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The western rite in Orthodoxy today

Western Rite

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#21 Rick H.

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 01:14 PM

Let all Orthodox of past present and future sing from the same hymn sheet.



Yes, "let them eat cake!"

#22 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:04 PM

Yes, "let them eat cake!"


Sorry, Rick - I don't get it.

#23 Rick H.

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 02:37 PM

Andreas--I'm afraid there is a high degree of irony/sarcasm employed; however, please don't take it personally because this was not the intention.

However, for those who do get it, let us pray for each other and pray for the day when our children will know (experience/encounter) the reality of Pooh's aspiration [and possibly even take for granted somewhat] the reality of IT in the following:


Let all Orthodox, past, present and future, sing in harmony from the same theology, expressed as best suits the mileu it is being expressed in. Otherwise we are in danger of not singing from the same hymn sheet as those in the past.


And, for any Watchman Nee fans . . . yes, "The Normal Christian Life."

In Christ,
Rick

#24 Nina

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 08:06 PM

Sorry, Rick - I don't get it.


There was this hype here because of Sofia Coppola's movie about Marie Antoinette, dear Andreas, and most people will know her here as the person who said: "let them eat cake".

#25 Moses Anthony

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 10:38 PM

Andreas--I'm afraid there is a high degree of irony/sarcasm employed; however, please don't take it personally because this was not the intention.

However, for those who do get it, let us pray for each other and pray for the day when our children will know (experience/encounter) the reality of Pooh's aspiration [and possibly even take for granted somewhat] the reality of IT in the following:




And, for any Watchman Nee fans . . . yes, "The Normal Christian Life."

In Christ,
Rick


Someone once said that I have a tendency to seek, call for, and or present a balance in the threads to which I post. Therefore,....

If one is going to speak of the Western Rite Vicarate, of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian jurisdiction an addition to "what we already have", I think one needs to practice their statements with the utmost of care. For as slow as change in Orthodoxy may occur, what we have today as "rubrics" differs greatly from what even such worthies as St. Chrysostom practiced.

The Christianity many Protestants live is truly a Nominal Christian Life. Well schucks, that can actually be said (if one had the knowledge of many people), of those who are Orthodox as well! For in truth the level of living the life of sacrificial love as evidenced by the Apostles, and those they appointed to follow in their steps as elders, presbyters, pastors of the flock. And if the hagiography of the Church is to be believed, our lives are far inferior to that of many, whom the Church does not include in the list of martyred saints.

What I'm saying, so as not to be misconstrued, or not understood: let us first be so concerned with how our lives are pleasing to the Father. This is not to say that the structures of the Divine Liturgy, nor ecclesiastical authority, or cananicity, or theology or.... is unimportant.

I know, beyond any shadow of doubt that there will be Protestants in heaven. Some of whom might themselves, be surprised at other Protestants in the presence of God. I myself greatly favor the Byzantine over the Western Rite form of the Divine Liturgy (serving in the altar I miss the smell of the incense in my clothing), and yet there is that quote from St. Ignatius, and the teaching of the saints , and Church I cannot get away from. St. Ignatius said on his way to martyrdom, "Do nothing without the Bishop." A statement which when considered as to how the Church viewed the Bishop, may be viewed the same as 'submitting to the authority of the Church'.

Who knows if the concerns presented here today will make it to our Holy Synods,and yet I dare say that there are more pressing concerns they struggle with which are more important to the future of Orthodoxy in the United States. Then again, I may be completely missing the mark with my understanding of the thoughts presented here!

the sinful and unworthy servant
moses

#26 Nina

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 12:17 AM


I know, beyond any shadow of doubt that there will be Protestants in heaven. Some of whom might themselves, be surprised at other Protestants in the presence of God. I myself greatly favor the Byzantine over the Western Rite form of the Divine Liturgy (serving in the altar I miss the smell of the incense in my clothing), and yet there is that quote from St. Ignatius, and the teaching of the saints , and Church I cannot get away from. St. Ignatius said on his way to martyrdom, "Do nothing without the Bishop." A statement which when considered as to how the Church viewed the Bishop, may be viewed the same as 'submitting to the authority of the Church'.

the sinful and unworthy servant
moses


Since I do not know at all what is going on in your church and since I thought Western Rite is a form of uniatism and byzantine catholics (and these are not Orthodox) - please forgive my ignorance on what is going on - however do you mean that there is actually an Orthodox church in this country under the Antiochians that is not celebrating Liturgy Byzantine style and does not have incense?

#27 Moses Anthony

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:18 AM

Since I do not know at all what is going on in your church and since I thought Western Rite is a form of uniatism and byzantine catholics (and these are not Orthodox) - please forgive my ignorance on what is going on - however do you mean that there is actually an Orthodox church in this country under the Antiochians that is not celebrating Liturgy Byzantine style and does not have incense?



There is under the jurisdiction of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, a Western Rite Vicarate, the Vicar General of which is, Fr. Paul Schneirla. The parish in which I'm one of several sub-deacons is St. Benedict of Nursia. Our Bishop is BASIL, Bishop of the diocese of Mid-America and the Southwest And yes; We do use incense, which is handled most by the acolyte.

If my information is correct, there's also a 'Western Rite' used by some of those in ROCOR.

Having been my bishop since chrismation, tonsuring and ordaination , Bishop BASIL knows of my preference for the Byzantine Rite; I on my part however, while wanting to aide the GOA (Byzantine Rite) parish which mothered the other Orthodox parish in town), am not quite ready to place myself under the omiphorion of Metropolitan Isaiah of Denver.

The altar which is on a raised portion of the altar area, is against a wall. The icons besides those in the altar are of Ss. Benedict and Scholastica (his sister). The rubrics call for the priest to cense the altar, after which the thurible is handed off to the deacon who censes the people, and hands off the thurible to the acolyte who exits to the right. After the reading of the epistle, when he is in place the deacon censes the Gospel Book before reading the Gospel lesson. He hands the thurible to the acolyte who stands there until the reading is over ( again exiting right to the sacristy). As concerning my earlier mention of the altar it's censed twice during the Mass/Liturgy, as is the people. Prior to Communion, the Body and Blood, along with the anaphora is also censed. So, as you see, at least in this particular parish incense is used quite a bit during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy/Mass.

the sinful and unworthy servant
moses

Edited by M.C. Steenberg, 22 February 2008 - 01:25 PM.
Added blank line between paragraphs


#28 Rostislav M-P

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 01:52 AM

To shed some levity and ironically remain on topic: it's not "let them eat cake!"--it's let them eat azymes!
Malleev-Pokrovsky

#29 Kosta

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 03:04 AM

The western rite under Antioch is nothing they claim and should eventually be done away with. They claim a legitimate restoration of the western liturgy as practised in the pre-schism church for 1000 years.

The book of comon prayer hardly falls under such a category. The WR is nothing more than an attempt to appease high church protestants disenfranchised by the liberal leanings of their western denomination.

Some of the things that the WR under Antioch try to convince us of is that statues are equal in every was as to icons, can be venerated and were defended in the 7th ecumenical council. Another WR innovation is the use of flattened round leavened bread (pita bread) for the Eucharist. Here we have a compromise between the unleavened wafer and the leavened prosphora used in Orthodox churches. Can the WR honestly think that pita bread was in use for the first 1000 years of western christianity when it can only be traced back to their existence?

Just look at how this Western rite experiment sadly ended in Paris. St John Maximovitch would never of allowed its use if he knew they would fall into gnosticm, thats exactly what happened.Now they are nothing more than heretical vagantes even though they still claim to be Orthodox. This should have been a lesson to us. Taking postschism non-Orthdox services and attempt to reform them so they can be Orthodox-like. Then heap them on parishes whose laity and clergy have never stepped foot into a legitimate Orthodox church.

The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is western, originating from Constantinople. The Liturgy of St James is eastern from Jerusalem and the Liturgy of St Mark is African originating from Alexandria.

#30 Paul Cowan

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 04:18 AM

Since I do not know at all what is going on in your church and since I thought Western Rite is a form of uniatism and byzantine catholics (and these are not Orthodox) - please forgive my ignorance on what is going on - however do you mean that there is actually an Orthodox church in this country under the Antiochians that is not celebrating Liturgy Byzantine style and does not have incense?


Perhaps this will help with understanding. St. Paul's is a Western Rite church under the same Bishop as my parish. My priest was the sponsor of their priest when he was tonsured. Their website explains alot.

Paul

#31 Nina

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Posted 22 February 2008 - 07:32 PM

Dear Paul,

thank you for the link. It was interesting to read about it. However since sometime the explanation of that link seemed to leave thoughts in the middle and did not fully make me understand, I wanted to read more and found this site: link
Wow, there were so many things I did not know, ever.

Dear Kosta,

thank you for your explanation also. It was very edifying. I wanted to also look at the history behind it so the link helped me create a more complete picture.

#32 Hieromonk Nikolai

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 02:03 AM

The western rite under Antioch is nothing they claim and should eventually be done away with. They claim a legitimate restoration of the western liturgy as practised in the pre-schism church for 1000 years.

The book of comon prayer hardly falls under such a category. The WR is nothing more than an attempt to appease high church protestants disenfranchised by the liberal leanings of their western denomination.

Some of the things that the WR under Antioch try to convince us of is that statues are equal in every was as to icons, can be venerated and were defended in the 7th ecumenical council. Another WR innovation is the use of flattened round leavened bread (pita bread) for the Eucharist. Here we have a compromise between the unleavened wafer and the leavened prosphora used in Orthodox churches. Can the WR honestly think that pita bread was in use for the first 1000 years of western christianity when it can only be traced back to their existence?

Just look at how this Western rite experiment sadly ended in Paris. St John Maximovitch would never of allowed its use if he knew they would fall into gnosticm, thats exactly what happened.Now they are nothing more than heretical vagantes even though they still claim to be Orthodox. This should have been a lesson to us. Taking postschism non-Orthdox services and attempt to reform them so they can be Orthodox-like. Then heap them on parishes whose laity and clergy have never stepped foot into a legitimate Orthodox church.

The Liturgy of St John Chrysostom is western, originating from Constantinople. The Liturgy of St James is eastern from Jerusalem and the Liturgy of St Mark is African originating from Alexandria.


I am painfully aware that much of what Kosta says would be found both highly inaccurate, factually wrong and perhaps even insulting to some of my western rite friends. I am equally aware that some jurisdictions are almost fanatically opposed to the idea of western rite probably because they have over the past millennium had to compensate for their own loss of territory to invasion by telling themselves that they/their nation alone constitutes the fulness of Orthodoxy and that in order to be Orthodox, incomers must pretend to their nationality as the only proper path into Orthodoxy.

The western rite is, according to my own investigation, a very legitimate expression of the fulness of Orthodoxy - when (and only when) it observes the fulness of its own history and genuine liturgical tradition. I understand that this is best exemplified in the western rite as practiced in ROCOR where there is a fully researched and authorised set of services and careful oversight of what is done.

I have seen it said that the western rite existed for a full thousand years of the first millennium, and that the Orthodoxy of the western church was attested to by Saint John Chrysostom himself.

Dragging the recent events (the failings of one man) in the Orthodox Church of France into the "condemnation" of western rite is specious to say the least. I have detailed personal knowledge of that situation and Kosta's comments display a lack of awareness and were better left unsaid. The fall into gnosticism (and worse) has been well documented many times amongst eastern rite groups (including at least one patriarch) and yet it is not a reason for condemning the Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom.

Speculation about western rite by those who know little about it is not helpful and it would perhaps be better if it was not offered.

As I understand it, there is a long history of the western rite within Orthodoxy. One ROCOR source has pointed out that the western rite existed within Orthodoxy (both anciently and in modern times), for over 70% of the life of the Church and that for Orthodoxy to be without the western rite is an abberration. It existed, I believe, on mount Athos, in Constantinople and in Jerusalem for several centuries after the Great Schism and has/does exist in modern times under a number of Patriarchates with formal patriarchal/synodical authority for the past 140 years.

Perhaps there are some western rite people here from ROCOR who can correct my facts.

Hieromonk Nikolai

#33 Father Anthony

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Posted 19 March 2008 - 12:46 PM

It existed, I believe, on mount Athos, in Constantinople and in Jerusalem for several centuries after the Great Schism and has/does exist in modern times under a number of Patriarchates with formal patriarchal/synodical authority for the past 140 years.

Father Nikolai is correct in this fact. The monastery that existed on the Holy Mountain and is now defunct was Amalfion monastery, that existed even after the Great Schism for at least two centuries thereafter.

Also patriarchal/synodical decrees recognizing the legitimacy of the western rite have been publicly proclaimed by Antioch, Romania, and Russia. Romania still has a handful of parishes in France that still use the western rite on occasion, though they have the Byzantine ritual as their primary form of worship for most of the liturgical year.

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#34 Kosta

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 02:41 AM

Yes, there was the Amalfion western rite monastery on Athos till the 14th or 15th century. My argument is not against a legitimate WR but what is falsely being passed off as western rite. Anotherwords if an Amalfion monk were alive today and happened to attend one of these modern day liturgies, he would not recognize what is practised in the Antiochan western vicariate as Orthodox or as a pre-schism western Liturgy.

Somehow a protestant 'western rite' service was able to be named after St Tikhon about 50 years ago under the Antiochan Archdiocese in America. Its claimed that this liturgy restores to Orthodoxy a historical continuation of a western rite as practised in the first thousand years of the Church.

This is an outright lie and i wont stand for it. It would only qualify as a western rite Orthodox liturgy, if the Church in the first thousand years believed in the branch theory, that The Theotokos was not ever-Virgin and if the Church denied the real presence in the Eucharist, because this is precisely what the worshippers of this liturgy believed.

Without the Orthodox interpolations and corrections added to this Anglican service, we would see that this Liturgy only refers to the Theotokos as "Blessed Mary" and only once calls her Virgin Mary. Ironically the only place this reference of Virgin Mary is made, is in the only part of the Liturgy which truly is pre-schism , the Nicene Creed!

Another peculiar aspect of this liturgy is prayers which deny that the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ but only a memorial done to remember the crucufixion . To this, we Orthodox have interpolated a lengthy epiclesis demonstrating the belief in the real prescense (since this liturgy originally did not).
Its important to quote what this original "western rite" without the Orthodox influence prayed in the 'consecration':

"O glory to thee, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, for that You, of thy tender mercy did give Your only Son Jesus Christ to suffer death upon the cross for our redemption; who by his own oblation of himself, once offered- made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world. And did institute , and in His Holy Gospel COMMAND US TO CONTINUE A PERPETUAL MEMORY OF THAT HIS PRECIOUS DEATH AND SACRIFICE UNTIL THE SECOND COMING........."(words of institution are read then the following prayer)- "Wherefore, O Lord and heavenly Father according to the institution of Your dearly beloved Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, we thy humble servants, do celebrate and make here before thy Divine Majesty, with these Your Holy Gifts , which we now offer unto thee, the Memorial, Your Son has commanded us to make; having in remembrance his blessed Passion and precious Death , His mighty Ressurection and Glorious Ascension; rendering unto You most hearty thanks for the innumerable benefits procured unto us by the same." (After this the Orthodox Epiclesis is added).

Following the Recieving of Holy Communion the following prayer of Thanksgiving is read:
"Almighty and ever living God, we most heartily thank thee, for that thou does vouchsafe to feed us, who have duly recieved these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of Thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and does assure us thereby of thy favor and goodness towards us. AND THAT WE ARE VERY MEMBERS INCORPORATE IN THE MYSTICAL BODY OF THY SON, WHICH IS THE BLESSED COMPANY OF ALL FAITHFUL PEOPLE...." (branch theory anyone)

This is just one veiled example of the branch theory espoused by this anglican liturgy, another example of the branch theory openly revealed and prayed in this Liturgy scroll to pgs 3-4 under 'memorials':

http://orthodoxangli...oads/tikhon.PDF

As far as the Liturgy of St Gregory, this is closer to a western rite liturgy as practised in the first thousand years of the Church. But not quite, we can see this in the 'extras' which come along with this western rite.
Here is the website for the Holy Incarnation Western Rite Orthodox Church under Antioch:
http://holyincarnati...icebooklets.php
Scroll down to "Mass" and click on "Mass on Sundays". It starts off with prayers before recieving Holy Communiuon, The second prayer is from "SAINT THOMAS AQUINAS". Perhaps im ignorannt but since when is Thomas Aquinas a pre-schism saint of the Orthodox church? Obviously these liturgies have gone under multiple revisions over the centuries.

If you click on "Lauds" theres a prayer of "SAINT GERTRUDE". A13th century RC saint (but not an Orthodox pre-schism saint) who is one of the first documented people to practise a devotion called the "Sacred Heart".

#35 Matthew Namee

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:11 PM

Dear Kosta,

I am undecided with regard to my feelings about the Western Rite. I live in Wichita, Kansas, and as has been mentioned, our own Bishop Basil oversees the Western Rite for the Antiochian Archdiocese. Bishop Basil is respected by a wide range of Orthodox Christians as being a bishop of upright character and unswerving Orthodoxy. Because of this, and because I know him well and trust his judgment, I am inclined to give the Western Rite the benefit of the doubt.

However, I understand why there are people who are uncomfortable with the Western Rite. It does feel a bit like "liturgical archaeology," if you will. I am not concerned with the comments you made about gnostics in France and heretical Anglicans and so forth; the theology of those in the Western Rite in the Antiochian Archdiocese is, as far as I am aware, solidly Orthodox. At the same time, it is true that the Western Rite liturgies (of which there are multiple) have not been continually employed and organically developed throughout history (as have been the liturgies of Chrysostom and Basil). Having multiple liturgical rites is perfectly Orthodox; this is not the problem. Rather, historically, the development Western Rite in Orthodoxy in recent decades has been a good bit more arbitrary than the Eastern Rite liturgical developments.

Be all that as it may, I do take issue with your tone and attitude. Please have some respect for those pious Orthodox who do practice the Western Rite. They are not heretics. They are not compromising the faith or espousing branch theory or denying the ever-virginity of the Theotokos. If they are doing something which is not entirely correct, then God will reveal it as such in due time. Their bishop, Basil, is a worthy bishop; I wish there were more like him. If the Antiochian Patriarchate or Archdiocese were engaged in some sort of deception, it would have to involve him, and I consider such an idea to be preposterous. He is the most faithful Orthodox bishop I have encountered.

So please, when you criticize and critique the Western Rite, please do so with a sensitivity to those who practice it and those who favor it. Please do not attempt to win your argument by insulting others or questioning their Orthodoxy.

Edited by Matthew Namee, 20 March 2008 - 08:15 PM.
grammatical correction & clarification


#36 Father Anthony

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 08:23 PM

So please, when you criticize and critique the Western Rite, please do so with a sensitivity to those who practice it and those who favor it. Please do not attempt to win your argument by insulting others or questioning their Orthodoxy.

I have to agree with Matthew in his assessment. Those I have met that are Western Orthodox are solidly Orthodox in their theology. They use the same books that those that are Byzantine use in their catechetical instruction, and have a good grounding not only in the Eastern Fathers but also the pre-schism Western Fathers. In most cases, they are devoted and Orthodox communities with a full liturgical life that could put some of their Byzantine brethren to shame.

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#37 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 10:56 PM

I have read on a Western Rite website that the Liturgy of St Tikhon was approved by St Tikhon and by the Holy Synod in Moscow. Other sites say that neither approval was actually given. What is the real position about this?
What do Western Rite people do about all the other services of the Orthodox Church? Do they not use vespers, matins, compline, great compline, the midnight office and the hours? What about the services for baptism, chrismation, marriage, unction, and funerals - what forms do they use? Indeed, as we approach Pascha, what Holy Week and Paschal services do they have? And what is their prayer book like - what prayers do they say for preparation before and thanksgiving after holy communion? Do they say the Orthodox akathists and canons? What prayers do they have for blessing the house and other objects?

#38 Kosta

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:14 PM

I have read on a Western Rite website that the Liturgy of St Tikhon was approved by St Tikhon and by the Holy Synod in Moscow. Other sites say that neither approval was actually given. What is the real position about this?
What do Western Rite people do about all the other services of the Orthodox Church? Do they not use vespers, matins, compline, great compline, the midnight office and the hours? What about the services for baptism, chrismation, marriage, unction, and funerals - what forms do they use? Indeed, as we approach Pascha, what Holy Week and Paschal services do they have? And what is their prayer book like - what prayers do they say for preparation before and thanksgiving after holy communion? Do they say the Orthodox akathists and canons? What prayers do they have for blessing the house and other objects?


AFAIK St Tikhon sent back to Moscow an anglican liturgy book. Some anglican parish came to him to be recieved "as is". The Synod of Moscow sent back the book with necceary corrections and additions, hastily put together (since then 'mother of God' and 'ever virgin' has been added recently after 'blessed mary'). Most likely this anglican parish and St Tikhon himself didnt realize initially the great differences between the two faiths. Nothing ever came of this and St Tikhon never authorized a WR, nor could he since the original people who approached him remained in their old beliefs.

#39 Herman Blaydoe

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:24 PM

What do Western Rite people do about all the other services of the Orthodox Church? Do they not use vespers, matins, compline, great compline, the midnight office and the hours? What about the services for baptism, chrismation, marriage, unction, and funerals - what forms do they use? Indeed, as we approach Pascha, what Holy Week and Paschal services do they have? And what is their prayer book like - what prayers do they say for preparation before and thanksgiving after holy communion? Do they say the Orthodox akathists and canons? What prayers do they have for blessing the house and other objects?


Russian prayer books are rather different from Greek prayer books are different from Antiochian prayer books. Why even Russian prayer books are different from other Russian prayer books! But they are still Orthodox.

Do all Orthodox under the Byzantine rite attend vespers, matins, compline, great compline and say all the prayers before and after communion? Are Western rite followers not allowed to use the Byzantine prayers? Because they use one Byzantine prayer are they not allowed to use the Orthodox prayers of any other rite?

If I go to a Western Rite Liturgy, am I not allowed to go to an Eastern rite Vespers? Do they have to be mutually exclusive?

Questions begotten by questions.

Herman the Pooh

#40 Rdr Andreas

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Posted 20 March 2008 - 11:30 PM

Do those who have some sympathy with WR agree that no approval was actually given, though modifications were made to the BCP as used in America and sympathy was expressed for the idea of WR parishes?

I'd like to know about their services.

Is there any WR presence in the UK or any desire for such?




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