Anthony Nelson on the Western Rite Quotations from the Indiana List It is understandable that someone who sought to live as pious a life as possible in whatever religious circumstance he might have been previously to encountering Christ in Orthodoxy might want to hold on to those devotions and ways that gave some kind of comfort in that pre-Orthodox existence. I did, too. But I learned that it's just not possible to have it our way: the Church is *not* Burger-King! When be find that it is time to leave spiritual childhood behind and become a man, we must also leave behind the things of a child and take on the things of a man (slight paraphrase of St. Paul, there, but it seems to work....). If we are to admit that the Church is what she claims to be: the *one*, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, then we either take her for what she is and what she offers to us - as well as the *way* she offers it or, like the rich young man, we go away sorrowfully, unwilling to part with those false "riches" which cannot bring us to God. Frankly, that's part of my discomfort (how's that for gentle) with the whole idea of a so-called "western rite" and it's necessary liturgical archaeology to attempt to put back into service (no pun intended) that which was long abandoned by the Church. Anyway, our Lord calls us to Himself - to His Church. He says, "Come unto me...," but He does *not* say, "Come unto me and remake me as you will...." Fr Anthony Nelson, St. Benedict Orthodox Church, Oklahoma City 11-29-97 Aside from all the problems of liturgical archaeology and attempting to retro-fit a heretical "western rite" to orthodoxify it, the problem of baggage remains: when one insists on holding on to that which is heterodox - in this case a system of worship - can one be considered to have made a conversion of heart and mind to Orthodoxy, or at least not to be bogged down by that baggage in making that conversion? I think not. Running *away* from things like ordained homosexuals and priestesses in someplace like ECUSA is a *lot* different from seeking Orthodoxy. The ECUSA/Anglican folk I know all consider themselves to be already Orthodox, in spite of their heterodoxy. I know of one "western rite" Priest in the Antiochian Archdiocese who, when an old buddy of his was made a bishop in one of the Continuing Anglican groups, went back there and asked for a release from the Archdiocese! Oh...for those enquiring minds who want to know: he didn't get one, thank God. Responding to: "I guess the thing that stands out to me is why do we need a 'Western Rite'?" We don't. It's an effort both to provide a "back-door" into Orthodoxy with a minimum of effort/commitment/acceptance of change and submit to a demand that the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom not be "imposed" upon westerners. I was specifically told by the Metropolitan that "We have no right to impose the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom on them" in speaking about this matter when I was in the AA. Fr Anthony Nelson, St. Benedict Orthodox Church, Oklahoma City 7-26-97