Saint Therese of the Child Jesus

The Eastern Rites of the Catholic Church
 The Syriac Rites

Syriac is the Christian form of Aramaic that was spoken in the regions of Syria, and is still spoken today in some villages in the northern Syria, Iran, and Iraq. Three of these rites today still celebrate their Masses and liturgical prayers in the original Syriac: The Chaldean, Maronite, and Syrian rites. The western dialect of Syriac may be the closest to the Aramaic that Jesus spoke at his time.

The Byzantine Rites

These have their origin in the imperial city of Constantinople. The Eucharistic Liturgy of Saint John Chrisostom have made this rite widely popular especially with the use of icons in churches. Originally in Greek this rite with the conversion of the slaves by Saints Cyril and Methodios is today widely celebrated in Eastern Europe and Russia as well as Greece and the Near East. The Russian world also developed liturgical music in this tradition that is comparable to the best in the Latin world.

The African Rites

They are mainly the rites of Egypt (Coptic Rite) and of Ethiopia (Ethiopic rite). The Coptic rite is celebrated in a mixture of early Christian Egyptian and Greek. The Ethiopic rite also belongs very early in the Christian tradition (second or third century) and is perhaps the earliest rite that can be said to be purely African in style.

Other Easter Rites

The Armenian rite belongs to early Christian evangelization in Armenia and is celebrated today by most Armenians.

(Most of these rites today have a Catholic and an Orthodox branch to them, with the exception of the Maronite rite that is Catholic only.)
By Fr Steve Bonian