St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, May 12 - Thursday, May 19, 2016


THURSDAY, 5/12 - The Bible Study group will meet next Thursday, May 12, at 7:00 pm. The podcast lessons to be discussed will be Parts 1 and 2 of The Crucifixion of Christ: and  For more information contact Marianna Sayeg ( or Fr. Antony ( New members are always welcome.

SATURDAY, 5/14 – We need you to help longtime St. Mary's parishioner Bob Kowalik with yard work this Saturday (rain date is May 21) from 9:00 am-12 noon, or 1:00 pm-4:00 pm. Tasks include bush removal, pruning, raking, mulching, planting, and more. Please come properly dressed for physical work & getting dirty – bring your own gloves, plus any tools that might be helpful. Breakfast will be provided starting at 8:30 for the morning crew, and lunch will be provided starting at 12:30 for the afternoon crew.  Bob lives in Chelsea, MA; the address will be provided to those who sign up. To sign up contact Julie Wasilko (

   Latest update: We need 8 more people for the morning crew, and 3 more for the afternoon. Please come and join the fun!

SUNDAY, 5/15 - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School final lesson

   + Jamil Samara, a graduate student at Holy Cross Seminary, has offered to do some regular training classes for those of us who have been reading the Epistle, or for those who might like to try but would like some help. The first class is this Sunday, after liturgy. We'll try to do one a month going forward.

   + - 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.

TUESDAY-FRIDAY, 5/17-20 - The church office will be closed Tuesday, May 17, through Friday, May 20. Consequently, please note that the deadline for the May 22 bulletin will be Sunday, May 15.


SATURDAY & SUNDAY, 5/14-15 - St. George, West Roxbury invites you to join them in celebrating their Feast Day Weekend, May 14 & 15, with a Parish Family Picnic on Saturday ($5 per person) and Hierarchal Divine Liturgy with Bishop John on Sunday. A Feast Day brunch will follow on Sunday ($20 for adults, $10 for under 17). Call Amal Hourani for reservations at 781-793-0219.


THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT POSTPONED – The Theophany School 16th annual Benefit Evening, originally scheduled for Sunday, May 22, has been postponed until the fall. Watch for further details.

NO VESPERS - Saturday Vespers will not be held at St. Mary’s in June, July and August.

LOBSTER DINNER – The Adult Fellowship at St. George, West Roxbury, invites you to a Lobster Dinner on Friday, June 3, 5:00-7:00 pm. Cost for adults is $25.95 (2 lobsters); children under 12, $15.95.  For reservations call by June 2, Michel/Evelyn Easa-617-266-0065 or Pat Ayoub-781-326-6755.

ASCENSION LITURGY - Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Ascension of our Lord will be celebrated on Wednesday, June 8 6:30 pm

ST MARY’S POTLUCK PICNIC – The Hospitality Group invites you to a potluck picnic on Sunday, June 12 at Dana Park (10-20 McTernan St, Cambridge) – the same park as previous picnics. Bring a blanket, some eats or drinks to share, balls, frisbees, even bathing suits if you want splash in the sprinklers! Dana Park is a 5-10min walk south of the Church (walk down Magazine St), with an enclosed playground, hoops, water spouts, and beautiful green. This is a great opportunity to relax and spend time with our church family. Open to all ages!!! For people who need assistance getting to the park, we will coordinate rides.  If you would like to help us out, please email Diana Yousef (


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


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.

CHURCH SCHOOL GRADUATION – Graduation ceremonies will be held on Sunday, June 5.

NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week but for the entire forty days from Pascha until the Feast of the Ascension (June 9). (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 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, Grade 2-3, and the Teen Discussion Group for grades 9-12. Two teachers are needed for each of these classes. 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.

SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR THIS SUNDAY, Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women


… the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, …

   Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

   - Acts 6:1-7 


Joseph of Arimathea … laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.  Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him … when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away… And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you." …

   - Mark 15:43-16:8


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

The pious Joseph, having brought down Thy pure body from the Tree, wrapped it in fine linen, embalmed it with ointment, provided for it, and laid it in a new tomb. But Thou didst verily rise after three days, O Lord, granting the world Great Mercy.

   - Troparion of Joseph of Arimathea

Do you wish to honor the body of the Savior? Do not despise it when it is naked. Do not honor it in church with silk vestments while outside you are leaving it numb with cold and naked. He who said "this is my body," and made it so by his word, is the same that said, "You saw me hungry and you gave me no food. As you did it not to one of the least of these, you did it not to me." Honor him then by sharing your property with the poor. For what God needs is not golden chalices but golden souls."

   - St. John Chrysostom