Letter delivered and read at the Bishop’s Council (Holy Synod) of the American Orthodox Catholic Church, Western Rite Metropolia.
Greetings to all who have come together for the AOCC Holy Synod of October 14th, 2016. I pray that the common goals may be as our King had told us “seek first His Kingdom and righteousness” and as He told us to pray for His Kingdom to come and be done on earth. I pray YAHWEH will make our congregants into Saints through the renewing in the Divine Services. May the AOCC be a renewed vessel this season for an outpouring of the anointing more in all of our regions of influence. If I could have been there in person I would have liked to present or put forth a case for the laity to participate more in the daily services. As presently the Anglican church (although not as conservative as it once was) does encourage all it’s members to sing the morning and evening Psalms in the home or at church every day, (as part of the Divine service). We have integrated some of these resources into our app. As the Western Rite AOCC understands the English Liturgy (1549 book of common prayer) is a descendant of the Sarum Missal according to the criteria set forth by the Holy Synod of Russia in 1907. This liturgy has been augmented with material from the Sarum Missal, Gothic Missal, York rite, and 1718 Scottish Non-Juror liturgy. An epiclesis from the Gothic Missal is included.
I do not mean to tout my bias for the English Liturgy, but to look for an expanse for more to reap the rewards spiritually of setting their days and evenings right in the daily prayers. This goes from ancient times. There is also of course the compline in the older versions of this liturgy. This also I believe should be at the correct daily times. Morning (noon optional) and Sunset. We have also apps that we can combine these all for handy use for the Clergy and Laity alike. Together with all parts, The Psalter, Collects of the day, the lectionary, etc.
This liturgy is also not limited to the Anglican, the American Orthodox Western Rite, the United Reformed Church, the Presbyterians, and the Dutch Reformed. Even the most separatist “Congregationalist Church” has held this rite from 1645 till this present day (lately under the “Congregational Federation” which has tried to re-establish the more Orthodox version of the denomination). Several of the main Universities in America were founded as Congregationalist Bible Colleges. This order of Worship is conclusively shown to be the most American and Christian way. For detailed information on such usage, get the book “Freedom or Order?, The Eucharistic Liturgy in English Congregationalism 1645-1980”.
I will be publishing more on this area to reach and encourage others in the practical use, and many benefits of the Divine services. The main morning and evening service can be done in the home, minus the Absolution and Eucharist. I ask for your prayers in this task to encourage more homes to participate in the daily service. Of course many will need to be counseled to be balanced in this area, and not take on too much than they can handle. At least the Lord’s prayer at His times (morning, evening and noon) to start, and work their way up.
I encourage all at the AOCC Holy Synod to continue in the faith, and know YAHWEH is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him.
May YAHWEH Bless You all
+Abp Stephen Michael K.
Orthodox Church of the Culdees, AOCC – WRM