Welcome to the Western Rite Vicariate, a part of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese in America. Effective May 18, 2012, by appointment of His Eminence Metropolitan Philip, His Grace Bishop John serves as the only Auxiliary Bishop to oversee the Western Rite Vicariate. Assisting His Grace is the V. Rev. Edward Hughes, Vicar General of the Western Rite Vicariate. The Vicariate includes more than 20 churches and missions located throughout the United States.
Contact His Grace Bishop John via email at email@example.com.
Contact V. Rev. Edward Hughes via email at WRVicarGeneral@gmail.com.
by Fr. John W Fenton, Assistant to the Vicar General
For all Orthodox Christians, the Holy Season of Lent begins on the First Sunday in Lent (4 March in 2012), and the Lenten fast begins a few days prior. For Byzantine Orthodox Christians, the First Day of the Great Fast is on the Monday before the First Sunday in Lent; and for Western Orthodox Christians the Lenten fast begins on the Wednesday before, commonly known as Ash Wednesday.
While both traditions observe a 40 day fast, the different starting dates for the fast are related to how the fast is calculated. Early on in the West, the Lenten included every day including Saturdays but never included Sundays. Therefore, in order to achieve 40 days, since the 7th century the Western Orthodox have fast not only for six fully weeks (i.e., 36 days) but also four additional days. Hence, for about 1400 years the Lenten fast in the West has begun on the Wednesday before the First Sunday in Lent.
It is not clear when the Wednesday beginning the Lenten fast began to include the imposition of ashes. Originally, the imposition of ashes was one of several public rites required of those penitents who wished to be restored to the church. As early as the 4th century, these rites were associated with a 40 day fast. Most likely this fast was the Lenten fast, but the evidence is too thin to be conclusive. What does seem clear is that, by the end of the 10th century, it was customary in Western Europe (but not yet in Rome) for all the faithful to receive ashes on the first day of the Lenten fast. In 1091, this custom was then ordered by Pope Urban II at the council of Benevento to be extended to the church in Rome. Not long after that, the name of the day was referred to in the liturgical books as “Feria Quarta Cinerum” (i.e., Ash Wednesday).
By Fr. Dn. Stephen Holley, St. Michael Antiochian Orthodox Church, Whittier, CA
And He spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away.
In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
According to the Epistle [Romans 15.4-13], the theme of today’s liturgical celebration is the joining together of the Holy Scriptures and Hope. Two things that are very precious to us as we wait for Christ’s return, are both Faith and Hope. They both have their foundation in the Holy Scriptures. The believer in Christ walks by Faith and, at the same time, rests in Hope.
2012 calendars are in both Western and Byzantine editions are now available from Lancelot Andrewes Press:
This Calendar has full color plates of English stained glass for every Month. It is full of Saints and observances of the Universal Church. It should be a most attractive aid to children, youths, and adults in learning the incredible richness of the Christian Year. It should be helpful to clergy and Church workers in planning Parish and School events in harmony with the customary observances day by day. Of course, no Calendar could perfectly bridge all of Orthodox, Catholic, and Anglican variants. However, we think the result of making a “chock full of Saints” Calendar is instructive, fun, and practical in many instances.
This “Complete Church Calendar” for 2012 conveniently includes boxes already filled to every corner with Saints’ Days and Holy Days.
The most popular book in Russia before the Communist era was “The Little Flowers” of St. Francis of Assisi. Often the suffering laity in their prayers find more spiritual resources in the company of Saints than the various official calendars would suggest.
The “Complete Church Calendar” is available with the Western Easter Date, 8 April 2012 for Catholics and Anglicans. (West2010)
We offer a similar edition with the Orthodox Paschal date, 15 April 2012 (Byz2012) All the days (Lent, Holy Week, etc.) dependent on the Easter Date are calculated accordingly.
Additionally, we offer a narrowly Orthodox Calendar (Ex2012) without most of the popular Saints and yet geared to the public worship of the Orthodox parishes. And so three Church Calenders for 2012:
Recently, St. Patrick Orthodox Church was featured in the Warrenton, Virginia, Lifestyle magazine. Part of a series about local houses of worship, the colorful article presented the life of the community of St. Patrick in both text and photographs.
The author writes, "St. Patrick's Orthodox Church is strongly committed to being a vibrant witness of the Orthodox faith for their community. The congregation is made up of seniors, young singles and couples, families and many children, In Orthodoxy, the path of salvation is clear: we confess our sins regularly, we partake in our Lord's Body, we read (and sing) the Scriptures, we feed and clothe the poor, we fast, and we pray that we may be continually more filled with love for God and man."