Thursday, September 13

Divine Liturgy of the Maronite Rite

I spent a portion of my morning at the funeral for my friends' baby, who died before he was born. It was one of the hardest funerals I've ever gone to, and I spent much of the Mass in tears, but the prayers of the Maronite Rite funeral for a child are really beautiful! So many images brought to mind of the child being with God and worshipping Him face-to-face; it was a comfort, as well. We cry, really, only for ourselves, that we did not get to meet this child before he went to be with the Lord.

Below is a video of the Maronite Divine Liturgy, though it's not the specific one we celebrated this morning. One of the things that is so beautiful is that much of the Liturgy - and most importantly the Consecration - is said in Syriac, a dialect of the Aramaic which our Lord spoke. The Liturgy is ancient, and I believe it even predates the Roman Rite, as it was founded in the Middle East very early in Christianity's history. The Maronite Rite has been in constant union with the pope, and the Sacraments there are the very same Sacraments we receive in the Roman Rite. As a matter of fact, the parish I went to this morning has been where I've been going to Confession for a couple of years.

3 comments:

Barb, sfo said...

We just heard a Syriac-Catholic mission priest speak a few weeks ago. He celebrated Mass in the regular Roman rite but introduced a few prayers and blessings in his language. It was very moving and beautiful and he was a wonderful homilist.
My prayers are with your friends as they mourn their precious little one.

Tony said...

Our parish used to host a Maronite community who held Mass in our church on the second Sunday of every month at 4:00pm.

I had been intrigued by the idea of an Eastern rite in communion with Rome, so one weekend, I fulfilled my Sunday obligation there.

There were about 50 people there, most of them older and middle eastern looking (I later learned that a lot of them were Lebanese).

I had worn my best suit and as I settled into a pew, a young girl approached me and held out a misalette. I was confused because I had taken one when I came in. She said: "You might prefer this one". I discovered after looking at them that the one I had taken only had Arabic script in it. The one she handed me had "facing pages" in English.

It was somewhat difficult following the Mass, because even though I'm not fluent in Latin, I can read the words and understand what they are saying by looking at the translation. However they did have points in the missalette where there was commentary such as: "Deacon incenses the book" or "Priest elevates the host". When I saw what they did, I could read the prayer immediately before it and pretty much know what was going on.

The Mass was replete with candles, incense and the entire service was chanted (except the readings which were done in English and the homily which was done both in Arabic and English). It was solemn, prayerful, holy and undoubtedly Catholic.

Communion was intincted and placed on the tongue of the communicant by the priest.

It was a beautiful Mass, and I felt, very keenly, the presence of God.

So the next time you see a middle-eastern-looking guy walking down the street. Don't assume he's Muslim. He might be Catholic.

yaalbee said...

THANK YOU FOR PROVIDING THIS MESSAGE OF GODS LOVE/

I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY MARONITE HERITAGE AND I JOIN WITH YOU IN GODS WORD....TO LOVE ONE ANOTHER

JOHN ANTOON
DUBLIN,CALIFORNIA

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