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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Western Rite Days in Florida

From June 15 to June 19, 2009, Hieromonk Aidan stayed at the St. Nicholas Monastery in Florida, a community of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

On the evening of June 16 the Ninth Hour and Vespers were held according to the Sarum use of the Roman rite. Fr. Aidan was joined by Fr. Damian Criscella of the Church Abroad, and our dear brother Demetrio served as acolyte. Fr. Damian and Demetrio are of Italo-Orthodox heritage. The Third Hour and Divine Liturgy the next morning was also according to this same liturgical rite, the form of which which was approved within the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad in September 2008. The evening and morning services were for the feast of St. Petroc, the abbot in Cornwall. Our Russian Church Abroad has a monastery dedicated to this great saint.

At Vespers and the next days' Liturgy, we were blessed to have guests who are interested in Western rite matters, a former High-Church Anglican priest, and Fr. Jim Michko of the Eastern Catholic church, with others.

The services were held in a church fitted for usual celebrations according to the Byzantine rite, but we were able to adapt fairly well. Some Western rite vestments were loaned us for this occasion, and this helped to preserve the native Western character of this holy liturgy of the Church.

Ninth Hour and Vespers on the evening of June 17 was also Sarum rite, with a festive Liturgy or Mass the following morning, June 18. The evening and morning services were in commemoration of St. Boniface, the Apostle of Germany, and were celebrated with the ceremony of a double feast (a high ranking in the Western rite).

Thanks to mother abbess Andrea for giving her blessing for these beautiful Western rite services, which bear testimony to the universality and openness of Holy Orthodoxy.

Here follow some photographs of the events. From Vespers on June 16, a simple feast (St. Petroc):

From Vespers on June 17, a double feast (St. Boniface; note the use here of the cuffs, which were called in the Latin church "maniculae" and at Sarum more usually took the form of a decorative attachment to the cloth of the alb itself):

Censing at the Divine Mass of St. Petroc, in the rite of a simple feast:

At the Vespers of St. Petroc:

The retrocession (return to the sacristy with the holy chalice) at the end of the Divine Mass of St. Boniface, June 18, 2009:

I can't place this next picture in context. It may be at the festal Vespers of St. Boniface, when for lack of a proper cope (a vestment similar to the phelonion and to the chasuble), a chasuble (nearest equivalent) was substituted. The use of Mass vestments at Vespers is known in Western rite, but mostly at pontifical (hierarchical) services.

Censing at the Mass of St. Petroc, June 17, 2009 (note, on the right, the beautifully-typeset edition of the Divine Office in the Sarum use which is scheduled for publication by St. John Cassian Press in Austin, Texas):

From the Mass of St. Petroc, the bow at "Orate fratres et sorores," that is, "Pray for me, brothers and sisters," which occurs just before the first epiclesis ("Come, O Holy Spirit, bless and sanctify this Sacrifice") prior to the Canon of the Mass:

Holy Petroc and Boniface, pray to God for us!