St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 23, 2008 through Thursday, May 29, 2008


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


SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE:  Scholarships of $500 or more are available from the North American Board of the Antiochian Women to females over 25 years of age, in good standing and actively involved in the parish, applying or registered in an academic or trade program of study and in financial need.  Deadline is June 1, 2008.  Applications available through St. Mary Church office. 

Also the 42nd Annual Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association Scholarship Achievement Awards are scholarships available to youth of Arab-American heritage who are current high school seniors planning on attending a college full time.  Applications are available in the Church Office and due June 1, 2008.  For applications and more information, go to

VONHOLZHAUZEN LECTURE THANKS - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine wishes to thank all who made this year's Father John vonHolzhausen Memorial Lecture such a success. More than 50 people attended the dinner and lecture - the largest crowd we've had yet - and found Brett Grainger's lecture on the history of Fundamentalism in America very informative and enjoyable. The Fellowship also appreciates the generosity of those who contributed toward the costs of this event. Thank you!

If you missed the lecture this year, you'll be able to read a transcript of it on the St. Mary website at

FOUND:  Thanks to the anonymous person who returned the men's beige trench coat which was lost on Pascha. 


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.  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.

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.

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.  To help, contact Christian Alcala at or (617) 876-5684.

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  


Do not deceive yourself; God is fire and when He came into the world, and became man, He sent fire on the earth, as He Himself says; this fire turns about searching to find material-that is a disposition and an intention that is good-to fall into and to kindle; and for those in whom this fire will ignite, it becomes a great flame, which reaches Heaven.... this flame at first purifies us from the pollution of passions and then it becomes in us food and drink and light and joy, and renders us light ourselves because we participate in His light.

   - Saint Symeon the New Theologian

In heaven and on earth, there is one supreme good for the soul of an awakened man. That good is God. There is countless good in heaven, but the King of heaven is the greatest good. There is countless good on earth, but the Creator of all of this good is incomparable. That is why the soul of the awakened man asks:  "What could I have or what could I desire, either in heaven or on earth, beside Thee?"  Is the river necessary to the one who is brought to drink at its source? Does one who sits at the king's table desire the shepherd's dinner? God alone is sufficient in Himself to satisfy all of men's hunger and thirst. The heavens are God's, the earth is God's. The Lord of all good is the greatest good; the Creator of all sweetness is the greatest sweetness; the Bearer of all wisdom is the greatest wisdom; the Source of all power and mercy is the greatest power and mercy; the Creator of every kind of beauty in heaven and on earth is the greatest beauty. No kind of good can enter the heart of man - whether openly or in a dream - that is not already in God to the highest degree.  Therefore, my brethren, let us ask God that we may receive all; let us seek God that we may find all; let us become rich in God that we may be rich in all.

   - Prolog of Ochrid 

The Well-spring of the principle of life, Jesus, our Savior, came to the well of the Patriarch Jacob, and sought water from a Samaritan woman that He might drink. And when she addressed Him and said that the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, the wise Creator diverted her by the sweetness of His words rather to seek of Him the everlasting water, the Knower of things hidden, God Who is come in the flesh to save man.

   - Doxasticon (Glory of the Stichera) of Vespers of Friday of the Samaritan Woman

What, then, does the Bible teach? Christ, it says, the source of the breath of life for all men, when He was weary from a journey, sat down near a spring of Samaria. And it was the season of burning heat. It was the sixth hour, as the Scripture says, it was the middle of the day when the Messiah came to illumine those in darkness. The Spring came upon the spring, not to drink but to cleanse. The fountain of immortality was near the stream of the wretched woman as though it were in need. He is tired from walking, He Who tirelessly walked on the sea, He Who furnishes exceeding great joy and redemption.

   - St Romanos the Melodist,  On The Woman of Samaria .


Saturday, May 24: No Vespers at St. Mary's

Sunday, May 25:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am


Epistle:  St. Paul's Second Letter to the Corinthians 4:6-15  Brethren, it is the God who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.  But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.


Gospel: John 4:5-42  There came a woman of Samaria to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." ... Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water." ... Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst; the water that I shall give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."


Saturday, May 31: Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, June 1:  Orthros  8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Wednesday, June 4: Vesperal Liturgy for Feast of Ascension of our Lord 6:30 pm

Thursday, June 5:  Feast of the Ascension of our Lord.  (No services.) Wednesday & Friday fasting resumes

Saturday, June 7:  No Vespers at St. Mary's

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 24:  John Rodriguez and Victoria Sultani


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 25


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 25:  Maggie and Kate Arnold