St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 22 - Wednesday, March 28, 2018


FRIDAY 3/23 – Full Akathist hymn 7:00 (no Learning in Lent speaker)

SUNDAY 3/25 – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 20.
   + Women’s month sermon by Anna Higgins: The Icon of the Feast of the Annunciation
   + The Women’s Club Annual Pascha Bake Sale will be held this Sunday. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies! If you can help bake please call Renay DiFiore at 617-327-6361or e-mail the church office

WEDNESDAY, 3/28 – Final Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, 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.  This week’s potluck lead is Elana Jabbour
   + Learning in Lent speaker (postponed from 3/2) 8:00 pm - Dr. Ioana Popa, Psychiatrist, individual and couples therapist and Life Coach, and Adjunct Professor at Hellenic College Holy Cross, will talk about “Towards Oneness with God: Watchfulness and Contemplation during Lent.” This presentation will focus on the intersection between our Orthodox Christian tradition with Psychology, towards deepening the prayerful and contemplative practices during Lent, as we prepare for Pascha. 


MONDAY 3/26 – Diocesan Compline will be offered at 7:00 pm on Monday at St. George Orthodox Cathedral, Worcester


CONFESSIONS – It is preferred that you make your confession before Holy Week. However, if you are unable to do so, Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after services from Monday to Wednesday evenings only of Holy Week, or by appointment.  Please note that no confessions will be heard on Great and Holy Saturday before the Rush procession.

   Palm Sunday, April 1 – Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Fish Dinner. Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   Holy Monday, April 2 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   Holy Tuesday, April 3 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   Holy Wednesday, April 4 – Holy Unction 7:00 pm
   Holy Thursday, April 5 – Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am;  Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm, Twelve Gospels 7:00 pm
   Holy Friday, April 6 – Children’s Retreat 9:30 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm;  Lamentations 7:15 pm with Procession to Central Square
   + Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, 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.  
   Holy Saturday, April 7 – Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 9:00 am with Coffee Reception to follow
   Saturday-Sunday, April 7-8 – Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm; Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm; Great and Holy Pascha Divine Liturgy 12 midnight, followed by Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall

AGAPE VESPERS – Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) will be held on Pascha Sunday, April 8 at 11:00 am at St. George Church, 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury. 
   + Following Agape Vespers there will be an Easter Egg Hunt for the children. Parents please bring your own baskets if your children will participate.

THANK YOU – The Women’s Club would like to thank all those who came out on March 10 to help prepare/cook the spinach triangles for our annual Lenten food sale. It’s always a fun day. A total of 66 dozen were made. We would not be able to do this without all your help, and we look forward to seeing you all next year. A special shout out to Karen Noonan, who prepared 20 containers of Hoomus and 22 containers of Mjadara.  Many thanks to all those who purchased food as well.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, April 18, at 7:30.


WOMEN’S MONTH – March is Antiochian Women’s Month. Our women have been reading the Epistle, taking the Collection, taking part in the Procession, assisting during Communion, and giving the homilies. 

LAZARUS SATURDAY – Please come and bring your friends and family on Saturday, March 31, to celebrate the Divine Liturgy (Matins 8:00 am; Liturgy 9:00 am), and enjoy a Communion Breakfast at 10:15 presented by the Women’s Club and offered by Selma Winstanley in loving memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi.  Following the Communion Breakfast, there will be a Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha.  Please bring rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags, irons and extension cords for wax removal, etc. 
   + Great Vespers at 4:00 pm

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 1. Cost is $9.00 per person; $18 per family. Volunteers will be needed to help with setup, serving, and cleanup. Please plan to help.

HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT - Spend the morning in fellowship and activities with friends and families at the St. Mary’s Holy Friday Retreat on Friday, April 6, 9:30-12:30. A variety of activities will be provided and luncheon served ($5 donation per person requested).  Recommended for ages 5 – adult.  Younger children welcome but must be accompanied by an adult. Fr. Antony will be available to hear the children’s and teen’s confessions before lunch. RSVP by Palm Sunday, April 1, to Trish O: 781-641- 0182 or, if you plan to attend or can help with activities that day.

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 1. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – During this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, please be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Collection Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick up one or two and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 1“Whoever gives a hand to help his neighbor is helped by God’s own hand” - St. Isaac the Syrian

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 .
   + Antiochian Women’s Scholarships are available to females 26 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, 2018.  Applications are available in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.

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. The CDs are $15 each, or all three for $40. Available from the Church Office or from Charlie Marge.

BIBLE STUDY – During Lent, the Bible Study/Adult Education group will come together as a community for the PreSanctified liturgies (instead of our usual meetings) on Wednesdays, followed by the Pot-luck supper. Those experiences are truly rich and we invite everyone to join us. After Pascha the bi-weekly meetings of the Bible Study group will resume on Wednesday, April 11.

METROPOLITAN JOSEPH VISIT POSTPONED - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH has been called to the Holy Synod in April, so he can not be at St. Mary’s April 27-29. The Metropolitan will visit St. Mary’s at a future date.

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

REFLECTION on fasting

If you fast regularly, do not be inflated with pride; if you think highly of yourself because of it, then you had better eat meat. It is better for a man to eat meat than to be inflated with pride and glorify himself.
   - Abba Isidore

Let us be satisfied simply with what sustains our present life, not with what pampers it. Let us pray to God for this, as we have been taught, so that we may keep our souls unenslaved and absolutely free from domination by any of the visible things loved for the sake of the body. Let us show that we eat for the sake of living, and not be guilty of living for the sake of eating. The first is a sign of intelligence, the second proof of its absence.
   - St. Maximos the Confessor