Update for the week Friday, April 6, through Thursday, April 12, 2012


Lazarus Saturday
LITURGY AND BREAKFAST – 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 afterward, at 10:15 am.

CHURCH CLEAN-UP – After the breakfast, plan to stay for  a  Church Clean-Up in preparation for Pascha, coordinated by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  We will need parishioners to bring in any of the following cleaning tools or supplies on Saturday:  Small Buckets,  Electric Irons,  Extension Cords,  Vacuum Cleaners,   Push Brooms,  Gardening Gloves,  Disposable Gloves,  Brown Paper Bags,   Rags and Sponges
Come and lend a hand in preparing God’s House for the Feast of Feasts.  Remember,  "Many hands make light work! "

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.

CONFESSIONS - It is preferred that you make your confession before Holy Week. However, if you are unable to do so, Fr. Antony is available for Confession before and after services from Monday to Wednesday evenings only of Holy Week, or by appointment.  Please note that no confessions will be heard on Great and Holy Saturday before the Rush procession.

Palm Sunday
RETURN YOUR "FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE" BOXES – Please return your filled boxes to the Bengarri on Palm Sunday, April 8. Please be very generous in your contribution to the Food for Hungry People program of our Archdiocese – He who feeds the hungry also feeds God.

PROCESSION WITH PALMS – 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.

ARCHDIOCESE COLLECTION – This Sunday we will be taking an Archdiocese collection on behalf of our Patriarchate of Antioch.  Checks should be made payable to St. Mary Church.

PALM SUNDAY FISH DINNER – Join us after Liturgy this Sunday for the annual Palm Sunday Fish Dinner, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine and donated by Ed and Lisa Brylczyk.  Spend Palm Sunday with your family and friends at Church  after Liturgy and let us do the cooking!

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 for donations is Palm Sunday, April 8. Please use the donation form in the Sunday Bulletin.

EGG DYE – If you volunteered to help cook and dye eggs for Pascha, please see Khourieh Carol this Sunday and she will provide the red dye and instructions. Thank you to all who volunteered!


PARKING - The Church Parking Lot will be available for parking during services throughout Holy Week;  however it is not available for parishioner parking between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday.

On Sunday, Monday and Tuesday evenings, April 8, 9 and 10, there will be a Bridegroom Matins service at 7:00 pm.  On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, April 9, 10 and 11,  Presanctified Liturgy will be celebrated at 7:00 am.

The evening service on Wednesday, April 11, is Holy Unction at 7:00 pm.  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 12, Vesperal Liturgy is at 7:00 am.  The evening service begins at 6:45 pm with Washing of the Feet, followed at 7:00 pm 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 9:30 am on Friday, April 13, will include fellowship and age-appropriate crafts for ages 4 through young adult. Children’s confessions will be heard between 11:00 and noon.   The retreat ends with a simple luncheon. Parents of children under age 5 should plan to stay with their child(ren).  Volunteers are welcome and needed to assist with activities and lunch. A $5 donation is requested (not required) to defray costs.  We ask that you pick up your child by 12:30 if you do not plan on their attending Royal Hours at 1:00.   Please contact Trish Orlovsky at 781-641-0182  or  t_orlovsky@hotmail.com if you have questions, can help with an activity, or plan to attend.  RSVP by Palm Sunday, April 8.

Your help is needed to decorate the bier 9:00 am – 1:00 pm on Holy Friday.  Volunteers can drop by for as little as a half hour; but no small children, please.  (They should be at the Children’s Retreat, downstairs.)  Any questions, contact Bob Kowalik at 617-889-3436 or e-mail: r.kowalik@comcast.net Parents:  Come upstairs and help while your children are downstairs at their Retreat. You’re welcome to share lunch with the kids, but please let Trish know early in the week so there will be enough for everyone.

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

Lamentations begins at 7:15 pm. 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. This year His Grace, Bishop John, will join us.

Following the Lamentations Service on Holy Friday evening, 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.

Vesperal Liturgy of St. Basil begins at 9:00 am on Saturday, April 3. We celebrate 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 Chrismation of our newest catechumens. The service will be followed by a Coffee Hour/Reception, provided by Nadia and Bahig Kaldas.

Your help is needed to decorate the Church on Holy Saturday after the Liturgy and Coffee Hour, about 1:00 pm.  We will be preparing the church for Pascha on Saturday afternoon.  Please come, stay and help.  

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 pm, followed by Resurrection Matins at 11:00 pm, and Divine Liturgy at 12:00 midnight.  Paschal festivities, with plenty of food, will take place in the Church Hall after Liturgy.

Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) on Easter Sunday morning will be held at 11:00  am at St. George Church, 55 Emmonsdale Rd., West Roxbury, with a reception following.


HELP STREAM LENTEN SERVICES OVER THE INTERNET - We are continuing our free live streaming ministry over the web this year for those who cannot join us. Erick Straghalis is looking for people who are planning on attending services regularly or semi-regularly throughout Lent who can help to set up the video stream before each service.  We currently have several volunteers that help each Sunday who can attest that it is easy to set up (thank you to all of you)!   No experience needed!   You can be trained on how to turn on the computer, camera and microphones and start the streaming application in just a few minutes.  If you are interested and able, please contact Erick at estraghalis@gmail.com for more information and to set up schedules.

CHAPERONES NEEDED – If you are interested in chaperoning the Teen’s All Night Vigil on Good Friday, please contact Nadia Abuelezam (nabuelezam@gmail.com) as soon as possible.  One or two chaperones are needed.

TEENS’ CREATIVE ARTS FESTIVAL EVENT – All teens are welcome to participate in putting the finishing touches on the Creative Arts Festival Photo Collage on Sunday, April 29, from 11:30 – 1:30 pm, immediately following Liturgy.  Lunch will be provided!  If you need instructions for photos or have questions, please contact Nadia Abuelezam (nabuelezam@gmail.com).

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S SCHOLARSHIP – Scholarships are available to Antiochian Women 25 years of age or older, who choose to continue their education.  You must be a member in good standing of the Antiochian Archdiocese, be actively involved in your parish, be applying for an academic or trade study program and demonstrate financial need.  Scholarship applications are available in the office.  Deadline to apply is June 1, 2012.

FSJD SCHOLARSHIP – Graduating High School Seniors, who are actively involved in the parish  and whose parents are members of the parish, are eligible for the Fellowship of St. John the Divine Scholarship.  Please call the Church Office with your name so that an application will be mailed to you directly by Mary Winstanley O’Connor, or contact her at moconnor@koilaw.com  or 617-523-1010.


SUMMER GREETERS NEEDED – 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!

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.

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.

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 – This 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:  Raymond Sayeg

LITURGICAL SERVICE:  Epistle: Charlie Marge;  Left Cloth: Martin Scrivener and Meg Butler; Right Cloth: Brooke  and James Wilcox;  Left Bread: Barbara Shoop; Right Bread: Dimitrios Antos

COFFEE HOUR:  Ed and Lisa Brylczyk – Palm Sunday Fish Dinner


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.

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Lazarus Saturday:  Epistle:  Hebrews 12:28-29; 13:1-8    Gospel:  John 11:1-45

Sunday, April 8, Palm Sunday:  Matins8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am with Procession; followed by FSJD annual Fish Dinner. (No Church School.)  Bridegroom Matins 7:00 pm

Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Philippians 4:4-9
… 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. Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

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!" And Jesus found a young donkey and sat upon it; as it is written, "Fear not, daughter of Zion; behold, your king is coming, sitting on a donkey's colt!" … 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.

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

Saturday, April 21:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, April 22, Thomas Sunday:  Matins 8:45 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School lesson 20


During this last week of preparation, the celebration of the mystery begins. Lenten effort has made us capable of putting aside all that which usually and consistently obscures the central object of our faith, hope, and joy. Time itself comes, as it were, to an end. It is measured now not by our usual preoccupations and cares, but by what happens on the way to Bethany, and beyond to Jerusalem.  And, once more, all this is not rhetoric. 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 …  "Reality" is that which is going on in the Church…
   - Alexander Schmemann, Great Lent

O Christ God, when you raised Lazarus from the dead before your Passion, you confirmed the resurrection of the universe.  Therefore we, like children, carry the banner of triumph and victory; and we cry to you, O conqueror of death, hosanna in the highest; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.
   - Troparion of Lazarus  

Upborne upon the heavenly throne, and seated upon the earthly foal, O Christ our God, receive the praises of angels and the hymns of men, exclaiming before you: Blessed is he who comes to restore Adam.
   - Kontakion for Palm Sunday

He was wrapped in swaddling clothes, but when he rose from the tomb he laid aside the shroud… He had "no form or comeliness" (Isaiah 53:2), but on the mountain he shone with a splendor more dazzling than the sun,  a foretaste of his future glory. … He knew weariness, but he is rest for "all who labor and are heavy laden" (Matthew 11:28). He prays, but he answers prayers. He weeps, but wipes away tears. He asks where Lazarus has been laid, for he is man; but he raises him to life, for he is God. He is sold, dirt cheap, for thirty pieces of silver, but he redeems the world, at great cost, with his own blood.  … He dies, but he brings to life, and by his own death destroys death. He is buried, but he rises again. He descends into hell, but rescues the souls imprisoned  there.
   - Gregory Nazianzen