The Orthodox Church Of Epirus

True Canonical Orthodoxy

Old Orthodox Vicariate

Our Old Orthodox Vicariate is meant to attract those who wish to adhere to a more ancient Slavic tradition and piety, that of the Old Believers or Old Ritualists.

It gives those who feel called to greater piety in the Slavic tradition to practice their Orthodox faith within the parameters of church structure, guidance and protection.

A brief Explanation

Old Believers or Old Ritualists are Eastern Orthodox Christians who maintain the liturgical and ritual practices of the Church as they existed prior to the reforms of Patriarch Nikon of Moscow (between 1652 and 1666). Resisting the accommodation of Russian piety to the then contemporary forms of Greek Orthodox worship, these Christians were anathematized, along with their ritual practice, in a Synod of 1666–1667, producing a division in Eastern Europe between the Old Believers and those who followed the State church in its condemnation of the Old Rite.

Although all Old Believers branches emerged as a result of opposition to the Nikonian reform, they do not constitute a single monolithic body. Despite the emphasis on invariable adherence to the pre-Nikonian traditions, Old Believers feature a great diversity of groups that profess different interpretations of church tradition and usually are not in communion with each other (some groups even practice re-baptism before admitting a member of another group into their midst).

Our Aim

While some Old Ritualists have joined patriarchal or autocephalous jurisdictions over time, most of the Old Believer groups remained in isolation and developed a separatist mentality which has made it difficult to join or to connect with one another.

The Old Orthodox Vicariate offers a more conciliatory approach by emphasizing piety over fragmentation and a missionary outreach in a modern world that desperately needs to find salvation and rescue from the demon of its secular spirit.