St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, September 5 - Wednesday, September 11, 2019


SATURDAY 9/7 – There will be a chant rehearsal at 4:00pm this Saturday, September 7, preceding Festal Vespers for the Nativity of the Theotokos at 5:00pm.

SUNDAY 9/8, Feast of the Nativity of the Theotokos – Orthros 8:45am, Divine Liturgy 10:00am.
   + Trisagion Prayers for Charles Arbeely (40 days)
   + Church School registration for new students and children age 3+
WEDNESDAY 9/11 – There will be a meeting of the Parish Life Conference Committee this Wednesday at 7:00pm at the church

SATURDAY 9/7 – The Fall Diocesan Meeting of Antiochian Women will be held at the Diocese Chancery (2 Lydia’s Path, Westboro) this Saturday, September 7. Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:00am followed by the meeting. If you are interested in attending, please contact Melissa Nassiff, 508-877-7483 or

YOUNG ADULTS – Join the Young Adults for Orthodox Young Professionals Happy Hour on Thursday, September 19 at 6:00pm, at the 730 Tavern, located at 730 Mass Ave, Cambridge, to mingle with other Orthodox Young Adults in the Boston area. First drink on us from 6-7pm, and free appetizers! Sponsored by Young Adult Ministry: St. Mary Orthodox Church of Cambridge, MA in conjunction with The Telos Project and the Metropolis of Boston Youth & Young Adult Office.
   + If you are interested in getting involved with the Young Adult Ministry at St. Mary’s , please talk with us at coffee hour or send us an email:
BLESSING OF THE ANIMALS – All people and the animals they love are welcome at the 2019 Blessing of the Animals at New Skete Monasteries, in celebration of the Feast of Saint Francis, on Saturday, September 28. Go to for the schedule of the day.

ELEVATION OF THE CROSS – Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Elevation of the Cross will be celebrated on Friday, September 13 at 6:30pm 
CHURCH SCHOOL – Church School classes begin with a short lesson on Sunday, September 15 after Communion and the Procession of the Holy Cross

WELCOME BACK BBQ – The Parish Council and the Women’s Club invite you to join us in welcoming everyone back from their summer activities at our Welcome Back BBQ on Sunday, September 15 following Liturgy. We invite all members of the Parish, Church School Families, and College Students to join us for food and fellowship. We will also be honoring the St. Mary Bible Bowl and Oratorical Festival participants, who all won First Place at the Parish Life Conference, and their coach.  The BBQ will take place outside in the parking lot (weather permitting). The parking lot will be unavailable for parking.
SEMINARIAN WELCOME RECEPTION – All are invited to St. George Church in West Roxbury on Sunday, September 15 at 4:00pm for Vespers followed by a Welcome Reception to greet the new Seminarians at Holy Cross School of Theology and Hellenic College. Please join us as we welcome these students from all over the country to our Diocese. The Reception is sponsored by the Diocesan Antiochian Women.
ADULT CAMP – Antiochian Village Adult Camp is summer camp for adults at the Village, Friday-Monday, September 13-16. Adult Camp is open to all adults ages 21+ who want to spend the weekend in an Orthodox Christian Environment growing in their faith.  Cost of $195 includes lodging, food and activities.  More information can be found at      

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council is scheduled for Wednesday, September 18 at 7:30pm, in the Hall

ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN WITNESS PROGRAM – The Orthodox Christian Witness Program: Spiritual Pilgrimage will start the Fall Semester in September. This program and journey is an opportunity for anyone interested to learn, to reflect, and to be transformed through the Orthodox Christian Faith in preparation for various ministries. This spiritual pilgrimage is an interdisciplinary approach to create a cadre of leaders in the church. It is aimed to empower and equip Orthodox Christians to nourish and share the faith in 21st century. This semester the program has a Round Table discussion unit and a Retreat unit. Anyone can join at any point in the program. 
    The Round Table unit will meet for 10 Thursday evening discussions, from 7:00pm-9:00pm:  Thursday, September 19, 26, October 3, 10, 17, 24, Nov 7, 14, 21, and Dec 5. Location: the Diocesan Chancellory: 2 Lydia’s Path, Westborough MA 01581.
    The day-long Retreats will be held on Sept 28, Oct 19, and Nov 23 at St. Mary’s Church.
To register or for questions, please email at or call at 617-274-8336.

MEN’S RETREAT – A Men’s Retreat will be hosted by the St. Stephen’s Group at St. Methodios Retreat Center, Contoocook, NH, on Friday-Sunday, September 20-22.  This year’s topic is Relationships.  Cost: $239 for 2 nights, meals included.  For more info or to register contact Jeff St. Jean 413-348-2878 or .
ENQUIRERS’ CLASS – The St. Ignatius Catechetical Group (Enquirers’ Class) will begin meeting on Sunday, September 22 at 9:00am in the hall.  Enrollment will be open until October 20. The group is for non-Orthodox adults who are interested in exploring the Christian Faith as it has been – and continues to be – understood, preached, and lived by members of the Holy Orthodox Church. Bob Kowalik will be teaching the group. If you would like to participate, please talk to Bob during coffee hour; or get in touch by phone 617-889-3436 or  For those seeking to be received into the Orthodox Church, participation in the group and Fr. Antony’s blessing are required.

ORTHODOXY 102 – Orthodoxy 102 is an Adult Sunday Class designed for Christians who've spent many years in the Orthodox church, but have never been given formal teaching on the theology and liturgical structure of the Eastern Christian faith. Beginning Sunday, September 22 at 9:00am, this new class will meet weekly to journey through the structure of the Divine Liturgy, while taking an in-depth look at Scripture, the Ecumenical Councils, our iconography, and the meaning and application of Orthodox theology. If you would like more information or would care to join, please email (Or introduce yourself to Subdeacon James on any Sunday following the liturgy).

AWARENESS AND SAFETY PRESENTATION – On Sunday, September 29, 2019, following liturgy, Gary J. Eblan, a thirty-year veteran and Sergeant Detective with the Boston Police Department, will be making a presentation to the parish on best practices for increased awareness and safety when faced with an unsafe environment.  The presentation will include human response to crisis and best practices for safety and risk indicators/behaviors.  The Parish Council has decided to offer this informational session given what has been unfortunately occurring in meeting places of assembly throughout the world.

FAMILY CAMP – You’re invited to Diocese Family Camp Friday-Sunday, October 4-6 at St. Methodios Faith & Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH. Families from our Diocese come together for a weekend of camp activities, prayer, relaxation, fellowship, and learning.  More information and pictures can be found at  Registration information will be posted soon.

CHOIR MEMBERS NEEDED - The Choir is looking for new members, especially Alto (woman) and Bass/Baritone (men), but of course we welcome all parts.  Please e-mail Michelle Mabardy at if you are interested.

GREETERS NEEDED – The Greeter Ministry is a great opportunity to meet all the parishioners of St. Mary’s.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the Vestibule, Hallways and Entranceways during the service.  Arrive at Church 15 minutes before Liturgy (9:45am).  Greeting time ends when Communion starts. We hope you will consider being a greeter!  If you are interested, contact Buddy Mabardy, or 781-729-6303, or the church office, or 617-547-1234.

JOIN THE 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. Contact Diana Yousef at if you’re interested.
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
Your birth, O Theotokos, has filled all the world with joy, for there rose from you the sun of justice, Christ, our God.  He destroyed the curse and replaced it with a blessing, thus confounding death by giving us eternal life.
   - Troparion of the Nativity of the Theotokos

He took our flesh and our flesh became God, since it is united with God and forms a single entity with him. For the higher perfection dominated, resulting in my becoming God as fully as he became man.
   - St. Gregory Nazianzen
We celebrate the holy and life-giving and bloodless sacrifice in the churches, not in the belief that the offering is the body of an ordinary man like ourselves, and similarly with the precious blood, but instead accepting that it has become the very own body and blood of the Word who endows all things with life. The Savior Himself testifies to this when He says: “The flesh is of no avail; it is the spirit that gives life” (Jn. 6:63). Because it became the Word's own flesh it is therefore regarded as life-giving and actually is so.
   - St. Cyril of Alexandria