The Sarum Rite
The liturgy that we use is called the ‘Sarum Rite’. It is an ancient use that was first codified out of pre-existing British liturgical practices in Salisbury, or 'Sarum'.
We use it because we believe it has value.
The people of Britain still feel a connection between themselves, their land, their churches, and their heritage. The Sarum Rite is the pre-eminent ancient rite of the British people and deserves to be celebrated and propagated. It speaks both to the true Orthodoxy of our forefathers as well as to the development of our lands and the people who lived here before us.
The liturgy you will find at our churches is the liturgy that the British people would have known and celebrated up until its uprooting in the reformation. As such, there are a few aspects of it which may seem odd to someone who hasn’t experienced anything similar before. Ancient forms of music and chant are used, incense is burned, and the liturgy is celebrated mostly in Latin. All of these are things that are not used outside of the church, and serve to highlight the sacred nature of the activity, and the continuation of the long tradition of our native Church.
Baptism and Chrismation
The road to joining the Orthodox Faith is through the progression of becoming a Catechumen, being Baptised and being Chrismated.
These are the mysteries given to the Church by which a man, woman or child is born again into a new life, one which is dedicated to participating in the divinity of Christ, and to participating in the sacraments of the Church.
In the Orthodox Church we would normally ask that adult converts undergo a period of reflection and instruction in the Catechumenate, followed by a Baptism before being Chrismated.
Confession is the mystery through which the penitent receives forgiveness of his sins.
While this may be intimidating for some at first, invariably it is a very liberating and spiritually uplifting experience. In the Church we use a manual of confession, which assists the penitent, and guides them through potential instances in their lives that they would like to ask forgiveness for. This is followed by a discussion, and then absolution is given.
It is not possible under any circumstance at all for the priest to reveal what has been said in confession.
We ask that all members of the Orthodox Church who come to mass, and wish to receive communion, first come to confession.
The clergy at our churches are available to hear confessions up to 30 minutes before the scheduled start of services.
The sacrament of Marriage is the union of a man and a woman before God with the purpose of following Christ and his Gospel and, when possible, raising up a faithful, holy family through that union.
If you are thinking about getting married, please contact one of our priests and make an appointment to see him, or send a general enquiry to the Diocese email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Unction (Annointing of the Sick)
The mystery of anointing provides both physical and spiritual healing with holy oil, blessed by the Holy Spirit.
The Church believes that the oil carries God’s grace both to renew the body, and to cleanse the spirit. It has been down the centuries a source of immense comfort to the faithful in physical difficulty, and when close to death, and asks for the patience to accept the will of God whatever the physical outcome may be.
One of our priests is always on hand when needed to perform this rite, and we ask that you contact him as soon as possible if it is needed.