Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ancient Milanese Rite Revived in Milan

It appears the older form of the Ambrosian Mass will soon be celebrated in its former diocese. Although details were not yet fixed, the NLM reports the Roman Catholic hierarchy has granted permission for the older liturgy to be celebrated "at a place within the Archdiocese of Milan, but, as I infer, outside the See city, in addition to the Mass celebrated each Sunday at San Rocco al Gentilino." Tentatively, this will begin this October.

In the Middle Ages, a great proliferation of variants snuck into the celebration of the Mass; often the same nation would have many different forms of the Mass based on diocese. To diminish this chaos, the council of Trent in 1570 specifically authorized all liturgies at least 200 years old at that time to continue, while suppressing medieval innovations. (By the nineteenth century, though, more variant liturgies introduced themselves.) In the years since the 1970 New Order of the Mass, even these retained liturgies have been Novus Ordo-ized. This edict will allow an older tradition to revive. Already, the NLM blog reports, there are requests for a wider usage of the old Ambrosian Mass.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Jerusalem Patriarchate Bows Out of North America

The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese has announced that the Jerusalem Patriarchate has relinquished its parishes in North America to Abp. DEMETRIOS.
Henceforth, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem no longer asserts any jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere.
After an April 1 meeting between H.A-H. BARTHOLOMEW I and Patriarch THEOPHILUS III of Jerusalem:
His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America was directed to proceed with the implementation of the agreements by the creation of a Vicariate for the inclusion of the clergy and communities within the Archdiocese of America. The official name of the Vicariate is: “Vicariate for Palestinian/Jordanian Communities in the USA.”

The clergy and communities of the Vicariate will be directly under the Archbishop of America and will report to the Archdiocese through the Vicar. Through the Archdiocese, all of these clergy and communities will be able to participate in the programs and agencies of SCOBA.
I don't understand the church politics of this enough to know its significance; I just thought the news more than merited mention.

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Sunday, August 03, 2008

From the Mailbag: Western Rite Missions in England?

Q: Your Western Orthodoxy blog shows in its entry for July 16 a clergyman censing the congregation at a ROCOR Western-Rite liturgy in London.

On the assumption that the London in question is London the capital of the UK rather than London, Ontario, Canada, I should be interested to know if WR liturgies are a regular occurrence in London and who organises them.

I am an Anglican with a long-standing interest in Orthodoxy and who is needless to say unhappy with what is going on in Anglicanism at the moment.

I assume that you are the author of the blog, if not please congratulate him from me on splendid piece of work.

A: Thank you for your kind words about my poor, unofficial blog. The liturgy was, indeed, held in the UK rather than Ontario (although there is a ROCOR monastery not far from London, Ontario, as well). The celebrant of the Mass in London, Fr. Michael of St. Petroc Monastery, recently addressed the issue of Western Rite missions in Great Britain. Here's what he wrote:
In the aftermath of the Church of England's General Synod decision to go right ahead with bishopesses, and of the shambles that Rowan Williams has managed to make of Lambeth, it is timely to say out loud to Church of England laity, that there is an alternative to the pseudo-leadership of the papacy. The Pope is neither the only nor the best way for members of the Church of England to go!! How many Church of England people realise that the Western Rite was first authorised for Orthodox use specifically IN ENGLAND over a hundred and thirty years ago (just after the Primus of Scotland had visited Russia and discussed unity with Church authorities there - and reported his conversations to the Convocation of Canterbury)? How many realise that services extracted from the Book of Common Prayer were authorised for adaption for Orthodox use over a hundred years ago? How many realise that there have been Orthodox Benedictine monasteries for over sixty years? That the Church of England non-Jurors discussed joining with Orthodoxy in the eighteenth century? Or that the first Anglican parish joined Orthodoxy over thirty years ago? Embryo Western Rite parishes/missions can be formed immediately in England (or Scotland or Wales) and seek immediate Orthodox oversight while they prepare themselves for formal reception. A Western Rite Orthodox Prayer Book already exists - it is just a matter of them making contact with us.
Missions in the UK are dear to Father's heart. He is always searching for those who wish to live out their Orthodox theology in an approved Western liturgical form.

You can contact Fr. Michael here. You can also reach him through the St. Petroc Monastery website or through his online discussion site, Ely Forum.

Thank you for contacting me. I pray your correspondence is a fruitful one, and Godspeed to you on your journey home.

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