Sunday, June 26, 2016

Maronite Year LVI

The Maronite calendar usually does not allow weekday feasts to be transferred to Sunday. Part of the reason for this is that most of the major feasts are already on Sundays, of course, and most of the rest are either saint's days or have such a close connection with a given date that it makes little sense to transfer them. There are some exceptions, however; a church can transfer the feast of its patron saint to Sunday, and there are two feasts that have fairly consistently been transferred to the closest Sunday, Holy Cross in September and the feast of Peter and Paul. Peter and Paul is on June 29, but liturgically it is transferred today to replace what would usually be the Seventh Sunday of Pentecost.

Feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul
2 Corinthians 11:21-30; Matthew 16:13-20

Two grapes were pressed by the unbeliever,
from their pure wine the world's thirst is quenched.
O Christ our God, hope of all the martyrs,
You chose simple men to be Your lights;
fisher and tentmaker did great wonders,
You made them wise with Your wise Spirit.
You sent them to announce life's renewal
and salvation.

Two temples rise! The Spirit dwells within,
the Spirit of Christ the Word of God.
From among His friends, the Lord chose Simon,
giving him keys for heaven and earth.
Stand firm, Simon; you are the foundation;
the Church built on you shall not be lost.
O holy Peter, the Lord said, "Follow,"
and you followed.

Two precious pearls shine with splendid light,
bright on the crown of the Bride of Christ.
From among His enemies, Christ chose Saul;
the terror of lambs became a lamb.
He preached, worked wonders, built communities,
endured all things, converted nations.
O holy Paul, the Lord said, "Follow,"
and you followed.

Two tall columns stand, straight and unbending,
upholding the cathedral of heaven:
do not fear, O Church, for they shall endure;
the gates of hell shall not survive them.
On Peter the rock, Jesus built His Church,
through Paul's labors He raised up the frame,
a temple not made of timber or stone,
but of the saints.

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