Children of the Promise
Michael Keiser
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Buy *Children of the Promise: An Introduction To Western Rite Orthodoxy* online

Children of the Promise: An Introduction To Western Rite Orthodoxy
Michael Keiser
124 pages
July 2004
rated 4 of 5 possible stars
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This book by Fr. Keiser is an introduction to the Western Rite Orthodox of the Antiochian Orthodox Church. It may seem a bit bizarre to see a book on the Western Rite that is neither Roman Catholic nor Protestant. There truly exists a Western Rite in the Orthodox Church; there are around 10,000 practitioners, mainly converts from the Episcopal Church or Anglican Communion and the Roman Catholic Church, although some are of Protestant denominations, too.

Roman Catholics and Anglo Catholics (Anglicans) will better understand this introduction to the Western Rite than other Western Christians. Keiser introduces the reader to the overall Orthodox Church, which is different from the Roman Catholic Church in that it does not have a central figure like the Pope as well as other differences. The Patriarchs of the various Orthodox churches - the Russian, Antiochian, Greek and others - are equals.

Keiser explains the church-building of Orthodoxy and its history. For Orthodox, symbols are very important, and Keiser discusses this in a summary way since a large book could be written on this topic alone. He explains the robes of the clergy of the Western Rite, different from what is used in the Eastern Rite. The robes and vestments are closer to Roman Catholic garb that were used before Vatican II (1962-1965).

Keiser describes the seven mysteries (analogous to the Roman Catholic sacraments) of the Orthodox Church and goes into the description of liturgy or worship of the Western Rite Orthodox. Again, this is different from the Eastern Rite; the language used is English, whereas in the other Orthodox Churches Greek, Russian or other languages are used. He describes the two main liturgies used in the Western rite, the St. Tikhon and St. Gregory liturgies. He introduces the reader to the Scriptures that the Orthodox and the Roman Catholics use. There are more books in the Orthodox and Catholic Bibles than in the Protestant Bible, and he discusses why this is. He finishes the book with a chapter on spirituality and prayer, then a history of Western Orthodoxy.

Fr. Michael Keiser is an Orthodox priest who has served in Great Britain and the United States. He is the author of A Beginnerís Guide to Prayer: the Orthodox Way to Draw Closer to God (2003) and other books.

Illustrations would have made this introduction to Western Rite Orthodoxy even more helpful, but the book flows well and is very readable. Keiser provides a short bibliography on Orthodoxy that features books in English. This book is recommended to those interested in who the Western Rite Orthodox are. It wonít answer all your questions, but it is a beginning.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Br. Benet Exton, O.S.B., 2005

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