St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 23 - Thursday, March 30, 2017


THURSDAY, 3/23 - The Bible Study group will meet tonight - Thursday, 3/23 - at 7:00pm in the church library.  At this meeting and throughout Lent we will be discussing the book, "The Divine Dance" by Richard Rohr.  New members are always welcome. Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 6.

FRIDAY, 3/24 – In place of the 4th Akathist Service, Evening Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos will be held at 6:30 pm.  The 4th stasis of the Akathist Hymn will be included at the end of the Liturgy.

SUNDAY, 3/26 – This Sunday the Somerville Road Runners will hold a Road Race that will begin at 9:30 on Sidney St. (two streets before Prospect heading towards Boston) and proceed down Mass Ave. towards Harvard Sq. The runners will take a left on Linden St. and head back on Putnam St. to Brookline St., ending at the Middle East Restaurant. To view the course map go to  Please plan your drive to church accordingly!

   + Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 19

   + Homily: The Icon of the Feast of Pentecost - Homilist: Teva Regule  

   + A collection will be taken for the Antiochian Women’s Project - please make checks out to the “Women’s Club” and earmark “Women’s project.”

   + Bible Bowl practice session right after church in the Library.  If any Pre-teen or Teen is interested in being on one of St. Mary's two Bible Bowl Teams, please contact Violet Robbat @ 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at . We are still in need of 13-19 year olds.

WEDNESDAY, 3/29 – 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 ( ) or Melissa Nassiff ( ) if you have any questions.

   + The Diocese of Worcester and New England invites you to a workshop, “Parenting within Orthodox Families,” on Saturday April 1, 9:00am-3:00pm in the hall at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester. Register by Wednesday, March 29 to or call 508-752-9150. Cost: $20/person, $30/couple.


ANNUNCIATION – Our Lady of the Annunciation Melkite Church, West Roxbury, MA invites you to a celebration of the Feast of the Annunciation on Sunday, 3/26 at 12:00noon, after Liturgy.   Homemade Food, Coffee and dessert, $15/person.  Free parking.


NEEDED FOR PASCHA:  Fifteen volunteers are needed to hard boil and dye 3 dozen brown eggs each. Khouria Carol Hughes will provide the dye and instructions if necessary.  Please See Kh. Carol this Sunday, 3/26 to sign up, or call her at 781-729-6303. 

MEMORY ETERNAL – We regret to inform you of the falling asleep in the Lord of Donald Shoop of Canton, Ohio on March 12, 2017 at the age of 89.  Donald was the dear and devoted husband of Marjorie Shoop for 67 years.  Beloved father of Douglas and Barbara (Mabbett) Shoop.  A memorial service in celebration of Don’s life will be held on March 25 in Canton OH.

OFFICE CLOSED - The Church Office will be closed through Tuesday, March 28.

CHANT CLASS, VESPERS, AND YOUNG ADULT FELLOWSHIP – On Saturday, April 1, we will have Chant Class at 3:30; Great Vespers at 5:00 pm; and Young Adult Fellowship Night (for information contact Jamil at 617-501-4427 or, following Vespers.

CD’s AVAILABLE – Span the liturgical cycle from Lent to Pascha with the triad of recordings from the Boston Byzantine Choir: Lenten Journey, Thy Passion, and Thy Resurrection. Thew CDs are $15 each, or all three for $40. Available from the Church Office or from Charlie Marge.

SERIOUS ABOUT SYRIA – Come to a humanitarian relief effort Benefit Dinner entitled “Serious About Syria” on Saturday, April 29, at the Second Church in Newton, from 6:00pm-9:00pm. Cost is $45 per person.  All proceeds go to Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), who provide medicine and medical services to Syrian refugees in Syria, Turkey, Lebanon and Greece. For more information go to or


WOMEN’S MONTH - March is Antiochian Women’s Month throughout the Archdiocese. Our women have been reading the Epistle, giving the Homily, taking the Collection, and assisting during Communion each Sunday

AKATHIST – The final Akathist service during Lent will be held on Friday, March 31 at 7:00 pm.

DIOCESAN PARENTING WORKSHOP – The Diocese of Worcester and New England invites you to a workshop, “Parenting within Orthodox Families,” on Saturday April 1, from 9:00am to 3:00pm in the hall at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester. This promises to be a great retreat, led by three qualified and faithful Orthodox Christians (including our own Ioana Popa). Cost: $20/person, $30/couple. Register by March 29, by contacting the Cathedral Office at 508-752-9150 or emailing them at

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. For information contact Fr. Joseph Kimmett, or John Abud,

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE – 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

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).

BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club will hold their annual Pascha Bake Sale on Sunday, April 2. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies.  If you can help bake please call Marilyn Robbat at 781-729-3033 or e-mail the church office at 

WOMEN’S CLUB – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, April 3 at 7:30.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Thursday, April 6 at 7:30. Any parishioners who wish to attend are welcome.

LAZARUS SATURDAY – On Saturday, April 8, Matins will be at 8:00am, and Divine Liturgy at 9:00, followed by Communion Breakfast at 10:15. Our annual Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha will follow immediately after breakfast. Please plan to come and help.

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER – The annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, sponsored by the Hospitality Group and donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk, will be held on Sunday, April 9. Cost is $8.00 per person; $16 per family. Volunteers will be needed to help with setup, serving, and cleanup. Please plan to help.

   + FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - The 2017 Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese began with the start of Great Lent. Collection Boxes for use at home are 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)

   + DONATIONS FOR HOLY WEEK – For the special services of Holy Week, the Church needs donations of olive oil for the Unction Service (Wednesday), flowers for the tomb of Christ (Friday), flowers to distribute on Great and Holy Friday, rose water to anoint the faithful (Friday), incense, Paschal lilies and other flowers,  and candles. Deadline is Palm Sunday, April 9. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.


   + Lazarus Saturday, 4/8 – Matins 8:00 am, Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15 am followed by church clean-up;  Great Vespers 4:00 pm

   + Palm Sunday, 4/9 – Matins 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, Fish Dinner following Liturgy; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

   + Holy Monday, 4/10 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm (no Presanctified Liturgy)

   + Holy Tuesday, 4/11 – Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am;  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

   + Holy Wednesday, 4/12 – Holy Unction 7:00 pm (no Presanctified Liturgy)

   + Holy Thursday, 4/13 – Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am;  Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm, 12 Gospels 7:00 pm

   + Holy Friday, 4/14 – Children’s Retreat 9:30 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm, Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:15 pm followed by Procession to Central Square

   + Holy Saturday, 4/15 – Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, with Coffee Reception to follow;  Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm, Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm

   + Great and Holy Pascha, 4/16 – Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight, Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall following;  Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) 11:00 am at St. Mary’s, with reception following

HOLY FRIDAY VIGIL –  Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, April 14 , St. Mary's TEEN SOYO will hold an All-Night Vigil at the Church.  All youth ages 13-18 (grades 7-12), are encouraged to participate in reading Psalms, keeping watch at the tomb. See Holy week schedule for further details.

MARRIAGE WORKSHOP – The Diocese of Worcester and New England will host a “Marriage Preparation and Enrichment” Workshop on Saturday, April 22, to be held here at St. Mary’s, from 10am-3pm. The Workshop leader will be Bishop JOHN.  This workshop is open to anyone, not just those getting married.  Register by April 15.  To register, email ( with your name and phone number or call Barbara @ 617-547-1234.  This workshop is free of charge.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE – Scholarships from the Antiochian Women 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.

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

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


Love in its nature makes a human being like God, as far as is possible for a human being. The soul is intoxicated by the effects of it. Its characteristics are a fountain of faith, an abyss of patience, an ocean of humility. … Therefore the one who loves God also loves his brother or sister. Indeed, the second love is the proof of the first.

   - St. John of the Ladder

A sign of utter meekness is to have a heart peacefully and lovingly disposed toward someone who has been offensive, and a sure proof of a hot temper is that a man, even when he is alone, should with word and gesture continue to rage and  fulminate against some absent person who has given offense.

   - St. John of the Ladder

A vain person seems to honor God, but strives to please men rather than God.

   - St. John of the Ladder

Do not be surprised that you fall every day, do not give up, but stand your ground courageously. And assuredly, the angel who guards you will honor your patience.

   - St. John of the Ladder

Prayer is by nature a dialog and a union with God. Its effect is to hold the world together. It achieves a reconciliation with God. … It is an expiation of sin, a bridge across temptation, a bulwark against affliction. 

   - St. John of the Ladder