Weekly Newsletter for the week Friday, May 25, 2007 through Thursday, May 31, 2007


VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED - The services of the Church continue all year round, and volunteers continue to be needed throughout the summer! 

Coffee Hour - If you've never done a coffee hour before, now's a good time to start. It's never difficult, but it's even easier in the summer.  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 in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.  Plenty of help is available if you need it.

Epistle and Communion - Members of the congregation read the Epistle every Sunday, and hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion. If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Maria McDowell at mariagwyn@gmail.com  or 617-921-6395.

Tables and Chairs - Someone needs to take the lead after coffee hour and get everyone to help put away the tables and chairs. Many people are quite willing to help, but someone needs to get the ball rolling each week.  To volunteer, please contact Abra Greene  at abrayanti@gmail.com

SAVE MONEY; REGISTER NOW - If you want to take advantage of the "early bird" rates for the Parish Life Conference ticket book, note that the deadline is Monday, May 28. For discounted hotel rates the deadline is now May 30. See the Parish Life Conference reminder below for further information.

FASTING SCHEDULES -  There is no fasting during the week following Pentecost, May 28  through June 2.  Then the Apostles Fast begins Monday, June 4 and continues through June 28, the period preceding the Feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, which is June 29.

WOMEN'S BOOK CLUB - This summer Women's Club members (and anyone else who'd like to join us) will be reading A Thousand Splendid Suns, by Khaled Hosseini.  The author of The Kite Runner takes his storytelling powers to the next level with this instant classic. Following the lives of two Afghan women over 30 years, this beautiful, heartbreaking, and ultimately uplifting novel will sweep you away.  We'll be discussing it in September - start your summer reading now!


MEMORIAL DAY - Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park on Memorial Day, May 28, starting at 9 a.m.  If you would like him to bless the graves of your loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234. 

ORTHODOX YOUTH OUTREACH - OYO (a ministry of the NAC Teen SOYO)  will sponsor a mission trip to Providence , RI , June 8 - 10.  This is a weekend trip open to participants nationwide.  John Mahfouz will be leading the weekend.  Registration information is on the OYO web site:  http://www.orthodoxyouthoutreach.net/

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE - The 2007 Diocesan Parish Life Conference will be June 28 through July 1, at the Radisson Hotel in Plymouth , MA . Theme:  Missions and Outreach. His Grace Bishop ANTOUN will be the presiding Hierarch, and Fr. Michael Keiser will be the keynote speaker, speaking on Missions and Evangelism.   All proceeds will go toward establishing a Mission Endowment Fund for our Diocese.  To see the schedule of events and register for the conference, click on  www.WorcesterDiocese.net - you can register either online or on paper.  To register for the hotel call 508-747-4900.  Please register for both by May 28 in order to get Early Bird rates for the conference, and the  special room rate of $119 per night for the hotel.  If you have any questions, email conference@worcesterdiocese.net or ask our own Paul Nahass, co-chairman (pnahass@comcast.net).

ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION -  The 48th Antiochian Archdiocese Convention will be held in Montreal , Canada ,  July 23 - 29, 2007, hosted by St. Nicholas Church of Montreal .  Download registrations forms and/or register online at www.stnicholasmtl.org

LORD HAVE MERCY - Teen SOYO  is selling "Lord Have Mercy" Bracelets.  They are black with "Lord Have Mercy" written on them in English, Arabic, and Greek.  They are selling fast, so get yours now!  Cost: 1 for $3, 2 for $5, and 3 for $7

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.



In the Church's annual liturgical cycle, Pentecost is "the last and great day." It is the celebration by the Church of the coming of the Holy Spirit as the end - the achievement and fulfillment - of the entire history of salvation. For the same reason, however, it is also the celebration of the beginning: it is the "birthday" of the Church as the presence among us of the Holy Spirit, of the new life in Christ, of grace, knowledge, adoption to God and holiness.

[The Kneeling Prayers]  is our first kneeling since Easter. It signifies that after these fifty days of Paschal joy and fulness, of experiencing the Kingdom of God, the Church now is about to begin her pilgrimage through time and history. It is evening again, and the night approaches, during which temptations and failures await us, when, more than anything else, we need Divine help, that presence and power of the Holy Spirit, who has already revealed to us the joyful End, who now will help us in our effort towards fulfillment and salvation.

All this is revealed in the three prayers which the celebrant reads now as we all kneel and listen to him. In the first prayer, we bring to God our repentance, our increased appeal for forgiveness of sins, the first condition for entering into the Kingdom of God .

In the second prayer, we ask the Holy Spirit to help us, to teach us to pray and to follow the true path in the dark and difficult night of our earthly existence. Finally, in the third prayer, we remember all those who have achieved their earthly journey, but who are united with us in the eternal God of Love.

The joy of Easter has been completed and we again have to wait for the dawn of the Eternal Day. Yet, knowing our weakness, humbling ourselves by kneeling, we also know the joy and the power of the Holy Spirit who has come. We know that God is with us, that in Him is our victory.

Thus is completed the feast of Pentecost and we enter "the ordinary time" of the year. Yet, every Sunday now will be called "after Pentecost" - and this means that it is from the power and light of these fifty days that we shall receive our own power, the Divine help in our daily struggle.

   - Father Alexander Schmemann, http://ocafs.oca.org/FeastSaintsLife.asp?FSID=45


Saturday, May 26:  Great Vespers before the Feast of Pentecost 5:00 P.M.

Sunday, May 27, Feast of Pentecost/ Trinity Sunday:   Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m., followed by Kneeling Prayers

SCRIPTURE READINGS for May 27, Sunday of Pentecost:

Epistle:  Acts of the Apostles 2:1-11  When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly a sound came from heaven like the rush of a mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire, distributed and resting on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. ... "we hear them telling in our own tongues the mighty works of God."   (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=epistle&code=23&event=961

Gospel: John 7:37-52; 8:12  On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and proclaimed, "If any one thirst, let him come to me and drink. He who believes in me, as the scripture has said, 'Out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.'" Now this he said about the Spirit, which those who believed in him were to receive...  (The entire reading may be found at  http://www.goarch.org/en/chapel/lectionary.asp?type=gospel&code=50&event=961&DL=EN )


Saturday, June 2:  Great Vespers 5:00 P.M.
Sunday, June 3: Orthros 8:45 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 10:00 a.m.
Monday, June 4:  Apostles Fast begins
Thursday, June 28, through Sunday, July 1:  Parish Life Conference - No services at St. Mary's
Sunday. July 8:  Summer hours begin - Orthros 8:15 a.m.; Divine Liturgy 9:30 a.m.



Two to four volunteers help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square , Saturday mornings from 9:30-11:45.  If you are willing to help, contact Christian Alcala at cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or (617) 876-5684.

May 26:  David Vermette and Steve Walker


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation.  If you would like to be one of the readers,  please contact Maria McDowell at mariagwyn@gmail.com or 617 921-6395.


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 in the Office 617-547-1234 and she'll write your name in.


These volunteers will take the lead each week in getting the tables and chairs put away and the floor swept after Coffee Hour.  Please help them - the more people there are doing it, the easier it is for all.  To volunteer, please contact Abra Greene  at abrayanti@gmail.com