Maronite Eucharistic Liturgy
Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 5:30 pm
St. Thomas of Villanova Church
This liturgy replaces the regularly celebrated Mass at 5:30 pm that weekend. The Maronite Church is in full communion with Rome and Catholics can receive communion during the liturgy, fulfilling their Sunday obligation to attend Mass.
The Maronite Church is an ancient Christian Church established in present day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel. Although English will be the primary language used in the liturgy, Arabic and Syriac are used throughout in the hymns and during the Consecration. Hymnals with translations will be provided.
The Catholic Church is indeed universal and consists of many “Rites.” Most of us that attend Mass regularly here at Villanova belong to the Latin – or Roman – Rite. The Catholic Church, however, is more than the Roman Rite, and the Church celebrates its liturgy and expresses its faith in a wide variety of ways. There are 23 other Rites (also referred to as Churches) that are all in communion with Rome and the Pope, but have their own distinctive theology, spirituality, liturgy, and law. The Maronite Church is one such Rite, and by celebrating the Maronite liturgy, we have the opportunity to be exposed to the breadth and depth of the rich tradition of the Catholic Church universal.
In addition, this is a unique opportunity to stand in solidarity with Christians who are facing persecution in the Middle East using the words, music, and ritual customs that these Christians may be familiar with. This opportunity is special since we stand in union with our Christian brothers and sisters by participating in their prayer. The collection taken up at the liturgy will support the relief efforts of CRS: Beirut, and our own CRS Ambassadors will have a table in the back of church with more information on how you can help the people affected by war and terrorism in the Middle East.
For more information on the Maronite Church and its liturgy, please visit http://maronitemonks.org/wp/story-maronite-catholics/.