This site seeks to promote genuinely Orthodox Western Rite usage, not some form of Anglicanism, Lutheranism or Roman Catholicism sheltering within Orthodoxy. Hence its emphasis on pre-Schism liturgical practices where these can be ascertained. The site expresses a vision of a national Orthodox Church of the British Isles and one for western Europe, and is a resource for all Orthodox Believers.
THE WESTERN RITE WITHIN THE ORTHODOX CHURCH
His Eminence Metropolitan Archbishop Hilarion, head of ROCOR Western Rite.
All ROCOR Western Rite comes directly and personally under the direction of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE COMMISSION ON WESTERN RITE WITHIN ROCOR
Fr. Mark Rowe, Dean of Western Rite communities in the USA
The Right Reverend Bishop John, head of the Antiochian Orthodox Western Rite in the USA
Fr. Edward Hughes, Dean of the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate
O Lord God Almighty, Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the mysteries of Whose being are unsearchable: Accept we beseech Thee, our praises for the revelation which Thou hast made of Thyself: Father, Son and Holy Ghost, Three Persons and One God; and mercifully grant that, ever holding fast to this faith, we may magnify Thy glorious Name, Who livest and reignest, One God, world without end. Amen. Second Collect for the season of Trinity.
“Never, never, never let anyone tell you that, in order to be Orthodox, you must also be Eastern. The West was Orthodox for a thousand years, and her venerable liturgy is far older than any of Her heresies.”
+ Saint John the Wonderworker of Shang Hai and SFr
The Roman pope has now divested himself of the title of Patriarch of the West, so is it open to Orthodoxy to now elect a new Orthodox Patriarch of the West?
The restoration of our Christian heritage.
For a thousand years, from AD37-45 to AD1054-66, the people living in the British Isles and western Europe believed and worshipped God as an integral part of the undivided Orthodox Catholic Church. That Church was governed world wide by five Patriarchs, those of Constantinople (the Ecumenical Patriarch), Rome, Jerusalem, Antioch and Alexandria. The Church in the British Isles was a Local Church as was twice legislated by the Witenegemot (parliament) in the AD 700s, having at its head the Metropolitan Archbishop of Canterbury who was connected to the Patriarchs and was an expression of the common Orthodox Christian Faith held together with the other Local Churches throughout the world. The great saints of the British Isles such as Saint Aidan, Saint David, Saint Patrick, Saint Alban, Saint Chad, Saint Cuthbert, Saint Boniface, Saint Dunstan etc., were all members of that Orthodox Catholic Church in the British Isles which continued for a thousand years.
After the Great Schism between the Eastern Church and the smaller Western Church, the Western Rite of worship continued in Jerusalem, Constantinople, and Mount Athos for nearly three hundred years.
Through the 1860s there were discussions in Moscow about reinstating the Western Rite. In 1868 the Primus (Archbishop) of the Church of Scotland held talks in Moscow with Metropolitan Filaret of Moscow about reunion. In 1882 the Patriarch and Synod of Constantinople gave conditional approval to the Western Liturgy and Offices.
Nearly thirty years later the Holy Synod again moved in favour of Western Rite for westerners in other parts of the world.
The primary purpose of the Western Rite Missions within the Orthodox Church remains the re-calling of the nation and indeed all of Europe and the western world to its Christian roots. The primary task of re-calling Europe probably falls the Orthodox Church which alone has not got the problems in the eyes of the general public to impede this work.
The Orthodox Church can clearly lead Europe and the west back towards a moral and just Christian society. We in the Western Rite can provide the missionary setting within western culture to allow the un-churched majority to at least connect once again with the Christian Church.
We therefore urge all men of good will to join with us to meet the challenge posed by the secularisation of our society. We urge Christian Members of Parliament, Christian business leaders and others of like mind to help us find ways of bringing back to Christianity, those of the now third and fourth generations of post-Christian people.
We urge readers to explore fully all the pages of this site. Many of them contain multiple articles which will repay investigation. At the same time we urge re-visits since this site will be updated constantly.