St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 9, 2008 through Thursday, May 15, 2008

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 9, 2008 through Thursday, May 15, 2008


VONHOLZHAUSEN LECTURE - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to the annual Fr. John vonHolzhausen dinner and lecture this Saturday, May 10, following Vespers (5:00 pm).  Dinner is at 6:00 pm; the lecture will begin at 7:00 pm. This year's speaker is our own Brett Grainger, author of the recently published book,  In the World but Not of It: One Family's Militant Faith and the History of Fundamentalism in America. For more information about the book see .  The cost for the dinner is your generous freewill donation.  Even if you didn't RSVP, do come and bring your friends!


NOAM CHOMSKY TALK -  The Georges Florovsky Society of Patristic and Historical Studies at Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology invites you to a public talk by  Noam Chomsky, MIT Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, entitled Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace: Inconclusive Violence in the Israel-Palestine Conflict, this Friday, May 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm. Location: Maliotis Cultural Center,  50 Goddard Avenue, Brookline, MA 02445

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT -  You are invited to the 8th Annual Benefit Evening for    Theophany School: Building on a Dream, A Firm Foundation, on Sunday, May 18, at the X&O Restaurant in Stoughton , MA (see ).   Wine Reception 4:00 - 5:30 pm,   Dinner Event 5:30 pm. Join us as we celebrate founder Sonia Daley Belcher's life and help carry out her dream of building a permanent home for Theophany School. For sponsorship forms or tickets, please see Michelle or Nelson Chin at church or visit .


NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but for the whole forty days from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension on June 5.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)  This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary;  you may fast if you wish.

PARISH COUNCIL - The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 14.

ARE YOU USING GOD'S TIME WISELY? - The next lecture in the 2007-2008 Footlamps series, sponsored by the Diocesan Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Saturday, May 17, at St. John Church in Dedham.   The topic will be Are you using God's time wisely? with Don Khouri.   All are invited to attend. Vespers begin at 5:00 pm, followed by the lecture and light refreshments.  Suggested donation $5.  There will be no Vespers at St. Mary's on that Saturday.

CHURCH SCHOOL CLOSING AND PICNIC - On Sunday, May 18, immediately following Divine Liturgy, we will be celebrating the close of the Church School year with a "family style" picnic in the Church parking lot.  Festivities will include Bar-B-Que hot dogs & hamburgers; raffle prizes; crafts, backgammon, and much more. The entire parish is invited to attend - $5.00 for adults; church school students are FREE.  Please contact Michelle Mabardy at or 781-860-8899  if you can help.

BLESSING OF GRAVES - On Memorial Day, Monday, May 26,  Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park , starting at 9 a.m.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling him at the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 2008 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be June 26 through 29, at the Mariott Hotel in Providence , RI , hosted by St. Mary Church, Pawtucket . Keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Emanuel S. Chris.  To see the schedule of events and register for the conference, click on - you can register either online or on paper.  To register for the hotel call 866-807-2171. 

PHOTOS - Photos from this year's  Holy Week services, plus a link to the news report (with photos) about Friday evening's Procession to Central Square, plus a video from Saturday's Rush Procession,  are all now posted on the  St. Mary website: -   thanks to Jeff Wasilko and Nick Bezreh, who took the photos, and Jamil Samara, our webmaster, who took the video. 

NEW CD - THY RESURRECTION, the Boston Byzantine Choir's 4th recording, has arrived!  The 76 minute CD includes 28 selections from the Paschal services of Holy Saturday Morning through the Midnight Liturgy.  Many from St. Mary's made special contributions to this project, including Michelle Mabardy (chanted "All Creation"), Erick Straghalis (design), and Jeff Wasilko (photography).  The recording is dedicated to the memory of former parishioners Lynette Hoppe, missionary to Albania , and Katya Polishchuk, goddaughter of Arlene Marge and Alex Orlovsky.  In fact, the bells constructed in memory of Katya can be heard on this recording during the singing of "Christ is Risen!".  To hear samples of the music and read a glowing review of the CD, go to  CDs are $15 and will be on sale during coffee hour -  see Charlie Marge.

ST. MARY'S 80th ANNIVERSARY - We will be celebrating our 80th anniversary the weekend of October 24 - 26, 2008.  If you are interested in working on the planning committee, please call Mary Winstanley O'Connor  at work:   617-523-1010  or  at home:  781-641-2967.

LITURGICAL SERVICE - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets. If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, email: and/or use the sign-up sheet on the Bengarri. 

FOOD DONATION NEED CONTINUES - Please continue to bring cans, jars, and boxes of food and place them in the container outside the Church Office. The need is still great at St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday. 

SOUP KITCHEN - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 pm and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or  


Today we celebrate our shining victory. Today our Master has set up the trophy against death, has undone the tyranny of the Devil, and has granted us the way of salvation through the Resurrection. We all rejoice, exult, and leap with joy. Even though it was our Master Christ Who conquered and set up the trophy, we all share in common the joy and happiness. All this He did for our salvation, and with the same means which the Devil battled against us, with the same means did Christ conquer him. He took up the same weapons and He fought against him. How? Listen to it. The virgin, the wood, and death were the symbols of our defeat. Eve was a virgin. When she suffered the fraud, she had not known man. The wood is the tree, and death is the punishment given to Adam. Do you see how the virgin, the wood, and death became the symbols of our defeat? Behold, therefore, how they again became the causes of victory. In the place of Eve, Mary; in the place of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the Cross; in the place of the death of Adam, the death of the Master. Do you see by what means He conquered, with the same means Adam had been defeated?

   - St. John Chrysostom, A Homily on the Holy Pascha

You have heard, dearly beloved, that holy women who had followed the Lord came to the sepulcher with spices. They had loved Him when He was alive, and they showed Him their eager tenderheartedness even when He was dead. Their deed points to something that must be done in our holy Church. Thus as we hear of what they did, we must also think of our responsibility to imitate them. We too, who believe in Him Who died, approach His sepulcher with spices if we are strengthened with the sweet smell of the virtues, and if we seek the Lord with a reputation for good works. And the women who came with spices saw angels, since those who advance toward God through their holy desires, accompanied by the sweet smell of the virtues, behold the citizens from on high.

   - St. Gregory the Great, Forty Gospel Homilies

Whenever we enter the church and draw near to the heavenly mysteries, we ought to approach with all humility and fear, both because of the presence of the angelic powers and out of the reverence due to the sacred oblation; for as the Angels are said to have stood by the Lord's body when it lay in the tomb, so we must believe that they are present in the celebration of the Mysteries of His most sacred Body at the time of consecration."

   - Venerable Bede


Saturday, May 10: Great Vespers 5:00 pm, followed by FSJD dinner; Fr. John vonHolzhausen lecture 7:00 pm.
Sunday, May 11:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

SCRIPTURE READINGS for May 11, Sunday of the Myrrh Bearing Women:

Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 6:1-7  And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, "it is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And what they said pleased the whole multitude...

Gospel: Mark 15:43-47; 16:1-8  And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week they went to the tomb when the sun had risen. ... And [the angel] said to them, "Do not be amazed; you seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen, he is not here; see the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter..." 


Saturday, May 17:  NO Vespers at St.Mary; Vespers and Footlamps at St. John Church in Dedham
Sunday, May 18:  Church School Graduation and Picnic
Thursday, June 5:  Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.  Wednesday & Friday fasting resumes
Sunday, June 15:  Feast of Pentecost
Thursday-Sunday, June 26-29: Parish Life Conference



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at or (617) 876-5684.

May 10: Kern Ormond and Lan Hu


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation, and six members of the congregation hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion.  If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Jeff Wasilko at or 781-820-0882.

May 11Epistle: Marilyn Robbat
Left Cloth: Deno Takles; Left Cloth: James Wilcox; Right Cloth: Tatiana Kish;
Right Cloth: Melissa Nassiff; Left Bread: Sarah Gosselin; Right Bread: Rachel Smith


To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.

May 11:  The Bezzerides family