Update for the week Friday, January 4, through Thursday, January 10, 2013


NO FASTING – From Christmas Day until January 4th, inclusive, there is a general dispensation from all fasting.

THEOPHANY SERVICES – This week’s Feast of Holy Theophany, also called Epiphany, reveals the Most Holy Trinity to the world through the Baptism of our Lord. This year the entire cycle of Theophany services will be offered locally:
   On Friday, January 4, Royal Hours will be celebrated at St. Mary at 9:00 am.
   On Saturday, January 5, His Grace, Bishop John and the clergy of the Diocese invite you to celebrate the pre-feast of our Lord’s baptism, along with the blessing of the waters, at St. John Church, Dedham. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy begins at 10:00 am, with light refreshments afterward.  Saturday evening at  5:00 pm we will have Great Vespers for Theophany with the 13 Old Testament Readings here at St. Mary.
   On Sunday, January 6, we will celebrate Orthros for Theophany at 8:45 am and Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am here at St. Mary, followed by a second Blessing of the Waters.


BLESSING OF HOMES – Fr. Antony will be blessing homes after Epiphany/Theophany (January 6)  and between Pascha (May 5) and Pentecost (June 23).  We bless homes to reveal the home as what God created it to be, a way to heaven; to rid the home of every evil;  to show that the family is a small church unit in Christ; to consecrate the home and all activity in it to God; and to fill the home and all who live in it with the fullness of God.  To schedule the blessing of your home, please use the form in the weekly Bulletin or call the church office at 617 547-1234.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE WINTER CAMP –  Winter Camp is a weekend of fun and spiritual growth at the Antiochian Village Camp, and is open to all campers in grades 7-12. It is held over Presidents Day holiday weekend,  February 15-18, 2013. For more information and to register, see http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/wintercamp.html. Also see the notice in  this week’s Sunday bulletin.

ANTIOCHIAN VILLAGE SUMMER CAMP – Summer Camp registration for 2013 is now open.  For information see  http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/summercamp.html   To register see http://antiochianvillage.org/camp/programs/registration.html.  Please don't wait to register - camp fills up very quickly.  Please note that you are not registered until you have paid the $100 deposit and receive a confirmation email.  Also note that to take advantage of the early-bird discount you must have your camper tuition fees paid in full by March 1st.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.


PLEDGE CARDS – 2013 pledge cards have been mailed.  If you have not yet made your pledge, please return your signed card right away. Or you can make your pledge online at  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/ministries/stewardship.php

VILLAGE (CAMP) AT HOME - The Diocese of Worcester and New England will be hosting a “Village at Home” on Saturday, January 19, 2012 from 9:30 am – 5:15 pm at St. Mary  Church in Pawtucket.  All youth ages 8 and up are invited. The cost is $15.00 per person.  For more information see the notice in this week’s Sunday bulletin or contact Greg Abdalah at 508-752-9150 or 724-518-6811, or abdalah.g@gmail.com. RSVP by January 11.  Come enjoy a day of camp, right in your own back yard.

PARISH MEETING – The Annual Meeting of the Parish will be held Sunday, January 20, after Liturgy.  All members are urged to attend.

2013 CALENDARS AND ENVELOPES – New Church Calendars and 2013 Offering Envelopes are available for pick-up starting this Sunday, December 2.  They are in the Hallway outside of the Church Office.  If you would like to be issued envelopes, please call Marilyn Robbat in the Church Office during the week 617-547-1234.

WINTER CAMP  AT  ST. METHODIOS – We are invited to participate in camps for Youth ages 12-18 (February 15-18) and for Families (March 1-3) at the St. Methodios Faith and Heritage Center in Contoocook, NH, sponsored by the Metropolis of Boston. For information and registration see http://www.boston.goarch.org/youth_ministries/mbc/winter_camps.html Registration is open now.

REAL BREAK – This spring, be a light to the world! Real Break is a popular alternative to the traditional spring break for college students.  Entering its 12th year, OCF Real Break continues to offer transformative, priest-led trips both domestically and internationally.  To find detailed information regarding the Real Break trips in March 2013 and to register, please visit www.ocf.net/realbreak.  Be a part of this year's life-changing week-long Real Break experience.

FAMILY MISSION TO ALBANIA – All Orthodox Christians from North America who have experience with children are invited to prayerfully consider helping with a family retreat program in Albania this coming July, sponsored jointly by the Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Center for Family Care. Families with children, couples, and individuals are encouraged to apply. The mission will be led by our own Panayiotis and Shannon Sakellariou. For more information see http://www.ocmc.org/resources/view_article.aspx?ArticleId=899


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.”
     If you missed the opportunity to contribute to some of the special collections held recently,  you can still do so online – Special Categories have been set up in eGive for these one-time donations. 
     Parishioners can also use their credit cards to make one-time donations on our website:  https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/contact/donate.php    Just type the donation target (e.g. Hurricane Sandy) in the Additional Notes area.

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.

CONFESSIONS –  Confessions are heard each Saturday evening before and after Vespers, which start at 5:00 pm,  or by appointment.

PARKING –  If you park in the Church parking lot, you need to plan on remaining until after the Coffee Hour or other church function.  Do not park in the Church parking lot if you need to leave immediately after church. 
   Additionally, do not park beyond the sign that prohibits parking at the corner of Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive.  It is difficult for large vehicles to turn the corner if cars are parked there.  Failure to heed this warning may result in the City preventing parishioners from parking on Inman Street.  Your cooperation is appreciated.


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:

BECOME A GREETER – If you do not sing in the choir, or chant, serve in the Altar or at the Bengarri, and  are not a Church School teacher,  please consider serving the Church as a GREETER!  Greeters arrive at 9:45 am., get a Greeter Name Tag  from the Bengarri, pin it on and greet visitors/parishioners at the Church Entrance and direct them upstairs to the Church, or to the CloakRoom or RestRooms.  Greeting time ends when Communion starts.  Send your name and e-mail address to Buddy Mabardy: buddymabardy@cjmabardy.com or phone him 781-729-6303. 

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.org or 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:  Richard Robbat

COFFEE HOUR:  The Sayeg family


Friday, January 4:  Royal Hours for the Feast of Theophany at St. Mary Church  9:00 am

Saturday, January 5:  Diocesan Pre-feast of Theophany with Bishop JOHN at St. John Church, Dedham.  Hierarchical Divine Liturgy with the Blessing of the Waters 10:00 am, with light refreshments following.
Great Vespers for Theophany with the 13 Old Testament Readings at St. Mary 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 6:  Orthros for Theophany 8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Festal Liturgy for Holy Theophany followed by Blessing of the Waters; Church School children remain upstairs

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, January 6,  the Feast of the Theophany of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to Titus 2:11-14; 3:4-7
… But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of deeds done by us in righteousness, but in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal in the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life.

   Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17
At that time, Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. … And when Jesus was baptized, he went up immediately from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and alighting on him; and lo, a voice from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased."


Saturday, January 12:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, January 13:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 11

Wednesday, January 16:  Evening Liturgy 6:30 pm for Feast of St. Anthony the Great

Saturday, January 19:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, January 20:  Annual Parish Meeting following Liturgy (snow date: January 27)

Sunday, February 10:  Chinese New Year Missions Breakfast, sponsored by FSJD

Saturday, March 2:  Antiochian Women 2013 Pre-Lenten Retreat

Sunday, March 10:  FSJD Meatfare Sunday Breakfast following Liturgy

Monday, March 18:  Lent begins


Epiphany (Koine Greek: ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, "manifestation", "striking appearance") or Theophany (Ancient Greek (ἡ) Θεοφάνεια, Τheophaneia meaning "vision of God"), which traditionally falls on January 6, is a Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. Western Christians commemorate principally (but not solely) the visitation of the Biblical Magi to the Baby Jesus, and thus Jesus' physical manifestation to the Gentiles. Eastern Christians commemorate the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan River, seen as his manifestation to the world as the Son of God.
   - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epiphany_(holiday)

... His baptism ... partook of the old, and it partook also of the new. To be baptized by the prophet marked the old, but the coming down of the Spirit shadowed out the new.
   - St John Chrysostom, Gospel According To St. Matthew

When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan, the worship of the Trinity was made manifest!  For the Voice of the Father bore witness to Thee, and called Thee His beloved Son!  And the Spirit, in the form of a dove confirmed the truthfulness of His word.  O Christ, our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee!
   - Troparion for Epiphany, Tone 1

We carry as in earthen vessels - that is to say, in our bodies - the Father's light in the person of Jesus Christ, and so can experience the glory of the Holy Spirit.
   -  St. Gregory Palamas, Those Who Practice a Life of Stillness

Christ manifested Himself to the world; He filled it with light and joy; He sanctified the waters and diffused His light in the souls of men.
   - St. Proclus