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The '''Western Rite''' is a strand of Orthodox Christian worship based on the liturgical traditions of the ancient pre-[[Great Schism|Schism]] Orthodox Church of the West. Western Rite Orthodox Christians hold in common the full Orthodox faith with their brethren of the [[Byzantine Rite]], and at present, all of the [[bishop]]s who care for such [[parish]]es are themselves followers of the Byzantine Rite.
===The Nineteenth Century===
:''Main article: [[Western Rite in the Nineteenth Century]]''
In 1864, 44-year-old [[Joseph Julian Overbeck]], a former German [[Roman Catholic Church|Catholic]] priest who had left the priesthood, disillusioned with papal supremacy, became Lutheran and later married, was [[chrismation|chrismated]] into the [[Orthodox Church]]. He then published, in 1866, ''Catholic Orthodoxy and Anglo-Catholicism'' which contained the groundings for his work for the next twenty years. A year later, be began publishing a periodical, ''Orthodox Catholic Review'', aimed at putting forward Orthodoxy and rejecting Catholicism and Protestantism.
1867 saw Overbeck, with 122 signatures from the Oxford Movement, petition the Church of Russia for the establishment of a Western Rite church in full communion with the Eastern Rite. A seven-member synodal commission was then formed, and invited Overbeck to attend. The idea was approved, and Overbeck set about submitting a draft of the proposed Western liturgy. The base of Overbeck's submission was the so-called "Tridentine Mass" of 1570, which added in an epiclesis and the Trisagion hymn. This rite was submitted in 1871, and was examined and approved by the commission. Overbeck focused his efforts on the Old Catholic movement, who had rejected Papal Infallibility. He continued to engage in polemics with Catholics, Anglicans, and Orthodox converts using the Byzantine rite.
In 1876, Overbeck issued an appeal to the various Holy Synods, travelling to Constantinople in 1879. There he met the Ecumenical Patriarch, who authorised him to deliver sermons and apologetics. In 1881, some success was had when the Ecumenical Patriarchate agreed that the West had a right to a Western church and rite.
However, it went no further. Overbeck's marriage after his Catholic ordination was a canonical impediment to the priesthood, the Holy Synod of Greece vetoed his scheme amongst the Orthodox Churches, the ''Orthodox Catholic Review'' ended its run, and by 1892 he admitted failure due to the Church of Greece of the time. Overbeck reposed in 1905.
===The Twentieth Century===
[[Image:Fon-du-Lac Circus.jpg|right|thumb|300px|Episcopalian Consecration of Reginald Weller as co-adjutor bishop of Fond-du-Lac, 1900.]]
:''Main article: [[Western Rite in the Twentieth Century]]''
The Western Rite continued. In 1890, a Swiss Old Catholic parish in Wisconsin, pastored by Fr Joseph Rene Vilatte, was received by Bp. Vladimir (Sokolovsky); however, Fr. Vilatte soon led the church into the Syrian Orthodox ("Jacobite") church, then back into Old Catholicism. In 1911, Arnold Harris Mathew, an Old Catholic bishop, entered into union with the Patriarchate of Antioch, but parted ways soon after. In 1926, the six-parish ''Polish Catholic National Church'' was received into the Polish Orthodox Church. It celebrated the Liturgy of St. Gregory, and flourished as Orthodox until wiped out by the Nazis. [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-five.html] [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-four.html]
St. Tikhon's involvement in the Western Rite has been one more enduring. While he was Bishop of the Russian mission in America, some Episcopalians were interested in the possibility of joining Orthodoxy while retaining Anglican liturgics. St. Tikhon, sending the 1892 Book of Common Prayer to the Holy Synod, asked about the possibility, as well as the circumstances under which they would permit this. According to Fr. Edward Hughes, St. Raphael of Brooklyn composed the letter of inquiry. In 1904, the Holy Synod admitted its possibility, including edits necessary for its use in an Orthodox manner. It concluded that such edits "can be carried out only on the spot, in America," and found it "desirable to send the 'Observations' themselves to the Right Rev. Tikhon, the American Bishop." Between communications, the Episcopalians who had petitioned withdrew. Thus, St. Tikhon could not receive any Episcopalians before returning to Russia in 1907. However, his involvement lay the groundwork for the reception and liturgics of some parishes in the [[Western Rite Vicariate]] [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-five.html] and later ROCOR.
There has been a significant [[Orthodox Church of France|Western Rite movement in France]], the largest remaining group thereof being the ''Union des Associations Cultuelles Orthodoxes de Rite Occidental'' (UACORO - the Union of Western Rite Orthodox Worship Associations).
====The United States====
The Antiochian Archdiocese received the most stable and successful group of Western Rite parishes, the [[Society of Clerks Secular of St. Basil]], in 1961. Upon reception, they became the Western Rite Vicariate, and their leader, Alexander Turner, becoming an Orthodox priest and the Vicar-General of the Vicariate until 1971. At his repose, Fr Paul W.S. Schneirla became Vicar-General.
Besides the parishes that were in the former Society, other parishes have been received into the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Archdiocese, especially because ofthe theological and practical devolution of the Episcopal Church U.S.A. Added to this, several Western Rite missions have been founded, some growing into full parish status.
The Church of Russia received a New York Old Catholic community in 1962 as Mount Royal Monastery, which later moved to Woodstock, New York, under Archbishop John (Wendland) of the Russian Exarchate of North America. Later, this community was received by the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, under Archbishop Nikon (Rklitzsky). In 1993, the monastery was renamed Christ the Saviour ("Christminster" colloquially) and moved to Providence, Rhode Island, under Bishop [[Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney|Hilarion of Manhattan]] (since transferred). It is in the process of moving to Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Its present abbot is Dom [[James (Deschene)|James Deschene]].
In 1995, the Church of Antioch also established a British Deanery to absorb converts from the Church of England. Not all of these parishes are Western Rite.
Western Rite Orthodoxy, in [[Orthodoxy in Australasia|Australia and New Zealand]], has arisen mostly from Anglican and Continuing Anglican communities. Archbishop [[Hilarion (Kapral) of New York|Hilarion (Kapral) of Sydney]], ROCOR, received some communities under his omophorion; while others have been received by Bishop [[Gibran (Ramlawey) of Australia and New Zealand|Gibran]] and Metropolitan Archbishop [[Paul (Saliba) of Australia and New Zealand|Paul]], both under the Church of Antioch.
Other small groups following the Western Rite have been received, but usually have either had little impact, or have declared their independence soon after their reception.
Some Western Rite parishes are also in the Oriental Orthodox churches. The Syrian patriarchate of Antioch consecrated Antonio Francisco Xavier Alvarez as Archbishop of Ceylon, Goa and India in 1889, authorizing a Roman rite diocese under him; in 1891, the Syrians consecrated the aforementioned Joseph René Vilatte as archbishop for the American Old Catholics.
North American Western Rite parishes generally follow one (or sometimes both) of two types of traditional Western liturgical traditions. The majority celebrate the [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow]], which is an adaptation of the [[Eucharist|Communion]] service from the 1928 Anglican ''Book of Common Prayer'' and ''The Anglican Missal in the American Edition,'' as their Sunday liturgy. Until 1977, all Western Rite parishes celebrated only the [[Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great]], which is a modified form of the ancient Mass of Rome, familiar to Roman Catholics before the liturgical reforms of Vatican II in the 1960s. Many parishes within the Western Rite Vicariate continue to celebrate the Gregorian liturgy. However, most WRV parishes celebrate more than one weekly liturgy, and many of the Tikhonite parishes celebrate the Gregorian liturgy on weekdays. The complete Roman rite of Benediction is also authorized.
The Western Rite liturgy has much less repetition than its corresponding elements in the Byzantine rite, and generally has a more brisk, succinct manner to it. Celebrants wear distinctive Western vestments, and the faithful follow pious devotional customs particular to their tradition, as well.
The development of the current use within the [[Western Rite Vicariate]] is of particular note:
:Metropolitan Antony was well aware that the Western Rite was "a work for specialists." The new Western Rite usage of the Archdiocese was to be guided by "a Commission of Orthodox Theologians," an advisory committee of qualified clerics or laymen to advise the Metropolitan and determine "the mode of reception of groups desiring to employ the Western Rite, and the character of the rites to be used, as well as the authorization of official liturgical texts." The first WRV Commission, convened by Metropolitan Antony in 1958, was composed of Fathers Paul Schneirla, Stephen Upson, [[Alexander Schmemann]] and [[John Meyendorff]]. Schneirla, Schmemann, and Meyendorff in particular had seen the Western Rite up close in France, as it had been approved in the Russian Ukase of 1936. Schneirla recalls Schmemann's work in particular as being key, as he was familiar with the Liturgical Movement within the Roman Catholic and Anglican communions. Schmemann was particularly instrumental in joining together the separate Rites of Initiation of the Rituale Romanum – Baptism, Confirmation and First Holy Communion – into one unified rite, according to the Orthodox understanding.
:In January of 1962, the official Western Rite Directory was issued, "establishing liturgical usages and customs and discipline," drawing on principles gleaned from the 1904 Moscow Synodal response to Saint Tikhon, the authorization of Western Rite offices by Metropolitan Gerassimos (Messarah) of Beirut, and the 1932 Russian Ukase of Metropolitan Sergius.[http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-eight.html]
Ironically, before his committed and pivotal involvement with the architecture of the current usage of the Western Rite, Fr. Schmemann had criticized it in a response to a 1958 article Fr. Schneirla wrote in ''The Word''.[http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/westernrite.html] However, after his criticisms, Fr. Schmemann worked to establish the Western Rite Vicariate and, later still, taught at the Western Rite seminary in Paris.
By far the largest group of these parishes is represented by the [[Western Rite Vicariate]] of the [[Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]]. Other Antiochian Western Rite parishes exist in the [[Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia and New Zealand]].
The [[Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia]] (ROCOR) also has a small number of Western Rite parishes in addition to two monasteries, one located in Tasmania and another in Rhode Island which follows Benedictine liturgical traditions. The former, St. Petroc Monastery, uses the [[Sarum Rite]] liturgy in English. Missions and Parishes of the ROCOR Western Rite in the Archdiocese of Sydney use either that monastery's recension of the Sarum Liturgy or "The English Liturgy," an English Use service based upon the 1549 Anglican ''Book of Common Prayer'' but incorporating certain elements of the Sarum Use.
The [[abbot]], Dom Augustin (Whitfield), who led the latter monastery of Mount Royal, now named [[Christminster (Providence, Rhode Island)|Christminster]] (or Christ the Savior Monastery), into communion with ROCOR, once remarked to St. [[John Maximovitch]] that it was difficult to promote Western Rite Orthodoxy, whereupon the saint replied: "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." [http://www.christminster.org/history.htm]
It should also be noted that there are a number of groups who follow various Western rites, so-called, and may call themselves Orthodox but are not part of or in communion with the historic [[Orthodox Church]].
The [[Orthodox Church of France]] was once cared for by St. [[John Maximovitch]] and later by the [[Church of Romania]]—also uses a Western Rite liturgy based on ancient Gallican liturgical materials, with some Byzantine supplements. The Orthodox Church of France currently functions as an independent body, and is not recognized by or in communion with the [[List of autocephalous and autonomous churches|mainstream Orthodox Church]].
In addition, the [[Holy Synod of Milan]], an [[Old Calendarist]] group, has a number of communities (including one monastery, in the United States, in West Milford, New Jersey, the Abbey of the Holy Name) which worship according to Western rites, including a restored [[Sarum Rite]], which differs significantly from that used in ROCOR. Neither is it recognized by nor in communion with the [[List of autocephalous and autonomous churches|mainstream Orthodox Church]].
:''Main article: [[Western Rite Criticism]]''
The Western Rite in the Orthodox Church is not without its critics. Objections are made in regards to desire for liturgical uniformity within Orthodoxy and fears that Western Rite vicariates or similar Western Rite practices have produced a para-ecclesiastic organization within the Church. Some question the sincerity of Western Rite parishes as all or mostly-convert groups. Finally, lack of organic liturgical continuity for the Western Rite troubles some Orthodox Christians.
Whether the Western Rite will survive in the Orthodox Church and be accepted by the majority who follow the Byzantine Rite remains yet to be seen. In the meantime, the Byzantine Rite bishops who oversee Western Rite parishes—and many who oversee no Western Rite parishes—continue to declare their Western flocks to be Orthodox Christians and regard them as fully in communion with the rest of the Church.
On the other hand, some Byzantine Rite Orthodox Christians do not recognize the Orthodoxy of those in the Western Rite (despite their being under the jurisdiction of Byzantine Rite bishops with whom they themselves are in communion), and will not attend the [[Eucharist]] at Western Rite parishes, declaring them to be "Roman Catholics," "[[schism]]atics," or "reverse [[Uniates]]." However, no Orthodox parish may deny the Eucharist to visiting faithful of the canonical Western Rite, regardless of their feelings about the concept of Western Rite Orthodoxy. There have been no schisms within the episcopacy of the Orthodox Church regarding the issue of Western Rite parishes.
* [[Western Rite Vicariate]]
* [[Sarum Rite]]
* [[Gallican Rite]]
* [[Stowe Missal]]
* [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow]]
* [[Liturgy of St. Gregory the Great]]
* [[Western Rite Service Books]]
* [[Liturgy of St. Tikhon (text)]]
* [[Saint Petroc Monastery (Cascades, Australia)|Saint Petroc Monastery]], Australia
* [[Christ the Savior Monastery (Providence, Rhode Island)|Christ the Savior Monastery]], USA
* ''Blackwell Dictionary of Eastern Christianity'', pp. 364-365, 514-515
* [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/ Occidentalis]: Orthodox Catholic Christianity in the Western Rite tradition (permission required)
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/western-rite Introduction to the Orthodox Western Rite]
* [[Wikipedia:Western Rite Orthodoxy]]
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/ Western Orthodoxy]
* [http://spot.colorado.edu/~ashtonm/owpp/westernrite.htm The Unofficial Western Rite Orthodoxy Website]
* [http://www.antiochian.org/western-rite Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070425132558/http://www.orthodoxresurgence.co.uk/Petroc/ Saint Petroc Monastery ROCOR Tasmania] (archive)
* [http://www.christminster.org Christ the Savior Monastery ROCOR Rhode Island]
* [http://www.occidentalorthodox.org.uk/ Worldwide directory of canonical Western Rite Orthodox communities]
* [http://members.cox.net/frnicholas/parishes.htm Western Rite Parishes] (North America, with links to parish sites)
* [http://members.aol.com/FrNicholas/liturgy.htm Text of the Liturgy of Saint Gregory]
* [http://orthodoxanglican.net/downloads/tikhon.PDF Text of the Liturgy of Saint Tikhon], though not in its authorized form.
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070208083242/http://www.orthodoxresurgence.co.uk/Petroc/sarum.htm Text of the Sarum Rite Liturgy] as corrected for use within [[ROCOR]] by His Grace Archbishop Hilarion (archive)
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070515074421/http://www.orthodoxresurgence.co.uk/Petroc/english.htm Text of the English Liturgy] (archive)
* [http://www.stmichaelwhittier.org/resources/osboff7.pdf Office and Prayers of the Oblates of St. Benedict] (PDF) - Western Rite oblates.
* [http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/Liturgy/Liturgics.html Liturgical Texts Project] (PDF) - Compilation of numerous liturgical texts.
* ''[http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?bookid=23809 Children of the Promise: An Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy]'', by Fr. Michael Keiser. ISBN 9781418475826
===Introduction and History===<!--
* [http://www.receive.org/index.php?submenu=23 An Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy]: Interview with Fr. Paul Schneirla and Fr. Michael Keiser on [http://www.receive.org/ Come Receive the Light] (audio) Sent message to Seraphim Danckaert at OCN to see whether this is online. ~Magda --->
* A Short History of the Western Rite Vicariate, by [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/ Benjamin Andersen]: [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/short-history-of-western-rite.html Part 1], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-two.html Part 2], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-three.html Part 3], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-four.html Part 4], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-five.html Part 5], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-six.html Part 6], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-seven.html Part 7], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-eight.html Part 8], [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/2004/09/western-rite-history-part-nine.html Part 9] (permission required)
* [http://www.occidentalorthodox.org.uk/ Occidental Orthodox Christianity] Dedicated to the furtherance of the Western Rite within canonical Orthodoxy.
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/wrbooklet An Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy], An electronic version of the now out-of-print Conciliar Press booklet; edited by Fr. Michael Trigg, Ph.D.
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070513122757/http://www.orthodoxresurgence.co.uk/ Orthodox Resurgence] Movement for Western Christians seeking reception in the Orthodox Western Rite. (archive)
* [http://justus.anglican.org/resources/pc/alcuin/tract12.html "Observations on the American Book of Common Prayer,"] the Holy Synod of Russia's guidelines for suiting the 1892 Book of Common Prayer for celebration within Orthodoxy.
*[http://www.westernorthodox.com/turner The Western Rite: Its Fascinating Past and Its Promising Future], by Fr. [[Alexander Turner]]
*[http://www.westernorthodox.com/overbeck.pdf The Western Rite and the Eastern Church: Dr. J. J. Overbeck and his scheme for the re-establishment of the Orthodox Church in the West (PDF)], by Fr. David F. Abramtsov, University of Pittsburgh, 1959
*[http://www.westernorthodox.com/anthony On the Western Rite Edict of Metropolitan Anthony (Bashir)], by Fr. David Abramstov, in addition to an excerpt from the report of Metropolitan Anthony (Bashir) to the 1958 Archdiocesan Convention
*[http://www.christminster.org/write.htm Western Orthodox Christians: Who Are They?], from [[Christminster (Providence, Rhode Island)]], a Benedictine Monastery under [[ROCOR]]
*[http://www.christminster.org/history.htm History of Christminster]
*[http://www.westernorthodox.com/whatis What is Western-Rite Orthodoxy?], by Fr. Patrick McCauley
*[http://www.westernorthodox.com/twain The Twain Meet], by Fr. Paul W.S. Schneirla
* [http://www.unicorne.org/orthodoxy/janfeb/westernrites.htm Western Rite Orthodox in our midst: Ad Fontes!], by Dr. Alexander Roman
* [http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,870973,00.html Eastern But Western], from the May 1, 1964, issue of [i]Time[/i] Magazine.
*[http://stpaulsorthodox.org/Media/SaintPaul.wmv Video] on the Western Rite from St. Paul Orthodox Church, Houston, Texas
* [http://westernorthodox.blogspot.com/2006/03/message-from-metropolitan-western-rite.html Met. PHILIP (Saliba)'s Promise]: Western Rite churches will not be Byzantized.
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/basil Comments on the Western Rite] by Bishop [[Basil (Essey) of Wichita]]
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/Lux-Occidentalis Lux Occidentalis (PDF)] ''The Orthodox Western Rite and the Liturgical Tradition of Western Orthodox Christianity, with reference to The Orthodox Missal, Saint Luke's Priory Press, Stanton, NJ, 1995'' by the Rev'd John Charles Connely
* [http://www.westernorthodox.com/greekdenver Doctrinal Issues: Western Rite Orthodoxy], from the ''Diocesan News for Clergy and Laity'' (February 1995), Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver
* [http://www.saintpeterorthodox.org/write.htm Western Rite Orthodoxy: Its history, its validity, and its opportunity], by Annette Milkovich, including an interview with Fr. Paul W.S. Schneirla, constituting a rough Western Rite "FAQ"
* [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com/ Occidentalis - A Weblog of Orthodox Catholic Christianity in the Western Rite tradition] (permission required)
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/sergius.html On the Question of Western Orthodoxy], by Patriarch [[Sergius I (Stragorodsky) of Moscow]] in a letter to [[Vladimir Lossky]]
*[http://http://westernorthodox.blogspot.com/search/label/Anti-WR%20Criticism Dealing with Anti-WR Criticism], from the Western Orthodoxy blog.
* [http://www.schmemann.org/byhim/westernrite.html The Western Rite], by Fr. [[Alexander Schmemann]]
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/schmemann.html Notes and Comments on the "Western Rite"], ibid.
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/news-encyclical.html News: Bishop Anthony Issues Encyclical on "Western Rite"]
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/correspondence.html Correspondence on the Western Rite] between Bishop [[Anthony (Gergiannakis) of San Francisco]] and Fr. Paul W.S. Schneirla
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/ware.html Some Thoughts on the "Western Rite" In Orthodoxy], by Bishop [[Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia]]
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/tsichlis.html The Western Rite - Some Final Comments], by Fr. [[Steven Peter Tsichlis]]
* [http://www.holy-trinity.org/modern/western-rite/johnson.html The "Western Rite": Is It Right for the Orthodox?], by Fr. Michael Johnson
===News and Views===
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20070222203921/http://homepage.mac.com/gthurman/iblog/C931234280/index.html Fr. Matthew Thurman's blog, Western Rite section] (archive) - consisting primarily of original documents written by Fr. Alexander Turner and other WRV clergy.
* [http://occidentalis.blogspot.com Occidentalis] - maintained by Subdn. Benjamin Andersen (WRV), this blog is a source for this OrthodoxWiki entry. (permission required)
* [http://westernorthodox.blogspot.com Western Orthodoxy] - Breaking news and views on the Western Rite.
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/westernriteorthodoxy Western Rite Orthodoxy]: Discussion of Western Rite Orthodoxy, focusing the [[Western Rite Vicariate]] (Antiochian). Most active participants are members of the Antiochian WRV.
* [http://p097.ezboard.com/belyforum The Ely Forum]: "Dedicated to the theological and liturgical heritage of The Church in the British Isles, the ancient Patriarchates of the Undivided Church and the restoration of our genuine heritage of Orthodox Christianity in the West. A place of sane, sensible, lively, discussion between Christian gentlemen." Founded by Fr. Michael of St. Petroc Monastery (ROCOR).
* [http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Occidentalis/ Occidentalis]: Dedicated to promoting the "Old Sarum Rite Missal" published by a monk formerly of the Milan Synod.
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