St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of November 30 - December 7, 2017


SATURDAY 12/2   – Chant Class will meet at 4:00pm (note new time) on Saturday, December 2.
   + Great Vespers will be at 5:00pm Saturday 12/2, followed by Young Adult Fellowship Night: a Lenten potluck dinner, and Christmas carols and fun crafts - gingerbread houses, wreaths and more. To learn more or to get involved contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101).

SUNDAY 12/3 – Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am, Orthros 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00;  
   + Children will remain upstairs after Communion on Sunday, December 3 for a St. Nicholas sermon.
   + The first rehearsal for our annual Christmas Pageant will be held during coffee hour. Rehearsal #2 will be Sunday, December 10 during coffee hour; the Pageant will be Sunday, December 17 after liturgy. See Sarah Byrne-Martelli for more information.
   + If you’d like to let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas card on your behalf to our parishioners, please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin and donate whatever amount you choose Deadline is this Sunday, December 3.
   + About 20 of us from St. Mary’s will be attending the Handel and Haydn Society’s annual performance of Handel’s Messiah on Sunday afternoon at 3:00 pm, and most will meet for lunch first at Pho & I restaurant. For information please contact Melissa Nassiff at   
 – The Metropolitan Wind Symphony will present a Holiday Pops Concert at St. John’s Dedham, on Saturday, December 2. Cocktail hour and Mazza 6:00pm; Concert 7:00pm, Coffee and Pastry 8:00pm. $15 adults; $5 children. To reserve tickets call 781-326-3046, online at .
CLOTHING AND ARTICLE DRIVE – The Young Adult Ministry will be collecting new and slightly used clothing, new toiletries, and canned goods during the first three Sundays in December (Sunday 12/3, 12/10, and 12/17). If you would like to help, contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101).

ANOTHER ROAD RACE – On Sunday December 10 the “Yulefest Road Race” will begin at 9:30 am in Harvard Square and affect traffic on Kirkland St., Cambridge St., Inman St. and Harvard St. If you come to church via Inman you may encounter delays between Cambridge St. and Harvard St.  For a map of the race see

NATIVITY SERVICES – Royal Hours for the Nativity will be Friday, December 22 at 9:00 am
   + Saturday, December 23 – Great Vespers 5:00 pm
   + Sunday, December 24, Eve of the Nativity – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am
      Festal Orthros 6:30 pm; Festal Divine Liturgy of St. Basil 8:00 pm.
   + Monday, December 25, Christmas Day  No services at St. Mary

THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS – On Saturday January 6, 2018, the Young Adult Ministry invites you to come for Vespers at 5:00 pm, and a concert by the Boston Byzantine Choir at 6:00, followed by a potluck supper. The concert will be Orthodox sacred chant from Christmas to Epiphany (Nativity to Theophany), in English. Everyone is invited.

PARISH COUNCIL – The Parish Council will meet on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:30 pm in the Church hall.
NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, began on Wednesday, November 15. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.

DONATIONS FOR HOLY NATIVITY – If you would like to donate toward the poinsettias and other Nativity decorations please use the form printed in the Sunday bulletin, or mail your check to: St. Mary Church, 8 Inman St., Cambridge, MA  02139-2407.  Deadline is Sunday, December 10.

BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the Bible Study/Adult Education group will be Wednesday, December 13 at 7:00 pm in the church hall; the meeting after that will be January 10, 2018. We learn about the word of God, pray, and have fellowship together. Everyone is welcome to attend. For questions, study materials, or to be added to the email list, contact Ioana Popa at or Steve Walker at .

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – Help support our Canned Food Drive! From October through December 31.  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.

SCHOLARSHIP - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of members of St. Mary’s may apply for the Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship.  Deadline is March 31, 2018. Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at for more information, including what it means to be a member.
   + 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, 2018.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at .

COFFEE HOUR MADE EASY! - To make sponsoring a Coffee Hour a little bit easier, St. Mary’s offers 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
There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers, and those in need.  Consider serving in one (or more) of these ways:

Greeter: Welcome people into the church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, while 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

Liturgical Service – Epistle: The Epistle is read each Sunday by a volunteer parishioner. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko,

Liturgical Service – Procession: Church School children or parishioners carry the candles, icon, and bread baskets in the Great Procession. For information about this ministry contact Teva Regule at

Liturgical Service – Communion: Volunteers are needed every Sunday to hold the Communion cloths and the Holy Bread baskets during Communion. To volunteer please contact Jeff Wasilko,

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.

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. 

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: Diana Yousef, President, Michael Decerbo, Treasurer, Socrates Deligeorges, Head Chef, Melissa Nassiff, eNewsletter editor,

Young Adult Ministry: The Young Adult Ministry is an active, dynamic group that hosts monthly social, spiritual, and outreach events and programs. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jamil at 617-501-4427 or

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.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.
God gives His communion to all who love Him. Communion with God is life and light and sweetness with all the good things that He has. But those who of their own will forsake him he rewards with separation from Him, which they themselves have chosen. As separation from light is darkness, so also alienation from God is deprivation of all good things which He has. But the good things of God are eternal and without end, so that the loss of them is eternal and without end. Thus sinners shall be the cause of their own torments, just as the blind do not see the light, although it is shining on them.
   - St. Irenaeus of Lyons  

Christ is here in the flesh: let us exult with fear and joy—with fear, because of our sins; with joy because of the hope that he brings us. Once more the darkness is dispersed; once more the light is created. Let the people that sat in the darkness of ignorance now look upon the light of knowledge. The things of old have passed away; behold, all things are made new..
   - St. Gregory Nazianzus (St. Gregory the Theologian) 

If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
   - Chinese Proverb