Friday, November 13, 2009

Western Rite news from ROCOR

This from Fr. Aidan Keller (ROCOR) via the Use of Sarum Yahoo Group.
By a decision of the Synod of Bishops, all Western rite communities of our Church, wheresoever they may be, are directly under the authority of the Metropolitan, and not the local ruling bishop. That is, all Western rite communities have been made stavropigial.


Anonymous said...

For those of us who don't have muhc occasion to stay plugged in on what's happening with the Western Rite scene, can you give some insight into what this means for ROCOR Western Rite?

John (Ad Orientem) said...

From what I gather ROCOR, like most Orthodox jurisdictions, has been somewhat ambivalent about the whole Western Rite thing. Some bishops like it and some are more suspicious of it. ROCOR's approach has also been markedly different than the Antiochians (who are much more enthusiastic about WR). In general ROCOR has not shown much interest in bringing in ex Anglicans or Trad Roman Catholics by offering them a parish and liturgy that is mostly what they had before with the only real difference being the sign on the front lawn.

ROCOR keeps to the old calendar including its WR parishes which mostly follow liturgical rites that are pre-schism or at least pre-Tridentine. The use of Sarum is probably the most common liturgy in the ROCOR Western Rite. And in a myriad of other ways ROCOR strongly emphasizes the importance of an Orthodox phronema among those who follow the W/R.

That's not to say they are trying to byzantinize them. There are significant distinctions in areas besides liturgy. ROCOR acknowledges some differences in Western fasting rules which predated the schism. But broadly speaking ROCOR seems more oriented to preserving what they see as the authentic Orthodox Western traditions as opposed to tinkering with the modern Western rites and uses which have developed over centuries of separation from Orthodoxy. These latter can not have avoided the influence of schismatic and in some cases clearly heretical praxis.

Placing all of the W/R parishes and monasteries under the Metropolitan's control is likely intended to facilitate uniformity of discipline and also ensure that some parishes do not suffer from the benign neglect of a potentially less than enthusiastic hierarch.


Michael said...


For the most part you are right on about ROCOR's Western Rite, however, ROCOR has parishes that use other Western Liturgues than the Sarum. I the Christ Westminster uses the Liturgy of St. Gregory. For more information about ROCOR and Western Rite Orthodox got to: