Weekly Newsletter for the week Thursday, April 4, 2007 through Thursday, April 11, 2007



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.


Saturday morning,  April 7, the Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil begins at 9:00 a.m.  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 catechumens. The Liturgy will be followed by a Coffee Hour/Reception offered by Nadia & Bahig Kaldas.

Saturday evening and into Great and Holy Pascha, all our Lenten efforts and Holy Week observances culminate in the celebration of Christ's resurrection. The services begin with the Vigil/Rush Service at 10:00 p.m.,  followed by Resurrection Matins at 11:00 p.m.,  and Divine Liturgy at 12:00 midnight.  Paschal festivities, with plenty of food, will take place in the Church Hall after Liturgy.

On Sunday, April 8, at 11:00 a.m., there will be a joint service of Agape Vespers (Baouth) at St. John of Damascus Church , Dedham , MA


CHRIST IS RISEN! - Truly, He is Risen!

Arabic:          Al Maseeh ‘Am!  Ha'an ‘Am!

Greek:          Christos Anesti!  Alithos Anesti!

Slavonic:     Khristos Voskrese!  Vo Istinu Voskrese!

Romanian: Hristos a Înviat!  Adeva(rat a Înviat!

Tigrinian:    Kristos Tensiu!  Behake Tensiu!

Cantonese:    Gaydolk Folkwoot Leew!  Ta Koksut Folkwoot Leew!

Armenian:  Krisdos Haryav ee Merelotz!  Orhnyal Eh Haryootyoonun Krisdosee!

To find how the Paschal Greeting is said in even more languages, check out this site which has text and voice recordings for over 250 languages: http://www.srbigham.com/en/langues.html

PHOTOS - To see photographs of our Holy Week and Pascha celebrations from previous years, visit the St. Mary website: https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/  

NO FASTING - There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but for the whole forty days until the Feast of the Ascension on May 17.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch .)  This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary;  you may fast if you wish.


COFFEE HOUR - Several upcoming Sundays are available,  so please sign up to sponsor a coffee hour, individually or with friends.  Some do this to celebrate a special event or anniversary, others simply as an act of hospitality. It can be as simple as coffee, juice, and cookies.   Signup sheets are on the bulletin board downstairs outside the Hall.

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


Today is hung upon the tree, he who suspended the earth upon the waters.

A crown of thorns crowns him, who is the King of Angels.

He is wrapped about with the purple of mockery, who wrapped the heavens in clouds.

He was struck, who freed Adam in the Jordan .

He was transfixed with nails, who is the bridegroom of the Church.

He was pierced with a spear, who is the son of the Virgin.

We worship thy passion, O Christ! Show us also thy glorious resurrection!

   - 15th Antiphon of Holy Friday Matins

Be amazed, O heavens, and let the foundations of the earth quake; for behold, he who dwells in the highest has been accounted among the dead, and has been guest in a humble tomb. ... The pure Temple has been destroyed; then rising, he raised with him the fallen tabernacle; for the second Adam who dwells in the highest has descended unto the first Adam in the uttermost chambers of Hades.

   - The Canon of Holy Saturday, 8th Ode

In that we have beheld the resurrection of Christ, let us worship the Holy Lord Jesus, the only sinless one. Thy cross do we adore, O Christ, and thy holy resurrection we praise and glorify; for thou are our God, and we know none other beside thee; we call upon thy name.

   - Vesperal Divine Liturgy on Holy Saturday

Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.  O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy!  O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!  You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!  The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you!  The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!  Let all partake of the feast of faith.  Let all receive the riches of goodness. ...

Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!

Christ is risen, and life reigns!

Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!

For Christ, being raised from the dead,  has become  the First-fruits of them that slept.

To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.

   - St. John Chrysostom, Paschal Homily


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

SCRIPTURE READINGS for  April 8, Great and Holy Pascha: 

Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 1:1-8  He said to them, "it is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority. But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth."  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=3&event=1009 )

Gospel: John 12:1-18    And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father. ...  And from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=1&event=1009&DL=EN)

April 8: Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) 11:00 am at St. John of Damascus Church , Dedham , MA


April 14: No Vespers at St. Mary's  - Vespers and Footlamps at St. George Church, Lawrence , MA  

April 15: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.

April 21:  No Vespers at St. Mary's - Vespers at St. George, West Roxbury , with Metropolitan PHILLIP

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

June 28 through July 1:  Parish Life Conference