The Birth of a Movement
September 14, 2013 (Feast of the Elevation of the Cross) – Moraga, California – For over 950 years Eastern and Western Christians have been divided not just along theological lines, but also in liturgical practice. The Roman Catholic Church, however, has come to accommodate those who prefer to worship according to the Eastern Rite, establishing a place for Eastern Rite Catholics within the church. Likewise, the Antiochian Orthodox Church in North America has reached out and established a Western Rite Vicariate to accommodate Orthodox Christians who prefer to worship according to the Western Rite. This month marks the birth of a new movement within the traditionally Western Rite Anglican Communion to work towards accommodating Eastern Rite Anglicans, marked by the founding of Society for Eastern Rite Anglicanism (SERA). SERA is a faith-based society committed to promoting and sustaining a movement towards an established Eastern Rite in the Anglican Communion.
As Fr. Justin Cannon, one of the cofounders of SERA, explains, “We Anglicans have prided ourselves on diversity and inclusion yet no accommodation has been made for Anglicans who are drawn to the Eastern Rite. In the Roman Catholic Church there are Eastern Catholics and in the Orthodox Church there is a Western Rite Vicariate. It’s time we lay the foundation for Eastern Rite Anglicanism.”
SERA offers an online forum; membership options for individuals, congregations, dioceses and communities; an online bookstore; and “Anglo-Orthodox” versions of the Daily Office. According to the website, SERA hopes to someday include “a publishing house for Eastern Rite Anglican resources, annual retreats for members, regular workshops and training opportunities, and more.” Additionally the Society is offering a fellowship called Fellowship of Saint Isaac the Syrian for Christians who are committed to interior prayer and deep intentionality in their daily lives as living witnesses to the Gospel, through constructing and following a daily rule of life under the guidance of SERA’s Director for Contemplative Life. More information can be found online at www.easternanglicanism.org.