Friday, June 14, 2013
By the grace of God, and with the help of many dear friends, the monks of Christminster [Western Rite Monastery of Christ the Saviour] moved out of their old premises over a two day period of 30/31 May, having been told they must leave the premises by the first of June. The move happened to coincide with an early tropical heat wave and torrential rains which added considerably to an already stressful situation. By the promised prayers of many well-wishers we survived the ordeal and are now located in St George’s rectory in Niagara Falls, New York. We owe this new monastic home to the kindness and good will of our dear friend and benefactor Archbishop Peter Goodrich of the Independent Anglican Church of Canada. He has also made available to us for our liturgical services the use of his cathedral next to the rectory. He and his clergy and staff have been most gracious and welcoming to us.
In addition to the many who have supported us with their prayers we wish to thank heartily those who helped us with the actual move: Pavlos Pavlakis, Joanna Thomson, the twins, Greg Wiebe, Edward Akiwumi and Steve Camp (“the boys from Buffalo”) and anonymous helpers at the church.
While we are moved in, we are by no means settled in as there is still much unpacking to do. Fortunately we can unpack at our own pace, without a deadline hanging over us as it had been in Canada. Our stay here in New York is not likely to be a permanent one, but we have been assured by Archbishop Peter that we can stay here as long as we need. We do hope to return one day to Canada if we can find a suitable monastic site. In the mean time we are assured of a reasonable measure of peace, stability and quiet for the living out of our monastic life.
For the time being our Sunday Mass will be in the Cathedral at 8 o’clock AM. (The Anglican service on Sunday in the Cathedral, usually celebrated by the Archbishop is at 9:30 AM).
Already we have had some excitement (?) in our new quarters. There were some boxes that needed to be moved out our space and into the church. Among the helpers that were obtained there appears to have been a thief. An i-phone and a cash box were taken containing bookstore proceeds from Hamilton.
Thursday, June 6, 2013
|Fathers of Christminster with Metropolitan Hilarion;|
Dom James, Abbot, is 2nd from left.
Christ the Saviour Orthodox Monastery (also known as "Christminster") has now moved from Ontario in Canada to new premises in Niagara Falls, New York.
Their new address is 1910 Falls Street, Niagara Falls, New York, 14303. Please note that this is a temporary address, and the Monastery intends to return to Canada when God may allow.This is good news indeed for the Fathers of Christminster and for all who have been concerned and praying for them in a time of transition.
Glory and thanks be to God!
Da pacem, Domine, in diebus nostris, quia non est qui pugnet pro nobis, nisi Tu, Deus noster!
hat tip: Angelos Stanway, June 6, 2013, 10:00 a.m. / Clarifications from Angelos at 7:03 p.m.
Thursday, May 30, 2013
|Fr. Anthony (Bondi)|
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
|Bishop Jerome (Shaw) of Manhattan|
Many probably know most of the following already: but, as Vladyka Seraphim (Ivanoff) of blessed memory said to me long ago, "In case you don't know, I'll remind you!"
I was raised in a small New England town, and till I was 16, in the Episcopal Church. But my godfather, and also the clergyman in the next town where we had our high school, told me that "the Orthodox Church has the same history as we do, and we are in communion with them: we can go to communion in their church, and they in ours".
That turned out not to be the case. When I began learning Russian and Greek at age 14, I started to hear more and more about the Orthodox Church, and I became more and more curious, and then more and more interested.
The obvious arguments for the unique truth of the Orthodox faith, you must all know. One of them is that there had been One Church, and that Rome had become separated from what was then the rest of the Orthodox Church, and later the Anglican Church from Rome, followed by the Puritans (Congregationalists), Methodists, and others, from the Church of England.
It was also pretty obvious that Rome had never been Byzantium, and England was not Russia. So the Western Church, as is clearly documented, was "Western" in the typicon it followed, long before there was any split between the Greek vs. Latin Christianity. What I discovered much later, and might surprise some, is that the typicon of Constantinople and Hagia Sophia, used once to be very similar to that followed in Rome.
|Bishop Seraphim of Chicago, +1987|
Mr. Alexandrow soon became Father Dimitri, and later on, Bishop Daniel of Erie. I learned a very great deal from him, and his advice and explanations set me on what I consider the straight path of Orthodoxy.
I had been received by chrismation, which in 1963 was the tradition in the Russian Church for accepting converts from Anglicanism. But a year and a half later, "Holy Transfiguration Monastery" in Brookline, Massachusetts, with its priestmonk Panteleimon, was received into ROCOR (by canonical transfer, which the Panteleimonites now deny). Very shortly after that, I began to be told that reception by Chrismation was "not strong enough", and that I was "still in my sins" and needed to be baptized.
|Bishop Daniel of Erie, +2010|
We had, at that time, a Western Rite diocese in France. In Mahopac, I was shown their illustrated book called in French, Nos Eglises en France. I soon found out that the Panteleimonites opposed this, on two grounds: that "one must be Byzantine to be Orthodox", and "the New Calendar [in those days, ROCOR permitted the use of the New Calendar in non-Russian communities] is a heresy".
I asked Father Dimitri what he thought of the Western rite. Is it Orthodox? His reply was: Yes, it is indeed Orthodox, but the question that can be asked, is this the same Western rite that was used historically?
After the loss of the French diocese in 1967, due to the pressure they had come under following the repose of their protector, St. John Maximovitch, Fr. Dimitri was very critical of the way the group that stayed, was forced by Archbishop Anthony of Geneva [now reposed - Ed.], to change over to the Eastern Rite. But a year or less went by, before a new group of Western rite parishes (three) was accepted into ROCOR, at that time with the support of Fr. George Grabbe (who later came under the influence of the Panteleimonites, however).
Fr. Dimitri, his mother and I, went to a church in Connecticut that followed the Western rite, to see what it was like. But, while the actual text of the Mass or Liturgy was entirely correct and historical, there was no music -- due, I think, to the small number of people and to a lack of musical ability on those involved.
Fr. Dimitri, who was a learned medievalist and linguist, and active in the Old Rite, giving him a broader liturgical perspective, told me that this service should have been in Gregorian chant, and at least partly in Latin. He had lived in Switzerland, Austria and Germany, and had seen the old Mass as it was kept in those places in the 1940's and early 1950's.
This idea inspired me, because it made sense: this was what Orthodox worship had once been like, before the separation of the Western Church -- and wonderful as the Russian Church and Russian tradition are, not everyone was as able to adapt to them as I had been.
But if Orthodoxy is the True Faith, it can't be only for people of a certain cultural background, or with a linguistic and cultural flexibility: it had to be for everyone. Fr. Dimitri described the other "special Rites" in the Orthodox Church, such as that of the Old Believers or of the Syro-Chaldeans (whose bishop lived out his days in our Spring Valley convent of Novoe Diveevo). In 1965, there was also a plan to receive a group of former Syro-Jacobites (West Syrian tradition as opposed to East Syrian).
As the years went by, Fr. Dimitri, later Bishop Daniel, always encouraged me to study and to try to revive the Western Rite in the Orthodox Church.
|Abp. Nikon (Rklitsky), +1976|
I was rather taken aback, when in college I mentioned to one of my Russian professors a custom that exists in the Old Rite. Her immediate reaction was, "Whereas, what do the Orthodox do?" I was wasting my breath trying to tell her that the Old Rite was Orthodox.
I also recall a conversation I once had with Archbishop Ionafan Kopalovich [now reposed -Ed.], who was the Moscow Patriarchate administrator in New York City at the time of the autocephaly issue [resulting in the creation of the OCA - Ed.]. I said something to him about the Old Rite, and his reaction was that "The Old Rite is a heresy".
Was St. Sergius of Radonezh a heretic, then?
|Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Rus'|
But grasping the idea of "various typicons in the Church" is, as Patriarch Kyrill said in a private conversation with me at the Sobor in Moscow,* not only very Orthodox, but a key element in the education of future clergy. That was why he, himself, when he taught candidates for the priesthood, used to celebrate such rare Liturgies, and why he has continued to encourage me in this direction.
"There are 17 ways to do everything in the Orthodox Church", as one of our departed hierarchs was wont to say, "and 17 ways to do each of the 17 ways".
* This appears to refer to the Sobor or Bishop's Council held at Moscow from Feb. 2 to Feb. 5, 2013. -Ed.
Thanks to Vladyka Jerome for his permission to reproduce this article here on Oremus blog.
|Metr. Anthony (Khrapovitsky), +1936|
|On rt., Abp. St. John (Maximovitch), +1966; |
on left, W. Rite Orthodox Bishop Jean-Nectaire (Kovalevsky)
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
There is an old saying that when God closes one door, he always opens another. As the door closes on our 5–year history and stay in Hamilton, Ontario, we are happy to find new doors opening up to us. Friends of the monastery here and abroad have offered us several options for new locations. Among these is the offer from our good friend, Anglican Archbishop Peter Goodrich to move into the parsonage of his pro-cathedral in Niagara Falls, New York. Another offer, which for the time being must remain confidential, is for a church and living quarters in a large mid western city. A third option is the offer of a church and abandoned monastery with cemetery also in Niagara Falls, New York. We have also had an invitation from a monastic aspirant to explore the possibly of moving to Newfoundland. We ask your continued prayers for the wisdom to know which of these doors God wishes us to walk through. One earthly goal of the Benedictine life is peace, and it is in God’s will and not ours that true peace may be found.
Monday, October 22, 2012
Contact information for the Mission is as follows.
St. Mary of Egypt Orthodox Mission
6128 Hamilton Ave. Apt.14
Cincinnati, OH 45224
Priest: Rev. Fr. Joseph Gingrich
Telephone: (315) 717-2824
Call if coming. (secured building--you have to be let in).
We wish Fr. Joseph, his matushka, and the Mission all success in Christ.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
above: Fr. Thomas Cook
Father Thomas was ordained in the Roman rite by Bishop Jerome, with Fr. Irenaeus Watson representing the priests of the Vicariate. Fr. Thomas will be Rector of St Edmund the Martyr Orthodox Church. He is the first Western Rite priest to be ordained by ROCOR for England. Fr. Thomas is married to matushka Jane and they have three children. Fr. Thomas has been Orthodox for six years and holds a B.A. with Honors from King's College, University of London, and a Certificate in Orthodox Christian Studies from the Institute for Orthodox Christian Studies, Cambridge. He will receive his M. Div. in December. The criminal background check required of all Western Rite clergy prior to ordination was completed by the Nottinghamshire police in June of 2012.
Ad multos annos, pater!
The Rev. Thomas Cook, rector
St Edmund the Martyr Orthodox Church
7A Victoria Street, Gedling
Nottingham, Notts. NG16 1HG
Monday, August 13, 2012
above: Old Roman Rite Liturgy, August 9, 2012, in the borrowed Roman Catholic church at the Mt. Alvernia Retreat Center, Wappinger Falls, New York.
The RWRV (ROCOR Western Rite Vicariate) Conference 2012 has just ended. I was sent a number of photos from the Conference, which may be viewed here:
Metropolitan Hilarion, first hierach of the Russian Church Abroad, was with us for each of the four days of the Conference, as well as Bishop Jerome of Manhattan. This was a great blessing for everyone. I believe that the success of the Conference can be gauged by the fact that, after four days of a brutal schedule of four services per day, tightly sandwiched between mealtimes and work sessions, with scarcely an hour to call one's own, most or all of us were still full of energy on the last day, and were in fact disappointed the Conference was over too soon!
above: The reading of the holy Gospel, Fr. Deacon David Jackson of Putnam Valley, New York.
The sender of these photos intended to concentrate on the Aug. 9 Liturgy, I believe, but I eagerly awaiting photos from the other Liturgies, all of which were wonderful. Also, I anticipate receiving group photos from the Conference to post here.
The Conference fitted us, in a sober manner, to go and do evangelical work in the spirit of Christ and the Holy Apostles. May God bless our Western Rite clergy to fulfill such a lofty calling, for the salvation of as many as God may send to us.
above: Reader Nicholas brings the pax Icon out to be venerated by the faithful.
by Hieromonk Aidan+
a grateful participant
Hat tip: Fr. Wade Miller, photographer
Sunday, July 22, 2012
Before the Schism of 1054, the bishop's crozier most often had a Tau-shaped head. Here is a picture of a typical Western Orthodox crozier top:
(above: Typical old Roman rite crozier, from Cologne, Germany, circa 1000 A.D.)
The other style, which is known to have been used prior to the Schism, is the shepherd's crook style.
The first predominated before the Schism, the second after the Schism.
Hat tip to Christopher McAvoy of Pennsylvania.
P.S. Old style Western Rite bishop's vestments:
Friday, April 20, 2012
"With the Blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, Reader Matthew Floyd will be ordained a deacon (5/19) at St Ambrose of Milan, in Putnam Valley, NY. by His Grace, Bishop Jerome. Fr Deacon Matthew is appointed to assist Fr Steven (Tolbert) Rector of St Brigit of Ireland in Claymore, OK."
Thanks be to God. Axios. Dignus est!
Friday, March 16, 2012
From rwrv.org, the new website of the Russian Western Rite Vicariate:
"With the Blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, The Rev Andrew William Winters will be ordained a deacon [March 23rd] and a priest [March 24] this month at St Ambrose of Milan, in Putnam Valley, NY. by His Grace, Bishop Jerome. Fr Andrew is appointed Rector of St Cyril of Alexandria in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"With the Blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, The Rev David Kinghorn will be ordained a priest on May 26th at St Joseph of Optina, in Virginia Beach, VA. by His Grace, Bishop Jerome and the gracious consent of their Rector Fr Seraphim Stephens. Fr David is appointed Rector of St Cuthbert in Pawtucket, Rhode Island."
Blogger's note: The ordination form appearing in the "St. Osmund Pontifical" (10th-11th c. Roman rite pontifical from Anglo-Saxon England) is, unfortunately, incomplete. However, what remains of it, matches perfectly the ordination form as printed by Hittorp. And in Hittorp's form, we have, at the beginning of the ordination service, an Acclamation:
¶ The bishop exclaims:
Is he worthy?
R. He is worthy!
Is he righteous?
R. He is righteous!
Is he worthy?
R. He is worthy!
Is he righteous?
R. He is righteous!Is he worthy?
R. He is worthy!
Is he righteous?
R. He is righteous!
Bishop: May God make him persevere worthily and righteously in His service for ever.
"His Grace, Bishop Jerome, just approved the launch of a new website to officially represent ROCOR Western Rite Vicariate around the world via the Internet. We've put some emphasis on the Directory at first, including those locations outside of the USA, so we can help get the word out about these locations for people to visit and/or share with their friends who may live near one. Please also keep these communities in your prayers...many of them are new missions and could use all the encouragement, prayers, and visits they can get. Over time, we hope to turn this website into a valuable resource for the RWRV and aid with the building up of Western Rite Orthodoxy. Here's a link to the new official website:
Blogger's comments: Thank you, Father. "Prospere procede et regna!" (Ps. 44)
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Work on the Morning and Evening Prayers document has been completed. The document gives domestic daily prayers in Latin and English, from sources approved in Sept. 2008 in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia for Orthodox Christians of the Western Rite. It has been made available for free download on the internet:
Drawn from source manuscripts of British Isles origin, the prayers show a mixture that was achieved historically when the Celtic traditions in the Isles met with the Roman traditions brought in by the great missionary saint, Augustine of Canterbury.
In Anglo-Saxon England, it was very common in books of domestic (extra-liturgical) prayers to show Celtic prayers and Roman or Gregorian prayers, side-by-side. The spirit of the prayers was felt, it would seem, to be one, and so both traditions were easily and naturally drawn upon for the private devotions of the Anglo-Saxon Christians in the centuries before the Norman invasion. These devotions and prayers were maintained, preserved, and used in daily life long after the Norman invasion as well.
The morning and evening prayers are drawn from three important sources: the Book of Cerne, the Ancren Riwle or Hermitess' Rule, and the printed Sarum Primer. They appeared in an initial edition in "Orthodox Prayers of Old England" (Third Edition 1999), which remains in stock but will one day be replaced by a fourth edition to be produced under the authority of the Russian Church Abroad. Perhaps the fourth edition can be published by Jordanville, or by the St. Nicholas Monastery in Ft. Myers, Florida.
"This morning at 10am [Friday, February 17, 2012 - Ed.] His Grace Bishop Jerome of Manhattan ordained Fr Deacon Steven Tolbert a priest at St Ambrose of Milan Orthodox Church in Putnam Valley, New York in the Western Rite. Fr Steven will be assigned as the Rector of St Brigit of Ireland Orthodox Church, South Claremore, OK. He and his family will take up residence there after Pascha. Of note: Fr Steven is the first priest ordained from minor orders up through the priesthood using the ancient Roman Rite. May God grant him many years!"
Many years - Ad multos annos!
Friday, October 21, 2011
A helpful new resource for the ordering of the domestic church--the home--according to the traditions of the Western Rite.
Morning and Evening Prayers in the Western Rite, from sources approved for use within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, may now be found here:
The prayers are given in parallel Latin and English columns. (File updated Feb. 18, 2012.)
"In the morning shall my prayer come before Thee."