by Dr. Mabel George Howard
The Lenten Season leading to Passion Week at St. George Church is typically known as a time for prayer, fasting, almsgiving, religious traditions, spiritual introspection, and a renewal of the heart. During Lent, the congregation collected monetary donations to support the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) Rice Bowl that offers resources to families and communities locally and globally who are experiencing difficulties.
The church altar was adorned with arrangements of blessed palms to celebrate Hosanna Sunday, the commencement of Passion Week. During Liturgy, Fr. Habib reminded the MCF children to pray for Jesus’ blessings every day. Following Liturgy, the Ladies Guild sponsored a breakfast for the children, and the MYO helped organize an Easter Egg Hunt and visit from the Easter Bunny.
During Passion Week, the faithful participated in Maronite religious traditions, rituals, and prayers. Father Habib celebrated the Rite of the Coming to the Harbor to begin Passion Week, hours of the Divine Office, the Rite of the Lamp on Great Wednesday, the Washing of the Feet on the Thursday of the Mysteries, and the Adoration of the Cross on Great Friday. Pallbearers processed through the church carrying the casket filled with flowers and covered in a black shroud as the faithful chanted hymns. On Saturday of the Light, a liturgy was celebrated for the “Blessing of Spiritual Retreat.” The Rite of Peace was celebrated on Easter Sunday where pallbearers carried the empty casket draped in a white cloth to celebrate the Glorious Resurrection of Christ. Christ is risen! He is truly risen!