Just another typical Catholic wedding—complete with gunshots

My traveling companion and blog neighbor Marge Fenelon captured on video a particularly lively part of the Greek Catholic Melkite wedding in Jordan I wrote about last week: the entrance of the bride and groom. You have to see this. And listen for the gunshots. That moment almost gave me a coronary. A Melkite deacon reader, after [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: witnessing a Melkite wedding

After leaving Petra this morning, bound for The Dead Sea, we stopped at a Greek Melkite Catholic Church, St. George, and caught part of a traditional wedding ceremony. This was something to see. And it was, literally, a shotgun wedding: someone in the wedding party fired a pistol into the air as the bride and [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: Easter with the Melkites

After spending a half hour or so at the local Roman Catholic church, we hopped into our van and drove a few minutes away to join the liturgy at the St. Peter and St. Paul Melkite Catholic Church in Amman. This tiny parish of about 400 families is presided over by Fr. Nabil Haddad, a [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: The most amazing Easter of my life

On a cold and drizzly Saturday night, I found myself standing in a small, crowded Catholic church 6,000 miles away from my home parish in Queens, and I couldn’t help but weep. Dozens of people were holding candles. Incense filled the air. And a deacon climbed into the pulpit and began the familiar chant that [Read More...]

Journey to Jordan: Waking up to the Muslim call to prayer—and walking ancient streets

After yesterday’s long plane ride, I slept fitfully but somewhere around 5 a.m. found myself hearing the not-too-distant call to Muslim prayer—a sound both mournful and humbling. I figured it was a good time to get up and pray, anyway, so climbed out of bed and did Morning Prayer.  “All you heavens, bless the Lord,” I [Read More...]

Why I’m celebrating Easter a second time

An explanation:  Catholics in Jordan will celebrate Easter on April 12, in accordance with a new agreement that unites the day of the Easter celebration for Orthodox and Catholic believers in the Holy Land. In 2012, the Catholic ordinaries of the Holy Land made a commitment to celebrate Easter at the same time as the [Read More...]

Was your sprinkling like this on Sunday?

If not, why not? Ladies and gentlemen: this is how it’s done. Spare no one. Leave no drop behind. Attack the faithful with holiness! Douse the world with grace until it is shivering and saturated and sneezing. Then you are truly blessed. [Read more...]

Illinois street renamed for miraculous icon

From our Orthodox siblings:  Orthodox Church officials joined Archpriest Nicholas Dahdal and officials from the Town of Cicero in commemorating the miracle of the Tearing Icon known as “The Miraculous Lady of Cicero, Illinois.” The Town of Cicero placed an Honorary Street Marker that reads “Our Lady of Cicero Court” on the corner of 60th Court and [Read More...]

“A great day for all of the Catholic Church”: First Maronite Catholic ordination in Pacific Northwest

As Anthony Joseph Alles is ordained, two deacons hold up a cloak called the bashkoon so that it shielded the man being ordained from view. (photo: Catholic Sentinel/Ed Langlois) Details, from The Catholic Sentinel:  In a liturgy Saturday that included actions unfamiliar to Roman Catholics, Father Anthony Joseph Alles became a priest of the Maronite [Read More...]

Have you ever seen a diaconate ordination like this?

A reader sent this my way, with this explanation: Deacon Greg, Knowing your interest in all things deacon-ish, I thought I’d pass along a video showing scenes from the ordination of a new deacon in Christ the Savior Cathedral according to the rites of the Russian Orthodox Church by Patriarch Kirill. Take a look. It’s [Read More...]


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