Modern Western Rites
Synod of Bishops, Russian Orthodox
Church Outside Russia, 1979
back to Western Rite History
The decision regarding modern Western rites is on p.
13 of the .pdf file here (it is p. 13
of the .pdf file itself; the internal page number for 1979 Decisions
pages is p. -4-). It should be
noted, however, that the Western rite has had a continuous presence in
the Russian Orthodox Church since the 1930s. There has recently been an
increased emphasis on using older forms of Western rite. Since the 1979
Decision concerned itself only with modern forms of Western rite, these
older forms, blessed by Orthodox hierarchical authority a millennium
ago, might represent a topic not addressed by the 1979 proscription.
It should also be pointed out that the 1979 Decision
has been modified by recent permissions
granted by Abp. Hilarion of Sydney, now Metr. Hilarion of New York,
over the last two decades or so.
Currently, the following rites are blessed for use in
the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia:
- Sarum (old Roman rite as preserved in England before
- Tridentine (counter-Reformation Roman rite)
- Use of Mt. Royal (an abridgement of the Old Roman rite)
- Book of Common Prayer (Anglican) rite
Here are the brief comments
forwarded to the "Indiana" list on Nov. 13, 2010, by Bishop Jerome of
Manhattan, Russian Church Abroad, regarding this 1978 decision: "The
following 'Excerpt' was, of course, written by Fr. George Grabbe.
Why he wrote it, would take more time to delve into, than I care to
spend at the moment. However, the statements it contains are incorrect
factually (there are indeed post-schism Western liturgical forms, but
there is also the ancient, Orthodox cycle of daily and annual services,
which has survived), and the resolution itself never actually came into
effect, since at the time it was written, there were two Western Rite
communities within ROCOR that Fr. George had forgotten about -- and
when I reminded our bishops, the ROCOR Western Rite was allowed to go
on after all. In Christ," [signature].
for more information