Bishop Jerome of Manhattan on the Western Orthodox Rite

An Interview about the Western-Rite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia

New York. February 22, 2013

Deacon Andrei: Your Grace, what is the relevance of the Western Rite today?

Bp. Jerome: The relevance is in the fact that there are many converts in the Orthodox Church today. I am among them, of course. And we feel that, even though our parents, grandparents, and more recent ancestors were not Orthodox, a thousand years ago our ancestors were Orthodox. This was their liturgical tradition, and we, for that reason have a love for it, a desire to return to it, to build on it again as part of the general heritage of the Orthodox Church.

DA:  What is the place of the Western Rite in the history of the Orthodox Church?

Bp. Jerome: The Orthodox Church has many ancient liturgical traditions. Of course we have the Greek tradition, the Russian tradition, and there are others. We have the Alexandrian tradition with the liturgy of St. Mark, the Jerusalem tradition with the liturgy of St. James, and of course there is also the Western tradition. The importance of that is not only for those who love a particular tradition, but also for students of theology and students preparing for the priesthood because, just as knowing one foreign language makes it easy to learn another, so knowing more than one form of the divine liturgy and other services makes it easier to understand other forms. Continue reading “Bishop Jerome of Manhattan on the Western Orthodox Rite”

On the Orthodox Western Rite


Orthodox ikon of St. Columba of Iona (source HERE)

I wonder how many of my Orthodox friends in Romania are aware of the existence of an Orthodox Western Rite. Here are some basic information about this less known subject.

This particular rite was used in the West mostly by the Celtic Church, until the Synod of Whitby, in 664, which marked the triumph of Roman Catholicism over the Celtic traditions, established by St. Columba of Iona, which were similar to those of Eastern Orthodoxy. The differences did not consist only in the date of Easter, as it is usually suggested, or in the rejection of filioque, but also in a spirit of independence in relation to the imperial claims of Rome. I also need to add that, unlike the Roman Catholic tradition, the Celts had no interest in the Augustinian tradition of misogyny and no respect for the Roman obsession with power and hierarchy. Continue reading “On the Orthodox Western Rite”

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