Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate

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The Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate (AWRV) is a Western rite vicariate of parishes and missions "that worship according to traditional Western Christian liturgical forms" within the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America of the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch.[1]


The vicariate began when three schismatic Society of St. Basil parishes, under Bishop Alexander Tyler Turner, were canonically received into the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch by Metropolitan Anthony Bashir in 1961, after an eight-year probation period.[2] Turner had been in conversations with Bashir since 1952 about conversion of the parishes.

Turner was received as a canonical archpriest as part of his conversion to Orthodoxy and served as the first Vicar-General of the vicariate, a position which he held until his death.


Following the conflict over women's ordination within the Episcopal Church and the publication of the 1979 edition of the Episcopal Church version of the Book of Common Prayer, several congregations looked at the possibility of locating another communion with which they were more ideologically aligned. The first church to be received was the Church of the Incarnation in Detroit, Michigan. Additional congregations joined over the next several decades, including congregations formerly a part of the Evangelical Orthodox Church (many subsequently switched to the Byzantine Rite).

Current status[edit]

The AWRV consists of more than twenty churches and missions in all of the dioceses throughout the United States. Auxiliary Bishop John Abdalah oversees the vicariate assisted by its Vicar-General, Fr. Edward Hughes. Western Rite parishes are encouraged and expected to be active in the local diocese in which they are located, and episcopal functions are usually performed by the local diocesan bishop.[3]


  1. ^ Andersen, Benjamin Joseph. "A short history of the Western Rite Vicariate" (PDF). Englewood, NJ: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2015-03-26. Retrieved 2015-06-05.
  2. ^ Anson, Peter F (2006) [1964]. Bishops at large. Independent Catholic Heritage series (1st Apocryphile ed.). Berkeley: Apocryphile Press. pp. 504–506. ISBN 0-9771461-8-9.
  3. ^ "Western Rite". Englewood, NJ: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America. Archived from the original on 2015-03-20. Retrieved 2015-06-05.

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