Having obtained episcopal blessing, Fr. James, the Superior of Christ the Saviour Monastery (ROCOR) is preparing to move the monastery to Hamilton, Ontario.
In July, Fr. James visited Hamilton and celebrated the Divine Liturgy of the Western Rite at Our Lady of Glastonbury Oratory, which will be the new home of the monastery after the move.
Saint Benedict’s (ROCOR) Parish in Oklahoma City has been officially using the Western Rite since Bishop Peter of Cleveland blessed the Rector, Fr. Anthony Nelson, to to do so in 2006.
Saint Benedict’s church Oklahoma City.
Archpriest Anthony Nelson celebrating the Western Rite.
On Saturday the 7th of July 2007, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion, Chief Deputy President of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, pontificated at a solemn celebration of the Western Rite Divine Liturgy to mark the centenary of the decision of the Holy Synod of Russia to authorise the adaption of services taken from the Book of Common Prayer for use by Orthodox people.
The day began with the Liturgical Reception of the Archbishop in the Nave of Saint Mary-the-Virgin church. Archbishop Hilarion was accompanied by his Chaplain, Fr. Seraphim Scheidler.
Matins was sung by Fr. Michael and Fr. Barry and the choir while the Archbishop vested assisted by Fr. Dcn John. This was followed by the Divine Liturgy.
The celebrant of the Solemn Liturgy was Fr. Michael, Superior of Saint Petroc Monastery, Cascades. The Deacon was Fr. Barry Jefferies, of Saint Stephen Monastery Mission, Launceston and the Sub Deacon was Fr. Dcn. John Whiteside of the Antiochian Orthodox Good Shepherd Mission, Clayton.
The Clerk for the Liturgy was Dr. John Ward of Saint Dyfan Monastery Mission, Hobart. The Deacon brought the Sacrifice from the Lady Chapel in the Offertory Procession.
Fr. Michael read the Last Gospel in the course of the Recession. The ceremonial for the "English Liturgy" is Sarum, taken from the ROCOR Saint Colman Prayer Book.
The singing was led by Sub Deacon Peter Ball of Saint Dyfan Mission and he was assisted by Anastasia Baines of Saint Dyfan Mission.
At the end of the Liturgy, Archbishop Hilarion, assisted by Fr. Barry, distributed the Eulogion to the congregation.
The Archbishop, clergy and some members of the congregation then went to lunch at a nearby seaside restaurant.
Fr. Nicholas Alford, Rector of Saint Gregory the Great Western Rite Parish in Washington D.C. has been catechising this convert parish until their clergyman, the Reverend Patrick Cardine is Ordained Priest.
The Warrenton mission has converted from the Charismatic Episcopal Church in which its minister, Patrick Cardine (right) was the diocesan evangelism officer. The Rev'd. Cardine is an architectural blacksmith with his large commercial architectural ironwork company, Cardine Studios located in Chantilly, Virginia. The company also produces church ironwork items.
The celebration was in honour of the centenary of the decision of the Holy Synod of Russia to permit the adaption of services taken out of the Book of Common Prayer, for use by Orthodox people. The decision was made at the request of Saint Patriarch Tikhon (Belavin) of Moscow in 1904. A committee set up by the Holy Synod, which included Saint Tikhon, reported back to the Holy Synod in 1907, and the Synod acted upon its favourable report.
That decision followed in the spirit of a decision made by the Holy Synod thirty-seven years earlier, when it had legislated permission for an adaption of the Western Rite Liturgy of Saint Gregory the Great to be used by Orthodox people.
The Liturgy celebrated this last Sunday was the “English Liturgy” taken from The Saint Colman Prayer Book, (authorised by Archbishop Hilarion (ROCOR) some years ago) the services from which are now in use by episcopal blessing in several ROCOR dioceses.
The celebrant at Capel-le-Ferne (picture below left) was Fr. Michael, superior of Saint Petroc Monastery (ROCOR) assisted by Fr. Barry Jefferies of Saint Stephen Mission, Launceston (ROCOR) and was attended by an invited congregation from Orthodox societies and parishes in England, the USA, Australia, France and Belgium. The choir was directed by Mr. Michael Astley from Manchester.
The Western Rite, having been permitted by the Holy Synod of Russia, was later also permitted by the Holy Synods of Antioch and Romania. As a result, the first Western Rite diocese was erected in Czechoslovakia in 1919, which yielded the Church the Martyr Bishop Gorazd Pavlik during WW II. It was followed by a diocese in Poland and, in 1936, by the Orthodox Church of France, all of which were decimated by the Germans during WW II.
Saint John of Shanghai consecrated Fr. Evgraf Kovalevsky as Western Rite as Bishop Jean- Nectaire of the Diocese of Saint Denys, Paris and strongly supported the Western Rite within ROCOR and Orthodoxy in general. He is recorded as celebrating the Western Rite Liturgy himself both in France and in the USA.
Further celebrations of the centenary of the Holy Synod of Russia decision are planned for later in the year, including a solemn pontifical celebration at the church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Waverley.
Saint John celebrating the Western Rite Liturgy in Paris.
The church of Saint Mary-the-Virgin at Capel-le-Ferne is used by the Saint Eanswythe Orthodox Study Society. The exact dating of the original church is difficult in that it is in the style of the pre-Schism Anglo-Saxon churches, but modified later by the Normans. It is possible that it dates from around the turn of the first millennium.
The final picture is of the procession out through the Rood Screen at the end of the Liturgy. New icons for the church were painted in the first millennium Anglo-Saxon style by the Saint Eanswythe Society's iconographer, Eadmund Dunstall (see Christ Pantocrator at the head of this article).
The retreat was organised by Mr. Eadmund Dunstall, the Secretary of the Society, assisted by Mr. John Bruckin, both from nearby Folkestone. The retreatants came from Kent, Manchester, London, France, the USA and Tasmania.
The retreat was conducted by Fr. Michael, the superior of Saint Petroc Monastery (ROCOR), assisted by Fr. Barry. The theme of the long weekend was “Responding to God, Becoming at one with God’s Will”. Fr. Michael gave a series of seven talks over the weekend in the somewhat relaxed atmosphere of the Common Room. These talks progressed through the ways that we respond to God, the ways that are recorded in Holy Scripture, with particular reference to the Psalmist, and the ways that we respond today, to the concept of becoming fully aligned with God’s will. He explored the latter aspect both in the national; and Church levels, but primarily a the individual level, introducing the audience to the principles involved.
The days were interspersed with quiet periods of reflection, during which retreatants could seek counsel or confession with Fr. Barry, and the Offices which were done in a temporary chapel off the Common Room.
On Saturday and Sunday the Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the nearby church of Saint Mary the Virgin, Capel-le-Ferne.
The effect of these Team experiences can have a profound impact on one's life. On January 21st , Ancient Faith Radio broadcast an interview with Andrew Lekos, a veteran of several Mission Teams, and current Teams Director for the
Though he grew up as an Orthodox Christian, Andrew discovered a deeper meaning of his faith while volunteering for an Orthodox Mission Team to
Andrew's journey is common among members of an Orthodox Mission Team. In bringing the Gospel to all nations, one also receives its saving message. Team members often report the feeling of being blessed for having basked in the light of the Holy Spirit while serving in a foreign land. Many participants in teams, so affected by service to Christ, have gone on to long-term missionary service as well, establishing Orthodox communities in places where Christianity is a minority faith.
The call to Mission is one that we, as Orthodox Christians, all share. It can be found in Scripture (Matthew 28:19-20), and has been part of the rich tradition of Orthodoxy from the beginning. Those interested are invited to answer the call to mission by supporting the OCMC or by volunteering for an Orthodox Mission Team.
By Fr. John Parker
Detroit, Feb 04, 2007. Nineteen degrees and snowing. An ecumenical affair: Orthodox Christians addressing curious Anglicans and Episcopalians in a Roman Catholic retreat center that shares a parking lot with an Orthodox Monastery of Romanian and American monks. Inside the retreat is a bustle of 90 or so attendees who traveled to Detroit from warmer climes, Florida included. Others are from South Carolina, Maryland and Illinois. A few came to warm up in Detroit, having crossed their southern border from Toronto. The most amazing of the attendees, in my opinion, was a former Episcopal priest - a woman - who has come to understand the way of the ancient church and renounced her ordination in order to enter the Orthodox faith.
Last Monday and Tuesday, I had the privilege of taking part in this fascinating conference. "Faith of Our Fathers: a Colloquium on Orthodoxy for Anglicans" was organized with the blessing and encouragement of the Most Rev. Nathaniel Popp, archbishop of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate of the Orthodox Church in America.
Archbishop Nathaniel had been approached by several local Episcopalians and neighboring Canadian Anglicans who asked, "How can you help us?" a question rooted in both the recent and centuries-old scandals and struggles that are plaguing the Anglican Communion worldwide.
The archbishop made it very clear in his keynote address on Monday that the conference was not intended or organized in any way to solicit Episcopalians to the Orthodox Church, but rather was an answer to a profound request for guidance and assistance. Nathaniel's biblical foundation for the conference, he elaborated, was the Parable of the Good Samaritan. He noted that the traveler did not cry out for help, but rather lay beaten on the roadside. It was the Samaritan who took note of the bloodied man, had compassion on him and made arrangements for his recovery.
The conference was structured around four basic lectures: "Theology," "Liturgy," "Culture and Tradition" and "Practical Considerations." Each was preceded by a brief account of a personal journey to Orthodoxy. The speakers were predominantly former Episcopalians, most of them now Orthodox priests. The lineup included Charleston native Fr. Gregory Mathewes-Green (who, along with the present dean of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, The Very Rev. William McKeachie, co-authored the Baltimore Declaration); his wife, Frederica, also a Charlestonian and well-known columnist, speaker and author of books such as "Facing East" and "The Illumined Heart"; and Fr. Patrick Henry Reardon, one-time professor at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry and present lecturer at the Nashotah House Seminary.
The Rt. Rev. Mark Maymon, Bishop of Toledo and the Midwest of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America, shared with the conference participants his engaging arrival to the Orthodox Church. The bishop made his way from Roman Catholicism to charismatic Christianity, finally studying at and then teaching at Oral Roberts University. His ever-deepening studies of the Old Testament, along with engaging conversations with an Orthodox professor at Oral Roberts, led him to embrace the ancient church, in which he now serves as a hierarch.
A third bishop, the Rt. Rev. Tikhon Mollard, bishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania of the Orthodox Church in America, shared briefly about how his life is "made very interesting" by the fact that his mother serves as an Episcopal priest.
I believe it is safe to say that very few of the conference attendees came to hear about the Orthodox Church and faith for the first time. Many appeared to know a significant amount already and have developed friendships with Orthodox clergy and laypeople in their respective hometowns. There were, however, a few difficult questions that required delicate responses - though the answers remain unchanging.
One fellow from Canada asked, for example, why the Orthodox Church practices what many call "closed Communion," allowing only those members of the Orthodox Church to receive Communion in their services. Several speakers explained this commonly misunderstood and challenging pastoral matter. In fact, in the Orthodox Church, not even all Orthodox can or ought to receive Communion at any given service. Our discipline is to serve those who have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting and recent confession, taking very seriously St. Paul's exhortation to the church in Corinth. (1 Corinthians 11:27ff).
The grounds for so-called closed Communion are ancient and simple. First (also a practice abandoned by many non-Orthodox Christians today), one must be baptized to receive it. Baptism is open to all repentant sinners, in the Christian view, and is the doorway into the life of the church. Second, the church always has believed that Communion is the sign of the shared fullness of faith, and not the maker of it. In other words, it makes no sense for a group of people to "have Communion together" that don't believe the same things about who Jesus is, why he lived and died, how we are called - voluntarily - to change for and be changed by God and what the bread and wine become in the liturgy.
In short, in this scenario, there is no "common union" (the meaning of "communion") except the action of eating and drinking something together at the same time.
The inquirer also was somewhat surprised to hear that this was the universal practice and belief of all Christians for 1,500-plus years and for Anglicans until the 1950s or 1960s. It always has been and remains the practice in the Orthodox Church (as well as the Roman Catholic Church, I believe) to this day.
"Faith of Our Fathers" was a conference rooted, at least generally speaking, in Acts 2:42. We shared the teachings of the Apostles. We sat at a table together.
We enjoyed one another's company in fellowship and sang a beautiful Vespers (evening prayer) service on the occasion of the Feast of the Three Holy Hierarchs: St. Basil the Great, St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom, fourth-century luminaries universally remembered for their essential contributions to Christian theology and preaching.
The talks from this conference will be available for download at www.ancientfaithradio.org, a 24-hour Orthodox Web radio station.
Fr. John Parker is priest-in-charge of Holy Ascension Orthodox Church on the Square in I'On. He can be reached at email@example.com or by phone at 881-5010.
This article was printed via the web on 2/8/2007 7:29:46 AM . This Article appeared in The Post and Courier and updated online at Charleston.net on Sunday, February 04, 2007.