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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

"Orthodox Prayers of Old England" out of print

All copies have sold. The book is again out of print.

Crowdfunding was suggested to me as a way to finance a reprint of the book. Watch this space.

18 more prayer books found

I was sad I couldn't even fill all the orders I'd received. I prayed to St. Nicholas and went through the garage storage and the rectory storage. Then in the church, in the vestry, I found some additional prayer books squirreled away.

So I now have 18 more prayer books to sell. My apologies for the drama. I'm accepting orders again, but with a limit of one book per order. Order info is below.

Forgive,
hieromonk Aidan
St. John Cassian Press

P.S. At the same moment, I found one old copy of the St. Nicholas Carol I'd so carefully put into English years ago (with a little expansion) from a Ukrainian version and couldn't find anywhere, not in printout, not on the computer. In gratitude to the saint, here is his carol (sorry, the Melody font I paid for does not appear to be on this computer, or I'd just .pdf it). 

Rhythm: (8) means eighth note; (4) means quarter note; (2) means half-note
D4 - G4 - F#2 - A8 - A8 - G8 - F#8 - E1 - D2
D4 - G4 - F#2 - A8 - A8 - G8 - F#8 - E1 - D2
A8 - A8 - B8 - A8 - G8 - F#8 - E1
A8 - A8 - B8 - A8 - G8 - F#8 - E1
D1 - B1 - A2G8 - F#1 - E1 - D2

The A2G8 really should be a dotted quarter note followed by an eighth note. 



Carol for St. Nicholas
tr., ed. hieromonk Aidan (Keller)

Oh, who, who, who loves holy Nicholas?
Oh, who, who honors holy Nicholas?
Near him Nicholas will be,
Helping him in everything,
Nicholas, Nicholas!

Oh, who, who, dwelling in God’s mansions,
Helps us cross over lands and oceans?
He will keep us safe from sin,
Crafty thoughts, and wicked men.
Nicholas, Nicholas!

Oh, who, who flee to him for safety,
Naming him Nicholas the saintly,
He will be protecting them
From starvation and from sin.
Nicholas, Nicholas!

Shepherd, tend all the sheep of Jesus.
In hell’s chains never, never leave us!
Snatch us from the lion’s den,
Set us on the Lord’s right hand,
Nicholas, Nicholas!

Nicholas, name of mighty power,
Champion great and triumphant tower,
Safeguard all the Christians who
Come with songs to honor you.
Nicholas, Nicholas!

Shield us from those who harm and hate us,
Don’t let tears drown or devastate us.
Christ was born in Bethlehem!
From the tomb He rose again!
Nicholas, Nicholas! 

(c) 2017 St. John Cassian Press

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

"Orthodox Prayers of Old England" Out of Print

On Dec. 26, 2017, the last copy of "Orthodox Prayers of Old England" sold. The book is now officially out of print but I understand that copies can be obtained from Amazon for $129.00, on eBay currently for $195.00, and from Eighth Day Books in Wichita, Kansas, for just over $100.00.

At this time, there is no foreseeable way to reprint this volume.

- hieromonk Aidan, St. John Cassian Press, 1701 Peridot Rd., Pflugerville, TX  78660-8139.

Friday, December 15, 2017

CHRISTMAS SALE!! Orthodox Prayers of Old England, 3rd Ed., $35

St. John Cassian Press is pleased to offer a sale on single or multiple copies of our best-selling volume, Orthodox Prayers of Old England, 3rd edition (1999).

 ---- $35 POSTPAID, Mint Condition ----


Regularly selling at Eighth Day Books in Wichita, Kansas, for $100 a copy, and currently selling on eBay for $195, this beautifully printed and bound hardcover book can be yours for $35 postpaid.

Used copies often sell on eBay for $300 or more.


To order your copy, send your email and/or cell phone number to the email at the bottom of this post. A PayPal payment request will be sent to you.

Ideal is a Facebook payment to "Aidan Keller." Very easy to set up, and no fees are assessed, so the Press keeps all of your payment.

Or send a check or money order for $35.00, payable to St. John Cassian Press, to:

     St. John Cassian Press
     1701 Peridot Rd.
     Pflugerville, TX  78660-8139

The sale price continues to Jan. 7, 2018. As of 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 21, there are thirty copies left. After they sell, the book will be out of print.Please do not order anything else when taking advantage of the Christmas sale.



SPECIFICATIONS

The book consists of 440 6"x9" pages, Smythe-sewn, and is hardbound in imitation dark blue leather with gold stamping on the front and spine.

CONTENTS

The prayers and liturgical services in this volume were blessed for use in Western Rite communities of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on Sept. 18, 2008.

- Basic Prayers

- Morning Prayers

- Evening Prayers

- Table Blessings

- Reverences in Church

- Preparation for Holy Communion

- Prayers before the Divine Office

- Vespers for Sat., Sun., Mon., Tues., Wed., Thur., Fri.

- Compline (for reg. days, feasts, and services of Our Lady)

- Matins and Lauds for Sundays

- Terce / Third Hour

- Sun. Water Blessing, Sprinkling, and Procession with Bidding Prayers

- Divine Liturgy (Roman Rite Mass according to the Sarum Use) + Roman rite Bread Blessing

- Thanksgiving after Holy Communion

- Notes About the Mass (patristic origin of different prayers, spiritual
interpretation of the service)

- Sext / Sixth Hour

- None / Ninth Hour

- Presanctified Mass (for Lenten weekdays where the prescriptions of the 6th Ecumenical Council are observed in their entirety)

- Missa Sicca (Western Rite typika or обеднитца)

- Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, incl. Hierarchical Parts (the only non-Western Rite part of the book)

- Gaelic Litany of the Holy Virgin Mary

- Litany of the Saints with Final Collects

- Salutations Before the Holy Cross

- Prayers of Remembrance (memoriser or intercession)

- Seven Penitential Psalms

- Fifteen Gradual Psalms with their Collects

- Little Office of the Holy Virgin Mary (Vespers, Compline, Matins, Hours, etc.)

- Little Office of the Guardian Angel (Vespers, Compline, Matins, Hours,
etc.)

- Priest's Visit to a Mother Newly Delivered

- Blessing of New Mothers (churching)

- Order of the Catechumenate / Holy Baptism / Chrismation / Tonsure

- Repentance (explanations)

- Guide to Confession (extremely complete examination of conscience)

- Order of Confession

- Betrothals (notes, banns, betrothals proper, nuptial mass, bed blessing)

- Service for Travellers

- Holy Unction (20 pages, all priest's prayers as well as the others' parts)

- Prayers for the Dying

- Vigils of the Dead (Vespers & Matins)

- Commendation of Souls (sung before every Requiem Mass)

- Requiem Mass

- Burial of the Dead

- Prayers for Various Occasions

      1. Prayers for Those in the Church
          Prayer of a Pastor
          Prayers for Pastors & Archpastors
          Prayer for the Faithful (2)
          Prayer for a Monastery
          Prayer for Unity
          Prayer for Catechumens

     2. Prayers for Family & Friends
          General Prayer
          For Those in Heresy / Schism
          For Those in Judaism
          For Those in Paganism
          Prayer for a Living Friend
          Prayer for God's Guidance
          Prayer for One Sick or Afflicted
          Prayers for the Sick
          Prayer for Taking Medicine
          Prayer for a Pregnant Woman

     3. Prayer for Benefactors

     4. Prayers for Prisoners

     5. For All Living & Dead

     6. For the Departed

     Prayers in Time of Trouble
          1. Against Evil Thoughts
          2. Against Temptations of the Flesh
          3. For Chastity
          4. Thunderstorms & Tornadoes
          5. Lightning
          6. Destroyers of the Church
          7. Deliverance from Pagans
          8. In Wartime
          9. For Peace & Reconciliation
          10. For the Holy Land
          11. Against Gossips
          12. In Afflictions

     Prayers for Travel

     Prayers for Good Death (of St. Melania, St. Hilary, many others)

     Prayers for Fasting Days (one is for fasting on a vigil)

     Prayers for Virtues and Blessings
          1. For the Kingdom of Heaven (describes heaven - beautiful)
          2. For True Love
          3. For Faith, Hope, and Charity
          4. For Chastity
          5. For Wisdom
          6. For True Peace
          7. For the Virtues
          8. For Spiritual Life
          9. For Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
          10. For Courage in Nightly Fears

     Prayers for Good Gifts
          1. For Rain
          2. For the Crops
          3. For God's Protection—the Breastplate Prayers

     Prayers for the Animals
          1. For Animal Friends
          2. For Sick Animals
          3. Against Infestation

     Service of Thanksgiving

     Prayers to the Holy Trinity

     Asking the Prayers of the Saints of God
          1. The Mother of God, the Theotokos (many)
          2. Holy Angels of the Lord (many)
          3. Patriarchs & Prophets (many)
          4. Holy Apostles (many)
          5. Holy Martyrs (many)
          6. Holy Confessors (many)
          7. Holy Women of the Lord (many)

      Prayers to the Lord with His Saints

     Prayer When One is Sick

     Prayer for Protection from Enemies

     Prayers of Repentance
          1. Of St. Jerome
          2. Short Prayer
          3. Of St. Martin
          4. Of St. Ephraim
          5. For Tears, by St. Isidore of Seville

     Prayer of Exorcism of Pope St. Leo III

     Order of Reading the Holy Scriptures (prayers before reading)

     Abbreviations for Books of Scripture

- Read the Whole Bible in a Year (schedule includes deuterocanonical
books)

- Weekly Psalter Readings (150 psalms per week, includes the canticles)

- Clear comparison of Massoretic and Vulgate/Septuagint psalm numbering

- How to Make Singing Breads (prosphora recipe, prayers)

- Fasts and Feasts (explains the fullness of the old Western tradition, so near to the Byzantine)

- Little Calendar (gives a Saint or two for each day of year)

- Eight Tones (gives psalm tones in square-note musical notation of Gregorian chant)

- Exhaustive alphabetical indices

      ... and more.

Many items are provided with musical notation, such as the Our Father, Te Deum, Saturday Vespers, as well as the 8 Tones.

Originally printed by St. Hilarion Press in 1999, after that date the editor-in-chief transferred to the canonical Russian Church and was given all the St. Hilarion Press book stocks to continue the work. Plans are to present a full list of available books on this blog in the coming months.

EMAIL hieromonachusaidanus@yahoo.com

Note: Multiple copies are each $35 postpaid. Volume discounts can be negotiated, but fall outside the scope of this Christmas sale.

Successful Conclusion of 2017 Western Rite Conference (ROCOR)

The 2017 Western Rite Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia took place from October 9 to October 12.

Present at the Conference were His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and His Eminence Metropolitan Jonah.

Celebrants at the Liturgies included Archpriest Mark Rowe of Florida and Priest David Kinghorn of Rhode Island.

Fr. David celebrates a Requiem Mass for our
departed W.R. clergy and faithful.



More photos may be viewed here:

https://www.rocor-wr.org/rocor-wr-conference-2017

The next Western Rite Conference for the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia will occur in the year 2019. Fr. Aidan (Keller) of Texas and Fr. Thomas Cook of England were unable to attend the 2017 Conference but will be at the 2019 Conference, Lord willing.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Oct. 2016 Western Rite Conference Concludes Successfully

Travelogue Highlights from the October 10-13, 2016 Western Rite Conference of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR)

Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the ROCOR, and Metropolitan Jonah (former first hierarch of the OCA, now serving in the ROCOR in Washington, D.C.) were present throughout the Conference. What a blessing!

at left: Metropolitans Hilarion and Jonah, at prayers just before the Communion of the clergy, Oct. 13, 2016.

(click the pic to see greater detail)

=============================================================== 

1. October 10, 2016, Monday.
Two-man delegation from Austin, Texas arrived just before 5 p.m. It was good to take the Metropolitan's blessing and see the brethren. In the evening Compline was held in the borrowed church. Unfortunately, it turns out that the TSA had held onto my laptop when I was frisked at the Austin airport, and the retreat center's public computer is no longer accesible. I realized I had a lot of work left to do to make printouts to assist the servers, master of ceremonies, and Metropolitan for their respective roles in the Thursday morning Mass I was to offer. By the way, for those who don't know, Orthodox have used the word "Mass" to describe the eucharist since before Orthodox started using the term "Liturgy" for it. "Holy Mass" is a good, ancient, patristic, Orthodox terminology used by countless Orthodox saints. pic: Monday evening service.

===============================================================

2. October 11, 2016, Tuesday.
In the morning, a Requiem Mass was celebrated by Dom James Deschene, a long-time abbot of our Church Abroad. I missed most of the presentations this day because I was working to make up for lost time on the materials to guide the servers, M.C., and Metropolitan through Thursday's Mass. Each day, we had an early breakfast, a lunch, and a supper. We were very well fed. The presentation I most hated to miss, was a workshop held by priest Nicholas Alford of the Antiochian self-ruled archdiocese on the divine office. There was a service sung called the Midday Office. Later came Vespers, then supper, then Compline. By now the handling of the Thursday Mass was taking shape. The Metropolitan tonsured a reader and three subdeacons for their Western rite (WR) communities. pic: Tuesday Vespers service.

===============================================================

3. October 12, 2016, Wednesday.
In the morning, Mass was celebrated for the feast of St. Michael and All Angels (it was Sept. 29 on the church calendar) by Dean and Archpriest Mark Rowe of Florida. The various other clergy concelebrated in this service. Fr. Mark provided materials for the Reception of a Bishop so that we could learn to properly greet our First Hierarch (or any other bishop) in Western rite (WR) settings. Again, I missed presentations and was working under the most unhelpful of circumstances to prepare everything for my Thursday Mass. In the evening, along with Vespers, supper, and Compline, there was a final rehearsal for the next morning's Mass, amongst myself, Onuphrius from Austin, newly-tonsured Subdeacon Silouan from England, and Subdeacon Joseph from Arizona (who was set apart as a subdeacon, by the way, in my parish of Holy Protection here in Austin, in I believe Jan. 2013). pic: Communion of the clergy, Fr. Mark Rowe celebrating.

===============================================================

4. October 13, 2016, Thursday.
In the morning I offered Mass in the Roman rite for the feast of St. Jerome, abbot of Bethlehem. First came Terce at 6 a.m., closing with the Metropolitan's blessing. Next the Mass started (the Metropolitan led the confiteor), with chanting by Terri Brown of Christ the King in Pennsylvania. The closing variable benediction for St. Jerome's day was sung by the Metropolitan at about 7:30. After the distribution of the blessed bread, we had breakfast. I was finally able to attend a presentation, one on evangelism (subdeacon Adam Roberts of the Antiochian archdiocese). The midday office consisted of the Sext which had been omitted from the end of the Mass for lack of time (our hosts needed the chapel for their 8:00 service). I drove to the airport together with Subdeacon Adam, Nicholas Chapman of Jordanville fame, priest Thomas Cook of England, and Fr. Thomas' new subdeacon, Silouan. A beautiful day which the Lord made. -- written by hieromonk Aidan (Keller) of Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church (Eastern rite), Austin-Pflugerville, Texas.

Photos from the Conference may be viewed here: http://bit.ly/2ewtbqf
hat tip: matushka Patricia Kinghorn of St. Cuthbert's Church, Providence, Rhode Island.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

HOW TO ORDER YOUR 2014 WESTERN RITE WALL CALENDAR

Wall Calendar 2014. Photo Jan. 24, 2014
Available and In Stock:
Wall Calendar W. Rite 2014 

The calendars are 11" x 15" with sturdy backing and a pad of tear-off, color month pages. Each date shows (a) the main celebration for the day, (b) the scriptures for Liturgy that day, (c) vestment color for the day, and (d) fast rules for the day, according to usage approved for Western Rite in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Each wall calendar has a drilled center hole for hanging. They ship folded along neatly-scored lines, and will look good in the home or at the office.

I am asking $4.50 each and $2 shipping.* Discount of 15% for bookstores or quantity 8+.

Mail donation payable to: St. John Cassian Press, 1701 Peridot Rd., Pflugerville, TX 78660.

Please order only calendar(s), no other books with them. Orders are shipping within 24 hours, but if your calendar does not ship within one week of my receiving your donation, I will refund your money as I mail your calendar. Remember to give your name and address.

Enjoy. And, of your charity, say a prayer for my sinful soul,
Hieromonk Aidan, editor and compiler

* Shipping is $2. But for multiple orders, 10% or $2, whichever is greater. That's for domestic orders; for international postage, please contact me, hieromonachusaidanus@yahoo.com.
.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Wall Calendars for Western Rite (ROCOR) for 2014

Approval has been obtained for a wall calendar for year 2014, reflecting usages (old Roman rite) approved for the Western Rite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

The following .pdf file contains the wall calendar, showing day by day what the main celebration is, for the day; what the scripture readings are for the day; what the vestment color is for the day; and what the fast rules are for the day.

http://allmercifulsavior.com/Calendar/Calendar2014-wall.pdf

Fr. David Kinghorn has kindly published a calendar, in the wall calendar format, following the approved Christminster usage of our Russian Church Abroad. This calendar may be viewed on the following website under the headings "Liturgics," and "Calendar": rwrv.org.

May all of you have a joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year. May God be with you always.
 


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

An Update Long Overdue

So much has happened in recent months, in the Western Rite of our Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, that I will attempt only the briefest update.

Following the synodal decree which invalidated the controversial ordinations at Beacon, New York, a number of those who were ordained on that fateful day have now received a canonical ordination in the Russian Orthodox Church. Some are serving in the Western Rite.

There was, at the time the synodal decree came out, the departure of one clergyman from our church.

Within the past two weeks, one or two more clergy have departed, which is cause for prayer and is a loss to our Church.

On a brighter note, on Sunday, November 17, 2013, retired OCA Metropolitan Jonah and Bishop Jerome (ROCOR), together with some seminarians from our Jordanville seminary, visited the W. Rite parish of Christ the King in Tullytown, Pennsylvania. There, Fr. Bernard Andracchio was awarded the dignity of Archpriest. Pictures are available at http://rwrv.org/news.html. Axios! 

The 2014 Western Rite Conference was canceled, and we still await word about the scheduling of a future conference.

The Commission established by the synodal "Beacon" decree has not produced so far any specific instructions for WR clergy. The Metropolitan is deciding matters from day to day, when issues come up. An internet discussion group was set up for the W. Rite clergy and there clergy may ask questions of two of the Commission members, Archpriest David Straut and Archpriest Anthony Nelson. A group was also established for the wives of WR clergy.

The W. Rite continues to flourish in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, and continues to operate under the omophor of the first hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion, who issued a comforting clarification soon after the synodal decree, which clarification remains the last official word on the W. Rite. More and more, our W. Rite clergy are coming to realize that the E. Rite clergy and people of our Church are going to be a source of support, encouragement, and blessing, and that suspicions about the motives and humanity of E. Rite brethren have been, in many cases, excessively pessimistic. W. Rite clergy have been concelebrating with E. Rite clergy more and more, including on the territory of the Chicago diocese (e.g., at my own parish on the edge of Austin, Texas), even as concerns regarding how W. Rite clergy were vetted under the former vicariate structure, are allayed. Our Church Abroad still has at least one bishop (His Grace Jerome) who has celebrated in W. Rite in the recent past and could do so in the future.

In sum, the W. Rite of the Russian Church continues. What of its vitality and viability? These will be determined by none other than the fruits of its own activity, whether missionary, parochial, or monastic. After the passage of two or three decades, there may be sufficient information to allow one to hazard a guess at how well our W. Rite is doing. May God be with our W. Rite clergy and faithful every step of the way, and may He guard and keep them by His Grace, through the prayers of the most holy and most pure Mother of God and of all the Western Saints.

Dear W. Rite brothers and sisters, we love you, we respect you, and we hold you up constantly and steadfastly in our prayers.

Hieromonk Aidan, cell 512 915 0667
on loan to Holy Protection E. Rite parish, Austin, Texas
www.orthodoxaustin.org and www.facebook.com/groups/HolyProtection

Saturday, August 31, 2013

ROCOR WR Priest, On His Conversion

The article is by Priest Mark Rowe of Florida and may be read here:

Source: http://journeytoorthodoxy.com/2012/12/05/so-that-god-would-give-you-to-us/

with pictures.

Glory to God! Deo Gloria!


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Time to Reflect

Now that some of the dust has cleared from the recent restructuring of the Western Rite in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, one has the leisure to ponder.

All I wish to ponder on (in written form) today, is the situation in which our Western Rite communities find themselves today. Sufficient for the day is the trouble of the day, as our Saviour taught.

1. The Western Rite communities in our Russian Church, remain Western Rite and remain intact. So far, there are no specific changes for them to implement.

2. The Metropolitan issued an epistle to the Western Rite communities about their future and about their continuance as Western in rite. No one knows whether this epistle is the same as the epistle which the Synod had mandated be produced. 

3. The Commission will do its work. The results are not yet known.

4. No one knows how long the moratorium against admitting new WR clergy will last. This places all the potential applicants, as well as the "Beacon" ordinands, in a most difficult position. They need every ounce of love, fellowship, and moral support we can muster during their difficult time of waiting. May the Most Holy Mother of God herself attend to their distress and sorrow, none of which was caused by them.

5. The former Yahoo discussion group for Western Rite clergy has been disbanded and all past posts have been deleted. A new discussion group for WR clergy has been opened, and I am happy to say that after a few short months of banishment from the old group, I can again yahoogroup with my fellow ROCOR clergy, who like me are blessed to the Western Rite. The Beacon ordinands are all invited to the new group. The tone on the new group is respectful, which is a joy to see.

6. A new discussion group has been established for the wives of WR ROCOR clergy. We wish them well and we can benefit from their input and their invaluable service to Christ's Holy Church. You can't have a good priest (or deacon!) without a good matushka. Our matushki are the invisible strength, yea, the secret weapon, of our Church.

7. The 2013 Western Rite Conference has been canceled. A member of the Commission informed me that he was unaware whether there is interest among the WR clergy to meet with one another or celebrate alongside one another, this year.  [Ed. - Since this post July 23, there has occurred a discussion amongst our WR clergy regarding an informal meeting this year. Check back on Oremus blog for an impending post regarding this matter.

8. So far, only one clergyman is known to have left the Russian Church following the Synod decisions, and that is Archimandrite Michael (Kinsfather) of San Antonio, Texas. All others in the Western Rite continue to serve in the Western Rite.

This blog certainly has had an increase in readership from down about 50 to 70 readers per day up to 350 to 600 readers per day. July 20, for example, it had 468 views. All are welcome to make comments, but be aware that anonymous commenting is not permitted. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Letter to WR Clergy and Communities, July 15, 2013


=========== transcription of letter from Metropolitan July 15, 2013 =============


HILARION
METROPOLITAN OF EASTERN AMERICA AND NEW YORK
FIRST HIERARCH OF THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA
75 E. 93rd Street, New York, NY 10128 Tel.: (917) 848-9706, (917) 543-5199.

July 15, 2013
No. 7-12 / 13

To the Clergy and the faithful of the Western Rite communities of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia:

Christ is in our midst!
The Synod of Bishops has convened and discussed ways in which the Western Rite communities could better be integrated into the larger Church structure in order to promote a closer sense of unity, fellowship, and participation in the fullness of Orthodoxy within the Church. To that end, the Synod of Bishops has made some administrative changes that will help the Western Rite communities work toward and achieve that unity, fellowship, and participation in the rich spiritual life of the Church as we work together to serve the Lord in His vineyard and build up the Kingdom of God in Holy Orthodoxy.
The Western Rite vicariate structure and administration model that were previously in place, as well as those formerly in charge and holding administrative roles such as Pastoral Vicar and the Vicar Bishop, have been released as a result of these decisions of the Synod of Bishops, in order to more effectively implement this new vision for the continued spiritual growth and existence and strengthening of the church communities in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
To this end, all Western Rite communities will be directly under the oversight and omophorion of the President of the Synod of Bishops, Metropolitan Hilarion. A committee has been formed and blessed by the Synod of Bishops to assist the clergy and communities in implementing and monitoring measures for their well-being and growth.

Holy Scripture reminds us, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 132).

While it is inevitable and somewhat natural for people to feel apprehension or uncertainty in times of change as we move forward, we feel that this decision and emphasis on bringing the current Western Rite communities into closer integration with the fullness of the Church will spiritual enrich the faithful and witness to Holy Orthodoxy to the world.

+ Hilarion [signature]
Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
[seal]

And here is a scan of the original letter:



Saturday, July 13, 2013

Change Comes to the ROCOR Western Rite


First, the Decision of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Church Abroad is shown below. Under it, my commentary and observations. 

NEW YORK: July 12, 2013
An Extraordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops is Held

http://www.synod.com/synod/eng2013/20130712_ensynodmeeting.html

On Wednesday, July 10, 2013, an extraordinary session of the Synod of Bishops of
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia was held, presided over by its
First Hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New
York. Participating in the meeting were permanent members of the Synod of
Bishops: His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany; His Eminence
Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Eminence Archbishop
Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, and His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland,
Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America.

Deliberating on the matter of Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, the Synod of Bishops
made a decision as follows:

"During a meeting of the Synod of Bishops on Wednesday, July 10, 2013, presided
over by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, A DECISION WAS MADE: on
the activities of Bishop Jerome of Manhattan, Vicar of the President for the
Administration of Western Rite Parishes.

After exhaustive deliberation, IT WAS DECREED:

1) To halt the ordination of new clergymen for parishes adhering to the Western
Rite.

2) To censure Bishop Jerome for his willfulness in administering the parishes
adhering to the Western Rite, and in performing various ecclesial services not
approved by the Synod of Bishops, and for criticizing his brethren in letters to
clergy and laity.

3) To deny recognition of the ordination of a group of individuals by Bishop
Jerome during a single divine service, and to regularize them following a
thorough examination of the candidates.

4) To release Bishop Jerome from all duties, including those of Vicar of the
President in administering Western Rite parishes, designating him as retired
without the right to serve in the Synodal Cathedral "of the Sign" in New York,
or to perform ordinations or award clergymen, and designating his place of
residence at St Vladimir Memorial Church of the 1000th Anniversary of the
Baptism of Russia in Jackson, NJ.

5) To bless Bishop Jerome to perform divine services within the confines of the
Eastern American Diocese with the consent of its Ruling Bishop.

6) To release Monk Anthony (Bondi) from all of his administrative duties and
from the spiritual ministry to the Vicariate of Western Rite Parishes.

7) To establish a commission to examine the means of integrating clergymen and
communities of the Western Rite into the liturgical life of the Russian Orthodox
Church, consisting of: Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York,
President; Bishop George of Mayfield, Vicar of the Eastern American Diocese;
Protopriest David Straut of the Eastern American Diocese, and Protopriest
Anthony Nelson of the Mid-American Diocese.

8) To address an epistle to the clergymen and communities of the Western Rite
regarding the need for them to adopt the order of divine services of the Eastern
Orthodox Catholic Church, while preserving, when necessary, certain
particularities of the Western Rite.

9) To emphasize our adherence to the rules and traditions of the Eastern
Orthodox Catholic Church in general and of the Russian Orthodox Church in
particular.

10) To deem this decree immediately valid and to submit it to the members of the
Council of Bishops in the form of a questionnaire for confirmation."

The meeting concluded with the singing of "It is Truly Meet."

=================== end Synod document ================ ==

My comments: The most notable feature of this document is what is in part 8), which mentions WR clergy and communities adopting "the order of divine services of the Eastern Orthodox Catholic Church, while preserving certain particularities of the Western Rite." This could easily be taken to mean that WR shall cease in the ROCOR. However, there are many unanswered questions. Does "order of divine services" signify the Eastern Liturgy, or something more generic such as "the essential requirements and rules of Eastern liturgics?" The older forms of Roman rite fulfill almost all, if not all, the conciliarly-enacted requirements for Eastern liturgics. Do "particularities of the Western Rite" include such things as the Roman rite Ordinary and Canon of the Mass, or is it a reference to use of Western musical styles in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, e.g.? What part 8 truly means, will not be clear until the coming epistle's contents become known.

I do not take this document to signal the end of the Western Rite in the ROCOR, but rather the inauguration of a cautious period in which the boundaries for the Western Rite will be determined. The way is still open for all Western Rite clergy of the ROCOR to continue in their service to the Church. Pending receipt of the epistle expected in future, there is nothing in this document (as it seems to me) which would prevent WR priests from carrying on as usual this Sunday, using the liturgy they know.

Bishop Jerome and Monk Anthony were formerly assistants to the Metropolitan and no longer are. This may not impact the typical Western Rite priest much, as to the performance of his sacred duties. He will surely have to ask the Metropolitan about things he would formerly ask the assistants about.

The path of service to the Church has not been closed to either Bishop Jerome or Monk Anthony, although they have received different duties than before.

So all hangs on the coming epistle. And who knows when it will appear? In the meantime, our thoughts and prayers are with all the Western Rite clergy and faithful of our Church, who may be feeling that their world is ending. Please know, brothers and sisters, that it is changing, but not ending. You have our love, prayers, support, and acceptance. Don't be discouraged.

And so we go forward in faith.

It is of interest that the Western Rite Vicariate is referred to in the document, and nowhere in the document is the Vicariate.dissolved or closed. Apparently, the Vicariate continues to exist, but without a named vicar. 

- update: It is now confirmed that the Vicariate as a structure no longer exists. Each Western Rite community is directly under the omofor of the Metropolitan. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Western Rite Ordination Scheduled June 26, 2013

From Christminster.org, where it was posted on June 24, 2013:

"Abbot James is pleased to announce the forthcoming ordination of Dom Joseph Del Giorno to the holy priesthood. To accommodate Bishop Jerome’s schedule, Fr. Joseph will be traveling on Wednesday 26 June to Beacon, New York. He will be returning for the weekend of Trinity Sunday, and will celebrate his first Mass in the cathedral on that feast at 8 AM. We ask your prayers for him for a safe journey and God’s blessing on his priestly life."

Congratulations and prayers for Dom Joseph as he approaches the sacred day of his ordination to the Holy Priesthood. May God bless him and protect him, granting him many blessed and successful years of service to Christ's Holy Church.

Axios! Or, as it used to say in the Roman rite ordination service anciently, Dignus est!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Interview with Bp. Jerome on the Western Rite

There is, on the ROCOR Studies page, an interview dated June 17 where Fr. Deacon Andrei Psarev discusses the ROCOR's Western Rite with Bishop Jerome of Manhattan (assistant to the Metropolitan for WR Affairs). It is found here in English:

http://bit.ly/12XVZQi

There are also some interesting historical materials on the Russian Church and the Western Rite from the 1920s and later, found in Russian here:

http://www.rocorstudies.org/documents/2013/06/16/o-zapadnom-liturgicheskom-obrya\
de/


and in English here:

http://www.rocorstudies.org/documents/2013/06/16/on-the-western-liturgical-tradi\
tion/


I hope these resources will be helpful.