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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact V. Rev. Edward Hughes via email at WRVicarGeneral@gmail.com.
On behalf of the Orthodox Oblates of St. Benedict from St. Michael Orthodox Church in Whittier, we cordially invite you to attend our annual Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 19, 2011, at the church property - 3333 Workman Mill Rd. Whittier, CA. 90601. The Retreat Conductor will be Rev. Fr. Paul Olson from St. Nicholas Cathedral in L.A. Fr. Paul will speak on the topic: "COMMUNION DEVOTIONS - What Do They Teach Us."
The retreat will be held from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., and it will include the Office of Oblates, Western Rite Liturgy, several sessions with our speaker, time for question and answers, quiet time to reflect and read, and time to meet with clergy if you so desire. In keeping with the Western Rite, this retreat will be in silence, so please be prepared for that. Snacks and lunch will be served, and there is no charge for the day.
In order to be properly prepared for the day, please RSVP to the church, (562) 692-6121. Please spread the word and invite your friends and family to join us for this special day. Fliers will be mailed this week to the local parishes. We encourage everyone to take time away from their busy lives so that this Lenten Season will bring you much peace and joy.
The Oblates support the Whittier Pregnancy Crisis Center, which assists mothers in crisis pregnancies and helps them to either keep their babies or find adoptive families for them. We are collecting newborn diapers, and if you would like to contribute some, that would be most appreciated.
by Fr. John W. Fenton
The Theme of the Season
The holy season of Lent begins on Ash Wednesday and concludes with the Easter Vigil. It is a 40-day season of instruction in the Christian Faith, and devotion on Our Lord’s merciful passion. During this season, mortification of the flesh, through self-denial, is practiced both with the Church and individually.
The Parts of this Season
The season of Lent is divided into three distinct parts:
- Lent proper begins with Lauds Ash Wednesday and concludes just before First Vespers on Passion Sunday. Instruction in the Faith is the central liturgical focus.
- Passiontide begins with First Vespers on Passion Sunday (2 weeks before Easter) and concludes with Vespers on Holy Wednesday. Meditation on Our Lord’s Passion is the central liturgical focus.
- The triduum sacrum (“holy three days”) begins with Lauds on Maundy Thursday and concludes with Compline (follow the Vigil Mass) on Holy Saturday. Meditation on the Paschal Mystery is the central liturgical focus.
The Three Disciplines of Lent
The mortification of the flesh, or the putting to death of the passions which hinder attainment of the kingdom of heaven, is practiced with three disciplines of self-denial during Lent. These disciplines are not individual, but communal; and they are not optional, but obligatory. For Holy Church understands that the practice of these disciplines both increases the Paschal joy of the faithful, and aids the soul living the fullness of the faith.
These three disciplines are:
The Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) recently featured several Antiochian priests in a new installment in their "Special Moments In Orthodoxy" podcast series. "What is Western Rite Orthodoxy and where did it come from?" asks OCN's website. "To learn more please join Fr. Chris and Emmy for this episode of Special Moments in Orthodoxy as they welcome Archpriest Fr. Paul Schneirla, Vicar-General of the Western Rite in the Antiochian Archdiocese, and Fr. Michael Keiser, author of The Children of the Promise: Introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy to the program, as they will discuss the differences and similarities between Western Rite Orthodoxy and Eastern Orthodoxy." The full episode is available here.
The Western Rite Orthodox Kalendar 2011 is now available on Lulu.com. This calendar is based upon the Liturgy of the Western Rite Vicariate of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. It features beautiful paintings of the different parts of Holy Mass, along with spiritual and theological explanations.
From The Word, November 2010
Not All by Herself
Orthodox believers of both the Eastern and Western Rites celebrate major feast days in honor of the events in the life of the Theotokos. St. Luke records three of these important occurrences: the Annunciation, March 25 (1:26–38), the Visitation, July 2 (1:39–56), and the Presentation, February 2 (2:21–39). A common feature in the three stories is that our Lady is never alone; other people share in the events of her life.
'Mary deliberately goes to be with her cousin Elizabeth after Mary’s annunciation. Mary is not alone at the Temple when she presents the infant Jesus, because the Gospel tells us that at least her husband, Joseph, the priest, and Saints Simon and Anna are there for the occasion. Mary’s annunciation itself, however, seems a little different. Yes, the archangel Gabriel comes to her, but he leaves after delivering his message, and we do not read that she has anyone else with her. Or, does she?
In fact, those who attend Orthodox Western Rite parishes discover in the lectionary readings for the Feast of the Annunciation that ﬁve women from the Old Testament spiritually join with the Blessed Virgin Mary. These women, in order of their liturgical appearance, are Eve, Sarah, the Psalmist’s royal Queen, the conceiving Virgin in Isaiah, and Hannah.