St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, April 18-24, 2019


SATURDAY 4/20, Lazarus Saturday – Matins 8:00am, Divine Liturgy 9:00, followed by Communion Breakfast at 10:15. Our annual Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha will follow immediately after breakfast. Please stay and help.
   + Great Vespers 3:00 pm

SUNDAY 4/21, Palm Sunday – Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am: Church School after Communion; Bible Bowl meeting/practice immediately after Church School
   + A collection will be taken for the Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East
   + Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, sponsored by the Hospitality Group and hosted by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk, after Liturgy. $10.00 per person; $20 per family. Volunteers are needed to help with setup, serving, and cleanup. Please plan to help.
   + Deadline for Pascha Donations (olive oil, flowers, rose water, incense, Paschal lilies, and candles). Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.
   + Food for Hungry People collection boxes (available at the bengarri) are due.
   + Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm
MONDAY 4/22 – Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

TUESDAY 4/23 – Presanctified Liturgy 7:00am
   + Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

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
   + Teen SOYO All-Night Vigil at the Church following Lamentations and Procession.  All youth ages 13-18 (grades 7-12), are encouraged to participate in reading Psalms, keeping watch at the tomb. The Vigil culminates Saturday morning with Vesperal Liturgy at 9:00am.  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 4/27 - Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, with Coffee Reception to follow

SATURDAY-SUNDAY 4/27-28, Great and Holy Pascha – Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm, Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm, Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight, followed by Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall 


SERVICE BOOK AVAILABLE – The book “Services of Holy Week and Pascha,” as used in the Antiochian Archdiocese, can be obtained from the Church Office for $32.00. The book is a hard cover with gold gilded pages and double ribbon markers.
CDs FOR LENT AND PASCHA – Three recordings from the Boston Byzantine Choir, Lenten Journey, Thy Passion, and Thy Resurrection, are available from the Church Office or from Charlie Marge - $15 each or all three for $40.


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:

SUNSET CRUISE GALA - Theophany School Sunset Cruise Gala aboard the Lexington riverboat on Saturday, May 11, 6:30pm-8:30pm. Cost: $125.  If interested in tickets visit

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.
 +Antiochian Women’s Scholarship: 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, 2019.  Applications are available at the Bengarri and in the Church Office.  E-mail with any questions.
   + Nicholas Beram Scholastic Achievement award: applications are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4-year college full time.   Applications are available on-line at and in the church office.  Application must be postmarked by June 1, 2019.
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
   + 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. Register online at Registration forms are also available at the Bengarri.

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 St. Mary’s Donald DiFiore Memorial Hospitality Group works 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 (
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, rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand. Have no anxiety about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, do; and the God of peace will be with you.
   - Philippians 4:4-9

Six days before Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at table with him. Mary took a pound of costly ointment of pure nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the ointment. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was to betray him), said "Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" This he said, not that he cared for the poor but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box he used to take what was put into it. Jesus said, "Let her alone, let her keep it for the day of my burial. The poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me." When the great crowd of the Jews learned that he was there, they came, not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. So the chief priests planned to put Lazarus also to death, because on account of him many of the Jews were going away and believing in Jesus. The next day a great crowd who had come to the feast heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem. So they took branches of palm trees and went out to meet him, crying, "Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!" And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" His disciples did not understand this at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that this had been written of him and had been done to him. The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead bore witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.
  - John 12:1-18

O Christ God when you raised Lazarus from the dead before Your Passion, You confirmed the Resurrection of the universe.  Therefore we, like children, carry the banner of triumph and victory; and we cry to You, O Conqueror of death, Hosanna in the highest, Blessed is He that comes in the name of the Lord.
   - Troparion of Lazarus Saturday
Upborne on the heavenly throne, and seated on the earthly foal, O Christ our God, receive the praises of angels and the hymns of men, exclaiming before you, blessed is He that comes to restore Adam!
   - Kontakion for Palm Sunday
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… "Reality" is that which is going on in the Church.
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent