and Romans have already been led astray with all the false promises.

    • Dale says:

      You are the second Anglican priest whom I personally know who has visited this “western” rite mission in Lynchburg, and both of your responses was exactly the same. Contrary to what some have said on this page, the western tradition in Antioch, at least as represented in Lynchburg is highly eclectic and very Byzantinized; why even bother?

  76. Michael Frost says:

    I sometimes think we confuse ourselves in regard to perspectives. For many here it seems like they are on the outside of a faith group looking in on another or on the inside of a faith group looking out at another. So these people tend to see flaw and pitfall, to wonder if the grass is greener or if they are seeing things thru a glass obscured. I wouldn’t recommend anyone give any serious thought to changing their faith group affiliation without both serious study and spending no less than at least a year (or whatever is that group’s complete liturgical cycle) seriously worshipping with them. Let the buyer beware! Do this, any you may minimize any buyer’s remorse?

    But having worshipped for 15 years at a surviving AWRV parish there is another perspective: being on the inside of a faith group and looking around within it. For those of us in this position, I think the key is to stay positive and to work hard to maintain the legitimate traditions of your group, doing your best to resist outside interference or pressure to modify, as well as doing your best to recover or rediscover the best of your tradition that may now be attenuated or even mostly lost. It isn’t easy. It takes time. It is hard work. And only you can do it. Day in and day out, year after year.

    So for those faithful in our WRVs, we should be working with your fellow parishioners and priests to protect what we have, to promote it to others, and to show why it is good, beautiful, and truthful to all. We should seek out and talk with our bishops and explain to them who we are and why we can, should, and must remain that, without being Byzantinized.

    As asides… For those in the Ordinariates, I’d encourage them to work within the system to advance and recover the more traditional liturgical forms of Anglicanism. Since they are dealing with Rome, it may take time, but it will only happen if they work together over the long haul. To avoide being Tridentized!

    For those with CAism, I’d encourage them to “define” who they are, to stick to that definition, and to work to be most fully whole in who they are. So, for example, if they really wanted to be extremely high Anglo-Catholic, maybe that means using the 1549 BCP? And if they really want to be more traditional low church, then fully conform to the 1928 BCP, to the letter and to the rubrics! To avoid being mushy “we’ve created our own form of American Missal worship by bulletin insert-ized”.

    I’d even think that for those in the PNCC, that they’d be working to fight creeping Novus Ordoism. To return to their traditional liturgical roots. Including hymns and vestments. To promote who they were and be the best of that. And to avoid being modern Roman Catholicized!

    For those in the Old Catholic Churches, to fight the apostasy. To return from error. To go back to where you were. To avoid being modern Episcopalianized.

    And to those few High Church Lutherans or Methodists, God help you. There is strength in numbers. So band together, create viable local churches. Let the world know you haven’t been swalloed up into the modern forms or plain just eliminated. To not apostasize from your historical confessional roots.

    • Jules says:

      Classicism, traditionalism, and resisting by the power of the Holy Ghost doctrinal innovation, liberalism, and post-modernism is our duty as orthodox Christians. These are troubling times. What we have sown in the wind we reap now in the whirlwind. We must hold fast to our traditions and rebuke heterodoxy. We see now the separation of the wheat from the chaff, and we must make sure that we are not in the pile that is to be burned.

    • Dale says:

      I dunno Michael, are you not one of those dreadful misguided, according to one of your co-religionist, “older, white hobbyists” who then further explained that the only choice really open to you in Byzantium is to “go to the back of the line with the Byzantine forms like everybody else, and see what develops in a couple of centuries”? Before attacking me, remember I did not say this, one of your own did.

      • Errare humanum est… – I think someone has a right to be keen in the early days and not have to hump the baggage for the rest of his life. I was reading the “go to the back of the queue” party line from Ordinariate apologists in 2010-2012, which really seems to mean “We don’t want you but your money would do very nicely. Up-front payments are welcome, and we’ll consider your great grandchildren”. Yeah….

        The lesson from this is no institutional Church can claim to be the “one true church”. Byzantine Churches are for Byzantines, the Roman Catholic Church is for people who have accepted the Novus Ordo (or the Summorum Pontificium and SSPX groups) and the Anglican Communion is for its faithful who accept the ordination of women, same-sex marriage and modern liturgy. In the end of the day, the only option for alienated Anglicans is the Continuum. Those who wanted the Ordinariate option, even at the price of their vocations, took that route and accepted its terms. Other than that, see my comment from yesterday.

        I think it is time for forgiveness. We are all discredited for our past certitude about something, and now we have to practice humility. Redemption and the re-finding of innocence are always possible in Christ.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Too funny. Old, white, hobbyist. I think I saw that in this week’s issue of The Economist (London) in a story about nudists in USA: “Nudists tend to be older, richer, and whiter (OK, pinker) than the national average.”

        And have I ever attacked you? We may sometimes disagree, but I’d like to think we always keep it civil and theological. (If anyone gives me a really hard time here it is probably Fr. Anthony? Though I still keep coming back for more.)

        Will be interesting to see what happens with the AWRV in light of the new Metropolitan. I’d like to think he’ll have his eyes opened favorably by us and realize that following in Philip’s holy footsteps (memory eternal!) in this and other issues will serve him well.

      • How do I give you a hard time, Michael? 🙂

      • “Whiter” may refer to the colour of their hair. I’m not a nudist but my hair is nearly white! 🙂

      • Michael Frost says:

        Fr. Anthony, When interacting directly with the person in charge of his own blog, I like to remind myself what a famous French monarch reportedly once said: The State, it is me. (Of course, it sounds so much better in the French.)

        Though if you know anything about the American pop culture icon Mad Magazine, maybe I should be more Alfred E. Neuman? What me, worry? 🙂

      • L’Etat c’est moi – King Louis XIV
        La Tradizione son’io – Pope Pius IX
        Le Peuple c’est moi – Peppone, Communist Mayor of Brescello in a Don Camillo film
        – probably many other variations on the theme…

      • Michael Frost says:

        Yes, as someone else pointed out, it is good to be king! Though now I’ve got that famous saying in my head. Something about, Isn’t Paris worth a few masses?

        All this talk of kings and their power has me a bit morose. Sometimes the great men of one era can’t quite maintain their greatness when times change. Am finishing Keith Kyle’s magnum opus, Suez: Britain’s End of Empire in the Middle East (1991/2003/2011). Now in middle of December 1956. PM Anthony Eden just back from his suddenly needed convalescence in Jamaica at Ian Fleming’s getaway. Fit and tan. Getting off the airplane in London. And about ready to be defenestrated! Oh the mischief England and France are capable when they work together! 🙂

      • Paris vaut bien une messe – Henri IV de France. Defenestration and Ian Fleming – it makes me think of the scene when Goldfinger gets sucked out of a plane window after having fired a bullet through it. Charming!

      • Dale says:

        Hello Michael, no you have never attacked me, ever. Actually, you have never made a single ad hominem, that I am aware of, against anyone on this blog. Now, some of your coreligionists have not been so kind.

        I think that we both support(ed) the concept of a western rite Orthodoxy as almost a natural home for Anglo-Catholics, and this is where we perhaps disagree, you think that it is viable, I do not.

        My thinking has nothing to do with perceived defects within the western tradition, but the overwhelming reality of Byzantine bigotry, hatred and phyletism, which makes all of the heresies of the west pale in comparison. Most western heresies are heresies of the intellect, which can be cured, sometimes, whilst phyletism is a heresy of the heart…almost always permanent. My rejection of Byzantine Orthodoxy is not based upon a cultural dislike, I very much like the Byzantine tradition, but her heresies, which I find, personally, far more offensive than those of Rome. I find it impossible to believe that THE ONE TRUE CHURCH can be one that exists confined to a single ethno-cultural expression (and yes, I do know that Russian, Greek and Serbian cassocks are slightly dissimilar, but that does not really impress me as a protestation of catholicity).

      • Jules says:

        It is important to keep in mind that the Orthodox Church varies, at times significantly, wherever you go. Orthodoxy has always shared in local cultures, adopting or adapting traditions it found to be compatible with the Christian life, such as the Yule log. The Liturgy has been translated into every language the Orthodox Catholic Church has encountered. I will concede that Orthodoxy is incredibly Eastern in nature, but the Church of Rome is incredibly Western in its nature, excluding the Uniate Churches.

  77. Jules says:

    Question: Are “Western rite” parishes actually growing, or are they in decline. More so, are they actually sustainable?

    • Michael Frost says:

      Jules, Here in USA there are two Western Rite Vicariates: one Antiochian, the other ROCOR. The former is older, more established. The latter is newer, tried to grow very quickly starting around 2010 and then had “serious institutional issues” in 2013. (My euphemism.)

      Depends on each parish. Take Omaha, Nebraska. The Antiochians have had a parish with its own church building, running there since about 1989. Still going strong. ROCOR established one last year, lost it, then regained it, though they don’t own their own building. I believe they may be somewhat similar in size, though the ROCOR parish may be a bit larger and from their own reports growing. But in Des Moines, Iowa, the ROCOR parish established in 2010 (which uses an odd Gallican liturgy and worships on Saturdays in an ECUSA church) appears to be treading water, with few members and little growth.

      The long-established CA parish in Des Moines, which has its own building and was established around 1979, is still going. But their numbers are small (around 25) and the parish had been aging. Yet they recently confirmed 5 new members and welcomed a large Francophone family from the Congo. Luckily one parishoner is from Quebec. 🙂

      Only time will tell in the long run. All we can do is pray and work hard to keep these parishes going!

    • Dale says:

      Jules, I would posit that they are not sustainable, at all. Here is one example of an Antiochian western rite parish (http://www.ststephenchurch.net/), please let me know if you can find anything at all western about it . I used to keep a list of formerly western rite parishes, it is a very, very long list. As I have mentioned before, not too long ago ALL of the Antiochian parishes in South Carolina, USA, were western rite, now they are all byzantine.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale & Jules, For an interesting person perspective about first converting from the ECUSA to Antiochian Archdiocese and then going from a Western Rite mission to an Eastern Rite one, see Frederica Mathewes-Green, the well-know Orthodox priest’s wife and author/commentator. and her book, Facing East: A Pilgrim’s Journey into the Mysteries of Orthodoxy.

        See part V, August 20: Orthodox in Charleston, From Western Rite to Eastern Rite, pgs. 125-129 (HarperSF, 2006 pbk ed). Discusses their visit to a then-WR mission, St. John Maximovich, in North Charleston, South Carolina. After a year of being WR, they were then in process of becoming ER. She describes it as being done voluntarily and freely. Same ends up happening with their Holy Cross Mission in Catonsville, Maryland. [Her husband Gary had been an ECUSA priest for 15 years before they converted in 1993. Both were sickened by liberalizing trends they couldn’t win, defeat or undo at their legislative body (Houses of Laity, Priests, Bishops).]

        Certainly from my perspective quite sad! But if purely voluntary then it is up to the priest and congregation of that specific parish. I just know that if I’d been in either, I’d have fought like hell to stay WR! It is a never ending struggle. But one that can and is won by parishes. See St. Mark’s in Denver, Colorado. Or St. Vincent of Lerins in Omaha, Nebraska.

      • Dale says:

        Michael, usually such a move was not at all voluntary, most certainly not in the case of several of the parishes in England who were told to adopt the Greek liturgy or leave. In the case of both Los Altos as well as St Stephen’s in New Jersey the end result was that the original converting laity were robbed of their property and had to start all over again within the continuing movement. The same was the case in South Carolina. Also, the parish of St Alban’s in Flemington, NJ, was forced to adopt the eastern rite and the people, all of them, left. The same for St Philip’s in Perkiomenville, Pa, a Lutheran congregation, the people left and the priest, the only one who wanted to be eastern, was forced to then collect a bunch of ethnics, none of the original converting Lutherans remained.

        Normally, when this song-and-dance is done about a voluntary move to the eastern rite, it is not the laity who wished to adopt foreign,exotic rites, but the priest; who was only using his people as a cheap way to get ordained in the first place.

      • Dale says:

        Also, Michael, all of these parishes, formerly western rite, are under Bishop Antoun, his dislike, hatred actually, of the western tradition is well known. Do you honestly believe he had NOTHING to do with this “voluntary” adoption of the Greek tradition? Frederica Mathewes-Green and her husband’s hatred of the western tradition is well known as well, do you really think they ever really intended to preserve the western tradition in Holy Byzantium? They used well-meaning members of their former Episcopal parish to get an easy ordination, and then immediately went Byzantine, deserting any of their former members who refused to go along with them; with the full support of the archdiocese by the way.

      • Jacob Flournoy says:

        Thanks for including the link to St. Stephen’s Church, it proves our point. As I have said to Anglicans considering WRO, it is a bait and switch tactic, plain and simple. The Byzantines consider all western liturgies inferior, including the Liturgy of St. Gregory, despite its antiquity. They are certain that at some point we will be enlightened and seeing the “error” of our ways we will willingly convert to the Chrysostomian Liturgy.

      • Was this a western rite parish that switched to byzantine? Here it is listed as eastern rite: http://www.antiochian.org/parishes/info/86

  78. Jules says:

    Some may find it interesting to note that I am currently undertaking a project to convert the Warren Missal 1911 into a printable, editable Word document, augmented, however, with material from the Non-Juror liturgy and the first two Prayer Books in the case of the Ordinary of the Mass. It is part of a personal project to create a sensible, poetic liturgy that it truly Western in origin, but at the same time, in perfect line with Orthodox theology. I expect the first portion to be completed by May or June of 2015. If anyone is interested, I could compile a version with a strictly Sarum Ordinary in addition to the more eclectic ordinary.

    • I started doing that but didn’t have time.

      Here’s the Lectionary – http://civitas-dei.eu/sarum_lectionary.doc – check for errors as you go.

      • Jules says:

        Ah, this is incredibly useful. Thank you.

      • This page also contains links to vols. 1 and 2 of the Warren Missal – http://archive.org/search.php?query=sarum%20warren.

        You can find these two volumes in different formats. Try the text format, or run the pdf version through a good up-to-date OCR programme – and use a good computer. You might get better results. Copy in the stuff from the lectionary, checking it, and then copy it into the DTP programme of your choice (MS Publisher for example).

        I advise using classical fonts like Book Antiqua, avoiding gothic lettering. Use italics for the rubrics unless you want to spend money on red and black printing. Give it a sober look.

        Also, no need to reinvent the wheel. See http://www.sarum-chant.ca/mass Dr Renwicke is working on Latin and English versions, but he might not be using the Warren translation (which I think is the best and the closest to the Prayer Book style).

        Good luck with the work…

      • Jules says:

        Ah, Father, I am one step ahead of you. 🙂 Italics for the rubrics, a sober font, and I already have found the 1911 Warren translation.

        Great minds think alike. 😀

      • Dale says:

        Jules, not too long ago I had one of the younger fellows in our computer department download all of the Gothic style illustrations from a 1911 edition of the Missale Romanum, I would be happy to send you copies; they are quite wonderful.

        Also, as Fr Anthony has already mentioned the music has also already been done as well.

    • Jules says:

      That would be fantastic. My only real issue at the moment is Plainsong of the Mass, and it seems that it has been solved. I would love those images, thank you. 🙂

      • Jules says:

        Do any of you know of a program that can be used for plainchant notation?

      • Dale says:

        Hi again Jules, yes if you would relay your email through Fr Anthony, I shall be more than happy to send to you the illustrations that I had downloaded.

        As to music, it might be possible to make copies from an older edition of the Anglican or English missal and download them into the work you are doing. The Pearson edition of the Sarum Missal, of which I have a copy, does indeed have the Preface music in Gregorian notation.

        Now here is one problem that I personally have with the Sarum Preface tones, they do not have the solemn form, only the ferial, which, now this is just me, I find rather boring. Perhaps you might consider, as exists in missals of the Roman and Anglican rite, placing both Roman solemn form and the Sarum form in the same missal since most of us have been trained to do both solemn as well as ferial, but more generally the solemn. When Fr Angwin put together a missal for use in the Antiochian western rite vicariate he only used the solemn form except for the funereal mass simply because it is the best known and widely used.

        As far as questions of the rite itself, I would recommend that you send all questions to Fr. Anthony since he does not only know this rite, but celebrates it.

      • Jules says:

        Ah, yes, that is a problem. I have a copy of Sarum hymn tunes and the plainsong tunes for each sequence. I have a copy of the Peason edition of the Sarum Missal, as well as one of the Anglican Missal. I do not have a copy of the English Missal, though. The plainsong, I presume, would be placed in a Kyriale following the Propers. The Kyriale will likely be the last part of the Missal that I undertake because of the amount of work that it will require.

        I am working at the moment on beautifying the text that I already have, as well as proofreading and editing the text that I have already transcribed. I have made the page larger, and am in the process of creating a Kalender.

    • Jacob Flournoy says:

      I am working on a similar project, here are two Non-Juror Liturgies which may interest you. The first is dated 1718, my personal favorite, the second is from Deacon’s Devotions dated 1734. The 1718 edition has a beautiful Prayer of Oblation:

      Let us pray.

      Then the Priest shall turn to the Altar, and standing humbly before it, he shall say the Collect following.

      O ALMIGHTY God, who has created us, and placed us in this ministry by the power of thy Holy Spirit; may it please thee, O Lord, as we are ministers of the New Testament, and dispensers of thy holy mysteries, to receive us who are approaching thy Holy Altar, according to the multitude of thy mercies, that we may be worthy to offer unto thee this reasonable and unbloody Sacrifice for our Sins and the Sins of the People. Receive it, O God, as a sweet smelling savour, and send down the grace of thy Holy Spirit upon us. And as thou didst accept this worship and service from thy Holy Apostles: so of thy goodness, O Lord, vouchsafe to receive these Offerings from the hands of us sinners, that being made worthy to minister at thy Holy Altar without blame, we may have the reward of good and faithful servants at that great and terrible day of account and just retribution; through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.

      Here is the anamnesis and epiklesis:

      Then shall the Priest say,

      WHEREFORE, having in remembrance his Passion, Death, and Resurrection from the dead; his Ascension into heaven, and second coming with glory and great power to judge the quick and the dead, and to render to every man according to his works; we Offer to thee, our King and our God, according to his holy Institution, this Bread and this Cup; giving thanks to thee through him, that thou hast vouchsafed us the honour to stand before thee, and to Sacrifice unto thee. And we beseech thee to look favourably on these thy Gifts, which are here set before thee, O thou self-sufficient God: And do thou Accept them to the honour of thy Christ; and send down thine Holy Spirit, the witness of the passion of our Lord Jesus, upon this Sacrifice, that he may make this Bread the Body of thy Christ, and this Cup the Blood of thy Christ; that they who are partakers thereof, may be confirmed in godliness, may obtain remission of their sins, may be delivered from the Devil and his snares, may be replenished with the Holy Ghost, may be made worthy of thy Christ, and may obtain everlasting life, Thou, O Lord Almighty, being reconciled unto them through the merits and mediation of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ; who, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth ever one God, world without end. Amen.


      • Jules says:

        That is just the one I am working with. It seems that we all know of the same sources. 😀 I added two bidding prayers and intend to use the Canon of the Mass augmented with some Sarum material in my Missal. There will be a formal blessing at the end, as well as several variations depending on the liturgical season.

      • Dale Crakes says:

        Maybe I’m being overly sensitive but “reasonable” in “this reasonable and unbloody Sacrifice” seems strange when the Sacraments in general and Consecration in Mass are often referred to as “Holy Mysteries”

      • I wrote about analogy the other day, but I have to admit that this one beats me. It seems to be based on “And here we offer and present unto thee, 0 Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy and lively sacrifice unto thee : humbly beseeching …” from the Prayer Book eucharistic prayer and Romans 12,1: “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

        seems to relate to the noun reason and the verb to reason. It also implies the idea of moderation, avoiding extremes and excesses. It seems to be one of those examples of religious language being total gobbledegook and something that relies on people or religious sentiment swooning out and accepting anything said to them – another most cogent criticism by atheists against Christianity and most other religions.

  79. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale could you please identify Mr Anti-Gnostic? “It is worth noting that Mr Anti-Gnostic is a member of the Antiochian Archdiocese and his Byzantine ethnocentricism is more real than the pretend catholicity of their pathetic western rite “vicariate”;

    • Dale says:

      This is what this man has said on this blog:

      “My comment was not meant to be disparaging in any way. Rather, my comment was directed to the fact that you have expended more effort than most in seeking an orthodox Church of English national and cultural expression. I think every nation should get its own Church. I have said though that I think there has been too much water under the bridge to try and construct a pre-Schism Rite and reclaim it for Orthodoxy. So – we go to the back of the line with the Byzantine forms like everybody else, and see what develops in a couple of centuries.

      The problem is that the State has abolished nations, so increasingly there’s no nation of which a Church can be a national and cultural expression. What is sometimes called “High Church” is becoming just a redoubt for older, white hobbyists. There are young families, but our retention rates are not good. Nobody seems to know what to do about it other than double down on “evangelism” or “outreach.”


      Here is his blog page: http://anti-gnostic.blogspot.com/

      (he has been spewing fairly nasty, and racial charged, anti-western rite propaganda for quite sometime; he does belong to your archdiocese, but then again, his hatred for the western rite pales in comparison to what was written in a book approved by the archdiocese, “These Things We Believe,” by deacon Fr. Deacon Ezra Ham [a Byzantine rite Evangelical], who condemns all non-Byzantine liturgies, including the western rite in your denomination as “man-made”; it would appear that the Byzantine liturgy, much like Holy Scripture, came directly, complete, from the heavenly sphere):

      Here is a selection from his book (sold by the archdiocese by the way):

      “Western Christianity, in all its expressions (whether Catholic, Protestant or so-called Western Orthodox) shares the same ontological and dualistic ecclesiology. Following Plato’s dualism, Western Christianity speaks of a God outside the box and creates a church inside the box. For the West, the Kingdom of God exists in heaven, but it is men who create the Kingdom of God on earth. Western worship, regardless of whether it is Catholic, Protestant or Western Orthodox so-called, is man-made.”

      Of course, anyone with any iota of theological or philosophical training will recognize this for the trash that it is, but was and still is approved by the Antiochian archdiocese…support for the western rite? I think not.

      • Jules says:

        Say that again? The book is sold by the Antiochian Archdiocese? Dear me, I have been losing quite a lot of patience for the East this week.

    • I have put “Anti-Gnostic” on moderation as he sent two comments today with a very obnoxious tone. If people want to come here for a crap “there are facilities the other side of the quadrangle where they can all go and do it together”…

      • Dale says:

        Yes, it seems terribly strange to me that both the Romans and the Byzantines seem to get so nasty, and often racial, when they come across Anglicans who are simply not interested in submitting to their sects.

        Having said the above, I must also state that my own interactions with especially Roman Catholic clergymen (both the cantor as well as the best-man at my wedding were Roman Catholic priests) has always been very open and enriching. Theologically most Roman Catholic priests that I know personally are very astute and well trained and open to admitting that things did go wrong in the 19th century; liturgics on the other hand is another issue altogether. As for Byzantines, especially their very special Protestant converts, well what can one say? Bigotry and nastiness with a long beard does not make it any more palatable.

  80. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale could you also further identify “Dean Hallam, who is very close to the present Patriarch has declared that the western liturgies approved in Antioch are “theologically defective.”

    • Dale says:

      He is the dean of the British Antiochian deanery in England. Here is what he has to say about your use of a defective liturgy in the so-called Antiochian western rite vicariate:

      “These are the reasons we don’t use the western rite(s) …

      (1) They are nothing more than the old American Prayer Book and a pre-Trent rescension of the Roman rite. Both are archaic, theologically deficient and poorly supported by seasonal mnaterial.
      (2) The unchurched in the UK are neither put off by nor attracted to ANY particular rite … provided it’s Orthodox in ethos. Those yearning for Sarum Redressed are a very limited constituency of existing Christians … not those who have not yet heard the gospel.
      (3) There is nothing alien about the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom in the vernacular. If it’s good enough for South Africans, the Innuit and the Japanese it arguably travels well and is good enough for us as well.
      (4) Redressing old western rites is an archeological exercise … it does not connect with a living rite right now.

      Sorry, but I can’t agree.” (http://antiochabouna.blogspot.com/2007/06/orthodoxy-lost-and-found.html)

      Read the letter section to his rather offensive article on Wales. This man was appointed dean by your present Patriarch, his hatred for the western rite is well known, and he was also, along with Harper, instrumental in closing all western rite parishes in England. His response to any interest, in England for a western rite, is simply…”The western rite is not on the table.” And this is what passes for support for a western rite in your denomination?

      • Dale says:

        Dale, I would be very interested in your opinions on these people in your own church; once again, I do not have to invent this stuff at all.

  81. Dale Crakes says:

    Dale as far as Hallam is concerned I think you and I have had this conversation before. at the old Opus Publicum. I checked with the US Antiochian priest who did the initial WR work in GB and he categorically assured me that Hallem was not appointed by our current Patriarch when he was Metro of W Europe but rather by his predecessor, now deceased. Hallem does sound like a bigoted idiot to me, at least on this topic. As far as Mr Agnostic,I looked at his blog and it is a prime example of what many have long thought. In the land of the internet every village idiot gets to be GLOBAL. I was going to ask you about Opus Publicum’s change so I went to it. You and Diane and Bernard Brandt were there commenting on Seven Years. Wasn’t able to rapidly figure out what is was all about. Is Bernard Brandt Mr Agnostic? Correct me if I’m wrong but aren’t you and the owner of Opus Publicum RCs.now. I was at Incarnation in the late 90’s also knew Fr David Lynch who originated at the parish in the 50’s. I’ve always treasured, not to strong a term, your long ago comment about your seminary days in Paris and Vladimir Lossky’s son’s (a priest) comment about his father and the ECOF in its post WWII variant.

    • Dale says:

      Hi Dale, no you are confusing Hallam with Harper. Harper, the original dean, a former low-church Anglican who despised Anglo-Catholics, was appointed by the present patriarch’s predecessor. Hallam was appointed by the present Patriarch when he was Metropolitan of western Europe. All of these individuals were and are bitterly opposed to the western rite. The present Patriarch John, when Metropolitan of western Europe, was simply dismissive of anyone who approached him about using a western rite. The future, in Antioch looks no brighter on the western rite front than in ROCOR. And the present Metropolitan Joseph’s dislike of the western rite is public record as well.

      • Dale says:

        Oh, and yes, we did go over this once before as well.

        No, I am not now, nor have I ever been a Roman Catholic; and although I am indeed anti-Byzantine, I have no such animus towards Roman Catholicism; at least their concept of being the true church has a certain historical reality, not to mention that their Church does indeed transcend culture and ethnicity; something that Byzantium is unable to do; giving a lie to their protestations to be the one true church.

    • Dale says:

      Should mention that Hallam is a bigoted idiot on most issues, and behaves accordingly. The CofE was lucky to have gotten ride of him.

  82. Dale says:

    Dale, here is the information on who appointed him dean: “When Archpriest Michael reposed our Bishop, Metropolitan John, appointed me as Dean in his place and I was elevated in turn to the office of archpriest on my birthday, 19 June 2010” (http://www.antiochian.org/node/24408).

    Whomever you have gotten your information from must be confusing him with Harper.

    • Dale Crakes says:

      Well my experience in Orthodoxy has been that Protestants, to include Low/Broad Church Anglicans who convert to Orthodoxy are vehement, vitriolic, and venomous in their dislike of the WR. They hated RC’s before their conversion and now they get to have all the fancy duds and incense and STILL hate RCs. By gummy it doesn’t get much better than this.

      • Dale says:

        Yes Dale, that has been my experience as well, but the real problem is that it is just that sort of converts whom the ethnic Byzantines love, and the only ones they give any power to. it is indeed strange but all the problems in Antioch have been with the nutter evangelicals of the Byzantine rite, but this is never mentioned, and virtually no problems with their rather pathetic western rite people, but you would never know that from the propaganda.

        In the end, if Anglicans or Romans love the old traditions and our own heritage, Byzantium is not the place to be; but it is indeed perfect hunting grounds for self-loathing, “my culture is nothing but ‘baggage’ crowd.”

        By the way, please do correct your friend who is blaming Hallam on the wrong person…it is indeed the present Patriarch, and one can see what he must really think of the western rite by such an appointment, and now Joseph. The end is indeed near.

      • Jules says:

        Warning, I am about to ramble on for several minutes about the plight of those of us who have embraced Orthodoxy and are having second thoughts. Read on at your own peril.

        I have mentioned that I became an Orthodox Christian after converting from Anglo-Catholicism/Anglo-Papalism. I converted, or moreso transitioned, to Anglo-Catholicism from confessional Lutheranism. I suppose that my “baggage” would be that of Western Christianity for all of my Christian life thus far. I am still quite early in my life, a teenager. My own Christian journey reads as a narrative. My early childhood interest was Orthodox Judaism after meeting an Orthodox rabbi at the age of five (yes, I was quite a precocious child with very peculiar interests). I asked my parents to buy all sorts of books about the religion, the theology, and the customs, and for ages intended to convert. Later own, some tragic things occurred in my life, and I began to slip to an agnosticism of a sort. I have quite a passion for classical music and opera, and Bach’s cantatas encouraged me to look into the Reformation and eventually, the Augsburg Confession. I began confessing the Lutheran faith. Yet, this was not permanent. Lutheranism taught me to love the Scriptures and to rely fully on the grace of God, just as Orthodox Judaism taught me to love the law of the Lord and to see God as my Father and my King, to quote a Jewish prayer. I have always been an Anglophile, and my interest in English culture eventually led to a fascination with the Anglican Church and the richness she offered to me. The anthems, carols, and hymns that I heard, as well as the writings of Cardinal Newman, Father Chadwick (no, I am not joking), and C.S. Lewis called me to Anglo-Catholicism, the religion that is beloved in my heart. And I was perfectly content to stay where I was, permanently. I met some Byzantine friends around the time that I transitioned to Anglo-Catholicism. For quite some time I resisted the arguments they made for the East, stating that the Occident was nourishing me just fine. Almost a year and a half ago, I finally gave in, after three years of solidly being Anglo-Catholic. Though I confess Orthodoxy I am not a formal convert, since I have not been chrismated due to several family objections.

        I have the faith of Constantinople, the faith of the Apostles, but not her liturgy. I am a Western Christian in spirit and perhaps even in truth. I am often times nostalgic for the Anglo-Catholicism which nourished me in some of the most difficult times in my life thus far. Orthodoxy has changed my theology and my worldview to one that is much more of mystery and complexity. I thank her for that, but I often wonder if Orthodoxy is good for my spiritual health at the moment. Western Christianity is one of many parts of my identity. Without a true presence of it in my life, I feel somewhat incomplete. I am not a child of the Orient, but one of the West and the Enlightenment.

        I seek the face of God in this season. I don’t know what exactly to do. What Father Chadwick has said is correct—be careful not to convert out of your tradition. I have taken up walking and cycling, to spend more time in nature, for that is where God seems to speak the most to me. In a way what you have said, Dale, is true. The East procures many times—for those of us who are Europhiles—self-loathing.

        Christianity is not by nature a strict confessional religion. It is one of freedom, diversity, and liberty. There is a certain organic unity that our faith has, one that large confessional churches seem to conflict with. That is not to say that confessionalism has not its benefits, but there is something about it that can seem to crush creativity and the sheer joy that religion should bring.

        I suppose then that it leaves me, and other Orthodox Christians in a peculiar position. If you managed to make it to the end of my musings (eloquent rambling), I congradulate you for your patience.

      • Dale says:

        Hi Jules, yes, read it all the way through! I am shocked at your young age, I suspected, originally, that you were a fellow old fart like myself.

        My only advice is that if you are serious about our shared Anglo-Catholic Faith and Tradition, the only place that it is possible to be so is within Continuing Anglicanism; yes, it is often fragmented, it is indeed small, but it is our own…

  83. Jacob Flournoy says:

    How would you respond to those Romans and Byzantines who doubt the validity of Anglican orders and the supposed deficiencies in the ordinal and communion office of the BCP, not to mention the Parker legend? They use these arguments to dissuade us from “continuing”.

    • Dale says:

      Well, look at it this way, many, many Byzantines reject Roman Catholic orders as valid as well, even to point, especially in ROCOR of re-baptising Catholics who join them! of course Byzantine rejection of orders is often not so much theological as it is ethnic; at the present time the Moscow Patriarchate rejects the validity of the baptisms of the Ukrainian Orthodox and re-baptises them; although, and this is where it gets truly strange, they seem to accept, for the time being, the validity of the baptisms of the Ukrainian Greek Catholics; none of it makes too much sense. Hey, they are Byzantines, why should it?

      So, if the Roman Catholics can live without the Byzantines accepting their orders, I can live with both Rome and Byzantium not accepting Anglican ones!

      • Jules says:

        The sheer confusion on the validity of sacraments worries me. Three things are to be considered when deciding the validity of sacraments. One, the physical nature of the sacrament; two, the validity of the priest’s consecration, and; three, the nature of the consecration, which changes mere physicality into a sacrament.

        Apostolic succession is related to both two and three. I outlined the basic principles regarding valid sacrament, but the nuances are another matter altogether.

  84. Columba Silouan says:

    The new Antiochian Metropolitan, Metropolitan Joseph, is calling for a “Monastic Revival” for the Archdiocese. I would hope that emphasis favors the expansion and maturation of the budding Benedictine Fellowship of Saint Laurence at the Saint Luarence Retreat Center in Colorado. We already have a Prior, one additional Monk, and a female religious there. additionally, a full-fledged Oblate program is being developed as well. Perhaps the Western Rite’s best defense is for Benedictine Monasticism to establish a firm foothold. We’ve seen Eastern Rite skeptics warm to the Western Rite when they attend some of our Benedictine pilgrimmages and participate in the worship. Would a revival lead to more openness and less rigidity? One can hope.

  85. Dale Crakes says:

    I’d hazard a guess that he talking about Eastern Monasticism. Let’s hope not of the Ephramite type. It’s also so they (Antioch) will have a place to grow Bishops without any practical worldly life experience. From our new Metro’s Official bio; “Patriarch Ignatius IV of Blessed Memory ordained His Eminence as a deacon in November, 1976, and priest in 1980. As priest, Fr. Joseph served as dean of St. Mary Cathedral in Damascus and as overseer of Holy Cross Church and other parishes in the suburbs of Damascus. He served as superintendent of the secondary school in Damascus from 1980 until 1983. Father Joseph then went abroad to pastor the Antiochian Orthodox Church in London, England from 1983 to 1986, and then the Antiochian Orthodox Church in Cyprus from 1986 until 1991, when he was elected as bishop.
    Hierarchical years
    His Grace was consecrated with the title Bishop of Katana in Syria, and served as Patriarchal Assistant and Secretary of the Holy Synod of Antioch. In 1995, he was sent by Patriarch Ignatius to America.
    I think his brother or cousin is Metro of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

    • Dale says:

      ” Father Joseph then went abroad to pastor the Antiochian Orthodox Church in London, England from 1983 to 1986″; this would correspond to the forcing of the western rite parishes in England to adopt the Greek tradition.

      And it would appear he was in agreement with this as well.

  86. Dale Crakes says:

    I know your a decade off on that one.

    • Dale says:

      Not really. The first meeting was in 1978, I was there. It included both Frs. Paul Lansley and Michael Price. The process for receptions were already more than in the planning stages by the early 80’s through the middle 80’s and it was at this time that it was decided, “voluntarily,” that if a western rite were allowed, it would only be temporary. Thus the two main leaders Lansley and Price were left out in the cold. The decision to exclude the western rite were made in the 80’s, not the 90’s. Instead of the original leaders, the leadership was given to Harper, whom the ethnics loved because of his hatred of the Roman Catholic Church and by implication, the western rite. Joseph was in London when these decisions were made and I cannot believe he was not involved; and his subsequent “dislike” of the western rite has been well known.

      Dale, so much of your interpretations of what happened in England tend to be coloured by wishful thinking more than the reality. I was there.

      • Dale says:

        Oh, by the way, the first move on the part of the Arabs was to exclude the American western rite in having in contact with their cousins in Great Britain. This was done officially by the Patriarchate, which has always been, how shall we say, never really too supportive of a western rite, which is why the western rite has been derailed and destroyed in England, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines. Now that Metropolitan Philip is gone, it will be gone soon in the United States as well.

      • Dale says:

        Eck…one small correct1 Fr Michael Wright, not Price! Well, it was a long time ago!

  87. David says:

    Since the “Western Rite” seems to be the topic of discussion, I’ll put in my two cents (context: Officially a Roman Catholic but heavily considering a switch to one of the Byzantine Catholic churches).

    The EO ‘Western Rite’ is a laughable attempt to manufacture what the EO like to think the Romans used to be “when they were Orthodox”. I once printed out a copy of the ROCOR “Sarum Use” and gave it to a friend who knew a bit about the Sarum rite. He started reading and everything was fine for about 3 pages, then there were a lot of prayers of St. Ambrose he didn’t recognize, then it went back and forth between actual Sarum parts and made up stuff, and then… Anaphora of St. John Chrysostom.

    He was not amused.

    The whole thing is like the converse of the abominable and infamous Latinizations in the Byzantine and Oriental Catholic churches (thankfully on their way out… except for the Maronite uniates). If they wanted to use an authentic western rite, there are people they could have approached who have access to old Roman, Gallican (a personal friend of mine is doing a series on some of these on his blog), Sarum, Mozarbic, or Ambrosian texts.

    I believe the whole thing will go away in another 10-20 years and be relegated to the waste bin of failed experiments right beside Latinized “Eastern Rites”.

    • Dale says:

      Hi David,

      Yes, it has all been rather a pathetic joke, and not a nice one by the way.

      In the end, it simply shows a complete lack of catholicity on the part of the Byzantine Orthodox; and how they can still posture as the ONE TRUE CHURCH, and be believed by the truly stupid, is beyond me. They much more closely resemble the religion department of imperial Byzantium, the only functioning bureaucracy of a long dead empire.

      • David says:

        I agree. The real tragedy is that Byzantine Christianity has so much beauty and spirituality to offer as an antidote to Roman legalism and stiff pietism. It’s why I attend a Byzantine church.

        The Byzantine Catholics are generally less caught up in some nostalgic longing for the days of Emperor Justinian or Tsar Alexander I, which allows for a purer outlook without all the imperial baggage.

      • Dale says:

        Personally, I really rather like the Greek Catholics, they have, for the most part not fallen into the mess of the modernist novus ordo (as you have rightly mentioned, perhaps not the Maronites!), they preserve tradition, and they have, unlike the Byzantine orthodox, not sunk into hate-filled cultural-ethnocentric bigotry against anyone different than themselves. They are also fairly well-organised and the return of a married priesthood in the United States and the west is beginning to happen, which will alleviate the priest shortage. As I have mentioned before, one can also carry on a normal conversation with Greek Catholics which would send the Byzantine orthodox into the screaming meanies in a heartbeat. They can openly confront real issues of modern societies and do not believe that the solution to all problems is getting ride of organs and pews and the all so important theological truth of growing beards.

        Also, their liturgics are very congregation friendly. The Russians have made their liturgy into an operatic spectator-sport and the Greeks seems to have not too much more than a bellowing match, complete with microphones, between priest and cantor; the Greek Catholics have preserved ancient chant that is actually, hold your seat, sung by the whole congregation. At the same time they have made necessary adjustments to the services, especially Mattins, that make it user friendly as well.

      • Dale says:

        Oh, before anyone corrects me, I do know that the Maronites are not Greek Catholics since they use a Syriac liturgy; but it is indeed very, very novus ordo with very little of the Syrian tradition evident.

      • David says:

        Maronites use “Syriac”…. As someone who has attended Malankara liturgies, I disagree.

        I was actually at this service.

      • David says:

        I agree with you about the Greek Catholics. Their outlook made me realize what I was missing in the Tradosphere.

        Also, it’s nice to have a church that’s run by a (married) priest and deacon rather than church-ladies, be they in mantillas or pantsuits. Masculinity is something tragically missing in recent Roman Catholicism.

      • Dale says:

        David, technically, the Maronites use one of the liturgies of the two Syriac traditions, but one would never know by attending one of their Masses! The Malankara, as well as the Syriac Catholic Church use the liturgy in a very pure form, the one used by the Maronites is so novus ordo that one can see nothing eastern in it at all. I attended, with friends who are Maronites, their liturgy about four weeks ago, it was simply, to me anyway, the novus ordo with more incense and some chanting, all of the servers were females. It was a liturgical train wreck actually. But when one considers the novus ordo, I don’t personally, it was better than the local, bland offering of the Roman parish and I was surprised at how many Catholic traditionalists were attending; which shows how bad the local novus ordo is in this neck of the woods.

        What was a real hoot is the so-called Liturgy of St Gregory that was being used by the ROCOR had the novus ordo offertory prayers and was in horrid modern, American English! It was also very, very heavily Russified, including a Proskomedia and gobs of bellowed litanies a la Russe as well. The strangest was that the asperges was said after the introibo prayers…which were heavily truncated.

    • Michael Frost says:

      This is is almost too funny. It is as if you’ve completely forgotten all about Rome and her actions.

      Why not start with the historical case of the PNCC? Rome and her Irish & German bishops so mistreated the Poles (and other 2nd class peoples) in USA that they had to create their own Church. And they succeeded in maintaining their apostolic succession to boot. Now still going strong after more than a century.

      And what about the recent debacle that was/is the Ordinariates? The Anglicans were forced into abject surrender, lock-stoc-and-barrel, on their knees. And to add insult to injury, Rome forced down their throats an abomination of a liturgy, a mess that is really a Tridentine liturgy with a thin veneer of Anglican BCP. Rome made damn sure there would be no Anglican Eucharistic canon! Removed and replaced.

      So, yes, we’re not perfect, but at least be fair and keep in mind how others act? As if Rome is some paragon of respectful ecumencial virtue! If only…

      • David says:

        Calm down. I never acted like Rome was good and the paragon of virtue; in fact, I pointed out the Latinization garbage they did (my treatment of Rome and the papacy as something less than perfect has gotten me into a lot of trouble with many RC’s, many of whom are shocked that a pope like John XXII or Honorius could ever err). I went Byzantine in no small part because I wanted to distance my self from Rome without breaking communion.

        There have been mistakes by both the Orthies and Rome, and I would count the “Western Rite” among them.

      • Dale says:

        I personally, truly fail to see how pointing a finger at Rome, whose eastern rites have survived for centuries, alleviates the crimes of Byzantium.

      • Dale says:

        “Rome made damn sure there would be no Anglican Eucharistic canon!”

        Be careful Michael, Dean Hallam, appointed, mainly because of his hatred for a western rite in your denomination, by the present Patriarch, has declared that any rite with an Anglican Eucharistic canon is “theologically defective.” Throwing stones at Rome does not change this attitude in your own denomination; what your new Metropolitan has expressed concerning a continued use of the western rite is not very promising either.

        Once again, Hallam’s exact words are as follows:

        “(1) They are nothing more than the old American Prayer Book and a pre-Trent rescension of the Roman rite. Both are archaic, theologically deficient and poorly supported by seasonal mnaterial (sic).”

        You will look foolish when it is all over in Antioch, and the Ordinariates will at least have a viable western/Anglican tradition still going whilst the western rite in Byzantium will be consigned to the dustbin of history.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, We all watched over the past decade or so what happened with Rome and Continuing Anglicans. We saw the documents. The decisions. What happened to TEC et al. And finally the liturgy. I can’t imagine you’re praising what they did to the “Anglican patrimony”. That is now recent history, for all to see. I notice that David doesn’t say anything about the Ordinariates. They are Rome’s new “Anglican Rite”, replacing the old Anglican Use. Neither appears to have been very successful. And Rome bastardized them both quite heavily.

        Always remember that my experience with the AWRV has been entirely positive for over 20 years. My local AWRV parish is going strong 25 years on. So I really don’t care what happened in England. And I will work hard to preserve our AWRV. We’ll see what happens over time.

      • David says:

        I regrettably have no experience with Anglicanism or the Ordinariates (though there are a couple of churches a few hours away in my vicinity). I am unable to comment on them. My post was concerned with the Orthodox “Western Rite” and how similar it is in concept to latinizations.

      • Dale says:

        Hi again David,

        I do not really think, having spent almost thirty years in western rite Orthodoxy, that they are at all similar. The Latinizations of the eastern rites was almost, not always, but usually against the actual documents of union between Rome and eastern rite Christians and were self-inflicted, and Rome has virtually always supported a return to authentic eastern traditions. The Greek rite monastery of Grottaferrata has existed, in full communion with Rome for centuries and still, I have been there, continues an Eastern tradition within sight of Rome. No such tradition exists in Byzantium of any tradition other than the Byzantine. Their hatred of other traditions is so intense that in the last century when a group of Syriac rite Christians submitted to Moscow, and although they had been promised their ancient traditions, they were immediately Byzantinised.

        The Italo-Greeks are another example, although they had been heavily Latinized in the past, they do indeed live in Italy, they have over the last two centuries returned to a pure Byzantine tradition, here is their cathedral in Sicily during a service, it is virtually indistinguishable from a Greek Orthodox service:

        In the case of the Byzantine orthodox, the destruction of both the Latin as well as Syraic traditions is really official policy. It is, once again, an issue of catholicity; the Byzantines simply do not have it; their hatred against any tradition, not only the Latin, but the Oriental Orthodox traditions is ingrained and will never change.

        Michael, the Italo-Greeks have been eastern rite Catholics for more than a thousand years, the 25 years you speak of is not very impressive. Where are the parishes that became so-called western rite in Poland and Czechoslovakia more than a century ago? They are all Byzantine now.

      • David says:

        I agree with you, Dale. The concept of “Outside of Byzantium there is no salvation” seems as deeply rooted in the Orthodox (I have some experience with them) as the “outside of Rome there is no salvation” of the RC hardliners and neocons. They don’t know what to make of, say, the Assyrian Church of the East because it is outside their little mental box.

        However, it is difficult to overlook the many forced latinizations the Eastern Catholics had forced on them. The Italo-Albanians were always close to the Pope which, ironically, protected them much more from wrong-headed imperialist missionaries that would do much damage to the Armenian, Malabar, and Maronite Catholics. Then there is the whole Dom Guranger and suppression of local Western rites issue…

        I highly recommend you the excellent “The Banished Heart” by Geoffrey Hull which details what went wrong in the Greek and Roman churches thanks to them splitting. The basic thesis is that after the split:

        1. Byzantium became introspective and saw itself as the only valid expression of the faith, resulting in the problems we see today.
        2. The Roman church became imperialistic and its own rationalism went wildly out of control without the various Eastern Churches as a check. it came to see itself as the best expression of Christianity (other rites were seen as inferior or “defective”) while obedience to the “supreme pontiff” as everything and lost the heart of the faith.

      • Soloviev wrote on this theme of the Unity of the Church. All Churches are defective until this Unity, which exists ontologically but is unrealised in the Church’s humanity, is rediscovered. Therefore, no “part” or church in which the Church continues to subsist, call itself the “true church” to the exclusion of the others. Now, in 2014, it seems to be too late and many dead horses are being flogged!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, I find your comment about time interesting. The 25 years of my successful AWRV parish doesn’t matter? Fair enough. But then does the approximate 37 years of Continuing Anglicanism here in USA (post-St. Louis) matter? If it does, then the nearly 60 years for the AWRV would also.

        Of course, only time will tell what will happen to both our WRs in USA as well as CAism in general. The past 37 years haven’t been the best demographically for CAism? Few parishes. Aging congregations. Limited resources. Too many jurisdictions. Too much “overhead”. Not enough unity. Lots of unfullfilled promises and commitments over the decades. Like I’ve always said, all any of us can do is work hard and try our best to preserve our heritage. Whether that is WR or CA.

        And the fact that the ACA has authorized our “Liturgy of St. Tikhon” says something. Not exactly sure what. But at the very least it appears to say that our liturgy is faithful enough to the Anglican patrimony that they can use it with no problems. Will be interesting to see if they ever do same with the RCC’s Ordinariates’ liturgy?

        Did you ever finish your study of the revised Orthodox BCP? I’ve been holding off on a purchase until I hear your thoughts. Was thinking you had a copy and were going to write up a review. Hope you do. I do enjoy your opinion. Esp. on liturgics. 🙂

      • Dale says:

        Michael, so sorry to be late in answering your questions, but I have not been able to connect for about two weeks. Yes, the acceptance of a real Anglican rite was indeed wonderful, but it never really had too much support in the larger, Arab, Antiochian world, and I do not think it will last too much longer (if Metropolitan Philip had been given a modicum of authority in England, its history might have been quite different). If you attempt a conversation with Hallam on this issue, as I did several years ago, you might be shocked at his nastiness regarding any western rite…and he is now a person of some importance. I find it strange that Dr Tighe so readily attacks an Anglican use with a real Anglican canon (he has done so on many web sites) and has nothing to say about the really dreadful Roman concoction.

        I have not yet received my copy of the new BCP!

        Will send particulars as soon, or if, I get it!

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, Thanks. Wondered where you’d been. No idea about Dr. Tighe, though being RC guess it makes sense for him to look at motes elsewhere and miss the beam in his own yard? 🙂

      • Peter Jericho says:

        I’m glad you posted that Michael. Although I’ve been following this WRO discussion for some time, my interest in it has declined in the last few months because (to be blunt) much of the Orthodox-bashing is downright revolting.

      • Peter Jericho says:

        P.S. I just noticed that, in my last post, it isn’t clear which post I was referring/responding to. It’s this one:

      • Dale says:

        “[B]ecause (to be blunt) much of the Orthodox-bashing is downright revolting”: goodness gracious, I can only deduce that you have never been on too many, especially ROCOR sites, to see what the Orthodox are saying about we dreadful westerners! We are actually quite kind…and when it comes to the western rite, at least almost everything that I have posted anyway, comes from the Byzantine orthodox themselves.

      • Peter Jericho says:

        I don’t know your definition of “deduce”, Dale, but I’d say I’m extremely aware of how anti-western the Orthodox can be. Indeed I’ve very possibly pointed it out more often than anyone else on OCnet.

      • William Tighe says:

        Dale wrote:

        “I find it strange that Dr Tighe so readily attacks an Anglican use with a real Anglican canon (he has done so on many web sites) and has nothing to say about the really dreadful Roman concoction.”

        And I find this a strange statement, or distortion, too. After all, back in the day I provided my own version of what “a real Anglican canon” might be, here:


        even if I did opine, correctly, that such a canon would be unlikely to be approved by Rome. The Roman Canon was, after all, the first, and only, “Anglican canon” for nearly the first thousand years of English Christianity, and so its has a good a claim as any to be The Anglican Canon as any subsequent Protestant creation. My criticism of the canon of the so-called “Liturgy of St. Tikhon” (which has little or even nothing to do with the saint whose name has been foisted upon it):


        was of the way its was botched, first in its creation, and then in the version published by Lancelot Andrewes Press (as the quondam embodiment of Lancelot Andrewes Press, Ben Andersen, himself confirms in the seventh comment on the thread to that article), not of the “thing in itself.”

      • Dale says:

        “The Roman Canon was, after all, the first, and only, “Anglican canon” for nearly the first thousand years of English Christianity”; the same could be said for almost the whole of the western church, but that has not stopped the novus ordo modernists from introducing several “new” canons of the mass into the liturgy, most of them far, far more Protestant than the 1928 BCP canon and most certainly more Protestant in orientation than the approved Anglican form found in the Antiochian version.

  88. Dale Crakes says:

    David can you pass along the blog info?

  89. David, I’m a moderate about latinization. The Roman Catholic Church says don’t introduce it, which is right, but I say don’t suppress it. This church has both the unlatinized and old latinized forms of the Byzantine Rite, as is right.

    The trouble with “tous schismatiques,” as nice as it is compared to triumphalism, as is Anglican humility about not claiming to be the true church alone, is logically it would mean there is no church. On this my host and I won’t agree.

    (Fr.?) Dale, you tell it like it is about Orthodoxy and are a fair-minded non-RC about RCs. Thank you.

    Like Rome I say don’t suppress the Eastern rites in the West, but given that both the Orthodox and the Eastern Rite Catholics lose ethnic members to assimilation after about the third generation in the West, I’m coming to the opinion that in the long run, those rites have no future in Britain or America other than as a small ministry to immigrants.

    • You have a lot of gall coming onto my blog after all the stuff you put on Facebook! You should not judge my vocation any more than I should judge your mental health or personality issues. One must admit, however, that your thinking about churches and other things is not healthy. Otherwise you should follow your Pope (unless you are sedevacantist). There’s always the Petite Eglise of Courlay (Deux-Sèvres) over here, and you won’t have to worry about priests not having true vocations! The only problem is that they don’t go in for conversions.

      Rest easy, you can be an ultra-true Catholic in your own home. See In Defense of “Home Alone”. Il faut aller jusqu’au bout!

    • David says:

      I believe latinizations should be dissolved wherever they are obsolete, but would agree that immediate forced delatinizations can be potentially disastrous. We recently removed the stations of the cross from our Ukrainian church because no one uses them anymore (we waited until that was the case). I’m of the opinion that they should be removed wherever they can be without causing problems.

      I would disagree that the Eastern Catholics have no long term future. The ethnic groups dissolve which results in the churches losing population in their traditional areas, but some of the churches are smart enough to expand to outside sources (read: average people on the street). The Melkites and Ruthenians have especially been successful at this, as there is little ethnic baggage involved with them (the Ruthenians call themselves the “Byzantine Catholic Church”, while half the Melkite clerics in the US are former Roman Catholics). They have even been expanding in untraditional areas like Brazil, where the Roman Catholic church is dying and the Melkite church is exploding and trying to save as many people as they can from the rise of evangelical Protestantism. The key is don’t sell ethnicity, sell Byzantine/Oriental spirituality.

  90. “What was a real hoot is the so-called Liturgy of St Gregory that was being used by the ROCOR had the novus ordo offertory prayers and was in horrid modern, American English! It was also very, very heavily Russified, including a Proskomedia and gobs of bellowed litanies a la Russe as well. The strangest was that the asperges was said after the introibo prayers…which were heavily truncated.”

    I’m not a “Seinfeld” fan but this reminds me of the episode in which they made fun of the Orthodox by having George convert in order to keep an ethnic girl from leaving him: “Latvian” Orthodoxy (= Russian; these anti-Eastern Europe putdown jokes are revenge for the pogroms), complete with a silly made-up service that was a mash-up like this, sort of what Eastern liturgies feel like to outsiders.

    Latvians, by the way, are Balts, long Russian-ruled but not Slavs; they’re related. They are split evenly between Lutherans and Catholics.

  91. A Ferrara says:

    Re: Anti-Westernism in Eastern Orthodoxy, I found this statement on a parish website:

    We have a new priest, Fr. __ and his wife __. They are thrilled to be here and look forward to being involved with parishioners in experiencing God as meaningfully as possible.

    ((Fr. __’s goal as God’s co-worker is to help bring to everyone a sacramental taste of theology. A theologian is someone who believes and practices in the proper understanding and experience of the Holy Trinity, as far as Christ Jesus lives uniquely in each person by the Eucharist of the Liturgy. The first Christians taught this, as their documents prove, and only Eastern Christianity retains the Apostolic Tradition in its fullness. Western Christianity has veered toward a hyper-reliance on Augustine, Anselm, Luther and Calvin, if they know it or not, so they believe in the same God as we do but worship a somewhat different Trinity for a somewhat different Church.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church has never needed to be reformed, developed or restored, never requiring a special definition based on a self-constructing religious founder, such as Calvinism, Lutherism, Wesleyism, Papism, Augustinism, etc., which possess certain doctrines that did not exist in early Church times. As the Lord Jesus promised, the gates of Hades have never partially or temporarily corrupted the Church or the Faith, since it is impossible for the Truth to be divided or lost. So when we speak of the Church and the Trinity, we follow them according to their original meanings and original practices, not later innovations. Even some Roman Catholics and Protestants recognize this transcendent, unchanging quality of the early Church’s faith surviving fully intact in Eastern Christianity. And they are awed by the beauty.

    Come and see!))

    I left the name of the priest out because it isn’t relevant to the discussion. I will just say this parish is in ACROD, and this priest is their new pastor. As you can see the statement is filled with Anti-Western canards. Apparently the priest thinks the Eastern Christianity does not need the West. He cites the two boogeymen Augustine and Anselm. You’d think they are lurking under the beds of children, waiting to attack in the middle of the night, the way EOs write about them. I had always thought of ACROD as the most friendly jurisdiction to non-EOs. I knew and am friends with the former pastor, who I believe would never have something like this written on the website. I don’t know if ACROD is going in a different direction, or this is an isolated example, but it looks like a statement that ROCOR would be proud of. I’m guessing the new pastor of this parish wouldn’t approve of a Western Rite in Orthodoxy, since the west has gone so fart astray in his mind.

    • Dale says:

      One of my more favorites is found on one of the Orthodox sites that attacks Antiochian clergy for “dressing like Pedophile Roman Catholic clergy in suits”! One suspects that they should perhaps be dressing like the pedophile hairy Russian clergy of a certain ROCOR monastery in Texas? All of whom are now in prison.

  92. Dale Crakes says:

    Three comments: One, I wish you had put his text in quotes. Two, what is ACROD? Three, wonder if he is a convert and if so from what probably protestant denomination?

    • ACROD is the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese, which is under the Patriarch of Constantinople. Byzantine Rite Slavic ex-Catholics started it in living memory, in the 1930s, after Rome enforced its ban on ordaining married men for North America and had the bishop take control of parish property, neither of which were necessary. Its original name was, and maybe its official name still is, the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Greek Catholic Diocese. As you can imagine, its people have a love/hate relationship with us. Originally they simply wanted to use Orthodoxy as a flag of convenience in order to keep their culture; all they wanted was for things to stay the same. So for decades after they became Orthodox they still had monsignori in Latin cassocks with red buttons, First Communions, and bination. “Orthodox Greek Catholics.” Pushed out of the church for no good reason, it was as if they didn’t want to leave. But of course they’re still angry at us, and now that the old guard has passed away, they’re becoming more hardline Orthodox (anti-Western) and influenced by convert clergy. They’re buying the Orthodox myth. I wouldn’t be surprised if that bigoted priest is a self-hating Western convert. (For a Westerner, becoming Orthodox is a self-hating act.) My guess is most such converts are from evangelicalism, though some say most are ex-Anglicans.

    • William Tighe says:

      ACROD = American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese

      I believe that the quotation is the entirety of the third, fourth and fifth paragraphs, in double parentheses.

  93. Dale Crakes says:

    Double parens = quotation marks. OK. Parenthetical remarks about about self-hating are a bit over the top. They imply, at least to me, some type of mental disorder or disease. I assure you that I don’t hate myself. I of course agree that many, if not most, protestant, including broad to low church Anglicans, converts to ER Orthodoxy retain a extreme bias against anything in their minds “Roman”. As I like to say jokingly, Gee Whizz we get to get dressed up in fancy duds, use incense, chant, have Romanides and still hate Papistry and Papist !

  94. Michael Frost says:

    As regards the various comments that converting to Eastern Orthodoxy is an expression of self-loathing/self-hating… what a crock of excrement! Quite the canard! And an act of calumny!

    Just looking at Anglicans, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics, the real self-loathing/hating can be seen in the outcomes of the liturgical state that led to the RC NO liturgy, hmnal, vestments, architecture, cremation, altar girls, and so very much more. Vatican II was a complete exercise in abject denigration for an entire tradition. That then had the American Lutherans jettison their magnificent joint 1958 liturgy (a masterpiece!, though not ever used by LCMS or WELS) for the dreck that was the 1977 watered-down, dumbed-down liturgy. And the Episcopalians couldn’t stand to “lose” this race to the bottom, so along comes their 1979 BCP. Someone born in any of these three communions in 1914 couldn’t recognize their own communion by their death. A radical change. And for the worse.

    All I need to do to appreciate this point is pull out my then RC 1st communion picture. Love the communion rail! The uniform attire of boys and the girls with their heads covered. All in white. Then compare it to my cousin’s daughter’s recent RC 1st communion. Almost made me nauseous to attend. Nothing sacred or mystical about it. All about the kids and their parents.

    Yesterday my RC GF mentioned how her great-grandmother was ostricized way back in the day for being cremated. When it was against the rules. Of course, all the rules have pretty much changed. Now the cremains flow freely at RC funeral liturgies.

    As a Western Orthodox EO I know I’d be entirely self-loathing and self-hating if I had remained in a Church where goodness, beauty, and truth had been left on the scrap heap of recent history. And once it is gone, it doesn’t come back. Just look at the religious sociological data. Take the precipitious decline in RC lay belief in the real presence. LCMS does a better job in this area!

    So, esp. for RCs, be careful about planks in your eyes when looking in mirrors. You might just realize how much you really hate your past, because you certainly are rejecting it every Sunday, Sunday after Sunday. 🙂

    • “Just looking at Anglicans, Lutherans, and Roman Catholics, the real self-loathing/hating can be seen in the outcomes of the liturgical state that led to the RC NO liturgy, hymnal, vestments, architecture, cremation, altar girls, and so very much more.”

      But the answer is neither to repudiate all the good things you named or alluded to – the Tridentine Mass, your First Communion, the 1928 American BCP, the Lutherans’ 1958 liturgy – to join people who are allowed to believe those things were/are frauds, trying to adopt their culture, nor to build an imitation version of those things under those aforementioned people. It’s a repudiation of family and community ties I think some born Orthodox rightly find abhorrent. Those who aren’t really anti-Western are tribal and often “relativistic” in a nice way, rather like the point C.S. Lewis and Fr. Chadwick seem to support, that born Anglicans are best off remaining Anglican, ditto for RCs, etc. “Bloom where you’re planted,” the people at the centers, the hearts, of their religious communities are closer to God and to each other than the fringy people, etc. The Orthodox I knew in person tended to be like that; they had nothing to prove. Such nice Orthodox are fine with southern Irishmen being Catholics, Scots being Presbyterians, etc. “Of course!” But turn your back on your mama, papa, yiayia/baba (granny), village, etc.? “That’s crazy!” A lot of the time it is. Witness online Orthodoxy.

      The few American Indians who practice tribal religions react the same way to New Age white Indian wannabes: “We follow our tribe. If you want spiritual roots, follow yours. So if you’re one of the Methodist Smiths of the Welsh tribe, be a good Methodist.”

      There is a kind of Anglican high churchman turned Orthodox I respect; the one who really believes the papacy is a medieval accretion and the way is to purify, going back to the Bible and church fathers as he thinks they are/were. Orthodoxy’s a good intellectual fit. I guess Fr. Novak and Holy Cross, Omaha fit that.

      “So, esp. for RCs, be careful about planks in your eyes when looking in mirrors. You might just realize how much you really hate your past, because you certainly are rejecting it every Sunday, Sunday after Sunday.”

      I understand what you’re trying to say, but the parish I’ve joined honors both my Catholic beliefs and my Anglican background. Tridentine Sung Mass with organ preludes and postludes and Anglican processional and recessional hymns, sung in full (not cut short; all stanzas sung).

      • Michael Frost says:

        Thanks for proving my point! You had to join a parish that provides you the shelter, the safe harbor, the port-in-a-storm as you are fully aware of the results of the self-loathing exhibited by RCs since at least the late 1950s. So I’m glad you personally found your special place and space. Too bad so many others, a vast horde of RCs in USA, can’t find such a place and they don’t even care to, either. Their church–The Church of What’s Happenin’ Now–with their hippy priest & his English-as-a second language-foreign-priest associate pastor, guitar masses, 1960s folk songs, altar girls, female eucharistic ministers, flying banners, washed-out vestments, modern Stalinist architecture, dumbed-down liturgy, and all the other dreck and dross is their happy home. If Mark of Ephesus, who held the line at Florence, or Melanchthon, the author of the Augsburg Confession, came back today and went into the average RC parish, they wouldn’t recognize it or its theology.

        We can see the self-hatred. In the seminaries. In the pews. By so many bishops. And so many priests & nuns. The rejection of Aquinas and his Summa. The rejection of Leo X’s ideas on indulgences & raw papal power, both religious and political/military/economic and the theology of Trent. The rejection of Pius IX and his Syllabus of Errors. That is your tradition. The Church of the Medieval Schoolman thrown overboard, jettisoned onto the scrap heap of history. And if you’ve rejected the schoolmen and their theology and methods of theology, then why not just return home to the Church of the First 1,000 Years? That is Orthodoxy.

        So I guess all both of us can do is pray for those Anglicans, Lutherans, and RCs who don’t even know what they’ve lost and don’t care? Come Holy Ghost, and quickly. For once things are lost, they are nearly impossible to recover. (I wonder if I can find my old scapular? I found my old Douay-Rheims bible in the basement. I see I could get four different types of indulgences for reading it, including 500 days, 3 years, a plenary, and “a plenary indulgence is granted at the hour of death to those who have….” )

      • I wish what you described weren’t true. But my points, really Catholicism’s points, stand. And I thought I had it bad in the ’80s! A good friend lived through the changes as a religious-order seminarian in the late ’60s; the “self-loathing” as you rightly call it put him in a mental hospital for depression. But you can’t blame all that on Catholic doctrine. It has happened in spite of it.

        And the culture we both miss isn’t gone. Not only are there places such as my parish, but people at them who were adults before Vatican II. I call them living links. (One such at my place turned 85 this past Sunday.) It’s not like trying to revive the Gallican Rite; it’s still a living tradition. They make sure we “keep it real,” doing it right and not making things up. Otherwise, as Fr. Chadwick quoted an old priest from before the council, you get groups trying to be traditional but are “not what we were.”

      • I’ll just briefly butt in. You have indeed found your home because it is near where you live and you relate to it. We can’t make Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy, Anglicanism or anything “compulsory” for all and trash all the “other options”.

        I suppose I celebrate Sarum in the spirit in which Dominican priests do their rite or some of the more sensitive traditionalist priests do the pre-1965 Roman rite. I am sure not everything I do is “authentic” or “pure”, but I do the best I can.

        I don’t think any of us are “what they were”. Much is irretrievably lost, and the great temptation would be to accept Julius Evola’s idea according to which Catholicism had just become an empty shell and should be abandoned to its fate.

      • And, Father, rather like “coolness” is about seeming lack of effort (try-hards are the antithesis of cool), not worrying TOO much about being “authentic” is a sign of authenticity.

      • Michael Frost says:

        For small parishes I think the key is just to keep on trying, to not give up or give in to the spirit of the times. God may choose to provide. In his way and at his time. But he won’t if you quit.

        I think that applies to Fr. Victor’s parish in Omaha. Look at the troubles they had in 2013 with ROCOR’s mess. They pushed on and now it looks like things are patched up and moving forward.

        Or the small continuing Anglican parish near me. After they voted to reject the Ordinariate in 2012 their priest and his large family left. (He was swallowed up by the local RC diocese and is now assigned full time to do pastoral duties in a rural setting; he does the NO liturgy (quite ironic?).) Started looking bleak. Small, aging congregation. But they just kept plugging away. Singing from the wonderful 1940 Hymnal and using the American Missal liturgy. Then suddenly this year a large French-speaking family from the Congo arrives (thankfully they have a Canadian Francophone parishioner). Then a young evangelical decides to convert. And then their Lutheran organist. Six chrismations. Suddenly there are young altar servers galore, nearly filled pews, and the congregation almost doubles.

      • And in a way I can rejoice with you about your local Continuers’ revival. Sounds wonderful. Roman Catholicism is often not “either/or” but “both/and.” Many people assume because I believe in the RC form of the church universal that I’m downplaying or dismissing the church local. Nothing could be further from the truth. Anglican semi-congregationalism continuing after Vatican II gave me a lot of the church culture I have, partly because I was born Episcopal. I never forget that. So such Anglicans, and Orthodoxy, have a lot to teach RCs about reviving the church local, as in localism and grassroots traditionalism, which you can say extends naturally to things like interest in reviving Sarum.

        And that sense of the church local, even the tribe, is what I think is Orthodoxy’s greatest potential gift to Roman Catholics, reteaching them that, not the cliched stuff about mysticism, though their mystical tradition has its place, its true home, in our church too.

    • Michael Frost says:

      As regards your comment that “Roman Catholicism is often not “either/or” but “both/and”, that doesn’t appear to have been the case with the Anglicans and the Ordinariates. There is was either take what little we offer or don’t let the door hit you on the behind on your way out. Rome just rammed down a complete abject surrender. See the clerical celibacy norm projected for the future. That alone likely spells their end within 2 generations.

      Look at the monstrosity that is their liturgy. Forced them to use the Tridentine canon! Of course, Rome wanted to make sure everyone still realized Rome views the Anglican liturgy as being non-sacramental and the Anglican orders as forever being null and void. Was quite sad. (The local parish here voted 5-1 against. Even after the monsignor came out personally a couple of weeks before the vote. They appear to have made the right decision. Looks like the Ordinariates will be mostly about American bishops getting a few priests to fill in at the diocesan level. What did they get, maybe 6 local churches, in their entirety, building and all?)

      • As I said earlier, a lot of our churchmen have a lot to learn. It’s holding up reconciliation with the Orthodox too.

      • David says:

        You know… if Anglicans don’t want the Tridentine Canon and RC’s don’t accept the Anglican alternative, then why don’t they bring them back by offering them Sarum as an alternative? It would be genuinely Anglo and an overall good compromise.

        I will defend the Ordinariate liturgy in one respect: It is far better than the Pauline rite or the ROCOR’s “Sarum” joke.

      • William Tighe says:

        “Forced them to use the Tridentine canon!”

        I wondered what you meant by “the Tridentine canon,” until I realized that what you probably meant was “the original Anglican Canon,” the one used in the Church of England from 597 to 1549, and probably (cf. the Stowe Missal) in the British Church before then.

      • It’s a problem of terminology. There is no “Tridentine Canon”. The eucharistic prayer beginning Te igitur clementissime Pater is the same as in the Sarum missal, the Roman rite going back a very long time.

        I personally use Sarum in Latin, but the ACC diocese to which I belong mostly uses the Anglican Missal, which contains a translation of the Roman (Gregorian) Canon as well as the prayer from the 1549 Prayer Book. We don’t need to be forced to use the Gregorian / Roman Canon.

        Perhaps there is confusion between the “Tridentine” (the version of the Roman missal promulgated by Pius V in 1570) Canon and the order of Mass with its rubrics (genuflexions, etc.). That would be another subject for discussion.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Does anyone have a link to a web site that has published the official Ordinariate’s liturgy? Would be nice to be able to compare it to various other liturgies (e.g., AWRV Liturgy of St. Gregory, American Missal, etc.). I would love to be able to compare our AWRV and RWRV liturgies to theirs.

        One thing nice about the Orthodox BCP (Lancelot Andrewes Press, CO) is that in Appendix IV it shows six eucharistic canons, starting with the Roman Canon and the 1549 BCP, and including the 1928 BCP.

        If the Ordinariate was designed to preserve Anglican patrimony, I think many people would see that as being in harmony with the BCP tradition, not pre-Reformation RC tradition. What kind of liturgy is it if uses the Roman Canon but retained all or most of those unique features common to the BCP tradition? What all does the Ordinariate liturgy contain? The Prayer for the Whole State of Christ’s Church? The General Confession? The Comfortable Words? The Prayer of Humble Access? The Anglican Thanksgiving?

        It would be one thing, like the AWRV, to have a RC-derived liturgy (Roman Canon and all) and an Anglican-derived liturgy. That lets each liturgy remain faithful to its tradtion. I think a mess happens when two different traditions are forced into a single liturgy. But I can’t really commment since I’m not sure what all is in the Ordinariate liturgy. Is it really the BCP tradition with the Roman Canon being the only exception? Or is there more mixing and matching?

        But I suspect ultimately the real reason there is a Roman Canon is tied to Rome’s views on the BCP’s liturgy (1552, 1559, 1662, 1928) as being non-sacramental and the Anglican orders being null and void. To use an “Anglican Canon” might call that into question and Rome wouldn’t want that.

      • Based on what little I know, ROCOR’s Sarum is a joke exactly as (Fr.?) Dale Griffiths describes.

        Sorry, but Sarum being the basis of classical Anglican liturgy is a myth, as I think Fr. Chadwick will agree, doing a real medieval liturgy, not a “Reformation” one. Of course high-church Anglicans believe that as a baseline the BCP liturgy gives you a valid Mass, but many have believed the older Catholic liturgies are better, up to and including Anglo-Papalism. Like my relationship with the Novus Ordo. It containeth all things necessary for salvation but the old is better.

        Father, you do it in Latin?! I. Am. Impressed.

        Of course as a Roman Catholic I agree with Dr. Tighe: the Roman Canon is part of the historic liturgy of England.

        Michael, I think the old and reprinted People’s Anglican Missal, American version, has the different canons, in English, that high churchmen have used. I forget if my Knott Missal Web page in its links has the Ordinariate Mass; I’ll check on that.

        Good question: what is “Anglican patrimony”? Tridentine Anglo-Catholics didn’t love the BCP because, as Msgr. Barnes has explained, in England it was used AGAINST them. Prayer Book people tend to believe in Hooker’s doctrine so they’re not interested in converting to Rome. I’ll say, like I defend both the unlatinized (Orthodox) and latinized forms of the Byzantine Rite in the Roman Catholic Church, and like we have both the Extraordinary and Ordinary Forms of the Roman Missal, there are many Anglican patrimonial options, in theory, in the Pope’s big tent. British ex-Anglo-Catholics should keep on being Novus Ordo with married priests, as they were. It’s who they are. Americans should keep being American Missal-y, the 1928 BCP with Tridentine add-ons and ceremonial. A great thing about being under Rome is they don’t make you hate the one to love the others. And sorry, I’m with Rome, no surprise: no to an old BCP Canon, because the plain meaning of the Articles of Religion is clear.

        But I agree with Michael that the Ordinariate people are probably getting the short end of the stick. The church CAN do things like that but shouldn’t. (Like how our churchmen treated the priests who then founded ACROD.) It’s far from perfect here, but, getting back to the Blow-Out Department’s purpose, it’s better than trying to rewrite history and self-byzantinize as a Western Rite Orthodox, in my and others’ opinion.

      • I have seen bits and pieces of text and have never attended a ROCOR liturgy, eastern or western. There are some traces of Sarum in the Prayer Book, notably the Epistles, Gospels and Collects, also some of the prayers of the ordinary. I argue that the best Anglican Mass liturgy would be Sarum in the Canon Warren translation (1911). This pair of books is available on the internet as they seem no longer to be in copyright.

        Yes, I celebrate in Latin, occasionally in English according to the above-mentioned translation. I rarely have anyone at Mass, so I use Latin. I can’t get rid of my Italianate pronunciation, but that’s the way it is. The Canon is exactly as I used when I used the Pius V Roman rite. There are no genuflexions, just a few profound bows and fewer of them, very similar to the Dominican rite. The roots are French, so Sarum is just as much a local rite of where I live (Rouen archdiocese) as in southern England. We in the ACC have a choice between the Roman (Gregorian) Canon and the 1549 eucharistic prayer when using the Anglican Missal – which I have to respect as the official rite of my Church. Sarum is tolerated but not official. Hope springs eternal…

        Anglo-Catholicism isn’t an easy thing, any more than non-Novus Ordo Roman Catholicism. Some lack of coherence has to be tolerated. We inherit a lot of the baggage from our forebears, and we have to work within those perimeters. All in all, we are a lot freer than Roman Catholics under “official” jurisdiction. You mention the 39 Articles. The ACC is criticised by some “classical Anglicans” for not making them the standard of our doctrinal position. We don’t have to take an oath to uphold them, and most of us ignore them or simply deny them in favour of the general tradition of conciliar Catholicism (cf. Council of Constance). They are therefore not relevant to us. Does that leave us false Anglicans? It is debatable, but I have always maintained that conciliar Catholicism (reform of the corrupt Papacy and the Avignon schism) was as Anglican as those of the English Church who followed the Reformation of Luther, Calvin and others. My conscience is clear as a priest of the ACC. I cannot speak for other Continuers or members of the Anglican Communion.

      • All good points, Father.

        The conservative ex-Episcopalians (who in ways missed the ’50s: they were reacting to the cultural upheaval of the late ’60s that begat official women’s ordination and the 1979 BCP) who founded the ACC were classic American Anglo-Catholics who I imagine thought as you say: conciliar Catholics (no to the Pope), no to the Articles, substitute the Affirmation of St. Louis. So you stand in their tradition.

        Thanks for the reminder that medieval English pronunciation of Latin wasn’t the modern Italian one much of the Roman Catholic Church (at least us non-Novus Ordo Romans) uses. (There’s also an official German/Slavic version where soft c is s, not ch, and in practice the French make it sound French: pater noster, kee es een ceulees…) My guess is the Sarum sound was the English public-school Latin pronunciation in an accent like the reconstructed Original Pronunciation for Shakespeare, the common ancestor of today’s British and American Englishes.

      • Michael Frost says:

        It was NOT the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s that lead to the dumbing down of liturgy, hymns, architecture, etc. all across Western Christendom worldwide. It was VATICAN II. Where Rome “led” the Anglicans, Lutherans, Methodists, and Reformed followed. So they just simply followed Rome to the simplistic bottom. Rome gave them the lead and cover. The American Episcopalians with their 1979 BCP and the American Lutherans with their 1977 BOW.

        To get a concrete sense of this, read Luther Reed’s wonderful work, The Lutheran Liturgy (2nd ed., 1959). Besides a complete discussion of the history of liturgy (East & West) and a breakdown of the traditional components of liturgy, he covers the decade-long work of the joint commission (he was its chairman) that created the joint 1958 Lutheran liturgy (used by all but the LCMS & WELS). He discusses the choices they made and the whys. He does side-by-side of their new liturgy with the Liturgy of St J C, the Tridentine, and the 1928 BCP. It was the absolute zenith of traditional liturgics by English speakers for English speakers.

        The components of the 1958 liturgy put the NO liturgy to shame: “In the Name…”, confession of sins (kneeling), Introit, Gloria Patria, Kyrie, Gloria In Excesis, Collect, OT reading (optional), Psalm or Hymn, Epistle, Gradual/Alleluia, Gospel, Creed, Hymn, Sermon, Offertory, Prayer of the Church, Thanksgiving, Hymn, Sursum Corda, Proper Preface, Sanctus, Eucharistic Canon w/Epiclesis, Agnus Dei, Communion (under both kinds), Nuc Dimittis, Post-Communion Prayer, Salutation, Benedicamus, Benediction.

        Pretty much the entire 9 yards liturgically for Western Christendom. Then Vatican II hits, the rot sets in immediately, it is jettisoned by about 1967-70 (with “trial” new liturgies), and finally replaced officially in 1977. The wreckage is there to see in the historical documents. Episcopalians did same. Where Rome…

      • Vatican II didn’t try to change defined doctrine, impossible in our theology, but we sure messed up.

        And you’re right; the liturgical Western denominations followed our bad example.

        Looking back on the second, having lived through it, the Episcopalians seeming to move closer to us with the trial liturgies “in the spirit of Vatican II” leading to 1979 really weren’t; it was their liberals and Roman Catholic liberals, with the Novus Ordo, trying to create a new liberal church together. I imagine it was the same with the liberal Lutheran denominations in America that are now ELCA.

        Vatican II was the spirit of the ’50s – prosperity (in America), technological advances, and artistic experimentation – unmoored from the old values that mixed with the new trappings made the era charming. That infected a lot of churchmen. Let’s streamline the church for the space age! It was the era’s faith in never-ending progress, the same thing that caused the rest of the late ’60s cultural changes.

        It ended up betraying/destroying the Catholic liturgical movement before the council as well as its Lutheran parallel (the 1958 liturgy) just as you describe.

        But, bringing this back to the Blow-Out Department’s purpose, that doesn’t mean Western liturgical Christianity was a fraud all along, which is what becoming Orthodox at least implies.

        By the way, the Orthodox translating their old services rather than writing new ones – what we should have done – hasn’t halted their decline in America. The Greek Catholics are going down here too. I’d love it if the dominant Catholicism in America were Byzantine, but the culture works against that, not by design. In the long run, they just don’t belong. The grandkids of the immigrants have become Americans; they often leave.

      • Michael Frost says:

        To complete the historical record for the American Lutherans, read Philip Pfatteicher’s Commentary on the Lutheran Book of Worship (Augsburg Fortress, 1990). He does for the 1977 BOW what Luther Reed did for the 1958 joint Lutheran liturgy. His opening words, “A study of the liturgy used by Lutherans in North Ameria during the transition from the twentieth to the twenty-first century may properly being not with a Lutheran person or event but with the principle work of a Roman Catholic bishop of Rome.” He then goes on to discuss the thought and impact of Vatican II. The entire work and liturgy are imbibed with the thought and spirit and words of Vatican II.

      • I’ve only looked at the Lutheran Book of Worship a couple of times. It’s ELCA’s 1979 BCP, Novus Ordo-ey. But like with 1979, I noticed the Catholic things: a form for confession and absolution (which is authentic Lutheran tradition; I imagine, like most Episcopalians, most ELCA Lutherans don’t do it: “That’s Catholic!” … congregations in these denominations are happy to be Protestant; they’re often much lower-church than pastors) and a departure from classical Protestants’ (at least classic Lutheranism) idea that the early Christians just recited the Verba for Communion. (Like the broken Canon in 1662.) Turns out those papists were right. Darn! So they wrote a Canon as an alternative to the bare Verba, but it’s ambiguous enough not to be Catholic.

      • Michael Frost says:

        Because my daughter married a former Reformed who is now Lutheran, I did a crash course self-study of both traditions…

        As Reed points out, having a confessional part at the start of the liturgy is integral to the Lutheran tradition. So not only do you see it in the 1958 and 1977 joint liturgies, but also the early 1917 joint and the later, now current, 2006 ELCA liturgy. (I believe same is true for the separate LCMS liturgical tradition. They have their own service book and hymnal, not playing well with others is part of their tradition. They would join the joint commissions and then bail at the last minute.)

        Do keep in mind that from the beginnning, going back to the Augsburg Confession, Lutherans retained both auricular private confession, the historic liturgy, as well as a strong belief in the real presence.

        You can really glean this in the older works of the then non-apostate Church of Sweden. A High Church. They even retained the Latin liturgy for a couple centuries. See Archbishop of Uppsala (the primate’s see) Yngve Brilioth’s wonderful work, Eucharistic Faith and Practice: Evangelical and Catholic (SPCK, 1930)

      • Dale says:

        Hello Mr Beeler, I am happy to see you contributing here on this blog, but I would hope that you have written privately to apologise for some of the really uncalled for remarks made against Fr Anthony person. They really were far beyond the pale.

      • I’m glad to have made some kind of peace with Fr. Anthony too, (Fr.?) Dale. I started the argument on Facebook and handled it there. You and he are right that detraction is a sin.

      • Dale says:

        “Pretty much the entire 9 yards liturgically for Western Christendom. Then Vatican II hits, the rot sets in immediately, it is jettisoned by about 1967-70 (with “trial” new liturgies), and finally replaced officially in 1977. The wreckage is there to see in the historical documents. Episcopalians did same. Where Rome…”

        Michael, you have forgotten when Abouna Hallam, when he was attacking the present western usage of Antioch, stated that perhaps the only western rite he would accept in Orthodoxy would be the novus ordo with a stronger epiclisis:

        ” It would just need to be a rite that was explicitly Orthodox / Catholic rather than subliminally so. The contemporary Roman rite (with an epiklesis anaphora) would be a much better candidate. The only reason why the Orthodox are cautious about using such an unexceptional rite is that we could be fairly accused of western uniatism. That’s a political aspect of course. Personally, I would have absolutely no qualms about using such a western rite should it be authorised.” http://frstephensmuts.wordpress.com/2012/11/13/msgr-steenson-addresses-the-usccb-plenary/

      • Michael Frost says:

        Dale, You have to remember that I’m American. That means I live in America. And am under the AWRV. Which has had the full support of our Metropolitan and the Patriarch. We have our two approve liturgies (“St. Tikhon” and “St. Gregory”). So I really don’t care a whit about the angry or irate thoughts of Englishmen. Any Englishmen. Even clergy. Whether archpriest or bishop. Because they ain’t in my jurisdiction and they don’t know s#@t about what they are saying as regards the USA situation. (Though I am thinking of the Joe Cocker song. Wasn’t it, Mad Dogs and Englishmen? And if only I could remember the Englishman who wrote, “Send lawyers, guns, and money.” Two of my favs.)

        My thoughts you are commenting on are entirely driven by mere comparative liturgics. See Luther Reed’s side-by-side comparison of the Liturgies of St. John Chrysostom, the Tridentine RC, and the Episcopalian 1928 BCP. and the 1958 joint Lutheran in his great work, The Lutheran Liturgy (2nd ed., 1959), which goes into great detail on the then new joint 1958 Lutheran liturgy. As I said, I believe it was the zenith of English liturgies done by English speakers for English speakers. It had all the “right” parts that the 1928 has to be fixed by the American Missal and which the RC NO dumbed-down liturgy dropped or replaced. But the dumbing down of Vatican II hit Episcopalians and Lutherans, too, and they al scrapped their historical liturgics for “The Church of What’s Happening Now” Common Liturgy, Folk/Pop Music Hymnal, and Lectionary. 😦

      • So I really don’t care a whit about the angry or irate thoughts of Englishmen.

        Your blog host is English. You’ve put your foot in it, but I’ll cut you some slack. 🙂 I have never been under Orthodox jurisdiction, so that must make it more forgiveable for me to be an Englishman!

        There’s no need for Americans to worry about us. Most people in England aren’t interested in religion at all.

      • Dale says:

        Actually, Michael, I think that we are on the same page as far as liturgy is concerned. But there are more Hallams out there than you suspect; and he does belong to your jurisdiction. And since the present Patriarch appointed and continues to support Hallam, I am not too certain about their full support.

        Have been going through the new BCP; it is wonderful, for the asking price…get it!

      • William Tighe says:

        Michael Frost wrote:

        “One thing nice about the Orthodox BCP (Lancelot Andrewes Press, CO) is that in Appendix IV it shows six eucharistic canons, starting with the Roman Canon and the 1549 BCP, and including the 1928 BCP.”

        This attracted my attention, when written, and despite the ambiguity of the verb “shows,” I wondered if it meant that these canons were (implicitly?) authorized for use. Accordingly, I inquired of a friend more familiar with these matters than am I, who responded:

        “No, they are presented there more as an historical appendix, so that readers, if so inclined, can compare the Tikhonian prayer of consecration to its various predecessors.”

      • Michael Frost says:

        Since the Orthodox BCP is not an official work for or by any specific jurisdiction, any priest or jurisdiction that choose to “use” it officially, could do with it whatever he/they wanted, including the various Eucharistic canons in the Appendix.

        The Antiochian WRV has its two official liturgies, so they have no use for any “additional” Eucharistic canons. I’m not exactly sure what all ROCOR’s WRV has authorized, but I do know they’ve authorized their “Gallican” liturgy, whose Eucharistic canon is not in the Orthodox BCP.

        I don’t know what all the ACA has authorized, but they have recently approved the use of our WR Anglican-derived liturgy. So, at least for the ACA, they could use the 1928 BCP Eucharistic canon in addition to the Orthodox WR Eucharistic canon. I don’t know if they have any churches in places like Canada or South Africa, but if they did, then they might also use these Eucharistic canons. I don’t know whether they’ve authorized the use of the 1549 BCP Eucharistic canon, but I think it possible. So at least for the ACA, they might use many of these Eucharistic canons in the Appendix?

      • ed pacht says:

        I’m a member of ACA (Anglican Church in America). I haven’t heard of such an authorization, but it wouldn’t surprise me, as we have been known to approve the local use of variant liturgies for pastoral reasons. As to the other question – No we do not have churches outside the US (except for some in parts of Latin America), though we do have sister churches in the TAC in Canada, South Africa, and elsewhere. Such decisions in one province are not binding or effective elsewhere.

      • Dale says:

        Dear Fr Anthony,

        When Michael made the following declaration: “So I really don’t care a whit about the angry or irate thoughts of Englishmen.” I do not believe that he was attacking all Englishmen, only the type that Hallam represents; or as Dale Cracken said about this same individual, Hallam, that he is a jerk.

        Hallam seems to epitomize a Konvertzi mentality of the worst sort. In my dealing with Byzantine converts the very, very worst of the bunch have for some reason always been ex-Anglican Englishmen; the French Konvertzi are often quite nice, at least in my experience. But for some reason those who become the One-True-Church-or-die-you-unbaptised-pig-and-your-tradition-is-only-garbage-that-must-be-consigned-to-the-dustbin-of-history type of Byzantine fanatics, are almost always English, with the odd American thrown in for good measure, very odd actually.

        Michael, if I have misrepresented you, please correct me.

      • This seems to be the most likely hypothesis, since Michael has always been kind enough to me, able to read that I write “favour” and “colour”, and I call the hood of a car a “bonnet” and the trunk the “boot”. I live in France, but I still eat Marmite on toast and am much less good at cooking than my wife.

        I agree that there is a side of English religion that is as bad, or worse, as American religion, especially in the cities. I’m glad I never became Orthodox and left Roman Catholicism. Perhaps it’s the “long-haired hippie” in me, but I am grateful to have found my place in the ACC.

      • Dale says:

        Sorry, Dale Crakes not Dale Cracken!

      • (Fr.?) Dale, the only thing you forgot here are the few konvertzy who try to act out “the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church are equally the church.” Most of course buy the myth of Orthodoxy: we’re frauds, period. (Hallam seems like that.) This, on the other hand, seems a common infection online among Catholics who discovered the Byzantine Rite last week, so to speak. (Not to be confused with Byzantine Catholicism’s ethnic majorities, who like ethnic Orthodox tend not to make noise online.) A distortion of our view that the Orthodox are an estranged part of us. Lots of online fora are this kind of disloyal Catholic plus the kind of Orthodox who isn’t openly hostile but takes his text from a Catholic liberal misreading of Vatican II: “Catholicism no longer teaches that it’s the true church.” That affirms their foundation myth, particularly if they’re descended from Slavic-American ex-Catholics (pushed out of the church for no good reason). “See? We were right.” Anyway, these konvertzy, if they go all the way rather than staying in Catholicism and trying to undermine it, treat the Orthodox like a denomination, belittling its true-church claim. Converting with their fingers crossed, if you will. As for the Orthodox, glory be to economy: they’ll bend their rules (they do that a lot: Talmudic in that every rule has a counter-rule; their canon law is unenforceable so they make things up as they go along) to accommodate this. Must be desperate to stop their numbers from free-falling. Anyway, it’s insulting not only to us but to Orthodoxy, dishonest all around, and I can’t see it coming to a good end.

      • William Tighe says:

        Is it not factually the case (however much some people may dislike it, or attempt to attenuate it) that the Catholic Church (or “Roman Communion”), the Orthodox Church (or “Orthodox Communion”), and the Oriental Orthodox Communion all claim to be the one and unique “true Church?” Certainly, my desultory (but prolonged) investigations of that question some 30-35 years ago persuaded me of that, and for the OOs it was confirmed subsequently by my reading of the catechetical materials authored by the late Pope Shenouda. As to the “Church of the East and of the Assyrians,” my impression was that this was historically their position as well, but in conversations with Mar Bawai Soro (then an Assyrian bishop, now a Chaldean Catholic bishop) at the 2002 Orientale Lumen conference he enunciated what I took to be a version of the classical Anglican “branch theory” – that those churches which (1) had a true succession of bishops, (2) believed that the Eucharist was a sacrifice, (3) believed in the “change” of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, and, adding subsequently, (4) did not practice the “ordination” of women, were all “parts” of “the Church.” (I do not know whether this ecclesiological position stems from Anglican influence on the Church of the East in the period 1875-1950, or had deeper roots among therm.) The Anglican Evangelical scholar S. L. Greenslade claimed in his book *Schism in the Early Church* (1953) that this view of what I may term the “unity and unicity” of “the Church” was embraced alike by the Church Fathers (Eastern and Western) and by “counter-Church” bodies such as the Marcionites, the Novatianists, the Donatists, the Arians, and all others – but the argument of his book was that this view, however universally embraced in the Early Church, should and must be rejected by Anglicans because it was incompatible with the 16th-Century origins of the papacy-rejecting Church of England and with any coherent sense of “Anglican identity.”

      • Michael Frost says:

        Fr. Anthony, Dale, Ed: Yes, of course, that’s what I meant. You all knew that. You know I’m a huge proponent of the AWRV. Having been involved with it since about 1993. I thank God my old parish in Omaha, St. Vincent’s of Lerins, is still going strong more than 25 after its inception. I have little time or patience with any Easterners, usually Greek, who disrespect the magnificent heritage and patrimony that is Western Christendom. And I include our historic confessing magisterial Heirs of the Reformation, be they Anglican, Lutheran, Methodist, or Reformed (at least those in Bucer/Bullinger, non-Calvin, way–though I’m not sure where to draw the line with my Irish Anglican friend, Fr. Robert.). Though as I periodically tell my CA friends, I could do with a lot less kneeling on Sunday! 🙂

    • Peter Jericho says:

      >As regards the various comments that converting to Eastern Orthodoxy is an expression of self-loathing/self-hating… what a crock of excrement! Quite the canard! And an act of calumny!

      Thank you! I’ve been trying to convince my coreligionist, TYF, that making absolute statements like saying it’s an act of self-hatred for any western Christian to convert to Orthodoxy, is a sign of imminent going-off-the-deep end (if it hasn’t already happened).

      • Some Roman Catholics are called to live in the Christian East; I always defend the unlatinized option for the Byzantine Rite and think such Catholics should have a patron saint, Metropolitan Andrew (Sheptytsky), the Polish count who became Ukrainian Catholic. But there’s only one church; we believe that leaving for Orthodoxy is grave error.

  95. William Tighe says:

    “They even retained the Latin liturgy for a couple centuries. See Archbishop of Uppsala (the primate’s see) Yngve Brilioth’s wonderful work, Eucharistic Faith and Practice: Evangelical and Catholic (SPCK, 1930)”

    I have read Brilioth’s book, and have studied the history of Swedish Lutheran Liturgy. They retained some Latin chants (introit/gradual etc.) as options for some time, but after 1571 not in the prayers of their Eucharistic rite(s). In fact, more Latin was retained in some German Lutheran locales (Magdeburg Cathedral, for instance) well into the 17th Century, but most of it disappeared in the late 17th/throughout the 18th centuries — just like the use of Catholic Eucharistic vestments (which had disappeared just about everywhere in Germany – but NOT in Scandinavia – by the last quarter of the 18th Century) and even of surplices (which had been replaced by the black gown or “talar” in most Lutheran churches outside of Scandinavia by 1800), as well, of course, as the elimination of the elevation of the host and chalice during the Words of Institution (the elevation had been abolished in Sweden and Denmark — but not Norway, where it was prescribed as late as 1685 – by 1600; it had been abolished almost everywhere in Germany by 1660, although it survived in Schleswig-Holstein until 1797 [as was informed years ago by the late historian Bodo Nischan]).

    • Dale says:

      It would appear that Latin, as a liturgical language, lingered on longest in Iceland. Also, Iceland was the only Scandinavian country in which the last Catholic bishop, Jon Arason suffered martyrdom for the old faith (of course not necessarily the post 1870 version), beheaded along with two of his sons.

      • William Tighe says:

        Yes, Jan Arason, the last Catholic Bishop of Holar, was beheaded in 1550. The last Catholic Bishop of Skalholt (the other Icelandic see), the aged Ogmundur Palsson (bishop 1521-1540) was kidnapped by the Danish authorities, put on a boat to