St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Friday, November 19, through Thursday, November 25, 2010


BAKE SALE– The Women’s Club presents its Annual Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale this  Sunday, November 21, 2010All proceeds will benefit the Convent of Saidnaya in Syria.  Plan on purchasing all your holiday breads, pies, goodies, Syrian pastries and much more!  Call MaryEllen Mabardy at 781-729-6303, if you can help bake and/or donate.

CHRISTMAS PAGEANT - Rehearsals for this year’s Christmas Pageant will take place following liturgy this Sunday, November 21st and Sunday, December 5th, with a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 11th before Lessons and Carols. The Pageant is planned for Sunday, December 12th (with a rain/snow date of December 19th). Our thanks to Charlie Marge for his directing the pageant this year. All church school children and teens are invited to participate. Parent volunteers will also be needed.


LESSONS AND CAROLS AND POTLUCK– The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to a service of prayers, scripture readings and Christmas Carols.  Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols will be celebrated on  SaturdayDecember 11, 2010  (snow date: Sunday, December 12)  at 5:00 pm. 

A festive Lenten Pot Luck Supper will follow the service.  People whose last name begins with A–P:  please bring a main dish or salad;  people whose last name begins with Q–Z:  please bring dessert.  Drinks will be provided.   For more information, contact Tiffany Conroy at

PRISON MINISTRY TO  CHILDREN- In coordination with our new Prison Ministry, we are providing Christmas presents to the children of some of the prisoners.  We have 18 “Angels” under our wings and there are various ways you can help.  Please contact the Angel Tree Coordinator Amy Clay as soon as possible, at or 617-909-9614.  The Nativity isn’t far away!

CROSSROAD- Attention High School Juniors & Seniors:  CrossRoad is an exciting summer vocation exploration program designed to help students discern their life callings and match their God-given gifts with the needs of the world.  CrossRoad session dates for summer 2011 are June 18-28 (first session) and July 5-15 (second session). For more information and to download an application:

RETREATS AT ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE– Several retreats and conferences at the Village are coming up in the next couple of months:  St. Herman Middle School Retreat December 10-12, 2010;   OCF College Conference December 28-31;   Marriage Preparation Weekend January 14-17, 2011;  and Marriage Enrichment Retreat February 18-20.  For more information see


NATIVITY FAST– The Nativity Fast, also known as the season of Advent, began last Mondayand continues until December 24. This is the forty days of fasting and prayer in preparation for the Great Feast of the Nativity of Christ.  On Wednesdays during this period there will be a Paraklesis service at 6:30 pm.

VALUABLES  - Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Cloak Room.

N.G. BERAMS BANQUET – The N. G. Beram Veterans Association’s  Distinguished Service Award and 11 Scholastic Achievement Awards  will be presented at their Banquet on Saturday, November 27 2010, at 12:30 pm, at the Holiday Inn in Dedham.  For more information see

PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD- Save yourself time, let us do the work and have all proceeds  benefit the Convent of St. Theklaat Antiochian Village.   Let the Women’s Club send a lovely Christmas Card on your behalf to our parishioners.  You will receive this card with the names of parishioners, like yourself, who are wishing  a Blessed Nativity and a Merry Christmas to all.  Please use the form in the Sunday Bulletin.  Deadline:  Sunday, December 5, 2010.

COME SEE THE MESSIAH - Join friends from St. Mary’s for the Handel and Haydn Society’s  annual performance of Handel’s Messiah, on Sunday, December 5, at 3:00 p.m.  We will carpool to Symphony Hall after Liturgy and have lunch together before the concert.    Contact Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.comfor discounted tickets – possibly separate from the rest of the St. Mary group - or order your own tickets online at Either way, plan to join us for lunch first!

ROCKETTES– The Antiochian Women of the Diocese invite you to a performance of the Rockettes on Saturday, December 11, 2010 at 11:00 AM. The tickets are $48.25  each; these are balcony but you get a full view of the stage and can see all of the formations that the dancers perform.  Parking under the Boston Common is $11.00, a short walk away and plentiful. It’s a two hour show so Lunch after may be a possibility.   If  ANYONE (not just Women’s Club members) is interested, contact MaryEllen Mabardy at 781-729-3033.

YOUTH EQUIPPED TO SERVE–  Middle school and high school students are invited on a service trip to Providence RI from Friday, December 17,  at 5:00 pm through Sunday, December 19th, at 3:00 pm.  Nadia is hoping a group of teens from St. Mary's will join her in a weekend of service, fellowship, and prayer.  To register visit or for more information email Nadia at

CANNED FOOD DRIVE– The annual FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE Canned Food Drive will be held  through December 26, 2010.  Bring  in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area. Since 1984 we have collected over 3,281,200 pounds of food.

PRISON MINISTRY– If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary Orthodox Church, please subscribe to the mailing list at

PROJECT MEXICO – Project Mexico is an ongoing Orthodox Christian mission project. Groups of Orthodox Christians, led by experienced builder/leaders, build houses for poor Mexican families near St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Rosarito, Mexico.  Families (with children at least 10 yrs. old), teens over 14, and adults are welcome to join a Home Building Team.    Anyone interested in forming a St. Mary's Project Mexico Home Building Team for August 2011 please contact Fr. Anthony, or Kera Dalton (a 2009 Project Mexico attendee and new member of St. Mary's) at  or (781)789-8458. 

ON-LINE STEWARDSHIP SIGN-UP - There will be a table at Coffee Hour for the next few Sundays for those who would like to try eGive.  We’ll have a laptop to help walk you through the process on the spot.  All you need to bring is a sample check from your checking account.  Please e-mail Jamil Samara ( or Charlie Marge ( if you have any questions.

COFFEE HOUR VOLUNTEERS NEEDED – Please sign up to provide a coffee hour – it can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.  Lots of Sundays are available in the Fall, and plenty of help is available! Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall, or call Marilyn in the office at 617-547-1234 or

STREAMING VIDEO- Divine Liturgy at St. Mary is broadcast live every week!  Do come to church…  but if you can’t, then join us on your computer! To see live broadcasts go to Divine Liturgy starts at 10:00 am every Sunday September through June, and at 9:30 am during the summer. 

If you are interested in helping, please contact Erick Straghalis ( 

FIRST IN, LAST OUT– Please do not park in the small lot behind the church unless you intend to stay through the end of coffee hour. The only way out is the single lane driveway.  Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street or in the lot at the corner of Prospect Street and Bishop Allen Drive.


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:

Liturgical Service - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communionby holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread Baskets.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle and six people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882,

Coffee Hour – People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgor 617-547-1234.

Holy Resurrection Open Doors - The Holy Resurrection Open Door Meal Ministry in Allston needs volunteers every Monday evening (there is a special need in the summer).  The official hours of the project are 4:30 pm-7:30 pm, but it is fine to come anytime and leave any time.  Best times would be 5:30-5:45 to 7:15-7:30 pm.  You can serve meals, coffee and tea to the people who arrive for dinner (6-7 pm) or just stay behind the scenes doing set-up and clean-up.  It is a very rewarding, hands-on, face-to-face way to serve the community with (mostly) other Orthodox Christians—we even chant the Our Father together before the meal begins. Church info can be found at    Questions? Please contact Liz Straghalis at  phone 617-974-5005,  or Tiffany Conroy at

St Paul’s Food Pantry - Volunteers are needed each week in the food pantry at St Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Harvard Square, Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45. 

Food and Clothing – Holy Resurrection in Allston takes donations of non-perishable food items and clothing to distribute at the Open Door Ministry on Monday evenings.  You can bring your donations by on Monday nights between 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm or contact Tiffany Conroy,, for more information.

Canned Goods-The annual Food For Hungry People canned food drive  is  held  October through  December each year.  Bring  in your canned goods to the Church and place them in the large, blue plastic containers outside the Church Office – they will be distributed to local food pantries in our area.

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.


LITURGICAL SERVICE – Epistle:  Dimitrios Antos;  Left Cloth: Linda Arnold and James Wilcox;  Right Cloth: TBD;  Left Bread: TBD;  Right Bread: Larisa Patacchiola

COFFEE HOUR – Women’s Club Thanksgiving Charity Bake Sale


Saturday, November 20:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, November 21, The Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am;  Church School Lesson 9, followed by Pageant rehearsal

Epistle:  St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 9:1-7
… Behind the second curtain stood a tent called the Holy of Holies, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding the manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat., the priests go continually into the outer tent, performing their ritual duties; but into the second only the high priest goes, and he but once a year, and not without taking blood which he offers for himself and for the errors of the people.

Gospel:  Luke 10:38-42, 11:27-28
At that time, Jesus entered a village; and a woman called Martha received him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving …

Wednesday, November 24:  Paraclesis service 6:30 pm


Saturday, November 27:  NO Vespers at St. Mary (Thanksgiving Weekend)

Sunday, November 28:  No Church School

Wednesday, December 1:  Paraclesis service 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 4:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm         

Sunday, December 5, the Feast of St. Nicholas:  Orthros 8:45 am,  Divine Liturgy 10:00  am, with Church School Lesson and St. Nicholas Festivities in the Sanctuary, followed by Pageant rehearsal


When the Most-holy Virgin Mary reached the age of three, her holy parents Joachim and Anna took her from Nazareth to Jerusalem to dedicate her to the service of God according to their earlier promise. It was a three-day journey from Nazareth to Jerusalem but, traveling to do a God-pleasing work, this journey was not difficult for them. Many kinsmen of Joachim and Anna gathered in Jerusalem to take part in this event, at which the invisible angels of God were also present. Leading the procession into the Temple were virgins with lighted tapers in their hands, then the Most-holy Virgin, led on one side by her father and on the other side by her mother. The virgin was clad in vesture of royal magnificence and adornments as was befitting the ''King's daughter, the Bride of God'' (Psalm 45:13-15). Following them were many kinsmen and friends, all with lighted tapers. Fifteen steps led up to the Temple. Joachim and Anna lifted the Virgin onto the first step, then she ran quickly to the top herself, where she was met by the High Priest Zacharias, who was to be the father of St. John the Forerunner. Taking her by the hand, he led her not only into the Temple, but into the ''Holy of Holies,'' the holiest of holy places, into which no one but the high priest ever entered, and only once each year, at that.  …  The Most-holy Virgin remained in the Temple and dwelt there for nine full years. While her parents were alive, they visited her often, especially Righteous Anna. When God called her parents from this world, the Most-holy Virgin was left an orphan and did not wish to leave the Temple until death or to enter into marriage.
   - Bp. Nicholai Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ohrid

The all-pure temple of the Savior, the most precious bridal-chamber and Virgin, the treasure-house of the glory of God, today entered the Temple of the Lord, bringing with her the grace which is in the divine Spirit:  who also the angels of God do celebrate in song; for she is the heavenly tabernacle.
   - Kontakion of the Presentation of the Theotokos