Uncategorized Blazes

A Great Time at the Lebanese Festival

My family and I really enjoyed being at the Annual Lebanese Festival at Our Lady of Lebanon Maronite Catholic Church (here in Washington DC) this afternoon. This was the first time for us and God willing will not be the last. I actually found out about it quite by accident – – a few weeks ago, I was looking at various Mass times at different parishes and I came across the bulletin for Our Lady of Lebanon. In it was a request for volunteers for an upcoming festival. It looked interesting so I told everyone to put it on their mental calendar.

The arrangement was nice, with plenty of space in the church parking lot and inside the church hall as well. You couldn’t have prayed for better weather today for such an event! We sat outside and tasted some delicious Middle Eastern foods such as chicken shwarma (most definitely the best we’ve ever had), falafel, and baba ghanoj. As I ate, I thanked God for being able to eat by mouth. And then we went inside for part two – dessert. I sampled a little baklava, in moderation of course! Inside, beer and wine were being sold as well as some artisan goods and books. There was some food being sold inside as well and we got some things to try for dinner.

I think it was very beautiful that many people who were possibly not Catholic or even Christian went to this festival and they were all spiritually enriched and blessed for being at Our Lady of Lebanon. Many people will continue to go to the festival as it ends at 11 PM tonight – – a real party! We really had a good time and I am grateful for it. We ourselves will be back for a Sunday Divine Liturgy sometime very soon.

I should give a brief description about the Maronite Catholic Church. It is one of 24 Catholic Churches in communion with one another, which together comprise the one universal Church. The Roman Catholic Church is just one of these, the Coptic is another, the Ukrainian (Byzantine) is another, and the Maronite is yet another. Each of these Churches have their own liturgical and cultural expressions and use different liturgical languages such as Latin or Greek or Arabic. While these expressions differ, the faith and beliefs are the same. These Churches can all be traced back to apostolic times, through an Apostle who established it or through one of their successors or organically developed from one of the original patriarchates or jurisdictions. It is very important to be aware of the rich Catholic diversity that is root deep. Going to this Lebanese festival was yet another reminder of how blessed it is to be a member of the Catholic – – from the Greek word meaning universal – – Church.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *