Thursday, April 2, 2009

Patriarcha Antiochenus Maronitarum

I was watching EWTN when it came to a Mass of the Maronite Rite. I've never heard of them before! So I looked them up on "Catholic Encyclopedia" and this is what I got...

The Maronites are the descendants of the Aramaean Christians of ancient Syria. The Maronites (Syriac Marunôye; Arabic Mawarinah) number about 300,000 souls. The Maronite is a Syrian Rite, Syriac being the liturgical language, though the Gospel is read in Arabic for the benefit of the people. Like the other Catholic communities of the Turkish Empire, the Maronites are under the protection of France, from French interventions in Lebanon. Many of the priests, who are not sufficiently learned to perform the Liturgy in Syriac, use Arabic instead. The Maronites consecrate unleavened bread, they do not mingle warm water in the Chalice, and they celebrate many Masses at the same altar. Maronite priests can validly absolve Catholics of all rites.

The picture shown above is of the Maronite's dearst founder and patriarch, St. Maron. Who was a monk in the fourth century who left Antioch for the Orontes River to lead an ascetic life, following the traditions of Anthony the Great of the Desert and Pachomius. He soon had many followers that adopted his monastic life. Following the death of Maron in 410, his disciples built a monastery in his memory and formed the nucleus of the Maronite Church.

Wednesday and Friday of every week are days of abstinence; a fast lasts until midday, and the abstinence is from meat and eggs. Lent lasts for seven weeks, beginning at Quinquagesima; the fast is observed every day except Saturdays, Sundays, and certain feast days; fish is allowed. There are neither ember days nor vigils, but there is abstinence during twenty days of Advent and fourteen days preceding the feast of St.'s Peter and Paul.

Latin devotional practices are more customary among the Maronites than in any other Uniat Eastern Church -- benediction of the Blessed Sacrament, the Way of the Cross, the Rosary, the devotion to the Sacred Heart, etc.

--Very interesting.. Anything you could add?