The Maronites and Me

The news has leaked. Someone who reads this blog saw me training to celebrate the Maronite Divine liturgy. Now everyone knows that I’m shifting over to the Maronites. Fed up with the sloppy liturgy at St Mary’s Greenville, (singing Kumbaya every week was bad enough, but having the Sisters of Groove come in for that liturgical dance workshop was the last straw) I’ve decided to “go East”.

This is a natural next step. All my life I have been moving in the opposite direction of California. First it was England, then Rome, now Lebanon. (I have admitted elsewhere that after Catholicism I find Hinduism the most attractive religion, so who knows what’s next?)

Just kidding. Fr Bart Leon OSB is an assistant at St Mary’s Greenville as I am. He is also pastor of St Rafka Maronite parish, who worship at St Mary’s. Fr Bart needs a vacation, so he is training me to stand in while he is away. We’re allowed to do this on an informal ‘need help sometime’ basis. If I want full bi-ritual faculties I need further training and need to apply to my Latin bishop and the Maronite bishop.

The Maronite Divine Liturgy is fascinating, and I am enjoying learning some of the chants and the history of this ancient and much persecuted part of our Church. It is especially cool since I had already developed a devotion to St Charbel Makhlouf, so to celebrate Holy Mass in his rite is sweet.

Andrew has asked for photos. I’ll try to get some up after my Maronite Masses in June.

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  • You have Sisters of Groove who can still dance? Ours are too old now. They spend all their spare time trying to figure out new and hip ways to attract young women to the order. So far, no luck. NEWS FLASH: Our pastor has raised $100,000 to renovate our pipe organ. Groove is goin’ down. Thanks be to God.

  • I’d love to see those pictures of the Maronite rite. It’s cool to think of all the different cultures included in Catholicism. I was just in Mexico and felt at home in all the churches we visited, just as if they were my birthright as well as the Mexicans’– we’re all members of the universal Church.

  • Very interesting. Blessings to you!!

  • I can’t wait!

  • Biritualism. That’s awesome.

  • A few months ago our choir sang the Mozart Coronation Mass at Our Lady of Lebanon, a Maronite Catholic Church. The juxtaposition of Aramaic chant (beautifully delivered by the parish priests) and Latin and English was quite striking. Just one more reminder of the richness of Catholic tradition.

  • Father – Did you ever post any of those pictures?