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Western rite monasticism


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#1 Guest_Augustine Martin

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:03 AM

So how do we feel about Western Rite monasteries? ROCOR has planted a few. I'm just trying to start a friendly conversation.

I like the idea of Western Rite, but I realize those don't usually work well.

#2 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:45 AM

If you want to know about Western Rite in ROCOR, you should really communicate directly with Bishop Jerome. He is really the one who is knowledgeable about all the western rite parishes and monastic foundations in ROCOR as he is basically "in charge".

Fr David Moser

#3 Kusanagi

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 01:57 PM

Personally I think if they and modify a service from the Benetictine service it will be better than what they use from the book of common prayer after a few changes.

#4 Father David Moser

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Posted 02 October 2012 - 02:56 PM

Personally I think if they and modify a service from the Benetictine service it will be better than what they use from the book of common prayer after a few changes.


The Western Rite is much more complex than just recycling the Roman Catholic or Anglican rites. If we are going to discuss WR here, at least do so from a standpoint of actual knowledge than just what you might have heard somewhere on the internet. It is for this reason that I suggest that those who want to know about WR in ROCOR directly contact Bishop Jerome who is the synodal expert and who is the Bishop in charge of the WR vicariate. Lets not wallow around in the mudpuddle of our own ignorance.

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#5 Guest_Augustine Martin

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Posted 03 October 2012 - 04:21 PM

That seems wise, Fr. David. I imagine WR is a much more complex issue than it seems on the surface. It also seems to have caused more problems than it's solved.

#6 Eric Peterson

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Posted 06 October 2012 - 02:47 AM

Augustine, you talk about problems and it not working out, but I have not heard actual proof of such things and I'm not sure how it related to the topic at hand. Personally, I'm all for WRO monasteris and ERO monasteries. Orthodox monks are Orthodox monks, a blessing to the world.

#7 Guest_Augustine Martin

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Posted 08 October 2012 - 02:00 AM

I'm sorry. Allow me to clarify. "They" say that Western Rite feels like a different spirituality and that most parishes are just old men hanging around.

#8 Father David Moser

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:28 PM

"They" say that Western Rite feels like ...


Perhaps instead of depending on what "They" say, perhaps you should go directly to the one who knows the truth - that is Bishop Jerome of Manhatten and protector of the WR for ROCOR. He has personally visited about 2/3 of the WR parishes to date and is working on the other 1/3. He has personally appointed all the WR rectors to their parishes. He knows from first hand experience and prayer what WR is and what it "feels like". I find that WR has become the object of a great deal of unfounded prejudice among Orthodox Christians in North America (and possibly Great Britain and Western Europe- but I don't know since I'm not there) just because it's "different". So rather than listen to "they" perhaps it is better to listen to our bishops.

Fr David

#9 Eric Peterson

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Posted 11 October 2012 - 03:40 AM

I have visited Christminster in Canada, the WRO Benedictine monastery under ROCOR. It is a small monastery and has a small congregation attached to it, but the liturgy and services were reverent and the hospitality was genuine and worthy of St. Benedict's holy rule. It was a blessing to go there, meet and pray with the fathers.

#10 Guest_Augustine Martin

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 05:51 PM

I contacted the bishop. He made a good impression on me.

#11 Moses Anthony

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Posted 06 November 2012 - 03:19 AM

I have both participated and served in, both an Eastern and Western Rite Orthodox parish. Along with several others in my parish, I am still -well after the three year period- trying to observe a rule as an Oblate of St.Benedict. Last month we met our newly ordained Bishop of the Western Rite Vicarite, of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese, Bishop John.

We have a 'Rood Screen' separating the congregation from the altar area, and an 'altar rail' -where communicants kneel to receive the hosts. A note in the bulletin reminds all that only faithful Orthodox may commune (the sub-deacon offers the antidoran/prosphera/blessed bread afterwards). The Byzantine/Eastern Rite has the 'Royal and deacon doors', behind which the "stuff" you don't see with the servers happens. The WRO has a 'sacristy' from which the server ministers, everything and everyone else is seen at all times. In the ERO liturgy the sub-deacon is primary in all the litanies; in the WRO liturgy it's responsive, as the priest leads. There are 'secret prayers' in both liturgies. The sub-deacon, deacon and altar server processing from the altar area to the rood screen, where the deacon reads he Gospel lesson is the only "entrance". However; the priest does elevate the hosts, at which time the people reverently bow, cross themselves, and a bell is rung thrice. The 'altar' itself is not free-standing as in an ERO parish, but like the catacombs of the first century persecuted Church, is against a wall. And yes, there are icons; behind the altar, in the prayer room, along the sides of the altar area. And too, like our ERO brethren, we have that staple of Orthodoxy, the coffee hour

I the WRO parish I attend, during Divine Liturgy/Mass, the 'altar' is censed twice, the altar party and congregation once. At the end of Matins and Vespers a reading is made from either The Rule of St. Benedict of Nursia (our patron), or The Lives of the Saints. Fr. usually includes in the bulletin an excerpt from a well known saint. Recently however they have been from Prayer, by Fr. Sophrony.

We often talk about being faithful to the legacy of Eastern Rite Orthodoxy, the non-canonical multiplicity of bishops and jurisdictions. But what is an American Orthodox Church like; Whites, Blacks, Croats, Serbs, Indonesian, Native American, Russian, African, Coptic! It seems that this is the more serious question our bishops -and through them, we- must face instead of what 'Rite is "more Orthodox" than the other.


the sinful and unworthy sub-deacon,

#12 Hieromonk Aidan

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Posted 05 December 2012 - 02:25 AM

Subdeacon Moses, thank you for an enjoyable read on your WRO experiences, and God be with you always and help you in your oblature.

I will say how I've experienced Western Rite within the ROCOR, which is partly the same and partly different. I will do this not to say this-or-that is right and this-or-that is wrong; not my intention; intention is to chime in and add new experiences, hoping that others will do so after me. Also, my experience has been weighted heavily towards very conservative WR, so most people's mileage will vary.

Often there is a solid screen in the WR which separates the sanctuary from the people. You see the service mainly through the door and the view is limited. This kind of screen actually was used in the West long before the East got them. Communion is received standing. There are three entrances at the WR Liturgy, the one where all the clergy and servers enter at the beginning, the one where they bring in the bread and wine, and the one where they bring in the chalice, spoon, corporal cloths, etc. The altar is usually free-standing, as in older Western churches, and is censed more times, but not as many as the ER. The people are censed twice.

Most other stuff is usually just as subdeacon Moses has it.

Pictures of the RWRV (Russian Western Rite Vicariate) clergy may be viewed here: www.allmercifulsavior.com/Western.html.




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