St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 30 - Thursday, April 6, 2017


FRIDAY, 3/31 – This Friday we will pray the final Akathist (Madayeh) at 7:00 pm.

   + Deadline to apply for Scholarship from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at

SATURDAY, 4/1 - The Hospitality Group invites you to join us on April 1 (and April 2 if necessary) to learn the beautiful art of Ukrainian Easter egg coloring, taught by Seraphim Davis. Participation does not require attending both dates. On Saturday, April 1, we will begin at 1:30 pm. If you are interested, please RSVP ASAP, as we may need to cap participation. RSVP’s and questions to Diana Yousef (

   + On Saturday, 3/1, Chant Class will be 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.

SUNDAY, 4/2 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 20

   + The Women’s Club will hold their annual Pascha Bake Sale on Sunday, 4/2. 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 

   + Bible Bowl practice session right after church in the Library.  

MONDAY, 4/3 – The next meeting of the Women’s Club will be Monday, April 3 at 7:30.

WEDNESDAY, 4/5 – Presanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Potluck Supper sponsored by the Hospitality Group.

   + Do come to the Potluck Supper and bring something to share – last chance!.  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.

THURSDAY, 4/6 - The Bible Study group will meet on Thursday, April 6 at 7:00pm in the church library.  At this meeting we continue discussing the book, "The Divine Dance" by Richard Rohr.  New members are always welcome. Our next meeting will be Thursday, April 20.

   + The Parish Council will meet Thursday, April 6 at 7:30. Any parishioners who wish to attend are welcome.


FRIDAY-SUNDAY, 3/31-4/2 – 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,

SATURDAY, 4/1 – 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. This promises to be a great retreat, led by three qualified and faithful Orthodox Christians (including our own Ioana Popa). Register by Wednesday, March 29 to or call 508-752-9150. Cost: $20/person, $30/couple.


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

BIBLE BOWL – We are still in need of 13-19 year olds to be part of our Teen Team in the Bible Bowl - please contact Violet Robbat at 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at We will be studying the Gospel of Mark as written in the Orthodox Study Bible. Participants must be present for all sessions. The Bible Bowl will be held at our Diocesan Parish Life Conference.

CHURCH SCHOOL – There will be no Church School classes on Palm Sunday or Pascha, April 9 or April 14.


   - Francis Maria Scholarships are available through the Archdiocese Scholarship page,  Several $2500 scholarships will be awarded to Orthodox students attending an accredited 4-year college in the fall.  Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2017.

   - Nicholas G. Beram 2017 Scholastic Achievement Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4-year college full time.   Applications are available online at .  Application deadline is June 1, 2017.


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.

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.

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 10:00am-3:00pm. 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 at 617-547-1234.  This workshop is free of charge.

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

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 


With all eagerness and love thou has run to Christ, turning from thy former path of sin, finding thy food in the trackless wilderness, and fulfilling in purity the commandments of God. 

Bowing before the divine laws of Christ, thou has drawn near to Him, forsaking the unbridled longings of sensual pleasure; and in fear of God thou has gained all the virtues as if they were one.

Through the perfection of thine earthly life, O Mother, thou has gained a heavenly freedom from the sinfulness of passion. In thine intercessions pray that this same freedom may be given to those who sing thy praises.

By thy strange way of life thou has struck all with wonder, both the hosts of angels and the gatherings of mortal men; for thou has surpassed nature and lived as though no longer in the body. Like a bodiless angel thou has walked upon the Jordan with thy feet, O Mary, and crossed over it.

Holy Mother Mary, pray to God for us.

   - from the Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete