Western Rite

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Western Rite Orthodoxy is a strand of Orthodox Christian worship adapted for congregations in traditionally Catholic or Protestant countries.

There are certain parishes known as Western Orthodox within the Orthodox Church that follow the rituals of either:

By far the largest group of these parishes in North America is represented by the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) also has a small number of Western Rite parishes.

One can compare the situation of Western Orthodox parishes with the analogous status of autonomous Uniate churches. For centuries, there have been hierarchical churches in full communion with and in subjection to the Vatican, but which the Pope allows to follow liturgical customs and rules like those of the Orthodox Church, (e.g., they confirm newly baptized infants via chrismation, they have married priests, their churches have iconostases, etc.). Additionally, as the Uniates share a common dogmatic requirement with Latin Rite Catholics, the Western Rite Orthodox share the same faith as their Byzantine Rite brethren.

However, unlike the Uniates, Western Rite Orthodox congregations are not mainly the result of large-scale ecclesiastical political machinations and schism but rather of small-scale genuine conversion to Orthodoxy by individuals and congregations.

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