Sunday, November 08, 2015

The Maronite Year II

Depending on when the year begins, there may be one Sunday of the Church or two. When there are two, the second is for the renovation of the Church; when there is only one, the same Sunday doubles its meaning to include both. Renewal of the Church Sunday alludes to the Maccabean restoration of the Temple, and also carries over the themes of the previous Sunday.

Sunday of the Renewal of the Church
Hebrews 9:11-15; John 10:22-42

When Judah rose in victory,
when his brothers crushed the enemy,
to Zion all the army went.
The sanctuary was desolate,
the gates burned, the altar profaned;
thick thorns cracked the pavement of the court.
Laity they chose to stand guard,
pure priests to cleanse the sanctuary,
prepared for future prophecy;
they consecrated all things with light.

Abomination desolate,
O Lord, had taken our hearts in thrall,
but you became our good high priest,
and brought us redemption through your blood,
cleansing conscience from deathly acts.
Peter and the apostles its base,
in your grace you built a temple.
Of old you established your bright Church;
in every age you renew it
and call the peoples to Mount Zion.

On the Feast of Dedication
came Judea, seeking salvation:
"Tell us clearly, will you save us?"
It is clear to all His holy flock.
He gives them life that will not fade,
for He is the Son of His Father
and we are his inheritance.
Rise, shine, O Church; raise a hymn of praise!
O Lord, remove schism from her,
scandal and heresy cleanse with truth.

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