Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, March 29, 2007 through Thursday, April 6, 2007



Please come and bring your friends and family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday (Matins 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.) and afterwards enjoy a Communion Breakfast offered by Selma Winstanley  in memory of brother, Mitchell Mabardi.

At noon, after the breakfast, there will be a Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha, coordinated by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Everyone is encouraged to  bring some rags, cleaning supplies, small buckets, brown paper bags and irons for wax removal, etc.  Please come and lend a hand in preparing God's House for the Feast of Feasts.  Remember,  "Many hands make light work!"

Also at noon there will be a Choir Rehearsal for Pascha. Anyone interested in singing should feel free to attend.


Remember to return your Food For The Hungry boxes and canisters, filled with money, and pass them in at the Bengarri this Sunday, April 1.

There will be no Church School classes this Sunday.  Following the Liturgy  there will be the Procession with Palms (no lighted candles, please).  All who wish to do so are invited to join the procession; children are especially encouraged to participate.

This Sunday also we will be taking an Archdiocese  collection in support of the continued work of His Beatitude Patriarch IGNATIUS IV and our Mother Church .  

Palm Sunday Fish Dinner - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine is hosting its third annual fish dinner this Sunday, April 1, after Liturgy.  Instead of cooking, spend your Palm Sunday with your family and friends in Church. Reservations are not required; thanks to the generosity of a parishioner, there will be plenty of food. A freewill donation will be happily accepted, but there is no set price for this dinner.

Holy Week Books - If you ordered Holy Week books,  see Marilyn Robbat in church after Liturgy, or Charlie Marge during the Palm Sunday Dinner.



On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 1, 2 and 3, there will be a Bridegroom Matins service at 7:00 p.m.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, April 2, 3 and 4, Presanctified Liturgy will be celebrated at 7:00 a.m.

Confessions - During Holy Week Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after services from Monday to Wednesday evenings only,  or by appointment. Please note that no confessions will be heard on Great and Holy Saturday before the Rush Procession. 


The evening service on Wednesday, April 4, is Holy Unction.  The service includes seven Epistles, seven Gospels, and seven prayers, all about oil and healing and forgiveness and the Holy Spirit.  Seven wicks are lit in the bowl of oil, and at the end each of us is anointed and given Holy Oil to take home.


On Thursday, April 5, Vesperal Liturgy is at 7:00 a.m.  The evening service begins at 6:45 p.m. with Washing of the Feet, followed at 7:00 p.m. by Twelve Gospels, in which we hear by candlelight the entire story of Christ's final teaching, passion, trial, walk to Golgotha , crucifixion and burial, from all four of the Gospel writers.


The Children's Retreat, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 6, will include lessons, activities, crafts, "ask Father," and confessions (children only).  For children under age 7, accompanied by a parent, activities will be provided from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30. Older children will stay on for the Royal Hours at 1:00 p.m.  A goodwill offering of $5 per child will help defray activity expenses. If you can help with the retreat, or provide food, please call Trish at 781-641-0182 before Palm Sunday, or email her at t_orlovsky@hotmail.com

Royal Hours begins at 1:00 p.m., followed by Unnailing Vespers at 3:00 p.m., when the figure of Christ is removed from the Cross, where is was nailed Thursday during the Twelve Gospels service, and is laid in the tomb, or bier. 

Lamentations begins at 7:30 p.m. this year, instead of 7:00 as in the past. During this service we will process with the Bier out of the church and down Massachusetts Avenue to Central Square , where we will meet worshippers from Ss. Constantine & Helen Greek Church carrying their bier, and join them for prayers and blessings before processing back to St. Mary.

Help Decorate The Church - Your help is needed on Great and Holy Friday at 9:00 a.m. and on Great and Holy Saturday after the Liturgy and Coffee Hour at 1:00 p.m.  We will be preparing and decorating the Bier and Church for Pascha.  Please come, stay and help.

Be sure to sign up and participate in the Vigil Friday night and into Saturday morning.  Volunteers, keeping vigil over the tomb of Christ, will take turns reading from the Bible throughout the night.


Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil begins at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday,  April 7.  We commemorate Christ's triumph over evil and death, with the scattering of bay leaves and flowers.  This service includes fifteen lessons from the Old Testament, all prophesying the ultimate victory of God, and also includes Baptism and Chrismation of our eight catechumen. The Liturgy will be followed by a Coffee Hour/Reception offered by Nadia & Bahig Kaldas.


CHOIR CONCERT - Annunciation Church in Newburyport will host the Gordon College Choir, under the direction of Oliver Goodrich, for a concert of meditative music for the Lenten season on Saturday, March 31, at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and children, and can be purchased by calling John at 978-499-7822. Tickets will also be available at the door. For more information on this event, please visit www.annunciationgoc.com

ATTENTION COLLEGE STUDENTS - BU Orthodox Christian Fellowship invites college students and college-bound high school seniors to attend a panel:  "Sacred to Secular:  Discerning Your Orthodox Vocation in Today's World" on Saturday, April 14,  11:45 a.m. to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be provided.  Location: TBA.  Any questions, call 609-703-4909 or email bdynamis@bu.edu

TALKING TO YOUR YOUNG KIDS ABOUT SEX - The next talk in the Footlamps Monthly Lecture Series will be held  Saturday, April 14,  at St. George Church, Lawrence , MA  Speaker will be Dr. John Chirban.  Open to everyone. Vespers service begins at 5:00 pm followed by lecture and light refreshments. Suggested Donation $5.  For more information and to RSVP please Contact Ghada Khouri at 781-275-7244 or nerfellowship@yahoo.com 

THEOPHANY SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY - In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Theophany  Orthodox Christian School is holding  a Gala and Auction, hosted by Maria Stephanos, on Sunday, April 29, at the Greek Orthodox Annunciation Cathedral Center , 162 Goddard Avenue , Brookline , Massachusetts .  There is also a raffle for a 2007 Mercedes-Benz C230 Sport Sedan; only 500 tickets will be sold.  To donate items or services for the auction, or to sponsor an ad, see http://www.theophanyschool.org/docs/2007%20item%20donation%20form.pdf .  All proceeds will directly benefit Theophany School , the first pan-Orthodox Christian preschool serving the needs of families of the greater Boston area.  If you have any questions, you can contact Michelle Chin at javachip23@hotmail.com, or call the school.

SCHOLARSHIPS - Attention High School Seniors:  The Fellowship of St. John the Divine gives out scholarships each year to high school seniors who are planning to attend a four-year college in the fall.  Please contact the Church Office at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org  or (617) 547-1234 so that an application may be mailed to you directly from the FSJD.

LITURGICAL SERVICE - Each Sunday, members of the congregation are needed to read the Epistle and assist during Communion by holding the Communion Cloths and Holy Bread baskets.  Six people are needed each week, in addition to the reader.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during the Communion, contact Maria McDowell at 617-921-6395 or email: mariagwyn@gmail.com


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, and one almost experiences pain in entering into the necessary daily contact with it.  "Reality" is that which is going on in the Church, in that celebration which day after day makes us realize what it means to expect, and why Christianity is above everything else expectation and preparation. Thus, when that Friday evening comes and we sing "having completed the edifying forty days... ," we have not only fulfilled an annual Christian "obligation"; we are ready to make ours the words which we will sing on the next day: "In Lazarus Christ is already destroying thee, O death, and where, O Hell, is thy victory... ?

   -Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

Having accomplished the forty days for the benefit of our souls, we pray to Thee, O Lover of Man, that we may see the holy week of Thy passion, that in it we may glorify Thy greatness and Thine unspeakable plan of salvation for our sake. ...

   - Vesper Hymn for the Friday before Lazarus Saturday



Lazarus Saturday, March 31: Matins 8:45, Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., Communion breakfast 11:15 a.m., followed by church clean-up and choir rehearsal;  Great Vespers 5:00 p.m.

Palm Sunday, April 1:  Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Fish Dinner;  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

SCRIPTURE READINGS for  April 1, Palm Sunday: 

Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9  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. (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=147&event=928

Gospel: John 12:1-18  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!" ... 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.  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=303&event=928&DL=EN )

Holy Monday, April 2:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

Holy TuesdayApril 3:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 p.m.

Holy Wednesday, April 4:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Holy Unction 7:00 p.m.

Holy Thursday, April 5:  Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 a.m.; Washing of the Feet 6:45 p.m. followed by 12 Gospels 7:00 p.m.

Holy Friday, April 6:  Children's Retreat 10:00 a.m., Royal Hours 1:00 p.m., Unnailing Vespers 3:00 p.m., Lamentations 7:30 p.m. followed by Procession to Central Square


Holy Saturday and Great and Holy Pascha, April 7 & 8:  Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil with baptism and chrismation 9:00 a.m., followed by coffee hour reception;  

      Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 p.m.,  Resurrection Matins 11:00 p.m.,  Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight, Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall after Liturgy

May 19:  von Holzhausen lecture (Vespers, dinner and lecture), sponsored by FSJD

June 28 through July 1:  Parish Life Conference