St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, February 23 - Thursday, March 2, 2017


THURSDAY, 2/23 - The Bible Study group will meet this evening - February 23 - at 7:00pm in the church library.  We are currently discussing the book of Revelation.  New members are always welcome.

SUNDAY, 2/26, Forgiveness Sunday (Cheesefare Sunday) - Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 16

   + Order deadline for the Women’s Club Lenten Food Sale. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Pickup will be Sunday, March 5.

   + Deadline for purchase of the “The Complete Text for Holy Week and Pascha.” Please leave a check for $38 at the Bengarri, made payable to St Mary Orthodox Church, and earmarked “Book for Holy Week.”

   + Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm.

MONDAY, 2/27 – Great Lent begins

WEDNESDAY, 3/1 – Presanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Potluck Supper sponsored by the Hospitality Group.

   + Do come to the Potluck Supper and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  Contact Diana Yousef ( ) if you have any questions.

   + Antiochian Village Summer Camp registration must be paid in full by March 1 to receive a $50 discount. Register online at


NO TUESDAY AND THURSDAY SERVICES - The Little Compline and Canon of St. Andrew, originally scheduled for Tuesday and Thursday, February 28 and March 2, will not be held at St. Mary’s this year.

OFFICE CLOSED – The church office will be closed Tuesday-Wednesday, February 28 through March 1.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - The 2017 Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese begins with the start of Great Lent, Monday, February 27. Collection Boxes for use at home will be on the Bengarri; please fill them during Lent and return them on Palm Sunday, April 9. “Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand.” (St. Isaac the Syrian)

   + The Food for Hungry “Canned Goods Campaign” is over until the fall. 

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Thursday, March 16, at 7:30. Any parishioners who wish to attend are welcome.


WOMEN’S MONTH - March is Antiochian Women’s Month. Our women will be reading the Epistle, taking the Collection each Sunday, and assisting during Communion.  We invite all women of St. Mary Church to be included – if you are able to participate, please sign up on the sheet at the Bengarri or contact Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033 or, or the church office at 617-547-1234 or

PYSANKY (UKRAINIAN EGG) WORKSHOP: The Hospitality Group invites you to join us on April 1 or 2 (one or both afternoons) to learn the beautiful art of Ukrainian Easter egg coloring. Seraphim Davis has generously offered to teach. We are offering two afternoons because last year people needed more time to finish, but participation does not require attending both dates. If you are interested, please respond ASAP to Diana Yousef ( with the following information: (1) which afternoon(s) would you attend? (2) Will you need a kit with the materials? (3) Will you need childcare? (NOTE: We might need to cap participation, to keep the numbers manageable, so please respond soon with any interest).

AKATHIST SERVICE – On Friday, March 3, we will pray the Akathist (Madayeh) at 7:00 pm. The Akathist service will also be held on Fridays, March 10, 17 and 31.

HELP MAKE SPINACH TRIANGLES – Please come to the church on Saturday morning, March 4, starting at 9:30 am to help make Spinach Triangles with the Women's Club.   Lots of help will be needed – young and old, women and men are all welcome - and it's always lots of fun.  Lunch will be provided.   

    + Also, we are looking for several people to help prepare 15 boxes of frozen spinach for the baking of our spinach Triangles on March 4.  The frozen spinach needs to be defrosted and the water squeezed out.  Please contact Marilyn Robbat (781-729-3033 or or the church office (617-547-1234 or if you are willing to help and for further instruction.

CHANT CLASS AND VESPERS – On Saturday, March 4, there will be a Chant class at St. Mary’s at 3:30pm.

   + Great Vespers will be at 5:00pm

YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY – The Young Adults will have a fellowship night on Saturday, March 4, following Vespers.  The Young Adult Ministry is an active, dynamic group that hosts monthly social, spiritual, and outreach events and programs. We have lots of great plans for 2017, and we hope you'll join us! If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jamil at 617-501-4427 or

BIBLE BOWL NEWS - For the very first time we are going to have two Bible Bowl Teams, a Pre-Teen (ages 10-12) Team and a Teen (ages 13-19) Team.  If any Pre-teen or Teen is interested in being on one of St. Mary's Bible Bowl Teams please contact Violet Robbat @ 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at  There will be an informational meeting on Sunday, March 5, 2017 for parents, pre-teens and teens right after church in the Library.  Practice Sessions will begin the following Sunday, March 12, right after church in the Library.  We will be studying the Gospel of Mark as printed in the Orthodox Study Bible.  Participants must be present for all sessions. The Bible Bowl will be held at our Diocesan Parish Life Conference in June.

TEEN SOYO RETREAT – There will be a Diocese of Worcester and New England 2017 Teen SOYO Retreat, entitled “Packing My Lenten Lunchbox,” Friday-Sunday, March 31-April 2.  All teens Grades 7-12 are invited to attend.  Location:  Saint Methodios Faith and Heritage Center, Contoocook, NH. Cost:  $95/teen, $50/advisor.  Register by March 17.  For information contact Fr. Joseph Kimmett, or John Abud,

LENTEN WOMEN’S RETREAT - Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Allston, MA invites you to a Lenten Women’s Retreat on Saturday, March 18 9:00 am-4:00 pm.  Fr. Maximos of Simonopetra Monastery and Holy Cross will speak on Reflections on the Prayer of St. Ephraim.  For information visit .

ANNUNCIATION – Evening Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos is Friday, March 24 at 6:30 pm

   + Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Church, West Roxbury, MA invites you to a celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation on Sunday, March 26 at 12:00noon, after Liturgy.   Homemade Food, Coffee and dessert, $15/person.  Free parking.


   Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club - Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31, 2017.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at

   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, 2017.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST - The Chinese “New Year” Breakfast originally scheduled as a celebration of the Chinese new Year of the Rooster, which fell on January 28 this year, has been postponed to Sunday June 4, coinciding with Church School graduation. A Chinese Dumpling Making Party will be held June 3 and children with adult supervision are welcome. Watch for more details or contact Nelson Mitrophan Chin at

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The 2017 Diocese of Worcester and New England Parish life Conference will be hosted by St. George Cathedral, Worcester, at the Downtown Worcester Holiday Inn Express.  Dates: Saturday, June 17 (Pre-Conference) and Friday-Sunday, June 23-25 (Conference). For more information and to register go to


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers, and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:

Greeter: Welcome people into the church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during Church. To volunteer contact Buddy Mabardy at 781-729-6303 or e-mail:, or call the church office at 617-547-1234

Coffee Hour: People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall, or contact Linda Arnold, our Coffee Hour volunteer coordinator at or 978-270-0346, or Barbara Shoop in the Parish Office at or 617-547-1234

Prison Ministry: For information about the Prison Ministry at St. Mary you can subscribe to our mailing list at If you are interested in helping with this ministry, talk with Fr. Antony or Deacon Jeff. Another way to help is to donate Orthodox books, icon cards, and magazines (for security, please remove any personal mailing address) – Mitrophan Chin collects these to share with the inmates.

Hospitality Group: St. Mary's Donald D. Fiore Hospitality Group sponsors various events to welcome visitors and newcomers and to foster a spirit of fellowship and caring among all the people who worship here. To join us or to find out more, contact any of our officers: Julie Wasilko, President, Diana Yousef, Vice President, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef, Melissa Nassiff, eNewsletter editor,

Choir: The St. Mary Church Choir is open to individuals interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy. Please feel free to join them and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, any Sunday after Liturgy.

Rides To Church For College Students: If you live near a college or university and are able to offer a ride to and from St. Mary Church for a student, or if you are a 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!

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.


O Lord, Heavenly King, Comforter, Spirit of Truth, have compassion and mercy on Thy sinful servant and pardon my unworthiness, and forgive me all the sins that I humanly committed today, and not only humanly but even worse than a beast - my voluntary sins, known and unknown, from my youth and from evil suggestions, and from my brazenness, and from boredom.

   If I have sworn by Thy Name or blasphemed it in thought, blamed or reproached anyone, or in my anger have detracted or slandered anyone, or grieved anyone, or if I have got angry about anything, or have told a lie, if I have slept unnecessarily, or if a beggar has come to me and I despised or neglected him, or if I have troubled my brother or quarreled with him, or if I have condemned anyone, or have boasted, or have been proud, or lost my temper with anyone, or if when standing in prayer my mind has been distracted by the glamor of this world, or if I have had depraved thoughts or have overeaten, or have drunk excessively, or have laughed frivolously, or have thought evil, or have seen the attraction of someone and been wounded by it in my heart, or said indecent things, or made fun of my brother's sin when my own faults are countless, or been neglectful of prayer, or have done some other wrong that I cannot remember - for I have done all this and much more - have mercy, my Lord and Creator, on me Thy wretched and unworthy servant, and absolve and forgive and deliver me in Thy goodness and love for men, so that, lustful, sinful and wretched as I am, I may lie down and sleep and rest in peace.

   And I shall worship, praise and glorify Thy most honorable Name, with the Father and His only-begotten Son, now and ever, and for all ages. Amen.

   - St. Ephrem the Syrian, Prayer to the Most Holy Spirit