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What Is the Western Rite?
The Western Rite of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia is a concerted effort to reach out to Western Christians in a manner that is thoroughly Orthodox but is also familiar to the tradition(s) that they may be coming from. To accomplish this, the Western Rite Communities have sought to re-
What is the Orthodox Church?
The Orthodox Church is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit in the year 33 A.D. It is also known (especially in the contemporary West) as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church. It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Church, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.
The bishops of the Orthodox Churches trace unbroken succession to the very apostles themselves, therefore ultimately receiving their consecrations from our Lord Jesus Christ. All the bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, no matter their titles, are equal in their sacramental office. The various titles given to bishops are simply administrative or honorific in their essence. At an ecumenical council, each bishop may cast only one vote, whether he is the Ecumenical Patriarch or simply an auxiliary bishop without a diocese. Thus, there is no equivalent to the Roman Catholic papacy within the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion’s Paschal Epistle and Greetings to His Holiness Patriarch Kyrill.
(Click on either picture to read them)