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Western Rite Edict and Directory

FOREWORD TO THE 2015 EDITION

In 1958, at the General Convention of the Archdiocese in Los Angeles, Metropolitan Antony, of thrice-blessed memory, established the Western Rite Vicariate with the promulgation of the Western Rite Edict. After a period of catechetical formation, with the reception of the first Western Rite communities, Metropolitan Antony and the Rt. Rev. Alexander Turner, the first Vicar General, published in 1962 the Western Rite Directory. These documents have remained the governing document for the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Their intent, eloquently expressed by, Fr. Paul Schneirla, long-time Vicar General of the Western Rite, was "to protect both the immovable bases of the Orthodox Church and the legitimate cultural heritage of the Christian west."

Over time, these documents have undergone some slight revisions, primarily to accommodate the use of the Ordinary and Canon of the Rite of St Tikhon as well as the English Office for parochial settings, and to recognize some administrative changes in the Archdiocese. Apart from these few items, which are noted in footnotes, the Edict and Directory have remained unchanged.

A careful reading of these documents leads one to conclude that their primary aim is to promote practical uniformity within the Vicariate, in order both to strengthen the bonds of unity within the Vicariate and to foster acceptance within the Archdiocese. Toward this end, all clergy of the Vicariate should be familiar with the contents and strive earnestly to conform themselves to their prescriptions.

V. Rev. Edward Hughes
Vicar General, Western Rite Vicariate

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