Who We Are

Vestiges of Christianity is a news blog maintained under the direction of Bishop Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D., SOSM. Our goal is to reconcile ancient Christian theology with contemporary orthodox Christian practices and understandings. Our praxis carries with it a strong eastern liturgical focus while maintaining a freedom of spirituality that is true to ancient Christian ideology. We welcome anyone who desires to discover gnosis through the expression of early Christianity. We use the word "gnosis" with the intention to reflect its original meaning of soteriological knowledge, mystical wisdom and spiritual realization. While we encourage a working philosophical comprehension of Classical Gnosticism from antiquity, we are not a Gnostic or reconstructionist church. Our theology is orthodox, our approach, furthermore, is mystically liberating.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Consecration Ceremony of Bryan D. Ouellette to Bishop

Dear Friends,

Bishop Mansell Gilmore of the Universal Church of Autogenes has announced that he will be Consecrating Father Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D. to the Order of Bishop, specifically under the Apostolic lineage of the Russian Orthodox tradition (please view the Succession list here if you are interested in the history of this particular lineage: holymonasticorder.webs.com/apostolicsuccession.htm . The event will take place at the Clerical Retreat Center in Atlanta, Georgia on the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple to be celebrated on Sunday, January 30, 2011 at 2PM Eastern. Additionally, Monastic Novices Brother Thomas Moreland and Reverend Peter Smith will both be Ordained to the Diaconate and elevated to Simple Vows.

Below is an itinerary of ceremonies. You are all invited to attend this wonderful event, but seating is limited. Please RSVP by calling 207-370-9077 by November 15, 2010. Father Bryan asks that any gifts for his Consecration be offered as a donation to the Holy Monastic Order En Deus to help defray the costs of the ceremony and the bulk of the financial burden which falls on the Most Ancient Church of the Rose and Cross.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you all there!

MindBrainBody Project

The Consecration of Father Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D. + to the Russian Orthodox Bishopric &
the Ordinations of Brother Thomas Moreland & 

Date: Sunday, January 30, 2011

Time: 2:00 P.M.

LOCATION: Clerical Retreat Center in Atlanta, Georgia (directions will be given to RSVPs)

Schedule of Events:

  • Office of Oblation
  • Introductions
  • Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord: The Purification of the Holy Theotokos (Introductory rites)
  • Consecration of Fr. Bryan to the Order of Bishop
  • Confirmation of Brother Thomas Moreland
  • Ordination of Brother Thomas Moreland & Reverend Brother Peter Smith to the Order of Deacon
  • Elevation of Brother Thomas Moreland & Reverend Brother Peter Smith to Simple Vows
  • Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom for the Feast of the Meeting of the Lord: The Purification of the Holy Theotokos (continued)
  • Dinner

A Note from Fr. Bryan:

The Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom is an ancient liturgy going back to the days of the early Church itself. It has always been the central religious expression of Russian Orthodoxy. For those of you who have never experienced a Church service of this kind, it is my goal to help make you all as comfortable as possible with it.

First of all, this isn't a Roman Catholic Mass (although the Confirmation of Brother Thomas, and the Ordination and Elevation of Brothers Thomas and Peter will be of the Latin Rite in order to honor their spirituality). Eastern spirituality is very much dependent upon individual practice. While it is customary for the congregation to stand throughout the entire Divine Liturgy, it is not necessary. There are places during the Liturgy where it is entirely appropriate to sit and other times where it is better to stand. Eastern Christians do not kneel at Sunday Divine Liturgies. When in doubt, follow "Matushka" Tracey who will be cantor for this event. When she sits, feel free to sit. When she stands, please stand.

You will find that Eastern Christians bless themselves with the sign of the cross frequently throughout the liturgy. If you wish to participate in this expression, but are unfamiliar with the eastern method, please ask me to show you during the Introductions segment before services begin.

It is customary in Russian Orthodoxy to bow when the priest blesses the congregation with the incense.

Nearly the entire Divine Liturgy in the east is chanted by both the priest and the congregation. Tracey will be providing everyone with handouts to follow along. While certainly not necessary, we encourage you to respond with the cantor. Don't worry if you don't know the chants, many of the responses will come easy after you hear them a few times. Some, however, are more difficult. What is important is that you do what is comfortable for you.

Finally, I would like to add a note about Holy Eucharist (Communion). Central to the Christian faith is Eucharist. In the mind and theology of the eastern Church, this is not merely blessed bread and wine offered in remembrance of Christ, but the ACTUAL body and blood of Christ Himself. The Russian Church, therefore understands this sacrament to be the very presence of God in physical form under the appearance of Bread and Wine. It is ordinarily assumed that those who choose to receive Eucharist have already been baptized into the Christian tradition. Baptism is usually the first step to initiation into the Christian mysteries and we highly respect this process. However, no one (not even a priest or a bishop) has a right to stand between a person and their God. In light of this understanding, I would like to offer you all the following recommendations when we reach this point in the Liturgy.

If you have never been baptized but wish to receive Holy Eucharist on this day, please contact me privately and I will be more than happy to baptize you through either a full ceremony or a short and simple private ceremony (according to your own preferences).

But! (And this is a huge but!)

If you find yourself unbaptized at this liturgy and something compels you to go up and receive the Eucharist, I will not turn you away from receiving this indescribable mystery of the Church. Go with your heart. It's usually right.

So with this I extend to you the blessing of God and I greatly look forward to seeing all of you who are able to attend.

With Much Peace,

Rev. Bryan D. Ouellette, Ph.D. +

P.S. I also would like to offer a sincere thank you to Dr. Michael Jon Kell for making this event possible. Much love to you, Michael,as always.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Consecration to Bishop

Dear Friends,

Bishop Mani Gilmore formally announced this weekend to the Universal Church of Autogenes that I am to be Consecrated to the Order of Bishop. I am deeply humbled by this announcement. To be chosen to become a successor to the Apostles is both a frightening and wonderful appointment. I will do my best to serve Gnosis, those coming to Gnosis, and those whom have yet to discover Gnosis well.

The date will be announced soon, but the Consecration will most likely take place at our clerical retreat center in Atlanta, Georgia. All are invited to attend. In preparation for this most sacred of events, I will most likely not have the time to post to this blog as regularly as I am accustomed to. I, therefore, ask for your patience and your prayers during these final weeks of preparation.

All my blessings to you,

Fr. Bryan