St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week of February 1 - 7, 2018


ALL WEEK – There is no fasting this week, 1/29-2/3, the week of the Publican and the Pharisee.
THURSDAY 2/1 - CANCELLEDEvening Liturgy at St Mary’s for the Feast of the Presentation of our Lord has been cancelled. Please consider attending one of our sister parishes in the area either this evening or tomorrow morning. Here's a listing of 29 other Orthodox parishes within 15 miles of our parish:…

SATURDAY 2/3 – Great Vespers 5:00pm
   + Young Adults Potluck Dinner and Swing Dancing program (with lessons!). RSVP on Facebook: 

SUNDAY 2/4 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 15
   + Chinese Breakfast postponed. See New Announcements, below.

WEDNESDAY 2/7 – The next meeting of the Bible Study/Adult Education group will be Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 pm, in the church hall. We meet to learn about the word of God, pray, and share fellowship together. Everyone is welcome to attend. For questions, information about the podcasts we’ll be discussing, or to be added to the email list, contact Ioana Popa at or Steve Walker at .

THURSDAY 2/1 – CrossRoad, a ten-day academic summer institute in Boston and Chicago, prepares high school juniors and seniors to make big life decisions and invites them to connect with the Orthodox Christian theological and spiritual tradition. The deadline for application to this program is Thursday, February 1. For more information go to
   + The 2018 Pre-Lenten Retreat & Youth Day on Saturday, February 10, sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester & New England Antiochian Women and the Missions Council, will feature Bishop ANTHONY and our very own Fr. Antony Hughes. This is a day for all ages, 3 years old and older. Time: 9:00am-2:30pm.  Place:  St. John of Damascus, Dedham.  Cost:  $20/Adult.  Make checks payable to Antiochian Women-DOWNE, and mail registration and check to Kh. Erin Kimmett, 17 Austin St., Norwood, 02062. (See Bulletin Board for registration form).  RSVP Deadline is Thursday, February 1.

FRIDAY 2/2 – Theophany School parent talk: At 6:00pm on Friday, February 2, Dr. Philip Mamalakis, author of many books on parenting and marriage, will speak at Theophany School about the principles in his new book, Parenting Toward the Kingdom. Theophany School is at 754 Greendale Ave, Needham, MA. See

CHINESE NEW YEAR BREAKFAST POSTPONEDThe 2018 Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, originally scheduled for this Sunday, February 4, has been postponed because of repairs needed on the church’s stove. The new date for this event will be Sunday, May 6.
YOUNG ADULTS – Before Lent begins, join the St Mary Young Adults Ministry on Cheesefare Thursday, February 15 at 7:00pm for pizza and karaoke at Courtside’s in Cambridge. Karaoke starts at 9:00pm on Thursdays, so come beforehand and enjoy some pizza and fellowship before the singing begins. RSVP on Facebook:


SCOUT SUNDAY - Scout Sunday is Sunday, February 11. If your child is a cub scout, boy scout, or girl scout, please contact Charlie Marge:

FORGIVENESS VESPERS – Forgiveness Sunday (also known as Cheesefare Sunday) is Sunday, February 18, the last day before Lent begins. Join us for Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm.

LENT BEGINS – Great Lent will begin on Monday, February 19 this year.

LENTEN SERVICES – On Tuesday and Thursday in the first week of Lent, February 20 and 22, there will be Little Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew at 7:00 pm. 
   + We will celebrate Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm every Wednesday of Lent through Wednesday, March 28, followed by a Potluck Supper.
   + On the first five Fridays of Lent, February 23 and March 2, 9, 16 and 23, there will be an Akathist (Madayeh) Service at 7:00 pm.
PASCHA - The date of Pascha this year is April 8, 2018.

PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS - Every Wednesday during Lent (February 21 & 28, March 7, 14, 21 and 28), we need a lead to coordinate the potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the lead means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup. As with coffee hour, if there is no potluck leader, then there is no potluck. Contact Diana Yousef ( ) for the potluck lead instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck lead.
LENTEN FOOD SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club is once again having a Lenten Food Sale, featuring Spinach Triangles, Hoomos, and Mjadara. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 25; pickup will be Sunday, March 4.
   - Baking of spinach triangles will be Saturday, March 3.  Please come and help, starting at 9:00 am; lunch will be provided.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, March 14, at 8:00pm

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany and between Pascha (April 8) and Pentecost (Mary 27).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil; to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

SCHOLARSHIPS - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of membersof 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 .

METROPOLITAN JOSEPH VISIT - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH will be at St. Mary’s from Friday through Sunday, April 27-29 2018 for a Hierarchical visit to celebrate liturgy and to take part in our 90th anniversary celebration. 
YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY - 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 2018, and we hope you'll join us! To learn more or to get involved contact Jamil (617-501-4427) or Adam (315-719-2101), or go to

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

JOIN US ONLINE - St. Mary’s Church services are broadcast live each week through an internet video stream. If you can't attend a service in person, or want to share this ministry with a friend or loved one, the live stream can be viewed at during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services or online). If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at


On the third Sunday of preparation for Lent, we hear the parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). Together with the hymns of this day, the parable reveals to us the time of repentance as man's return from exile. The prodigal son, we are told, went to a far country and there spent all that he had. A far country! It is this unique definition of our human condition that we must assume and make ours as we begin our approach to God. A man who has never had that experience, be it only very briefly, who has never felt that he is exiled from God and from real life, will never understand what Christianity is all about. And the one who is perfectly "at home" in this world and its life, who has never been wounded by the nostalgic desire for another Reality, will not understand what is repentance.

   … It is very easy indeed to confess that I have not fasted on prescribed days, or missed my prayers, or become angry. It is quite a different thing, however, to realize suddenly that I have defiled and lost my spiritual beauty, that I am far away from my real home, my real life, and that something precious and pure and beautiful has been hopelessly  broken in the very texture of my existence. Yet this, and only this, is repentance, and therefore it is also a deep desire to return, to go back, to recover that lost home.

   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

At least from this time forth arise and do not put off, my beloved soul, holy repentance, contrition of heart and penance for your sins. Putting them off year after year, month after month, day after day, you will not at all desire with your whole heart to repent, and you will not find one to have compassion on you.

   - St. Paisius Velichkovsky