Western Rite Critic

A Balance to Contagious Enthusiasm

A Brief History of Rites


Diet Rite: For those prefer an abbreviated rite without all those lengthy prayers and repetitions like the Russians do. Alternately, this refers to an attitude about any rite that sees it purely as a matter for glue and scissors.

Stride Rite: For those who prefer pews and kneelers to the tradition that the Church pray standing, but who still say they’re going back to their Western heritage (i.e. just not that far back). Besides, it makes the comfortable Orthodox look bad.

Rite Aid: The practice of putting Eastern liturgical snippets in Anglican prayerbooks, whether as Sunday inserts or with some tape or glue. Beware Anglicans, groups of disgruntled Episcopalians may be going to work on your BCP’s this Saturday night. You could wake up and find yourself (just like the books) . . . Suddenly Orthodox!

Scottish Rite: It’s lost its home and its family and all that it holds dear. For those freemasons who didn’t get the memo with the anathema inside, this is a suitable way to claim you’re just being true to your heritage. Claymore, not pray more, that’s our motto.

Carmelite Rite: We just like saying this one. We don’t actually intend to do it, but we’ll get you into a nice storefront so you can. A nice place from which to point fingers at “ethnics”, “Byzantines”, and others who united you to the Church.

Rite of Passage: Read a book from Clarke Carlton, get Chrismated, and start telling us what the Church needs. Do these three things, and you’re one of us.

Rite Field: The origin of most of the erroneous Protestant and neo-papist thinking that converts bring with them about how authority works, what the mysteries mean, and what the Church is. This rite is rarely given up but is frequently tacked onto the Western Rite; no one seems to know why. After all, they’re Orthodox. Rite?

Birth Rite: Equally odius, and nearly every convert thinks he’s encountered it, though frequently it’s just a rumor or a vicarious experience. This is the “I’ve been Orthodox since Nicea, so let me explain how it works” approach. Unfortunately, one would think some practitioners were on the wrong side of Nicea, to hear some of the parochial attitudes and ‘information’ that comes out. Don’t worry; everyone is born into the Faith, just at different times. Besides, the cure for this is to bring up consistent fasting, regular confession, and praying the whole service with the reader and the choir – that usually just draws blank stares.

and lastly…..

The Pontifical Mass: this isn’t really a rite, per se, but it’s good to include here. This is the practice of amassing large numbers of authorities to justify things that can never be justified and appealing to authority whenever someone questions it. The opening invocation of this rite is “For my Bishop said…”. It’s sometimes therefore called the Roman Rite, but that implies that it would actually need to be more catholic and not so divisive.

By the way: for the newbie, rite just means ritual.

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January 19, 2008 - Posted by | -- Anglican, -- Phyletism, Western Rite -- Tridentine Mass, Western Rite Liturgics, Western Rite Weirdness | , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. clever.
    The “Rite Aid” part really made me laugh because it is so true.
    Under our current prayerbook, one of the alternative Eucharistic prayers is nothing more (and quite a bit less) than the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom.

    I have no links on my blog yet, but yours is now the first.

    Comment by zaK | May 1, 2010 | Reply


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