Our Parish Staff
Fr. Fady Khawand
Steven P. Marcus
About Maronite Catholics
Why are we, the Maronite Catholics unique?
The Maronite Church comes from the Antiochene Christian tradition. It was in Antioch that the word "Christian" was first used. St. Peter founded the Church of Antioch and the founding of this church is recorded in the Acts of the Apostles.
St. James (the Lesser), the first bishop of Jerusalem, wrote the liturgy on which the Maronite liturgy is based. It came from him. Directly. It retains more Jewish aspects then other liturgies in the Catholic Church.
We Maronites use about 12 Anaphora (Eucharistic prayers) and the stress in our Eucharistic prayers is always on God’s mercy and love. We use Syriac (dialect of Aramaic) in parts of the liturgy, the very same words that our Lord Jesus spoke Himself. We use the same words of consecration he said at the last supper! Although our people may not understand the language.
Some Eastern Churches were not always in communion with Rome. Some were formed by schism and later came back to full communion with Rome. Maronites claim an unbroken communion with Rome since its start.
The word "Maronite", again, comes from St. Maron, who lived as a Syriac Christian monk in the 5th century. St. Maron was known for his missionary work, healing and miracles, and his teachings. He is the patron of our church.
What are the differences between us and our sister Catholic churches?
Our liturgy, for one. As I mentioned earlier, parts of the liturgy are in Syriac (dialect of Aramaic), the spoken language of Jesus. Second, we do not kneel during the Divine Liturgy. Why? Because in the east, the way respect was shown to a person of importance was to stand, not kneel. And so we stand before Our Lord.
We do not give communion in the hand. The Maronite Catholic Church gives communion by intinction, which is dipping the host into the precious blood and then giving the communion on the tongue.
Our liturgical cycle is somewhat different. We begin our liturgical year with the consecration of the Church, and then head into 6 different seasons, Announcements, Epiphany, Lent, Resurrection, Pentecost, Holy Cross. which we call the season of Announcement (similar to Advent), and in which each Sunday commemorates a particular happening in the season of Our Lord’s birth: The Announcement to Zechariah; the Announcement (Annunciation) to the Virgin Mary; the Visitation to Elizabeth; Birth of John the Baptizer; Revelation to Joseph; Genealogy Sunday; and then the Glorious Birth of Our Lord.