St Elias Maronite Catholic parish

From the home page of St Elias Maronite Catholic Church, an Eastern Catholic parish in Roanoke, Virginia:

The Maronite Church professes the same faith and beliefs of the One Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. It also administers the seven sacraments instituted by Christ, and obeys all the rules and ordinances issued by our Holy Father the Pope, the successor of Saint Peter in the Vatican.

The only difference between the Maronite Church and the Roman Church is in the Divine Liturgy.

The Maronite Liturgy is partly derived from the Judaic tradition of St. James the Apostle, “brother of the Lord”, and first bishop of Jerusalem, expressing the spirit of Eastern monasticism. Incense is used during the Liturgy to signify that our prayers go heavenward to God as the sweet-smelling smoke of incense rises up. The Sign of Peace is taken from the Altar which represents Christ, and is passed to the congregation in a very dignified and quiet way. This Rite is the only one in which the Words of Consecration are traditionally chanted in Aramaic, the same language our Lord spoke at the First Mass of the Last Supper. During the Consecration the Chalice is raised by the priest and tilted in the form of a cross (the four corners of the world) indicating the universality of the Redemption through the Blood of Christ. Before communion, the priest touches the Holy Mysteries (Eucharist) and blesses the people signifying that the remission of sins is bestowed upon us through the Sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Communion is received by the faithful in the mouth, after the priest dips the Host in the Chalice : THE BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.

Moreover, the Maronites cultivate profound adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, seeing in the Holy Eucharist the Risen Christ who send to us the Sanctifying Spirit. They are also deeply devoted to Mary, the Mother of the Light, hailing her strength and fidelity in the title of “Cedar of Lebanon”.

Way cool to have a prophet of Israel as patron saint.

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