Update for the week Friday, March 15, through Thursday, March 21, 2013


CONFERENCE ON LITURGICAL RENEWAL – Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology invites you to an International Conference on Liturgical Renewal on Friday and Saturday, March 15 and 16. For more information, contact Fr. Philip Zymaris at pzymaris@hchc.edu .

LENTEN RETREAT AT NEW SKETE – New Skete Monastery, in Cambridge, NY, invites you to a Lenten Retreat on Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. The theme of the retreat is "Lent and the Experience of Sin, Forgiveness and Gratitude.”  To see their flyer and information on accommodations go to http://www.newskete.org/pdfs/2013%20Lenten%20Retreat%20Flier%20and%20accommodations.pdf

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN’S MONTH –  March is Antiochian Women's Month throughout the Archdiocese. Women of the parish will be reading the Epistle, holding the Communion cloths and bread baskets, taking the collection, and delivering the homily. (Attention all women of St. Mary: There is a sign-up sheet on the Bengarri – please sign up for one of these liturgical services.)
   The sermon for this Sunday (Forgiveness Sunday) will be given by Ioanna Chirieac.

FORGIVENESS VESPERS – The last thing we do before beginning the Lenten fast is forgive each other, and ask everyone to forgive us.  Join us this Sunday evening, March 17, at 6:00 pm for the very moving service of Forgiveness Vespers. 

LENTEN SERVICES – Lent begins Monday, March 18, 2013. The first week of Lent there will be a service every evening:

Great Canon Of St. Andrew – On Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, March 18, 19, and 21, we will pray the penitential Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete beginning at 7:00 pm.

Presanctified Liturgy and Lenten Potlucks – Every Wednesday during Lent, beginning Wednesday, March 20,  there will be a Presanctified Liturgy at 6:30 pm, followed by a Potluck Supper sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine.  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. FSJD coordinator for the March 20 potluck is Natasha Smith: nasmith05@rcn.com.

Akathist – On the first five Fridays of Lent, beginning Friday, March 22, we will pray the Akathist to the Theotokos at 7:00 pm.

Learning In Lent - The Fellowship of St John the Divine (FSJD) will offer its annual lecture series on Fridays in Lent following the Akathist service, beginning Friday, March 22.   Speaker for the first talk will be Bishop JOHN.


SUBDEACON STEVE – Subdeacon Steven Walker had successful open heart surgery earlier this week, and is resting comfortably in the Intensive Care Unit at Mass General Hospital. Fr. Antony reports that Steve sends his love and gratitude to everyone for their love, support, and prayers. He will be moved today or tomorrow to the Cardiac Surgery Step Down Unit, but is not up to receiving visitors quite yet.

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 28. Please be generous!

ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS AWARDS FOR SCOUTS – The next meeting for scouts working on religious awards will be Sunday, March 24, beginning at 12:00 noon in the church library. St Mary parishioners who are Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts are invited to work with other parish scouts to earn their religious awards as outlined by the Eastern Orthodox Committee on Scouting. There are three award levels based on age: http://eocs.org/religious-awards/youth-emblems. Marie Bernardi is coordinating this effort. If you have questions about participating, please contact Marie at mbernardi114@comcast.net or Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com.

ANTIOCHIAN WOMEN – The next quarterly meeting of the Antiochian Women of our Diocese will be held on Saturday, April 6, at St. George Cathedral, 30 Anna St., Worcester.    Lunch will follow the meeting.


MAGAZINES FOR PRISON MINISTRY – Please donate unwanted past issues of Orthodox magazines such as The Word, OCMC or other periodicals to our prison ministry to hand out to inmates.  Please remove any personal mailing address for security purposes and give them to Mitrophan Chin.

BIBLE STUDY – The next meeting of the new Bible Study group at St. Mary, sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine, will be Thursday, March 21. This discussion group meets in the church library every other Thursday, from 7:00-8:30 pm, and is open to all interested participants. We are using the course Search the Scriptures, by Dr. Jeannie Constantinou, originally broadcast on Ancient Faith Radio. For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com). 

LENTEN FOOD SALE – Please come help the Women’s Club make Spinach Triangles on Saturday, March 23, at 9:30 am. If you ordered Hoomos (hummus), Mjadara (lentils with rice), or Spinach Triangles, they will be ready for pickup on Sunday, March 24. 

WORKSHOP FOR CHILDREN AND TEENS -  St. Mary's Church School invites families to attend a workshop designed for children and teens, entitled Living the Liturgy, on Friday, March 29, 2013 (Western Good Friday), from 9:30-3:00 at St. Mary's.  The day will feature making of Prosphora (holy bread), a "teaching" proscomedia service  (seeing the preparation of bread and wine for Eucharist), alter tour, morning prayer "reader" service, liturgical ministry practice/review and age-appropriate break-out activities to learn more about the liturgy. Lunch will be provided and a donation of $5/child or $10/family is requested.
   Please let us know as soon as possible if your family plans to attend so we have an idea of the group size. RSVP to Andrea Popa at maryandreapopa@gmail.com or 857-526-6706.
Please also let her know if you are a parent or teacher and can assist with activities for the day. To inquire about carpooling for the day, please contact Panayiotis Sakellariou at psakellariou@yahoo.com or 617-606-0750.  (Please note: This event is scheduled for Western Good Friday, a day off school for many, and is different from the Children’s Retreat which we always hold on Orthodox Holy Friday – this year May 3, 2013.)

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 March 31, 2013.

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 this coming year (2013):  CrossRoad June: June 22-July 1 AND  CrossRoad July: July 8-18.  Download an application and view a video clip at www.crossroad.hchc.edu

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.  Scholarships are available – contact Fr. Antony.

PARISH LIFE CONFERENCE – The 2013 Parish Life Conference for our diocese will be held June 27 – 30, 2013, at the Wyndam Hotel in Andover, MA. Room Rate is just $99.00 per night.  Your host is St. George Church, Lowell, MA. Save the date, and watch for further details.

ARCHDIOCESE CONVENTION – The 2013 national convention of the  Antiochian Archdiocese will be held July 21-28 in Houston TX, hosted by St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church. For information and registration see http://www.achouston2013.com.

ORTHODOX MISSION TEAMS –  The Orthodox Mission Center has announced their 2013 Mission Teams.  Mission teams will be heading to 10 locations around the globe to share the teachings of the faith and offer the gift of service through hands-on experience.  For more information call the OCMC at 877-463-6784 or e-mail teams@ocmc.org, or see 
http://www.ocmc.org/about/open_teams.aspx. Note that the July mission to Albania is led by our own Panayiotis and Shannon Sakellariou.

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


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:   Raymond Sayeg

COFFEE HOUR:   The Bernardi family


Saturday, March 16:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 17, Forgiveness Sunday & Cheesefare Sunday:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson 18; 
Forgiveness Vespers 6:00 pm

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, March 17:
   Epistle: St. Paul's Letter to the Romans 13:11-14; 14:1-4
… Let us then cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; … put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires ... One believes he may eat anything, while the weak man eats only vegetables. Let not him who eats despise him who abstains, and let not him who abstains pass judgment on him who eats; for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for God is able to make him stand.

   Gospel: Matthew 6:14-21
The Lord said, "If you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father also will forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.  And when you fast … anoint your head and wash your face, that your fasting may not be seen by men but by your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly. Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth … For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

Monday, March 18:  Great Lent begins - Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Tuesday, March 19:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Wednesday, March 20:  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Thursday, March 21:  Great Canon of St. Andrew 7:00 pm

Friday, March 22:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent lecture series – speaker: Bishop JOHN


Saturday, March 23:  No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, March 24, Sunday of Orthodoxy: Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am, followed by Procession with Icons

Monday, March 25:  Evening Divine Liturgy for the Feast of the Annunciation of the Holy
Theotokos  6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, March 27:  Pre-Sanctified Liturgy 6:30 pm, followed by Pot Luck Supper

Friday, March 29:  Akathist (Madayeh) Service 7:00 pm,  followed by Learning in Lent lecture series 

Saturday, March 30:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, March 31:  Orthros  8:45 am; Enquirers’ Class 9:00 am;  Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; Church School Lesson


Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works.
   If you see a poor man, take pity on him.
   If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him.
Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye, and the feet, and the hands and all the members of your bodies:
   Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice.
   Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin.
   Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare at that which is sinful.
   Let the ears, by not listening to evil talk and gossip.
   Let the mouth fast from foul words and unjust criticism.
For what good is it if we abstain from birds and fishes, but bite and devour our brothers?
   - St. John Chrysostom

Not only should we observe moderation with food, but we must also abstain from every other sin so that just as we fast with our stomach, we should fast with our tongue. Likewise, we should fast with our eyes; i.e. not look at agitating things, not allow your eyes freedom to roam, not to look shamelessly and without fear. Similarly, arms and legs should be restrained from doing any evil acts.
   - Abba Dorotheus of Gaza

Prayer, fasting, vigils, and all other Christian practices, however good they may be in themselves, certainly do not constitute the aim of our Christian life: they are but the indispensable means of attaining that aim. For the true aim of the Christian life is the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God. As for fasts, vigils, prayer and almsgiving, and other good works done in the name of Christ, they are only the means of acquiring the Holy Spirit of God. Note well that it is only good works done in the name of Christ that bring us the fruits of the Spirit.
   - St. Seraphim of Sarov

Never imagine that abstinence will keep you from falling. It was a being who never ate that was nevertheless thrown out of heaven.
   - St. John Climacus