St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, April 21 - Sunday, May 1, 2016


THURSDAY, 4/21 - The Bible Study group will meet again tonight - Thursday, April 21 - at 7:00 pm. We will have a special guest speaker: Dr. Bruce Beck, Director of Religious Studies at Hellenic College. Please RSVP to Marianna Sayeg, (, if you plan to come.   

   The Bible Study at St. Mary is based on a very interesting course originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio, entitled Search the Scriptures. For more information contact Marianna Sayeg ( or Fr. Antony ( New members are always welcome. Our next meeting will be Thursday, May 12.

LAZARUS SATURDAY, 4/23 – On Lazarus Saturday we will celebrate Matins at 8:00 am and Divine Liturgy at 9:00 am. Please come and bring your friends and family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy and events following.

   + Communion Breakfast at 10:15 am, presented by the Women’s Club and offered by Selma Winstanley in loving memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi.

   + Following the Communion Breakfast, there will be a Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha.  Everyone is encouraged to bring some rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags and irons for wax removal, etc.  Please come and lend a hand in preparing God’s House for the Feast of Feasts. John Rodriguez and Steve Walker are our clean-up leads - please see one of them to know where/what you can help clean. Thank you - many hands make light work!

   + Great Vespers will be at 4:00 pm

PALM SUNDAY, 4/24 – Adult catechism 9:00; Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with Procession of Palms; no Church School classes. There will be a special collection for the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.

   + PARKING RESTRICTED - There will be a 5K road race that will restrict access to parking around the church and behind the Post Office.  The race starts at 9:30am.  The end of Inman will be closed off to accommodate runners on Massachusetts Ave. until approximately 10:30am.  Traffic will be diverted on Inman but if you advise the police officers that you are attending services at St. Mary’s they will let you down Inman to the church only (you will not be able to get onto Mass. Ave). However, keep in mind; if you arrive late there will not be any parking spaces in close proximity to the church and you will be stuck in traffic on Inman St. Please plan accordingly. We recommend public transportation. Log on to to view the race route.

     We were able to obtain permission from Intercontinental Management Company to utilize the small parking lot on Temple St., which is parallel to Inman St. behind the church.  Unfortunately, Temple is one way from Mass Ave towards Bishop Allen Drive.  Therefore, if you do not arrive early you will not be able to access Temple St. because Mass Ave. will be closed.  The parking lot is on the right side of the street and has only 15 spaces available and has a loading dock at the back of the lot. DO NOT BLOCK CARS IN!!  They asked that we remove our cars by 12:30, so if you are staying for the Fish Dinner you will need to move your car, but by then Mass Ave will be open.  The use of this lot is only for Palm Sunday.

   + The Hospitality Group invites you to St. Mary’s annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner hosted by Ed & Lisa Brylczyk, on Sunday, April 24, after Liturgy. Cost is $8 per person, $16 per family.  Please also help us with setup, cleanup, or serving the food. We always need more help with clean-up.

   + Bridegroom Matins will be at 7:00 pm

HOLY MONDAY, 4/25 – Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

HOLY TUESDAY, 4/26 - Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

HOLY WEDNESDAY, 4/27 - Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am;  Holy Unction 7:00 pm

HOLY THURSDAY, 4/28 - Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am; Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm, Twelve Gospels  7:00 pm

HOLY FRIDAY, 4/29 - Children’s Retreat 9:30 am-12:30. Fr. Antony will be available to hear the children’s and teens’ confessions before lunch, which will be provided for everyone - $5 donation per person donation requested. (Checks Payable to St. Mary Orthodox Church)  Please contact Trish Orlovsky at or call 781-641-0182, if you plan to attend the Children’s Retreat or can help with activities that day. RSVP by Palm Sunday, April 24.

   + Royal Hours 1:00 pm; Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations with Procession to Central Square 7:15 pm,

   +Teen Vigil overnight, from Lamentations until Saturday’s Vesperal Liturgy, for all youth grades 7-12

HOLY SATURDAY, 4/30 - Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, with the scattering of bay leaves and flowers, fifteen readings from the Old Testament, and chrismation of the catechumens, followed by coffee reception. 

SATURDAY-SUNDAY, 4/30-5/1 - Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm; Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm; Great and Holy Pascha Divine Liturgy 12 midnight, followed by Paschal festivities (with plenty of food) in the church hall  


SUNDAY, 5/1 - Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham 11:00 am


CONFESSIONS - It is preferred that you make your confession before Holy Week. However, if you are unable to do so, Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after services from Monday to Wednesday evenings only of Holy Week, or by appointment.  Please note that no confessions will be heard on Great and Holy Saturday.

NEEDED: LITURGICAL SERVICE HELP FOR HOLY WEEK - We still need 3 epistle readers for the Unction service on Wednesday Night, 4 more women and 4 more men for the Foot-washing Service on Thursday (arrive at church by 6:30 pm), and 1-3 more women for the "Women at the Tomb" at the Un-nailing Vespers on Friday afternoon (3 pm). We are all called to service.  If interested in doing so this Holy Week, please contact Teva Regule ( by THIS Saturday Night (9:00 pm).

CANDLES FOR CHILDREN - Due to fire safety concerns, children under the age of 14 will not be allowed to hold lit candles during Holy Week. The Church has bought new electric candles for use by these children and any other person who would prefer not to hold a lit candle. You may purchase the candles for $2.00 each or borrow them from the Bengarri. If you borrow the candles, please be sure to return them to the box on the Bengarri when the service is over so others may use them for future services. Thank you for your cooperation, and may God bless you richly during our liturgical celebration throughout Holy Week.

THANK YOU – The Hospitality Group thanks everyone who brought food for the Pre-Sanctified Potlucks week after week, and especially those who helped with setup and with cleaning up afterwards. The food was always plentiful and delicious, and the fellowship was wonderful!

   + The Women’s Club thanks all those who supported the Pascha Bake Sale last Sunday and the collection for the Antiochian Women’s Project. We hope you enjoy your purchases!!

VESPERS – On Saturday, May 7 we will have monthly Great Vespers at 5:00 pm, followed by Young Adult Fellowship night.

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, May 9 at 7:30 pm at the church.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, May 25th at 7:30 pm at the church.


FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE –You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Return your collection boxes this Sunday - Palm Sunday, April 24. Please be generous! “Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand” - St. Isaac the Syrian


Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship - Our Diocese is awarding scholarships to high school seniors who are a member of any of the Antiochian Orthodox Churches in the Diocese of Worcester and New England, are faithful and active Orthodox Christians whose high school records indicate a potential for being successful in an accredited college, and who are in need of financial assistance. Applications are available through the Church Office and must be received by the Scholarship Committee Chairperson by May 1, 2016.  Any questions should be directed to Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010.

Francis Maria Scholarship - Several $2500 scholarships will be awarded to students attending an accredited 4-year college. See the Archdiocese Scholarship page, Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2016.

Antiochian Women’s Scholarship - Scholarships are available to females 25 years of age and older in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese, actively involved in their parish and who demonstrate need.  The application deadline is June 1, 2016.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.

Nicholas G. Beram 50th Scholastic Achievement Awards - Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4 year college full time.   Applications are available in the Church office or on-line at (note corrected address). Application deadline is June 1, 2016.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT EVENING – Theophany School invites you to its 16th annual Benefit Evening, with special recognition of our Co-founders, on Sunday, May 22 at 4:00pm, at St. Demetrios Orthodox Church, 57 Brown St., Weston. To learn more visit

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION – Graduation ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 5. There will be no classes during Holy Week (on April 24 and May 1); the only Church School classes remaining will be May 8 and 15.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - Pre-Conference activities will be held on Saturday June 11 at St. George Church (8 Lowell St. Lawrence, MA).  This day will include judging of the Creative Arts Festival, and Oratorical Competition, as well as various meetings and Luncheon.

   The Parish Life Conference, which will include Liturgy, Awards Lunch, Bible Bowl competition, Keynote Speaker and break-out workshops, as well as a lively dinner and dance to end the day, will be held a Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church on 71 Chandler Rd. in Andover on Saturday, June 25.

   For more information and to register go to

RIDES TO CHURCH FOR COLLEGE STUDENTS - Do you live near a college or university? Are you able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student? Are you a college student in need of a ride? Contact St. Mary’s Young Adult Ministry at 617-564-3344 or to sign up or to learn more!

CHURCH SCHOOL TEACHERS NEEDED – New teachers will be needed next fall for Kindergarten/Grade 1 (2 teachers), grade 2/3, and the Teen Discussion Group for grades 9-12 (1 or 2 teachers). Please contact Barbara Shoop at to volunteer or to learn more.

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s will be offering a delivery service through “Instacart”, for the basic foods necessary to host a Coffee hour.  Simply select a date, mail a check to the office and we will order the food and have it delivered to the church on that Sunday between 9:00 and 10:00 am.  You will need to be at the church to accept the order and you will be required to set up for the coffee hour and clean up both the kitchen and hall at the end of the coffee hour.  Two menus will be offered.  Menu one will include: bagels, mini muffins, fruit, hummus/Syrian bread, juice and coffee for $160.  Menu two will include: bagels, juice and coffee for $70. Prices DO NOT include a 20% tip for delivery and are subject to change based on current market pricing of items.  Cream cheese, peanut butter, jam and coffee creamer are included with each menu.  As usual, St. Mary’s will provide the plates, cups, napkins, utensils, serving platters, and sweetener for coffee.  If you are interested in taking advantage of this service and signing up for a coffee hour please contact the office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail

   + In addition to the sign-up sheet, our contact Barbara in the church office and the Instacart option, we also have LINDA ARNOLD serving as our volunteer Coffee Hour Coordinator. Her contact information is and 978-270-0346.  Please feel free to let her know of your interest and be open to hosting a coffee hour especially if you have not done so in the past.  She will be happy to guide you through the process!

ABBA VILLAGE - Applications are available for Market Value, Tax Credit and Section 8 apartments in AABA Village in West Roxbury. Please have them call Vivian Haidar at 617-325-1913 and an application will be mailed.  AABA Village is a multi-cultural community with many residents of Syrian/Lebanese descent. Amenities include on-site Resident Service Coordinators, accessible laundry rooms, sun room, game room, and library/computer labs. There are weekly and monthly activities including yoga, massage, The Ride and the Boston senior shuttle.


Liturgical Service:

Epistle: Bob Kowalik

Procession:  Volunteers TBD

Communion: Linda Arnold, John Odom, Teva Regule, Esteban Picornell, and others TBD

Coffee Hour:  Light breakfast provided by the Women’s Club



… The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

   - Philippians 4:4-9


Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. … When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" …

   - John 12:1-18


During this last week of preparation, the celebration of the mystery begins. Lenten effort has made us capable of putting aside all that which usually and consistently obscures the central object of our faith, hope, and joy. Time itself comes, as it were, to an end. It is measured now not by our usual preoccupations and cares, but by what happens on the way to Bethany, and beyond to Jerusalem.  And, once more, all this is not rhetoric. To anyone who has tasted of the true liturgical life – be it only once and however imperfectly – it is almost self-evident that from the moment we hear, "Rejoice, O Bethany, home of Lazarus…" and then "… on the morrow Christ is coming …," the external world becomes slightly unreal …  "Reality" is that which is going on in the Church…

   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

He asks where Lazarus has been laid, for he is man; but he raises him to life, for he is God. He is sold, dirt cheap, for thirty pieces of silver, but he redeems the world, at great cost, with his own blood.  … He dies, but he brings to life, and by his own death destroys death. He is buried, but he rises again. He descends into hell, but rescues the souls imprisoned there.

   - Gregory Nazianzen

Having accomplished the forty days for the benefit of our souls, we pray to Thee, O Lover of Man, that we may see the holy week of Thy passion, that in it we may glorify Thy greatness and Thine unspeakable plan of salvation for our sake. ...

   - Vesper Hymn for the Friday before Lazarus Saturday