St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, March 29 - Wednesday, April 5, 2018


SATURDAY 3/31, Lazarus Saturday – Matins 8:00 am; Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15. 
   + 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
   + Deadline to apply for scholarships from the Diocese of Worcester and New England, and from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston. For both, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at .

SUNDAY 4/1, Palm Sunday – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; no Church School.
   + Special coillection for the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
   + Following Liturgy, you’re invited to stay for the annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, sponsored by the Hospitality Group and donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk.  Cost is $9.00 per person; $18 per family. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, serving the food, and especially cleanup.
   + Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   + Deadline for Holy Week donations: 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. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.
   + Deadline to RSVP if you plan to attend, or can help with, Holy Friday Retreat. Contact Trish O: 781-641- 0182 or,
   + Food for Hungry People boxes are due.  Please pass them in at the Bengarri.

HOLY MONDAY 4/2 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

HOLY TUESDAY 4/3 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

HOLY WEDNESDAY 4/4 – Holy Unction 7:00 pm

HOLY THURSDAY 4/5 – Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am;  
   + Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm, Twelve Gospels 7:00 pm

HOLY FRIDAY 4/6 – Children’s Retreat 9:30-12:30. 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 teens’ confessions before lunch.
   + Royal Hours 1:00 pm;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm;  Lamentations 7:15 pm with Procession to Central Square
   + Teen SOYO All-Night Vigil at the Church following Lamentations and Procession.  All youth ages 13-18 (grades 7-12), are encouraged to participate. The Vigil culminates Saturday morning with Vesperal Liturgy at 9am.  Teens across the Diocese will participate in similar vigils at their respective churches.  The Church will be locked and several chaperones will remain with the Teens throughout the night, into the morning.

HOLY SATURDAY 4/7 – Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil 9:00 am with Coffee Reception to follow

SATURDAY-SUNDAY 4/7-8 – 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

SUNDAY 4/8 – Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) will be held on Pascha Sunday 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.


   - Many people needed to help clean the church on Lazarus Saturday, March 31. See This Week at St. Mary, above.
   - 1 woman and 2 men still needed for the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, April 5 (be at St. Mary by 6:30 pm). Please contact Teva Regule at
   - Adults or teens needed for the April 6 Holy Friday Children’s Retreat to help with the luncheon, as well as anyone who can assist with crafts in the morning.  A sign-up sheet is on the Bengarri for donating needed items and or volunteering between 10-1pm for the Holy Friday retreat, or contact Trish at 339-368-0463 or via email:

BIBLE BOWL – All Teens ages 13-19, and Pre-Teens ages 10-12, interested in competing in this year's Bible Bowl please call Violet Robbat at 781-862-4388 by Tuesday, April 10 for further instruction.  This year we will be studying Acts as found in the Orthodox Study Bible.  We look forward to having two great teams once again this year!

EASTER PARTY to WELCOME the Newly illumined, their sponsors and families – Please join us for a Slavic Easter celebration and house blessing on St. Thomas Sunday, April 15, 2:00-6:00pm at the home of Deacon Jeffrey, Natasha, Theo and Gabriel Smith: 1342 Lowell Rd, Concord, MA  01742. Limited public transportation is available to Concord Center, 3 miles from our home. 617 803 1490 You must RSVP to Natasha at to coordinate food.

YOUNG ADULTS – The next meeting of the Young Adults ministry will be Saturday, May 5, after Great Vespers.

ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS - 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, 2018.


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.

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 – The bi-weekly meetings of the Bible Study group will resume on Wednesday, April 11 at 7:00 pm.

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

SCHOLARSHIPS - 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.

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


During this last week of preparation, the celebration of the mystery begins. Lenten effort has made us capable of putting aside all that which usually and consistently obscures the central object of our faith, hope, and joy. Time itself comes, as it were, to an end. It is measured now not by our usual preoccupations and cares, but by what happens on the way to Bethany, and beyond to Jerusalem. 
   And, once more, all this is not rhetoric. To anyone who has tasted of the true liturgical life – be it only once and however imperfectly – it is almost self-evident that from the moment we hear, "Rejoice O Bethany, home of Lazarus…" and then "…on the morrow Christ is coming… ," the external world becomes slightly unreal, and one almost experiences pain in entering into the necessary daily contact with it.  "Reality" is that which is going on in the Church, in that celebration which day after day makes us realize what it means to expect, and why Christianity is above everything else expectation and preparation. Thus, when that Friday evening comes and we sing "having completed the edifying forty days… ," we have not only fulfilled an annual Christian "obligation"; we are ready to make ours the words which we will sing on the next day: "In Lazarus Christ is already destroying thee, O death, and where, O Hell, is thy victory… ?
   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent