St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the weeks Thursday, March 28 – Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Note: The Weekly e-Newsletter will not be issued on 4/4 or 4/11, as the Editor will be out of the country. Announcements of upcoming services and events at St. Marys can be found on our parish website at, and in the weekly Sunday bulletin. Some important announcements will also be emailed to parishioners by St. Mary’s Secretary.


FRIDAY 3/29, 4/5, & 4/12 – Akathist (Madayeh) 7:00pm

SATURDAY 4/6 - Chanter’s practice 4pm, Great Vespers 5pm; Young Adults potluck and presentation: “And Who is My Neighbor?” at 6:00pm

SUNDAY 3/31, 4/7 & 4/14 – Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am; Church School after Communion; Bible Bowl meeting/practice after Church School (see Bible Bowl in Reminders, below)
   + 3/31 Women’s Month homily by Ioana Popa on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31)
   + 3/31 Trisagion Prayers will be offered for Jim Higgins and Kathryn Nassiff Keeler
   + 3/31 Young Adults Lenten potluck & open house at Diocesan Chancery with Bp. John and Bp. Anthony 6:00pm
   + 4/7  Pysanki workshop 1:00-6:00pm. Please RSVP ASAP to Diana Yousef ( with the following information: (1) Will you need a kit with the materials? (2) Will you need childcare?
   + 4/14 Trisagion Prayers will be offered for those departed in April
   + 4/14 Pascha Bake Sale
   + 4/21 Deadline for Pascha Donations

WEDNESDAY 4/3, 4/10, & 4/17 – Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30, followed by Pot Luck Supper. For any questions about the supper, or to sign up as a leader (if there is no leader there can be no potluck), contact Tiffany Conroy at dr.taconroy@gmail.comNote – food can be heated in the microwave and the convection oven, but not on the stove.


SATURDAY 3/30 – Diocese Lenten Retreat at St. George West Roxbury.  We welcome back His Grace Bishop ANTHONY.  This event is sponsored by the Antiochian Women and the Missions Council and will begin with Divine Liturgy at 9:00am and conclude with Great Vespers at 3:00pm. 
   + 4/6 Diocese Spring Meetings at St. Mary, Pawtucket

MONDAY 4/1, 4/8 & 4/15 - Diocesan Compline services are offered at 7:00pm every Monday evening in Lent: 4/1 in West Roxbury, 4/8 in Cotuit, and 4/15 in Worcester.


LAZARUS SATURDAY – On Saturday, April 20, Matins will be at 8:00am, and Divine Liturgy at 9:00, followed by Communion Breakfast at 10:15. Our annual Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha will follow immediately after breakfast. Please plan to come and help.

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 21. Cost is $10.00 per person; $20 per family. Volunteers will be needed to help with setup, serving, and cleanup. Please plan to help.
   + 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 21. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.
   + Lazarus Saturday, 4/20 – Matins 8:00 am, Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15 am followed by church clean-up;  Great Vespers 3:00 pm
   + Palm Sunday, 4/21 – Matins 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, Fish Dinner following Liturgy; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   + Holy Monday, 4/22 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   + Holy Tuesday, 4/23 – Presanctified Liturgy 7:00am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
   + Holy Wednesday, 4/24 – Holy Unction 7:00 pm
   + Holy Thursday, 4/25 – Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am;  Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm, 12 Gospels 7:00 pm
   + Holy Friday, 4/26 – Children’s Retreat 9:30 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm, Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:15 pm followed by Procession to Central Square
   + Holy Saturday, 4/27 – Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, with Coffee Reception to follow;  Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm, Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm
   + Great and Holy Pascha, 4/28 – Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight, Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall following; 
HOLY FRIDAY VIGIL –  Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, April 26, 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. See Holy week schedule for further details.


PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS – Every Wednesday during Lent (March 13, 20, 27,April 3, 10, 17), we need a leader to coordinate a potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the leader means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup. Contact Tiffany Conroy ( for the potluck leader instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck leader. 

SPRING MEETINGS – Diocese Spring Meetings will be held on Saturday, April 6, at St. Mary in Pawtucket.
SERVICE BOOK FOR HOLY WEEK AND PASCHA – If you would like to purchase the book, “Services of Holy Week and Pascha,” as used in the Antiochian Archdiocese, you can order it from the Ancient Faith Store, $35.00. The book has a hard cover with gilded pages and double ribbon markers.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – The Food for Hungry People 2019 program began with the start of Great Lent and continues until Palm Sunday, April 21. Collection boxes are available at the Bengarri.

PASCHA DONATIONS – The deadline for Pascha donations is Sunday, April 21.

BIBLE BOWL - All Teens (13-19) and Pre-Teens (ages 10-12) interested in competing in this year's Bible Bowl, please contact Violet Robbat at 781-862-4388 or by e-mail at for further instruction.  This year we will be studying St. Paul's Letters to the Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians as found in the New Testament of the Orthodox Study Bible.  The Orthodox Study Bible is available from Ancient Faith Bookstore, Barnes and Noble, Holy Cross Bookstore and Amazon if you do not have one.  Our meeting/practice begins immediately after Church School every Sunday.  We will meet in the small area right outside Barbara's office.  Be sure to bring a chair in with you.  We look forward to having two great teams again this year!   

GUEST VOLUNTEERS INVITED – The St. Mary Prison Ministry would like to extend this Lenten opportunity for honorary guest volunteers to visit prisoners at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution in Concord, MA, every Monday at the Catholic chapel 6-8:30 PM. One of our permanent volunteers is on paternity leave, so we are actively looking for assistance. There is no prior experience or commitment needed as a guest, but please let Fr Antony know in advance for security reasons on the day you wish to visit.  The inmates appreciate volunteers who take time out of their busy day to spend the evening with them.
   For those interested in volunteering on a frequent basis, certification as a permanent volunteer is required. Please talk with Fr. Antony if interested in this ministry. For information about the Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s you can subscribe to our mailing list at 

SCHOLARSHIPS - The Archdiocese will be awarding several Francis Maria Scholarships of $2500 each to students attending an accredited 4 year college. This scholarship is available on the Archdiocese Scholarship page, Applications must be postmarked by May 15.

HIERARCHICAL VISIT - His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH will be at St. Mary’s Friday-Sunday, May 3-5 for a Hierarchical visit to celebrate Divine Liturgy and our 90th year anniversary. 

YES in PROVIDENCE – Join teens and college students from the Diocese Friday-Sunday, May 10-12 for an opportunity to serve the people of Providence, RI. Register online at Any questions? Please contact our Trip Leader, Michelle Hourani: or Katrina Bitar, YES Program Director:

ST. MARY’S ANNIVERSARY – On Saturday, May 18 we will celebrate our 90th Anniversary at the Crown Plaza in Woburn.  Plan to join us for dinner, dancing and other festivities.  More details to follow.
   + WE WANT YOUR PHOTOS! - The Young Adult Ministry is collecting photos of St. Mary's from past and present for the 90th Anniversary Celebration in May. If you have photos of family, relatives and friends from events at St. Mary's, please email to stmarys90thphotos@gmail.comor share them through GoogleDrive. Suggestions are photos of Holy Days, sacraments or other milestones; however all photos are welcome!

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22.

FAMILY CAMP - Register now for Family camp at Antiochian Village, Friday-Monday, May 24-27.  The theme is “Fostering a Healthy Family” with Speaker Fr. Nicholas Louh.  Visit for more information.

ORATORICAL FESTIVAL - The Diocese of Worcester & New England Oratorical Festival will be held on Saturday, June 8 at St. George, Norwood
PARISH LIFE CELEBRATION – The Diocese of Worcester & New England Parish Life Celebration will be held this year on Saturday, June 22 at St. George, West Roxbury, hosted by St. Stephen Church, Springfield and Emmanuel Church, Warren.

CROSSROAD SUMMER INSTITUTE - CrossRoad Summer Institute, a 10-day academic summer institute for Orthodox high school juniors and seniors to help them grow closer to Christ, will be held June 15-25 and July 2-12 at Hellenic College Holy Cross.  Apply today at  

ANTIOCHIAN ORTHODOX CONVENTION – This year’s Convention will be in Grand Rapids, MI, July 21-28, 2019. Hundreds of Antiochian Orthodox have already registered and purchased tickets. See 

HOSPITALITY GROUP – The Donald DiFiore Memorial Hospitality Group needs more volunteers to help it work to build community among the larger St. Mary’s Congregation, so that we can come together in service, celebration and fellowship outside of liturgy and coffee hour.  We need members to join us, and help with planning fellowship events such as Lenten Potluck Suppers, the Dormition Feast, our annual Picnic, etc. Even if you could commit to just one event per year, this would help strengthen the sense of community and family in our parish. We also welcome new ideas for fellowship gatherings. If interested, please email Tiffany Conroy at
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


Brethren, since we have a high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. For every high priest chosen from among men is appointed to act on behalf of men in relation to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can deal gently with the ignorant and wayward, since he himself is beset with weakness. Because of this he is bound to offer sacrifice for his own sins as well as for those of the people. And one does not take the honor upon himself, but he is called by God, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not exalt himself to be made a high priest, but was appointed by him who said to him, "Thou art my Son, today I have begotten thee"; as he says also in another place, "Thou art a priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedek."
   - Hebrews 4:14-5:6
The Lord said: "If anyone wishes to come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it; and whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel's will save it. For what does it profit a man, to gain the whole world and forfeit his life? For what can a man give in return for his life? For whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of man also be ashamed, when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels." And he said to them, "Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God come with power.
  - Mark 8:34-9:1

Scripture Readings for Sunday 4/7   Epistle: Hebrews 6:13-20; Gospel: Mark 9:17-31
Scripture Readings for Sunday 4/14  Epistle: Hebrews 9:11-14; Gospel: Mark 10:32-45

Veneration of the Cross, 3/31 - On this Sunday, the third Sunday of Lent, we celebrate the veneration of the honorable and Life-Giving Cross, and for this reason: inasmuch as in the forty days of fasting we in a way crucify ourselves … and become bitter and despondent and failing, the Life-Giving Cross is presented to us for refreshment and assurance, for remembrance of our Lord's Passion, and for comfort. … 
We are like those following a long and cruel path, who become tired, see a beautiful tree with many leaves, sit in its shadow and rest for a while and then, as if rejuvenated, continue in their journey; likewise today, in the time of fasting and difficult journey and effort, the Life-Giving Cross was planted in our midst by the holy fathers to give us rest and refreshment, to make us light and courageous for the remaining task.
   - Synaxarion of the Sunday of the Cross
O Lord and Master of my life! Take from me the spirit of sloth, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of chastity, humility, patience, and love to thy servant. Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own errors and not to judge my brother; For Thou art blessed unto ages of ages. Amen.
   - St. Ephrem the Syrian
He who busies himself with the sins of others, or judges his brother on suspicion, has not yet even begun to repent or to examine himself so as to discover his own sins.
   - St. Maximus the Confessor
   Beware of limiting the good of fasting to mere abstinence from meats. Real fasting is alienation from evil. ‘Loose the bands of wickedness.’ Forgive your neighbor the mischief he has done you. Forgive him his trespasses against you. Do not ‘fast for strife and debate.’ You do not devour flesh, but you devour your brother. You abstain from wine, but you indulge in outrages. You wait for evening before you take food, but you spend the day in the law courts. Woe to those who are ‘drunken, but not with wine.’ Anger is the intoxication of the soul, and makes it out of its wits like wine.
   True fasting lies is rejecting evil, holding one’s tongue, suppressing one’s hatred, and banishing one’s lust, evil words, lying, and betrayal of vows.
   - St. Basil the Great, Homilies on the Holy Spirit