Liturgy of St. Tikhon of Moscow

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The Divine Liturgy of St. Tikhon is one of the liturgies authorized for use by the Antiochian Western Rite Vicariate (AWRV), and has similarities with the Book of Common Prayer.

Origins of the Rite

When St Tikhon was the ruling bishop of the American diocese of the Church of Russia, some Episcopalians, wishing to become Orthodox, asked Bishop Tikhon whether they might be allowed to continue to use the 1892 American Book of Common Prayer. After Bp Tikhon sent this BCP to Moscow, a commission was appointed to examine the use of this book within the Orthodox Church; the final report of this commission addressed the changes that would need to be made in the BCP to make it suitable for Orthodox worship, and the Holy Synod noted in its Observations that the specifics of this rite "can be carried out only on the spot in America," and fount it "desirable to send the 'Observations' themselves to the Right Rev. Tikhon, the American Bishop".

However, this was not to occur. The Episcopalians who had petitioned St Tikhon withdrew their petition, and St Tikhon did not receive any Episcopalians before returning to Russia in 1907. At this point, neither the Holy Synod of the Church of Russia, nor St Tikhon, had approved the rite.

In the 1970s, however, the Liturgy of St Tikhon was produced for use by Episcopalians who wished to convert to Orthodoxy but retain the liturgy to which they were accustomed. The text of the liturgy is based upon the Episcopal Church's 1928 Book of Common Prayer, which was then adapted by Father Joseph Angwin for Orthodox use, following the Observations on the 1892 Book. To do this, the Liturgy included certain features of the Mass of the Catholic Church prior to the Second Vatican Council, along with certain modifications to make it conform to Orthodox theology and practise (including a strengthened epiclesis and the restoration of the original Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed by removing the filioque).

At present, the Liturgy of St Tikhon of Moscow is celebrated in the Church of Antioch (in the Archdiocese of North America and the Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines). The Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia has approved a service with many similarities (under the name 'The English Liturgy'), as have the Patriarchates of Alexandria citation needed and Moscow.

Structure of the Ordinary

  • Asperges
  • The Preparation for Mass
  • Collect for Purity
  • Summary of the Law
  • Kyrie eleison (nine-fold)
  • Gloria in excelsis
  • Collect of the Day
  • Epistle
  • Gradual
  • Alleluia
  • Gospel
  • Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed
  • Offertory
  • Prayer for the whole state of Christ's Church (Intercessions)
  • Confession of sin and absolution
  • Comfortable Words
  • Dialogue
  • Preface
  • Sanctus
  • Canon
  • Lord's Prayer
  • Fraction
  • Agnus Dei
  • Prayer of Humble Access
  • Prayers before Communion (including "I believe, O Lord, and I confess....")
  • Holy Communion
  • Prayer of thanksgiving after Communion
  • Dismissal
  • Blessing of the faithful
  • Last Gospel (Prologue of St John's Gospel)


  • Andersen, Sdn. Benjamin. "An Anglican Liturgy in the Orthodox Church: The Origins and Development of the Liturgy of Saint Tikhon." M.Div. diss., St. Vladimir's Seminary, 2005.
  • Orthodox Missal (Saint Luke's Priory Press, 1995)
  • Saint Andrew's Service Book, 2nd edition (Antiochian Archdiocese, 1996)

See also

External links