Russian Church Promotes the Veneration of Ancient British Saints, Aiming at Preserving Local Christian Legacy

Originally appeared at: Orthodox Christianity

Over the past two years, the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia’s Diocese of Great Britain and Western Europe has managed to gather extant hymnography for dozens of pre-schism British saints.

Continuing and building upon a venerable ROCOR tradition, His Grace Bishop Irenei launched the Saints of the British Isles Liturgical Project in 2020.

The veneration of the saints of the pre-Schism West was particularly modeled by St. John (Maximovitch) of San Francisco, who during his time as Archbishop of Western Europe carefully researched the lives of ancient Western saints.

Since the launch of the project, the diocese has been meticulously researching and compiling and editing all existing liturgical texts to the many saints of the British Isles so that priests will have the option of celebrating the services to the local saints.

According to its update published yesterday, hymnography, including several full services, to 95 saints has been compiled. View the list of saints and their extant hymnography here.

Recent additions to the collection include a second service to. St Edward the Martyr, commemorating the rediscovery of his relics; a polyeleos-rank service to St. Theodore of Canterbury in Greek, composed by an Athonite monk; a full vigil-rank service to St. Richard the Pilgrim of Wessex; a vigil-rank service to St. Melangell in Greek; and a vigil-rank service to St. Milburga of Muchwenlock, amongst others.

The diocese has also gathered the text of services to St. Germanus of Auxerre, St. Lupus of Troyes, St. Olaf of Norway and St. Wilfrid of Sweden, all composed by the noted translator and hymnographer Monk Joseph (Lambertsen).

The diocese is also working to compile a complete listing of saints of the British Isles.

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