St. Mary Orthodox Church

Cambridge, MA

Update for the week Thursday, February 8 - Wednesday, February 14, 2018


SUNDAY 2/11, Meatfare Sunday – Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 15
   + Scout Sunday is this Sunday, February 11. If your child is a Cub Scout, Boy Scout, or Girl Scout, please contact Charlie Marge:

SATURDAY 2/10 - The 2018 Pre-Lenten Retreat & Youth Day on Saturday, February 10, sponsored by the Diocese of Worcester & New England Antiochian Women and the Missions Council, will feature Bishop ANTHONY and our very own Fr. Antony Hughes. This is a day for all ages, 3 years old and older. Time: 9:00am-2:30pm.  Place:  St. John of Damascus, Dedham.  Cost:  $20/Adult. Pre-registration required.

MEMORY ETERNAL: Linda Lewis - We regret to inform you of the falling asleep in the Lord of Linda Lewis on February 6th at the age of 101.  Linda was a lifelong member of St. Mary’s and an active member in the Women’s Club for many years.  She was the wife of the late Elias Lewis. Visiting hours will be Thursday, February 8, 4:00-8:00pm in the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral Home, 549 Lincoln Ave., Saugus. The funeral will be in the funeral home on Friday at 10:00am, with interment in Fairview Cemetery, Boston. For more information please visit the Bisbee-Porcella Funeral home website  Donations in Linda’s name may be made to St. Mary’s Church.

BIBLE STUDY – During Lent, the Bible Study/Adult Education group will come together as a community for the PreSanctified liturgies (instead of our usual meetings) on Wednesdays, followed by the Pot-luck supper. Those experiences are truly rich and we invite everyone to join us. After Pascha the bi-weekly meetings of the Bible Study group will resume on Wednesday, April 11.

– The Hospitality Group thanks Shannon Sakellariou, Andrea Jabbour, Cali Touloumes, Sophie Burges, and Elana Jabbour for volunteering to be Wednesday Potluck leads. We still need leads for February 28 and March 14 – to sign up or for more information, please contact Diana Yousef (

PLEDGE FORMS – The Stewardship Committee reminds you that a new pledge form is requested from every parishioner each year.  If you have not yet submitted your 2018 Pledge, please do so now by filling out our on-line ePledge form: Thank you for your continued financial support of St. Mary’s and your volunteering of time and talents.

YOUNG ADULTS – Before Lent begins, join the St Mary Young Adults Ministry on Cheesefare Thursday, February 15 at 7:00pm for pizza and karaoke at Courtside’s in Cambridge. Karaoke starts at 9:00pm on Thursdays, so come beforehand and enjoy some pizza and fellowship before the singing begins. RSVP on Facebook:

FORGIVENESS VESPERS – Forgiveness Sunday (also known as Cheesefare Sunday) is Sunday, February 18, the last day before Lent begins. Join us for Forgiveness Vespers at 6:00pm.
   + There will be no Church School on 2/18

LENT BEGINS – Great Lent will begin on Monday, February 19 this year.

LENTEN SERVICES – On Tuesday and Thursday in the first week of Lent, February 20 and 22, there will be Little Compline with the Canon of St. Andrew at 7:00 pm. 
   + We will celebrate Pre-Sanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm every Wednesday of Lent through Wednesday, March 28, followed by a Potluck Supper.
   + On the first five Fridays of Lent, February 23 and March 2, 9, 16 and 23, there will be an Akathist (Madayeh) Service at 7:00 pm.
PRE-SANCTIFIED POTLUCK SUPPERS - Every Wednesday during Lent (February 21 & 28, March 7, 14, 21 and 28), we need a lead to coordinate the potluck supper after pre-Sanctified Liturgy. Being the lead means a) providing a main dish, b) coordinating what others bring if asked, and c) coordinating setup and cleanup. As with coffee hour, if there is no potluck leader, then there is no potluck. Contact Diana Yousef ( ) for the potluck lead instruction sheet, or to sign up as a potluck lead.

PARKING – The Parish Council reminds you that after 6:00 pm and before 7:30 pm the church parking lot is available for parishioner parking in open spaces only.  Do not block any vehicles, as we have private renters who park until 7:30 pm.  After 7:30 pm you may stack park in the parking lot and driveway. 

LENTEN FOOD SALE – The St. Mary Women’s Club is once again having a Lenten Food Sale, featuring Spinach Triangles, Hoomos, and Mjadara. Please use the order form in the Sunday bulletin. Order deadline is Sunday, February 25; pickup will be Sunday, March 4.
   - Baking of spinach triangles will be Saturday, March 3.  Please come and help, starting at 9:00 am; lunch will be provided.

PARISH COUNCIL – The next meeting of the Parish Council will be Wednesday, March 14, at 8:00pm

BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany and between Pascha (April 8) and Pentecost (Mary 27).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil; to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617-547-1234.

SCHOLARSHIPS - Students graduating in 2018 from high school who are children of membersof St. Mary’s may apply for the Diocese of Worcester and New England Scholarship.  Deadline is March 31, 2018. Contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at for more information, including what it means to be a member.
   + Scholarships ($1,000) are available from the Syrian-Lebanese Women’s club of Greater Boston to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within 50-mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Scholarships are based on outstanding academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, charitable and civic involvement and good character; and applicants must be in good academic standing in her school and possess those personal attributes, which best serve the community.  Applications are available through the Church Office and must be postmarked by March 31, 2018.  If you have any questions, contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010 or email at .

PASCHA - The date of Pascha this year is April 8, 2018.

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 
The parable of the Last Judgment is about Christian love. Not all of us are called to work for "humanity," yet each one of us has received the gift and the grace of Christ's love. We know that all men ultimately need this personal love – the recognition in them of their unique soul in which the beauty of the whole creation is reflected in a unique way. We also know that men are in prison and are sick and thirsty and hungry because that personal love has been denied them. And, finally, we know that however narrow and limited the framework of our personal existence, each one of us has been made responsible for a tiny part of the Kingdom of God, made responsible by that very gift of Christ's love. Thus, on whether or not we have accepted this responsibility, on whether we have loved or refused to love, shall we be judged.
   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

The final coming of Christ will be the judgment of all men. His very presence will be the judgment. For those who love the Lord, His Presence will be infinite joy, paradise and eternal life. For those who hate the Lord, the same Presence will be infinite torture, hell and eternal death.  According to the saints, the "fire" that will consume sinners at the coming of the Kingdom is the same "fire" that will shine with splendor in the saints.  It is the fire of God’s love; the "fire" of God Himself, who is Love.  … Thus it is the Church's spiritual teaching that God does not punish man by some material fire or physical torment. God simply reveals Himself in the risen Lord Jesus in such a glorious way that no man can fail to behold His glory.  It is the presence of God’s splendid glory and love that is the scourge of those who reject His radiant power and light.
   - Fr. Thomas Hopko

When you see a poor person, remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ by which He declared that it is He, Himself who is fed. For though that which appears is not Christ, yet in that person’s form, it is Christ Himself who receives and begs.
   - Saint John Chrysostom