St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of December 7 - December 14, 2017


SUNDAY 12/10 - Another road race - 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
   + Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am; Orthros 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00; Church School lesson 11
   + The second rehearsal for our annual Christmas Pageant will be held during coffee hour. The Pageant will be Sunday, December 17 after liturgy. See Sarah Byrne-Martelli for more information.
   + Deadline for donation toward 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.  
   + The Metropolitan has set aside the second Sunday of December as Choir and Chanter Appreciation Sunday, to honor our choirs and chanters for the key role they play in our liturgical life. We also want to thank the Department of Sacred Music in working so diligently to expand the repertoire of music and to make it accessible to all. God grant you many years!!

WEDNESDAY 12/13 - 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 .

MEMORY ETERNAL - We regret to inform you of the falling asleep in the Lord of Marie Kennedy of Westford, formerly of Bowie, Maryland.  Marie was the dear and devoted mother of Melissa and Ray Sayeg and the cherished grandmother of Marianna and Matthew Keaveney, Abigail, Victoria and Rebecca Sayeg.  Funeral services were held on December 6 at St. John of Damascus Church. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Marie's memory to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, ( 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105 or to the Church of St. John of Damascus ( 300 West St. Dedham, MA 02026.

VOLUNTEER FOR COFFEE HOUR - No one has signed up to provide Coffee Hour next Sunday, the day of the Christmas pageant.  Please volunteer.

OFFERING ENVELOPES - For those who use Offering Envelopes, the 2018 envelopes are available for pickup at the Bengarri.

SUMMER CAMP REGISTRATION – Registration for Summer Camp at the Antiochian Village opens Monday, December 11 for children ages 9-17.  St. Mary’s children attend the third session, July 15-27.  The camper fee is $800 for the two-week camper session. Register online at

THEOPHANY SERVICES – There will be a Joint Diocesan Celebration of Theophany at St. George Cathedral, Worcester, on Saturday, January 6. Orthros will be 8:30am, Hierarchical Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with the Blessing of Waters. There will not be services at St. Mary’s that morning.  For our evening services see “Vespers, Choir Concert, and Potluck” under Reminders, below.

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING - The Annual Meeting of St. Mary’s parish will be held Sunday, January 28, 2018, immediately after Liturgy (snow date: Sunday, February 4). At this meeting the members of the parish will approve the Year 2018 budget. The proposed budget will be available on the previous Sunday, January 21. It is important that all members of St. Mary’s Church attend this meeting.

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.

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).

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

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.

VESPERS, CHOIR CONCERT, and POTLUCK – On Saturday January 6, 2018, the Young Adult Ministry invites you to come for Vespers at 5:00 pm with Bishop JOHN, and a concert by the Boston Byzantine Choir at 6:00 entitled The Twelve Days of Christmas, 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.

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
Sin, to one who loves God, is nothing other than an arrow from the enemy in battle. The true Christian is a warrior fighting his way through the regiments of the unseen enemy to his heavenly homeland. According to the word of the Apostle, our homeland is in heaven; and about the warrior he says: "we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Eph. 6: 12)
   - St. Herman of Alaska

Fasting was ordained in Paradise. The first injunction was delivered to Adam, ‘Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat.’  ‘You shall not eat’ is a law of fasting and abstinence.  …   It was fasting and prayer which gave Samuel to Hannah. Fasting brought forth Samson. Fasting begets prophets, strengthens strong men. Fasting makes lawgivers wise, is the soul’s safeguard, the body’s trusty comrade, the armor of the champion, the training of the athlete.
   - St. Basil the Great