St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, December 15 - Thursday, December 22, 2016

THIS WEEK AT ST. MARY'S

THURSDAY, 12/15 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight, Thursday, December 15, at 7:00 pm in the church library. For more information contact Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). The meeting after this will be four weeks later: Thursday, January 12, 2017 (not January 5 as previously announced). New members are always welcome.

SUNDAY, 12/18 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School classes

   + The Church School Christmas Pageant will follow the Liturgy.

THIS WEEK ELSEWHERE

THURSDAY, 12/22 – “A Byzantine Christmas Celebration,” a concert of Byzantine Chants and Greek Carols, will be sponsored by the Greek Institute on Thursday, December 22 at 8:00 pm at the First Church of Cambridge, 11 Garden St., Cambridge. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Student tickets are $7 and can be obtained by contacting the Greek Institute at 617-547-4770

NEW ANNOUNCEMENTS

NO FASTING - From Christmas Day through the Eve of Theohany, Wednesday, January 4, there is a general dispensation from all fasting.

NO VESPERS – There will be no Vespers service at St. Mary on Saturday, January 7.

CALENDARS AND ENVELOPES - New Church Calendars and 2017 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up. Please only one calendar per family.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next Parish Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 18, at 7:30.

REMINDERS

TEEN SOYO CD - Grace Shining Forth, a new music CD featuring Teen SOYO members in attendance at the Sacred Music Institute’s Youth Music Ministry (YMM), will be available during Coffee Hour again this Sunday – see Charlie Marge. It is also available for order now in the SOYO Shop https://TeenSOYO.org/Shop and available for digital download on CDBaby.com. More information here: https://teensoyo.org/Music/

NATIVITY SERVICES – Royal Hours for the Nativity will be held on Friday, December 23 at 9:00 am

   + Saturday, December 24, Eve of the Nativity – Great Vespers 10:00 am; Festal Orthros 6:30 pm, and Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil at 8:00 pm. 

   + Sunday, December 25, Christmas Day - No services at St. Mary

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Our Canned Food Drive will go 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.

THEOPHANY – There will be a Joint Diocesan Celebration of Theophany at St. John of Damascus, Dedham, on Thursday, January 5, 2017. Orthros 5:00 pm, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 6:00 pm with the Blessing of the Waters. No services at St. Mary.

WOMEN’S CLUB - The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, February 6, 2017 at the church. Call Marilyn (781-729-3033) or the church office (617-547-1234) if you have any questions or want to be a part of this wonderful group of Women.

REFLECTION

This is the reason why the Word of God was made flesh, and the Son of God became Son of Man: so that we might enter into communion with the Word of God, and by receiving adoption might become Sons of God.

   - Irenaeus of Lyons, Against Heresies

Think not, therefore, it is of small things you are hearing, when you hear of this birth, but rouse up your mind, and straightway tremble, being told that God has come upon earth. For so marvelous was this, and beyond expectation, that because of these things the very angels formed a choir, and on behalf of the world offered up their praise for them, and the prophets from the first were amazed at this, that "He was seen upon earth, and conversed with men" (Baruch 3:37). Yes, for it is far beyond all thought to hear that God the Unspeakable, the Unutterable, the Incomprehensible, and He that is equal to the Father, has passed through a virgin's womb, and has vouchsafed to be born of a woman, and to have Abraham and David for forefathers.

   - St John Chrysostom

His love for me brought low his greatness.
He made himself like me so that I might receive him.
He made himself like me so that I might be clothed in him.
I had no fear when I saw him, for he is mercy for me.
He took my nature so that I might understand him, 
my face so that I should not turn away from him. 

   - Odes of Solomon (2nd century, author unknown)