I very much agree with Malphono here. Educating and catechizing the Faithful is key to restoring the traditions of our Church(es). I believe this is one of the primary reasons that the Melkites in the U.S. have been so successful with their restorations.
From the beginning with Archbishop Joseph Tawil there has been an ongoing catechesis explaining to the Melkite Faithful why we are putting aside some practices (aka Latinizations) and replacing them with proper traditions. Archbishop Tawil’s letter, The Courage to be Ourselves ( melkite.org/faith/faith-worship/the-courage-to-be-ourselves ), was the beginning of that transformation. I would argue that the work of Archbishop Joseph Raya with his translations and writings were a very strong follow-up to the work of restoration begun by Archbishop Tawil. The current Eparch of the Melkites here in the U.S., Bishop Nicholas Samra, is somewhat of a disciple of both Tawil and Raya. He has also been heavily influenced by the work and writings of Archbishop Elias Zoghby.
One of the strong points that I’ve found in the Melkite reforms here in the U.S. is that they’ve provided both a strong catechetical foundation, as well as a strong spiritual foundation for those reforms. The people are prepared for the reforms before they actually take place. Then once they do take place, the reasons for those reforms are reaffirmed and the people are more enthusiastic about reclaiming their identity. Reforms don’t just come from the top down, and they aren’t dumped upon an unsuspecting lay Faithful without reason or explanation.
My suggestions for reforms among the Maronites… Priests have to have the courage to stand up for their authentic heritage. They have to be willing to educate the Faithful on what it means to be Maronite, and what exactly the Maronite tradition is. It isn’t good enough to repeat lines like “We’ve never broken communion with Rome!” or “We use the language Jesus spoke!” We need priests who are steeped in the writings of the Syriac Fathers, particularly Isaac the Syrian, Ephraim the Syrian, and Jacob of Sarug. A catechesis according to this tradition needs to be developed/recovered and passed on. But (and this may be the controversial bit) I believe that the Maronites need to first work with what they currently have before they start to restore things to the way they ought to be. Learn first to celebrate the Qurbono properly, with proper liturgical orientation. Encourage the celebration of Ramsho and Safro in your parishes. In short, encourage a vibrant liturgical life based on the proper use of the current liturgical texts. I believe that from there a proper restoration will follow. Finally, the Maronites need to learn to have the “courage to be themselves.” My impression of mainstream Maronite identity is that they seem so focused on affirming their relation to Rome that they forget who they are. Much like the Ukrainians and Ruthenians at one time, they are so concerned with “proving” that they are Catholic that they forget to be Maronite and think they have to do everything Rome does.
That may sound harsh, but it’s just my opinion. I love the Maronites, and I wish I could get my wife to attend the local Maronite parish with me. I’d love to make my home there since I don’t currently have a Melkite parish anywhere near me. I’m still working on that. Please keep that in your prayers.