Weekly Newsletter for the week of Friday, November 30, 2007 through Thursday, December 6, 2007

Weekly Newsletter

for the week

Friday, November 30, 2007 through Thursday, December 13, 2007


CHOIR - The choir will be singing for Lessons & Carols on Saturday, December 8.  We will meet at 3:30 p.m. to rehearse before the service (which starts at 5:00 p.m.)

Also, there will be one rehearsal for Christmas services: on Tuesday, December 11 at 7:30 p.m., immediately following Paraclesis at 6:30 p.m.

NATIVITY PAGEANT REHEARSAL - The third Nativity Pageant rehearsal will be held this Sunday, December 2 in the church proper during Coffee Hour.  Needed:  Sunday School parents to help with the children during rehearsals (December 2 and 16) and the day of the pageant (December 23).  Please see Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) or Paul Nahass (pnahass@comcast.net).

PARISH COUNCIL - There will be a special Parish Council meting on Wednesday, December 19, at 7:30 p.m. to count ballots. 



NO AKATHIST  - The Akathist service scheduled for Friday, November 30, at St. Mary has been CANCELLED. Fr. Antony will be traveling to New Jersey to lead a retreat, and needs to leave on Friday.  There will also be no Vespers this Saturday, December 1.

WOMEN'S CLUB - Our Christmas "Evening Out" is scheduled for Wednesday, December 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Joe's American Bar & Grill in Dedham, MA   Everyone is welcomed to join us-just bring a $10 Grab-Christmas Wrapped with No name on it, please!  Anyone who plans to attend must call Renay DiFiore by November 28, at 617-327-6361. 

LESSONS AND CAROLS - The Fellowship of St. John the Divine cordially invites you to  a service of Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols, Saturday, December 8, at 5:00 p.m.  This service of prayers, scriptures, and Christmas carols will be followed by a festive pot luck supper.  People whose last names begin with A-P are requested to bring a main dish or salad; Q-Z bring dessert. Drinks will be provided.  For more information contact Tiffany Conroy (chairman of the Fellowship of St. John the Divine) at trattus1@gmail.com.

PARISH CHRISTMAS CARD - Save yourself time! Let us do the work and have all proceeds  benefit Antiochian Women Project 2007/2008:  Retired Clergy Fund!   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 Bulletin  or mail your request to MaryEllen Mabardy, St. Mary Church - Women's Club, 8 Inman St. , Cambridge , MA  02139 .  Deadline is Sunday, December 9.

PARISH COUNCIL BALLOTS - The Parish Council ballots have been mailed out.  Please return them, in the self-addressed stamped envelope provided, so they reach the church no later than Tuesday, December 18, 2007.    

OFFERING ENVELOPES - Envelopes for 2008 are ready for pickup outside of the Church Office.  If you have requested envelopes, you should find your box there.

HIGH SCHOOL CHRISTMAS RETREAT - St. Vladimir's Seminary, in cooperation with Orthodox Youth Outreach, invites high school students to a retreat entitled Who Is My Neighbor - The Challenge of the Good Samaritan,  December 26 - 29, 2007.  Registration Fee is $100.   Registration Deadline:  December 17.  For more information  call 914-961-8313  Ex. 328 or dbethanc@svots.edu or www.svots.edu. Call the Church Office for required consent forms.

NATIVITY FAST - The Nativity Fast, the period of six weeks anticipating the Nativity of Christ, began Thursday, November 15 and continues through Monday, December 24.  There will be Paraclesis services on Tuesdays, December 4, 11, and 18, and Akathist services on Fridays, December 7, 14, and 21.

DONATE FOOD - As we enter the season that focuses on giving thanks and giving gifts, don't forget those who have too little.   Please bring cans, jars, and boxes of food and place them in the container outside the Church Office.

>   From now through December, our Teens will weigh the canned goods  and give them to the CEOC Food Pantry at 11 Inman St. for distribution, as part of the World Food Day project sponsored by the Archdiocese. 

>   Other packaged food (pasta and rice, boxes of macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, boxes of cereal, parmalat milk, etc.) will be given to St. Paul 's Food Pantry in Harvard Square , where volunteers from St. Mary help every Saturday. 

Please be generous - it takes 42 pounds of food to feed a family of four for 3 days.

SOUP KITCHEN - Three or four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week at the Open Doors Meal Ministry at Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church in Allston, Mondays any time between 4:00 p.m. and 7:30. Contact Liz Tutella at 617-974-5005 or ETutella@sovereignbank.com.          

FOOD PANTRY - Two to four St. Mary's volunteers are needed to help each week in the food pantry at St. Paul 's RC Church in Harvard Square . Contact Christian Alcala  at cmalcala1989@yahoo.com or 617-876-5684.


Why is the devil called not only  "enemy," but also "adversary"? He is called "enemy" because he is a hater of man, one who hates what is good, a traitor; and "adversary," because he always puts obstacles in the way of good. If someone wants to pray he puts obstacles in the way through evil suspicions, shameful thoughts, and spiritual torpor. If a man wants to give alms he obstructs it through avarice or procrastination. If a man wants to keep vigil he obstructs it with hesitations or laziness. In every single thing he is against us when we desire to do good. This is why he is called the enemy and the adversary and why, by lowliness, all his attacks and devices are brought to nothing.

   - St. Dorotheos of Gaza

You must never be afraid...that the enemy is too strong against you, that his attacks are never ending, that the war will last for your lifetime, and that you cannot avoid incessant downfalls of all kinds. Know that our enemies, with all their wiles, are in the hands of our divine Commander, our Lord Jesus Christ, for Whose honor and glory you are waging war. Since He Himself leads you into battle, He will certainly not suffer your enemies to use violence against you and overcome you, if you do not yourself cross over to their side with your will. He will Himself fight for you and will deliver your enemies into your hands, when He wills and as He wills, as it is written: "The Lord your God walks in the midst of your camp, to deliver you, and to give up your enemies before you" (Deut. 23:14).

   - Lorenzo Scupoli, Unseen Warfare

The more zealous we are for our salvation, the more determined must be the assaults of our opponents. But "stronger is He that is in us that he that is against us," and through Him are we powerful in Whose strength we rely: because it was for this that the Lord allowed Himself to be tempted by the tempter, that we might be taught by His example as well as fortified by His aid. For He conquered the adversary, as you have heard, by quotations from the law, not by actual strength, that by this very thing He might do greater honor to man, and inflict a greater punishment on the adversary by conquering the enemy of the human race not only as God but as Man. ... He conquered that we too might likewise conquer. For there are no works of power, dearly beloved, without the trials of temptations, there is no faith without proof, no contest without a foe, no victory without conflict.

   - St. Leo the Great of Rome

Let the icons of the saints bring to your mind how many intercessors you have always praying for you before God, and how many allies fighting for you in your unceasing battles. Having themselves courageously fought the enemies throughout their lives and overcome them, they have revealed and shown you the art of waging war. If, with their help, you are alert in fighting your battles, you will, like them, be crowned with victory in the eternal glory of heaven.

   - Lorenzo Scupoli, Unseen Warfare


Friday, November 30:  NO Akathist to our Sweetest Lord Jesus

Saturday, December 1:  NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, December 2:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.


Epistle:  St. Paul 's Letter to the Ephesians 6:10-17   Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 

Gospel: Matthew 22:2-14  The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.  ... Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy.  Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.'   And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

Tuesday, December 4:  Paraclesis 6:30 p.m.


Friday, December 7:  Akathist to Our Sweetest Lord Jesus 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, December 8:  Western Rite Evensong with Lessons and Carols, followed by potluck supper 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 9:  Orthros  8:45 a.m., Divine Liturgy 10 a.m.

Tuesday, December 11:  Paraclesis 6:30 p.m.

Monday, December 24:  

Royal Hours for the Nativity 9:00 a.m.

Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil  11:00 a.m.

Orthros 6:45 p.m.

Divine Liturgy for the Nativity 8:00 p.m.

Tuesday, December 25:   Feast of the Nativity of our Lord - No Services at St. Mary



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.

December 1: John Rodriguez and Sandra Kondratiuk


The Epistle each Sunday is read by a member of the congregation, and six members of the congregation hold the cloth and Holy Bread baskets during Communion.  If you would like to help with these services,  please contact Jeff Wasilko at jeffw@smoe.org or 781-820-0882.

December 2:    Epistle - Walter Porr

Communion Assistance - Teva Regule, Amelia Perkins, and others


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.

December 2:  Andrea and Cristian Popa

December 9: The Woldehemanot and Mazzone families

December 16: The Shoop and Mabbet families

December 23: Church School Pageant and Christmas Festivities

December 30:  Jeanne  Brickman