Western Rite Orthodoxy

Western Rite Orthodoxy, also called Western Orthodoxy or the Orthodox Western Rite, are congregations within the autocephalous churches of Eastern and Oriental Orthodoxy which perform their liturgy in Western forms.

These congregations have used western liturgical forms such as the Sarum Rite, the Mozarabic Rite, and Gallican Rite. Some congregations use what has become known simply as the English Liturgy, which is derived from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer,[1] albeit with some modification to the text to emphasize Orthodox theological teaching.[2] The Western Rite that exists today has been heavily influenced by the life and work of Julian Joseph Overbeck.[3]

Western Rite missions, parishes and monasteries exist within certain jurisdictions of the mainstream Eastern Orthodox Church, predominantly within the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America.[4][5]

In addition, the Western Rite is practiced within religious communities outside the mainstream Eastern Orthodox Church. The Communion of the Western Orthodox Churches and the Orthodox Church of France are entirely Western Rite. Furthermore, there is a small number of Western Rite communities among the Old Calendarists, such as the former Western Rite Exarchate of the Holy Synod of Milan and the Autonomous Orthodox Metropolia of North and South America and the British Isles; within independent Orthodoxy, the American Orthodox Catholic Church's successors have Western Rite metropolitan jurisdictions. In the past, there have also been Western Rite communities within Oriental Orthodoxy. There also are a number of independent Western Orthodox churches and monasteries that are neither part of the Oriental Orthodox Church nor the Eastern Orthodox Church.[6]

Western Rite parishes are found almost exclusively in countries with large Roman Catholic or Protestant populations. There are also numerous devotional societies and publishing ventures related to the Western Rite. Western Rite Orthodoxy remains a contentious issue for some;[7] however, the movement continues to grow in numbers and in acceptance.