St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, November 10 - Thursday, November 17, 2016


FRIDAY, 11/11 - Church School parents, teens, families (and friends) are invited to a St. Mary Fall Liturgy Retreat this Friday from 12:30 - 6:00 pm. This year’s theme is “Christmas Traditions: The Liturgies of Christmas.” Come and explore the various ways that we ritually prepare and celebrate (i.e. “liturgize”) the Birth of Our Lord. The retreat will include baking projects and Christmas rituals, and will culminate with a celebration of the Slavic-style “Christmas Eve Supper” to which we want to invite families and friends) The Festive Meal will begin at 5:00 pm. Donation: $5/student, $10/family (Includes Supper, snacks and supplies). For more information and registration, contact Teva Regule or Doreen Bargoot (

SUNDAY, 11/13This Sunday, November 13th, Cambridge will be holding its 1st Annual Half Marathon.  The race starts at CambridgeSide Galleria and proceeds down Cambridge St. to the Fresh Pond/Alewife area, then returns to the start location.  The City has advised us that there will be traffic delays and street closures.  The race start time is 8:00AM and lasts approximately 3 hours.  For additional information and details see

   + Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am., with 40 day Trisagion Prayers for Mitch Bezreh; Church School lesson 8

   + Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am in the library (next door to Fr. Antony’s office).

   + The Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary will have a Pre-Advent Brunch at Nick and Dena’s on Sunday, November 13, at 12:30

MONDAY, 11/14 – The Women’s Club will meet on Monday, November 14, at 7:30, at the church.

TUESDAY, 11/15 – The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, begins Tuesday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

THURSDAY, 11/17 - The Bible Study group will meet on Thursday, November 3, at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony ( The meeting after this will be two weeks later, Thursday, December 1. New members are always welcome


FRIDAY-SATURDAY, 11/11-12 - The Fourth Boston Byzantine Music Festival will be held this Friday and Saturday, November 11-12.  Tickets and full schedule of lectures and workshops are available at . Sponsored by the Mary Jaharis Center at Hellenic College.


THANK YOU!!! - The teens would like to thank all those who helped make the Spaghetti Luncheon last week a huge success.  A special thank you to the Mazzoni and Bargoot families for helping the teens prepare the food. Great job!

PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD – Let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas card on your behalf to our parishioners. Save yourself time, let us do the work, and have all proceeds benefit the Antiochian Women’s Project 2016-2017: Strengthening the Ministries of our Church. You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin, and donate whatever amount you choose.  Deadline: Sunday, December 4.

HOLIDAY POPS & SING-ALONG - Metropolitan Wind Symphony presents Holiday Pops and Sing Along on Saturday, December 3, 6:0pm-9:00pm, at St. John of Damascus Church, Dedham.  Purchase tickets online at This event sells out every year, so get your tickets early.


VILLAGE AT HOME – On Friday and Saturday, Nov. 18-19, St. George Cathedral in Worcester will host “Village at Home.” Village at Home gives our teens and children (ages 9 and up) a chance to experience the typical routine of a camper at Antiochian Village.  Contact Rassem El Massih for more information at 781-738-6107.

THANKSGIVING BAKE SALE – On Sunday, November 20, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, the Women’s Club will be holding its annual Charity Bake Sale. All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya.  Please call our chairperson Renay DiFiore @ 617-327-6361 or the church office, if you can bake and/or donate.

ANGEL TREE - St. Mary's is once again participating in the Angel Tree Prison Ministry, which provides Christmas gifts to children in our local community on behalf of their parent serving time in prison. Please be sure to bring to church your wrapped gift with angel tree tag attached by Sunday November 20. This will insure the timely delivery by our wonderful volunteers. Many thanks!  Please see or email Linda or Kate Arnold ( if you have questions.

N.G. BERAM AWARDS BANQUET – The Nicholas G. Beram Veteran's Association will hold its 70th Anniversary Celebration and 50th Scholastic Achievement Awards Banquet on Saturday, November 26 at the Holiday Inn, Dedham, 12noon-4pm.  Banquet reservation forms can be found at  Among the award recipients this year are our own Anthony Marge and Rachel Bargoot.

COME SEE THE MESSIAH - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday afternoon, November 27, at 3:00 pm. Note: Tickets are just $23, because there are enough of us going now to qualify for group rates! We will carpool to (or meet at) Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together at a nearby restaurant before the concert. Those who have done this before have thoroughly enjoyed it - not only do we hear a world-class orchestra and chorus with famous soloists singing glorious words (taken directly from the Bible), but we also have an opportunity to spend time getting to know some fellow parishioners we normally may not encounter. Some seats are still available - please contact Melissa Nassiff at

CHURCH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PAGEANT - If your child is interested in participating in the Christmas Pageant this year, please see Sarah Byrne-Martelli.  We also need parents to assist at all rehearsals.  Rehearsal #1Sunday, December 4, during coffee hour.  Rehearsal #2:  Sunday, December 11, during coffee hour.  Dress Rehearsal:  Saturday, December. 17, 2:30 – 4:30pm. The Pageant will be Sunday, December 18 after liturgy.

LESSONS AND CAROLS – Join us on Saturday, December 10 from 5:00-6:30pm, for our annual Western Rite Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This year we are pleased to welcome guest choir Belle Voci, of Orlando Florida.

   + If you can accommodate two girls from this choir the weekend of December 9-11, please contact Ashley Hodge at for details. 

   + The service will be followed by a festive Lenten potluck supper. People whose last names begin with A-P, please bring a main dish or salad. People whose last name begins with Q-Z please bring desert. Drinks will be provided. For more information, contact Kailen Hodge,

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, December 14, at 7:30pm

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Our Canned Food Drive will go from October through December 31, 2016. Bring in canned goods and place them in the plastic bins in the room outside the kitchen. (Canned goods only, please.) They will be distributed to food pantries in our area.

AABA VILLAGE - Applications are available for Market Value, Tax Credit and Section 8 apartments in AABA Village in West Roxbury.   Please call Tom Chapman or Dorothy McNerny at 617-325-1913 and an application will be mailed out.

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s is 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, $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 hummus/Syrian bread, juice and coffee for $160.  Menu two will include: bagels, juice and coffee 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.  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!


Helping a person in need is good in itself. But the degree of goodness is hugely affected by the attitude with which it is done. If you show resentment because you are helping the person out of a reluctant sense of duty, then the person may recieve your help but may feel awkward and embarrassed. This is because he will feel beholden to you. If, on the other hand, you help the person in a spirit of joy, then the help will be received joyfully. The person will feel neither demeaned nor humiliated by your help, but rather will feel glad to have caused you pleasure by receiving your help. And joy is the appropriate attitude with which to help others because acts of generosity are a source of blessing to the giver as well as the receiver.

   - Saint John Chrysostom

But first I want you to tell me this: do you know the power of love? Christ passed over all the marvelous works which were to be performed by the apostles and said, "By this shall men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. 

   - Saint John Chrysostom

No act of virtue can be great if it is not followed by advantage for others. So, no matter how much time you spend fasting, no matter how much you sleep on a hard floor and eat ashes and sigh continually, if you do no good to others, you do nothing great. 

   - Saint John Chrysostom

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 it is naked and numb with cold. 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 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. 

   - Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint Matthew, Homily L

He who practices showing mercy to him who needs will soon cease from covetousness, he who continues in giving to the poor will soon cease from anger, and will never even be high-minded. For as the physician continually tending wounded persons is easily sobered, beholding human nature in the calamities of others; so we, if we enter upon the work of aiding the poor, shall easily become truly wise, and shall not admire riches, nor deem present things any great matter, but despise them all, and soaring aloft to heaven, shall easily obtain the eternal blessings, through the grace and lovingkindness of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be glory forever and ever. Amen. 

   - Saint John Chrysostom, Homilies on the Gospel of Saint John, Homily LXXXI