Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

Western Rite does not equal Western Orthodox


“Orthodoxy doesn’t have to have a “western rite” to have a western memory. With this in mind, let us suppose Overbeck’s experience of the Church had been quite different. Suppose he had attended the celebration of the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on the feast of the venerable Bede and there in the narthex was a beautiful icon of this saint for veneration by the faithful. Suppose, too that the Liturgy had been conducted entirely in English. What could he find missing to celebrate the fe ast of this great saint of the early Christian west? True, the Liturgy would not be served in exactly the same way as Bede himself would have done. (But then, neither – by a long shot – would the “western rite” liturgies of St. Tikhon or St. Gregory be t he same as done by the venerable Bede.) What matters most is that the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom and the ancient, pre-schismatic liturgical life of the west were the same in all essentials.” – Father Michael Johnson
Eastern Rite as Universal:

“Without question, Byzantine worship has demonstrated its suitability for all people. It became the dominant liturgical expression for the Russians as truly as it had been for the Greeks. It also rooted itself deeply in the culture of those Orthodox “Latins”, the Romanians. And in Alaska it expressed the religious aspirations of native cultures – Aleuts, Tlingets and others. The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is now being celebrated in Japanese, Korean and a half dozen tribal languages in Africa. Recently, it provided the scriptural worship sought after by the Evangelical Orthodox Church, who were, until recently, the Antiochian Evangelical Orthodox Mission. The use of the Byzantine liturgical tradition by the AEOM is one of the strongest arguments, against the need of a “western rite” for purposes of evangelization in America.” – Ibid

The Priest. A Newsletter for the Clergy of the Diocese of San Francisco. Issue No. 5, May 1996

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January 13, 2008 - Posted by | -- What is Western?, Western Rite Quotes | , , , , , , ,

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