This morning I attended the 9 am Mass at St. Raymond Cathedral just south of Downtown. St. Raymond is different from other churches in the city in that it is not a Roman or Latin Rite parish but a Maronite Rite parish. It's an Eastern Rite parish. Some things are different while some things are the same. Some of the basic elements of the Mass are the same: greeting, readings, homily, offertory, profession of Faith, sign of peace, Consecration, and blessing. However, they might be in a different order, such as the Sign of Peace being right after the offertory and before the Consecration. Or they might be in a different language for example the Consecration was in Syriac. Father did not wear a chasuble but instead a cope. He also carried a little cross in his hand.
Most of the Liturgy was chanted. There was incense. The congregation sang and chanted, sometimes in English and sometimes in Syriac. There was no kneeling but instead there was standing and sitting.
The Maronite Rite has a different calendar than the Latin Rite. Instead of it being ordinary time, it was a Sunday of the Holy Cross. Father wore white vestments.
Music was provided by an organ.
Entrance: Lord, Your Cross Was Taken From the Tree
Qolo: Your Cross, O Lord
Communion: Your Body is Our Food
There were other hymns/psalms but I couldn't tell you what they were.
The Sign of Peace is different at St. Raymond. Father gives peace to the deacon, the subdeacon and the servers. The servers then take that sign of peace to the people in the pews. They hold their hands together at the palms but open. When you receive the sign of peace, your hands are together. The servers then put your hands in their open hands and close them. No one leaves the pews and there is no danger of random strangers coming up and hugging on you.
At the Our Father, everyone had their hands in the orans posture. However, in the Maronite Rite, you are supposed to do this. Father used the Anaphora of the Twelve Apostles.
The Gospel of St. Matthew is confusing and scary. So many verses to discuss. We will concentrate on the verse most relevant to us. It gives us hope and compassion. He is here for us to the end. Jesus' prophecy is a two-edged sword. His judgment and saving mercy. Jesus tells us of the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus went to Jerusalem knowing what would happen to him. Jesus brought salvation for all us Christians in His name. Gospel message is good news but why do so many people oppose it? Jesus is telling us He will be with us to the end, giving us hope of salvation. We will see God face to face and inherit eternal life. Endurance. It is a gift of the Holy Spirit and enables us to keep on through trials. Jesus shed His Blood willingly for our salvation. Calls us to love ourselves (uh oh) Jesus was a martyr for us. Martyr means witness. He witnessed to prepare the Kingdom on Earth. We need to prepare ourselves to be at the Heavenly Kingdom. This is done through loving and doing good deeds. This is far from being what we think of as a martyr. You do not have to shed blood (it's called the white martyrdom.) Sacrifice is martyrdom. We don't want to sacrifice but we do it because we want to be a good disciple. We need to live our martyrdom with faith, hope and love. God is warning us in this Gospel. The world is coming to an end. Be wary of modern technology, against making God the way I want Him to be. God is the Creator of everything. When we recite the Creed we are praying a Profession of Faith. We need to mean every word. Am I eager to be a witness to the Gospel? (uh...probably not)
I really like this Liturgy. I really wish the Ordinary Form and the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite could be combined into some way to resemble this liturgy.
Shrine of Our Lady of St. Louis
Our Lady of the Cedars
St. Raymond Cathedral
View from the Back Pew
Information about the Maronite Rite:
From St. George and an explanation of the Liturgy
From Maronite Monks
Website of St. Raymond Cathedral
Pictures from Rome of the West
St. Raymond's Ladies Sodality is having a Ladies' Fashion Show and Shopping Event on Sunday, October 14. Shopping starts at 1 pm while the Fashion Show starts at 3 pm. If you would like more information about the event or to buy tickets, please email me and I will pass your request onto the organizers :) (who happen to be my cousins :) )