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.