Saints Cyril and Methodios


From Lux Occidentalis, by Fr. John Connely
Used by permission.

The ancient Western Rite, although lost to Orthodoxy after the 11th century Great Schism, did survive in the monastery of the Almafians on Mount Athos itself until 1287. According to the V. Revd. Edward Hughes: "We also need to notice that when Ss. Cyril and Methodios began their mission to Eastern Europe in the 9th century, they went to Rome for authority, and worked as Roman Christian missionaries even though they came from the East. They employed and distributed Liturgical books in both rites. Their Eastern rite work did not survive their own time, but was continued in Bulgaria by Ss. Clement and Naum of Ochrid. Their Western rite work, however, survived directly from their day right down to the 1970's in Dalmatia and Croatia. There are 15 known extant manuscripts of pre-Tridentine complete Missals in Old Church Slavonic, which have been subjected to all manner of textual and historical studies. The Christians of Dalmatia and Croatia know that their liturgical heritage is from the work of Cyril and Methodios. These both died as Roman clerics, never having expressed in writing any problems with their bi-ritualism."

 

The Revd. John Connely is a graduate of the University of Colorado and holds the degree Artium Magistri Religionem from Yale University. He is Pastor of St. Mark's Parish, Denver, Colorado and Dean of the Central States Deanery, Western Rite Vicariate, The Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.