Update for the week Friday, March 30, through Thursday, April 5, 2012


CHOIR CONCERT – Our own Boston Byzantine Choir will be offering Lenten Journey:  A Concert of Orthodox Sacred Chant  on Saturday March 31, at St. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 35 Lake Pkwy, Webster, MA. Vespers 5:30, Concert 6:30.  All are welcome; admission is free. (Freewill donations are welcomed, to support the local Webster/Dudley Food Share.) A reception will follow the concert.

SCHOLARSHIPS AVAILABLE –The Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club of Greater Boston will make available a number of scholarship awards in the amount of $1000.00 each to young women of Syrian and Lebanese origin, residing in Massachusetts within a 50 mile radius of Boston, who plan to pursue a four-year college education.  Applications are available in the Church Office or by calling or e-mailing Mary Winstanley O’Connor (617-523-1010 or moconnor@koilaw.com).  Completed applications must be postmarked by Saturday, March 31, 2012.

BAKE SALE – The Women’s Club’s Pascha Bake Sale is scheduled for Sunday, April 1, the Sunday before Palm Sunday. Plan on purchasing all your Pascha/Easter desserts, pastries and goodies!  If you can help bake or bring something for us to sell, please call Priscilla Goss at 781-762-1527.

COLOR EGGS FOR PASCHA – Ten volunteers are needed to hardboil and dye 3 dozen brown eggs. Khourieh Carol will provide the dye and instructions.  Names of volunteers are needed by Sunday April 1, 2012.  See Khourieh Carol or call Fr. Antony at 781-507-5938.


WOMEN’S CLUB – There will be a meeting of the Women’s Club on Monday, April 2, in the kitchen.

THANK YOU - Thank you to all those who donated last Sunday to our Antiochian Women’s Project 2012:  The Convent of St. Thekla.  Donations can still be made by seeing any member of the Women’s Club or Shirley Bezreh at the Bengarri.  Make checks payable to St. Mary Women’s Club and ear-mark:  Convent of St. Thekla.  Or you can donate through eGive.

GREETERS NEEDED - We’re looking for Summer Greeters! Please help out!  Volunteers are needed for all Sundays in July and August through September 2 (Labor Day Weekend).  Please contact Buddy Mabardy at 781-729-6303 or e-mail: buddy@cjmabardy.com. Summer Hours: Orthros: 8:15 am & Liturgy: 9:30 am.  Summer might be a great time for you to start participating in this Ministry! 
   Also, greeters are needed for the Sundays: April 22 through June 17, 2012 AND Sept. 9 through Dec. 30, 2012.  Contact Buddy Mabardy if interested.

DONATIONS FOR HOLY WEEK – For the special services of Holy Week, the Church needs donations of olive oil for the Unction Service (Wednesday), flowers for the tomb of Christ (Friday), flowers to distribute on Great and Holy Friday, rose water to anoint the faithful (Friday), incense, Paschal lilies and other flowers,  and candles. Deadline is Palm Sunday, April 8. Please use the donation form in the Bulletin.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL BENEFIT – Theophany School invites you to a Benefit Evening and Auction “Dinner Party” on Saturday, May 5, at 6:30 pm, at Apollo Functions in Norwood. Tickets are $50 per person. For more information call 781-444-3058 or visit www.TheophanySchool.org.


PRESANCTIFIED LITURGY and LENTEN POTLUCKS – Every Wednesday during Lent there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the FSJD.  Do plan to come and bring something to share.  Any Lenten fare is welcome:  main courses, sides, salads, desserts, as well as beverages and snacks.  This is a wonderful opportunity for fellowship during Lent, plus we get to sample each other's Lenten recipes.  Please stay for supper even if you can't bring food--there's room at the table for everyone. Last chance this coming Wednesday, April 4.

LAZARUS SATURDAY CHURCH CLEAN-UP – Please come and bring your friends and family to celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Lazarus Saturday, April 7, (Matins 8:00  am, Liturgy 9:00 am) and enjoy a Communion Breakfast at 10:15 am. After the breakfast there will be a Church Clean-U pin 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. 

CHOIR REHEARSAL – Choir Rehearsal for Palm Sunday/Good Friday/ Pascha will be held after Liturgy and Breakfast on Lazarus Saturday, April 7, at approximately 10:45am. St Mary Church Choir is very open to individuals interested in making a commitment to sing each Sunday at Divine Liturgy.  Please feel free to join us and/or introduce yourself to the director, Michelle Mabardy, on any Sunday after Liturgy.

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER– On Palm Sunday, April 8, the Fellowship of St. John the Divine will host its annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner. Spend Palm Sunday with your family and friends at Church  after Liturgy and let us do the cooking! 

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE – You are urged during this season of prayer, self-discipline and fasting, to be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese. Money Boxes for collecting alms at home will be on the Bengarri; please pick one or two up and place them throughout your home, fill them up, and return them on Palm Sunday, April 8. Remember:  He that feeds the hungry also feeds God.

HOLY FRIDAY RETREAT – There will be a half-day retreat for children on Holy Friday morning, April 13, from 9:00-12:30, with fellowship, prayer, song, and quiet projects, ending with a simple luncheon.  Children’s confessions will be heard between 11:00 and noon.  Children should be picked up by 12:30, or you may join them for the Service of the Royal Hours at 1:00 pm.   The assistance of older teens and adults is welcome during the morning’s activities, or with luncheon, or in the decoration of the bier.  Lunch will be provided for everyone - $5 donation per person donation requested. RSVP to Trish O. at 781-641-0182  or  t_orlovsky@hotmail.com

HOLY FRIDAY VIGIL – Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, April 13, St. Mary's Teen SOYO will hold an All-Night Vigil at the Church.  All youth, ages 12-18 (grades 7-12), are encouraged to participate in reading Psalms, keeping watch at the tomb, and joining a discussion led by a special guest.  The Vigil culminates Saturday morning with Vesperal Liturgy at 9:00 am.  Teens across the Diocese will participate in similar vigils at their respective churches.  The Church will be locked and several chaperones will remain with the Teens throughout the night, into the morning.

NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TASTE and TALENT –  St. George Norwood, sponsor of this year’s Parish Life Conference, is sponsoring a talent competition and an appetizer cooking competition for talented competitors and chefs from throughout the diocese. Preliminary competition will be Sunday, May 6, at 5:00 pm, at St. John of Damascus in Dedham (final competition at the Conference). To purchase tickets ($15 adults / $10 12 & under) and/or submit talent, call David Franciosi at 617-347-1007.  “Church Chefs” call Erin Kimmett at 781-775-0789.  Or, download applications for “Taste” & “Talent” at www.http://stgeorgenorwood.org/PLC2012See the flyer in this Sunday’s Bulletin for more information.

REAL BREAK – Each year hundreds of thousands of college students in North America travel during their spring break for oftentimes, empty experiences.  Entering its 11th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer the transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the 2012 Real Break trips and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak. Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

CROSSROAD - CrossRoad is a summer institute for high school juniors and seniors on the campus of Hellenic College/Holy Cross.  Participants take part in daily classes, visit neighboring Orthodox parishes and participate in service activities.  CrossRoad now offers two sessions.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – Next year’s Parish Life Conference will be held at The Cliff House, Ogunquit, Maine, June 21-24, 2012. Amazing Room Rate:  $149 (Regularly $310)  Call 207-361-1000or visit their website www.CliffHouseMaine.com/attendees  User Name:  PARISH  Password: pa986B


COFFEE HOUR SIGNUP – A signup sheet for coffee hours is posted on the bulletin board outside the coat room.  There are plenty of dates to choose from – sign up now for the date you will sponsor the coffee hour!
UPDATED CHURCH SCHOOL CALENDAR – The Church School calendar calendar can be found on-line at https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/assets/files/2011-2012-ChurchSchoolCalendar.pdf

DONATE VIA eGIVE– Did you know that you can make your donations to St. Mary through eGive, and have no more envelopes or checks to worry about?   If you have not yet set up an account, you can do it at www.egive-usa.com, or contact Charlie Marge (marge@alum.mit.edu) for help. The Recipient Organization is “St. Mary’s Orthodox Church.”

STREAMING VIDEO – 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 www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live  during regularly scheduled service times (see the schedule of services below or online).  If you have questions or comments about this ministry please contact us at live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PROTECT YOUR VALUABLES – Please do not leave valuables unattended in the Church Hall or Coat Room.

FIRST IN, LAST OUT – Please do not park in the small lot behind the church unless you intend to stay through the end of coffee hour. The only way out is the single lane driveway.  Please pull all the way in to the parking space, and please do not block the driveway – if the lot is full, you can park on the street.

FELLOWSHIP OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE – Join the Fellowship!  It’s a great way to meet new people and be an integral part of our Parish life. We do not hold regular meetings, but we work together on a variety of projects and events. For example, after coffee hour every Sunday we all pitch in to put away tables and chairs. You can join our members’ email news list by contacting Melissa Nassiff at mnassiff@gmail.com.  Also, check us out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FSJD1


There are a number of ways you can help the Church, your fellow worshippers and those in need.  Consider serving in one of these ways:

BE A GREETER - The Parish Council is continuing the Greeter Program, similar to other churches, to greet and aid parishioners, guests and visitors into the Church each Sunday.  As a Greeter, you will welcome people into the Church and help to direct visitors upstairs to the Liturgy, as well as keeping an eye on the Vestibule, hallways and entrance ways during church, arriving at Church at 9:45 am.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  We need volunteers.  If you would like to be a Greeter, a Sign-Up Sheet is posted on the Church Bulletin Board.  If you have any questions, please contact Buddy by e-mail buddy@cjmabardy.comor call him at 781-729-6303. “I was a stranger, and you invited me in………”   (Matthew 25:35)

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.  All Orthodox Christians in the Parish are welcome and encouraged to participate. We usually need one Epistle  and six people to hold cloths and baskets.  If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org

COFFEE HOUR – People are needed every week to provide coffee, juice and cookies, or more if desired, and set it up Sunday morning. To sign up for an available Sunday, please put your name on the new signup sheet on the bulletin board outside the Hall or call Marilyn Robbat in the Parish Office and she will write your name in. If you need any help with figuring out what to bring or do, check the list below the signup sheet (also printed in the Bulletin), or ask Marilyn at secretary@stmaryorthodoxchurch.orgor 617-547-1234.

PRISON MINISTRY – If you would like to find out more about Prison Ministry at St. Mary’s Church, please subscribe to our mailing list at http://groups.google.com/group/ocpm-concord

"As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me," says our Lord.

GREETER:  Buddy Mabardy

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  TBD - If you would like to read the Epistle or assist during Communion, please contact Jeff Wasilko, 781-820-0882, jeffw@smoe.org.

COFFEE HOUR:  Women’s Club bake sale

Friday,  March 30:  Akathist 7:00 pm (no lecture)

Saturday, March 31:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 1:  Orthros 8:45 am, Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 19

SCRIPTURE READINGS for April 1, Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt
Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 9:11-14
… For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.

Gospel: Mark 10:32-45
…You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Wednesday, April 4:  Presanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by final Pot Luck Supper
Saturday, April 7, Lazarus Saturday: Matins 8:00 am, Divine Liturgy 9:00 am, Communion Breakfast 10:15 am, followed by church cleanup and choir rehearsal; Great Vespers 5:00 pm.


Sunday, April 8, Palm Sunday:  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with Procession; followed by FSJD annual Fish Dinner.  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Monday, April 9:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Tuesday, April 10:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am; Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Holy Wednesday, April 11:  Presanctified Liturgy 7:00 am; Holy Unction 7:00 pm

Holy Thursday, April 12:  Vesperal Liturgy 7:00 am; Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm and Twelve Gospels 7:00 pm

Holy Friday, April 13:  Children’s Retreat 9:00 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:15 pm with Procession to Central Square

Holy Saturday, April 14:  Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, followed by coffee hour/reception

Saturday-Sunday, April 14-15:  Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm; Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm; Great and Holy Pascha Divine Liturgy 12 midnight;  Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall following


Repentance is far more than a recitation of past sins.  Far more.  It is a detoxification process like cleansing the body from sugar or gluten.  It takes effort and time to let go of what ails us especially when we think we can’t live without it!  We also make a mistake when we try to limit repentance to just those obvious ways we break God’s commandments.  Sin is much more than breaking laws.  Sin is a broad concept that includes all things that harm us. Sin, in the Orthodox understanding, is more like a disease. Repentance (or even better, purification) is the healing of the disease and the cure includes the release of tension and conflict, distraction and anxiety.
    - V. Rev. Fr. Antony Hughes

Repentance is the renewal of baptism.
Repentance is a contract with God for a second life.
A penitent is a buyer of humility.
Repentance is constant distrust of bodily comfort.
Repentance is self-condemning reflection, and carefree self-care.
Repentance is the daughter of hope and the renunciation of despair.
A penitent is an undisgraced convict.
Repentance is reconciliation with the Lord by the practice of good deeds contrary to the sins.
Repentance is purification of conscience.
Repentance is the voluntary endurance of all afflictions.
A penitent is the inflicter of his own punishments.
Repentance is a mighty persecution of the stomach, and a striking of the soul into vigorous awareness.
   - St. John Climacus

To this it is necessary to add that if we somehow fall into sin and thereby distance ourselves from the Holy Spirit, we should not despair and think that we have irrevocably lost all blessings, but let us quickly prostrate ourselves before God with deep repentance and prayer, and the All-merciful Holy Spirit will again return to us.
   - St. Innocent of Irkutsk, The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven

God has promised forgiveness to your repentance, but He has not promised tomorrow to your procrastination.
   - St. Augustine