Total Pageviews

Follow by Email

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

Sarum Mass in Virginia July 2, 2021

A Western rite Liturgy will be held at St. Demetrios Monastery (ROCOR, Eastern rite, abbot Metropolitan Jonah Paffhausen) at 10 a.m. on July 2, 2021. The monastery is located at 10636 Catharpin Rd, Spotsylvania, VA 22551. This is the day of the repose of St. John Maximovitch. It will be in the Roman rite (Sarum version) and the main chanter will be Fr. Photios Zelinski, who is traveling down from Massachusetts for the occasion.

The public is invited. The service will be primarily in English, with some Latin.

Monday, December 28, 2020

Ordo and Calendar for 2021 Now Available!

The Ordo and Calendar for year 2021 is now available for Western Rite communities of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Send your info and payment (see below) to:

Rev. Fr. Mark Rowe 2422 Gulf Gate Dr. Sarasota FL 34231 Make checks payable to "ROCOR WR Communities."

For ROCOR WR clergy only, it's $10 and for all others $20 (still less than production cost; thank you, benefactors!). This is a 141 page, full color bi-ritual saint-calendar with complete indices of saint names (nearly 15,000 entries); icon feasts (unique resource); moveable feasts; and two features special to 2021: (a) Morning and Evening Prayers in Western Rite, and (b) an article by Moscow priest Daniel Sysoev (martyred on Nov. 19, 2009) on the contribution of J. Overbeck in the 19th century to re-launching WR Orthodoxy in modern times. hat tip: Fr. Mark Rowe

Friday, December 18, 2020

New Western Rite Blog

 I was made aware of a new Western rite blog, which was started by Adrienne Meador. I hope you will enjoy it. 

A blog about Liturgical Living in the Western Rite (

Monday, September 14, 2020

The new address for the St. John Cassian Press is: 

St. John Cassian Press
17745 Erickson Dr
Atlantic Mine, MI  49905

This is also the address for the Sts. Sergius and Herman of Valaam monastery, which is the residence of Hieromonk Aidan (Keller) since August 5, 2020. 

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Western Rite Conference 2019 a Success

The ROCOR Western Rite Conference began in the afternoon of Monday, Sept. 30, and lasted through midday on Friday, Oct. 4, 2019.

The Conference was facilitated by Archpriest Mark Rowe, Vicar for Western Rite communities, and both Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), first hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, and Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen), former primate of the Orthodox Church in America, were present. Registration was from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. on the first day, followed by Vespers with the hearing of confessions.

Three men were tonsured as Readers. Many Years to Jacob, Nicholas Gilpin, and Stylianos!

St. John the Wonderworker, Archbishop of San
Francisco, Patron of Western Rite Orthodoxy
Liturgy for St. Theodore of Canterbury on Tues., Oct. 1, was celebrated by Archpriest Mark Rowe; for the Ember Day in (old calendar) September on Wed., Oct. 2, by Priest Thomas Cook of Great Britain; for departed Abbots and Clergy of the Western rite, a Requiem, on Thur., Oct. 3, by Priest David Kinghorn; and for St. Matthew the apostle and evangelist on Fri., Oct. 4 by Hieromonk Aidan (Keller).

Daily, Terce, Sext, Vespers, and Compline were kept in the Conference hall, which was kept as a chapel throughout the Conference.

There were special work meetings for each of the newly-created Western Rite Deaneries,* as well as the Vicar's Administrative Council.

On Wed., Metropolitan Jonah met held a partial-day retreat with the matushki (priests' wives) at the nearby St. Joseph's Orthodox Church.

Various kinds of Western rite service books, music, prayer ropes, icons, crosses, etc., were displayed for sale during the Conference by Fr. Lazarus of Stockholm, Sweden; hieromonk Aidan of Texas; and hieromonk David Colburn of Tennessee.

Lectures were given by Metropolitan Jonah (on outreach and mission); Archpriest Mark Rowe (on various topics); Priest Kevin Kirwan, author of 'Finding Genuine Catholicism in the Orthodox East' (on this book and the journey people make to the Church); and Hieromonk Aidan Keller (on characteristics of the older forms of the Roman rite).

There were participants from the United States, including Hawaii; Great Britain; and Scandinavia. Services were held mostly in English, with some Latin chants and an all-Latin Requiem Mass. Chanters included Reader Gildas Meal of Britain and Hieromonk Aidan from Texas. Priests took turns leading the various Hours of the Divine Office.

I believe it is fair to say that the Conference was stimulating in its content; reverent in its prayer; delightful in its fellowship; instructive; and also, it must be admitted, quite tiring, as the days were very full. Many made it to the nearby beaches or to see the sights of beautiful Sarasota. No alligator attacks were reported for our group, and that is always a plus.

Many thanks to Archpriest Mark, Vladyka Hilarion, Fr. David and matushka Patricia Kinghorn; and many others, for a beautiful Conference! We look forward to the next ROCOR-wide Western Rite Conference to occur in 2021. In 2020, the various Deaneries will hold regional conferences.

Finally, in 2020 a grand celebration is planned for the 150-year anniversary of the presence of Western Rite in the Russian Church. More information will be shared as it becomes known.

Deo Gratias! ~ Thanks be to God!

* The new deaneries and their deans are as follows.
Central Deanery -- Priest Patrick Lowery, Christ the Saviour, Michigan
Eastern Deanery -- Priest David Kinghorn, St. Cuthbert's, Pawtucket, Rhode Island
Southern Deanery -- Archpriest Mark Rowe, St. Joseph's, Sarasota, Florida
Western Deanery -- Priest John Longero, St. Andrew's, Reno, Nevada
U.K. Deanery -- Priest Thomas Cook, St. Edmund's, Nottingham
Scandinavian Deanery -- Hieromonk Serafim Furemalm, Holy Protection, Stockholm

More Conference Pics

(hat tip: Priest Benedict Simpson of All Saints of North America in Georgia)

Metropolitan Jonah speaks on early Orthodox evangelism in N. America, Oct. 1

Chapel Space in the Conference Room at Hilton Garden Inn

Tonsure of Three New Readers, Sept. 30

Metropolitan Hilarion and Jacob

Metropolitan Hilarion and Nicholas

Metropolitan Hilarion and Stylianos

Tonsure of Jacob

Little Phelon - Jacob

Jacob reading from the Apostle

Tonsure of Nicholas Gilpin

Little Phelon -- Nicholas Gilpin

Tonsure of Stylianos

Little Phelon -- Stylianos

Another pic of the tonsures

Archpriest Mark Rowe preparing for Liturgy, Oct. 1

Hieromonk Serafim and Priest Benedict Simpson

Chapel at St. Joseph's, Sarasota, Florida

Click the comments link below to read one from the Vicar General of the Western Rite in the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Information on the fast-approaching Western Rite Conference and Retreat of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia (ROCOR) is available in the latest issue of The Wonderworker here:

To summarize, the conference/retreat will be held in Sarasota, Florida, from Mon., Sept. 30 to Fri., Oct. 4, 2019. If all goes well, both Metropolitan Hilarion of ROCOR and Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) will be present at the conference.

Gratitude to Archpriest Mark Rowe, planner of the conference.

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.

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, 17745 Erickson Dr., Atlantic Mine, MI. 49905 (formerly at 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
     17745 Erickson Dr.
     Atlantic Mine, MI. 49905

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.


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.


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,

- 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

- 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.


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:

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:
hat tip: matushka Patricia Kinghorn of St. Cuthbert's Church, Providence, Rhode Island.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


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,

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.

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":

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 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 and