Dept. of Western Rite News
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.
At 12:20 a.m. on Sunday, October 17th, word was received that the eldest brother in the Diocese of Wichita, Father Donald David Wallace Lloyd, D.D., reposed at the age of ninety-seven.
The casket with Father Donald David will arrive at St. Mark Church in Denver, CO on Thursday, October 21st at 5:00 p.m., where he will lie in state until after the Requiem Mass which will be served at 7:00 p.m. He will then be taken to the St. Laurence Center in Tallahassee Creek, CO where, upon arrival, a brief low Mass of Requiem will be served followed by interment in the specially-prepared sepulchre just west of the Basilica of St Laurence. Then, this Saturday, October 23rd, the final Requiem Mass will be served at the Center at 11:00 a.m.. Condolences may be sent c/o Father John Connely (firstname.lastname@example.org) of St. Mark Church in Denver.
Fr. John Connelly writes:
Following his Chrismation and Ordination, Father Donald David Wallace Lloyd, D.D. told me very sincerely that never in his life had he felt so uplifted, blessed, (he used a vocabulary to explain this that I cannot entirely remember), and that his joy was beyond anything of merely earthly happiness. He was delivered from all the sorrow of 93 years (the age at which he received into Holy Orthodoxy) and then continued his earthly life as the most powerful intercessor that I have ever known. If your retired Priests want to see Paradise, let them follow this example. Father Donald was given names for prayer in restaurants and everywhere we traveled. He normally rose at 5.00 o'clock so to complete his Morning Prayers by 8:00 o'clock given his lists of living and departed souls.
Bishop Basil writes:
The biennial conference of the Western Rite Vicariate will be held Monday, August 2 through Wednesday, August 4 in Washington D.C.
Evangelism will be the focus of this year’s conference. Presentations will be offered on making the Orthodox Faith known to the unchurched, the reception of new parishes (“provisional missions”) and on-going instruction within the parish.
Mass will be celebrated daily, together with Vespers and Lauds (or Morning Prayer). A complete schedule of the conference will be available by May 15.
The Right Reverend THOMAS (Joseph), Bishop of the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, serving in the Diocese of Charleston, Oakland and the Mid-Atlantic, will attend the conference representing The Most Reverend Metropolitan PHILIP (Saliba), Archbishop of New York and Metropolitan of All North America.
Clergy and laity from Western Rite parishes, and those interested in the Western Rite, are cordially invited. Please register using the registration form which is attached.
The Western Rite Vicariate Conference is hosted by St. Gregory the Great in Washington DC and co-hosted by St. John the Baptist in Lewistown MD, Holy Trinity in Lynchburg VA and St. Patrick in Warrenton VA.
Should further information be desired, please contact:
Fr. John W. Fenton
Assistant to the Vicar General of the Western Rite
Using an informal and informative format, Fr. John Winfrey and Fr. John Fenton will lead four structured discussions on how the Christian Faith is lived in the Orthodox Western Tradition.
One man’s spiritual journey ends with a congregation’s conversion
Lewistown is now home to Maryland’s first Western Rite Orthodox church
by Ron Cassie of The Frederick News-Post
It was a moment Hamrick’s congregation in Lewistown has been waiting for since early spring. On April 10, his small flock at the former Charismatic Episcopal Lamb of God Church converted en masse to the Antiochian Orthodox faith, which includes both Western Rite and Eastern Orthodox churches.
At Hamrick’s urging, the 40-member congregation, which worships in a church built in 1883 by Methodists, was officially accepted as an Orthodox mission in March. After preparation, members went through the sacramental rite of chrismation into the Antiochian Orthodox faith. Further highlighting their transformation, the congregation adopted a new name: St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church.
This weekend, Hamrick will lead an Orthodox Sunday Mass for the first time at the church, marking the final step for the 45-year-old priest and his congregation as Maryland’s first Western Rite Orthodox church.
“For the people who have endured a rather long and difficult journey, this doesn’t mark the end, but a fresh new beginning,” Hamrick said. “We’re excited about what God is doing — about being pioneers and evangelists, about bringing Holy Orthodoxy which is the faith of the Apostles and the ancient Church to the people of Frederick County living in the 21st century.”
On Sunday, August 23, 2009, Bishop THOMAS (Joseph) ordained James K. Hamrick to the Holy Priesthood in the Orthodox Church, Antiochian Christian Archdiocese. The ordination ceremony was conducted during the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at Saint Basil the Great Orthodox Church in Poquoson, Virginia (near Newport News). The host priest and pastor of the church, Father Gregory MacGregor, was one of Hamrick’s three priest sponsors. Father MacGregor had introduced Hamrick to Holy Orthodoxy three years earlier during a family vacation to Williamsburg, VA. At that time Hamrick was a priest in the Charismatic Episcopal Church and had just planted a new mission in Lewistown, Maryland named Lamb of God Church—all of this after having previously served as a United Methodist pastor for six years in the Harpers Ferry, WV area.
Hamrick’s other two priest sponsors for his ordination were present and included Father Patrick Cardine, pastor of St. Patrick Orthodox Church in Warrenton, VA; and Father Nicholas Alford, pastor of St. Gregory the Great Orthodox Church in Washington, DC, both of whom were also the catechists for Hamrick’s congregation when they made a decision to become Orthodox last year.