Update for the week Friday, May 3, through Thursday, May 9, 2013


HOLY THURSDAY – On Thursday, May 2, 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  will be held on Friday, May 3, from 9:30-12:30 (including lunch). Spend the morning in fellowship and activities with friends. A variety of activities will be provided and luncheon served.  Recommended for ages 5 to adult - younger children are welcome but must be accompanied by an adult.  Please contact Trish Orlovsky at t_orlovsky@hotmail.com or 781-641-0182 if you plan to attend or can help with activities that day.  We welcome your energy and talent if you are able to provide a craft, read stories, or spend time coloring with the children as part of the morning’s activities.  Teens are welcome to assist with egg dying and pysanky decorating, crafts with the children, or decoration of the tomb upstairs.  Fr. Antony will be available to hear the children’s and teen’s confessions before lunch.  Lunch will be provided for everyone! ($5 donation per person donation requested – checks payable to St. Mary Orthodox Church)

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, May 4. His Grace, Bishop JOHN will join us as 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, starting 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. John Church, Dedham, with a reception following

BRIGHT WEEK – There is no fasting during Bright Week, Monday through Saturday, May 6-11, as we continue rejoicing in the Resurrection.

BIBLE STUDY – Our Bible Study meets every other Thursday and is sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Join us next Thursday, May 9, in the church library, for a discussion about what is and isn’t in the Canon and why (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-canon-part-3 and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/the-canon-part-24). For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com).


REQUEST FROM FR. ANTONY - Please take time to go to our website and link to the White House petition at https://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/news/events/2013/white-house-petition-orthodox-bishops  concerning the kidnapped Archbishops and the war in Syria. We need 100,000 signatures by May 27. Pass the word to all your friends and all the peace-loving people you know. Pray for the Church of Antioch and for Metropolitans Boulos and Youhanna.

NEW CD – The Boston Byzantine Choir has announced the release of its 5th recording: Lenten Journey. See Charlie Marge after any service this week, or after Liturgy next Sunday, May 12. The cost of the CD is $15, or you can purchase it together with their Holy Week and Pascha recordings, Thy Passion and Thy Resurrection, for $40.

COOKING FOR “NEW ENGLAND GOT TASTE” – The Fellowship of St. John the Divine invites you to a cooking night, to prepare St. Mary’s entry (Unstuffed Cabbage) for the New England’s Got Taste contest (see Reminders, below). Come help cook at Natasha’s home in Brookline, on Thursday, May 16, at 7:00 pm.  For more information contact Natasha at nasmith05@rcn.com.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS – The Syrian-Lebanese Women’s Club of Greater Boston will hold its annual scholarship awards ceremony on Thursday, May 16, 2013 at 7:00 pm, at St. John of Damascus Church, 300 West St., Route 135, Dedham, MA.  The Club is pleased to have as its keynote speaker our own Arthur N. Mabbett, President of Mabbett & Associates, Inc. of Bedford, MA, a distinguished professional and humanitarian. For information, please contact Mary Winstanley O’Connor at 617-523-1010.


NO PARKING – This year, because of the demolition and construction behind the church, there is NO parishioner parking in the Church parking lot Monday through Thursday until after 6:00 pm. The church parking lot, though reduced in size, will be available Holy Friday through Pascha – but do not park there if you need to leave immediately after the service. 

RETURN YOUR "FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE" BOXES – Please return your filled boxes to the Bengarri as soon as possible. And 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.

NEW ENGLAND’S GOT TASTE AND TALENT – Attention All Talents & Chefs!!  If you have a hidden talent or can cook an award winning appetizer, showcase your talent at this year's New England's Got Taste and Talent event hosted by Saint George Antiochian Orthodox Church - Lowell, held on Friday, May 17 at 6:00 pm at St. John Church in Dedham, MA! Download the document and please review our rules and details of the event on the website: http://www.saintgeorgelowell.org
   Everyone – get your tickets for New England's Got Taste and Talent by Friday, May 10. Tickets will NOT be sold at the door. They are $20 for Adults and $10 for Children under 12. Please send in the ticket purchase form along with your checks; you can find this form at the end of the New England's Got Taste and Talent Document located on the Saint George Lowell website.

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.


Holy Thursday, May 2:  Washing of the Feet 6:45 pm; Twelve Gospels 7:00 pm

Holy Friday, May 3:  Children’s Retreat 9:30 am;  Royal Hours 1:00 pm;  Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:15 pm with Procession to Central Square; Teen Vigil overnight

Holy Saturday, May 4:  Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am, followed by coffee hour/reception

Saturday-Sunday, May 4-5:  Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm; Resurrection Matins 11:00 pm; Great and Holy Pascha Divine Liturgy 12 midnight,  followed by Paschal Festivities in the Church Hall

Sunday, May 5: Joint Agape Vespers (Baouth) 11:00 am at St. John Church, Dedham, with reception following


Saturday, May 11:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 12:  Matins 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am;  Church School lesson 22

Saturday, May 18: NO Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, May 19:  Matins 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am; followed by Church School Graduation and festivities

Saturday, May 25:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, May 26:  Matins 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Monday, May 27,  Memorial Day:  Blessing of Graves at Fairview Cemetery  9:00 am.


The cross, inseparable from the descent into hell, the resurrection, and the ascension to the right hand of the Father, is seen as fundamentally life-giving.  Its dimensions make of Christ the truly cosmic Man who transfigures the universe:  "Henceforward all is filled with light, the heavens, the earth and even hell," according to the Easter liturgy in the Byzantine rite.  To be crucified in Christ is to die to one's own death in order to enter into the sacrifice that restores wholeness, and to understand, as St. Paul says, "the breadth and length and height and depth" of love (Ephesians 3:18-19).
   - Olivier Clement, The Roots of Christian Mysticism

The first and unique effect of the divine gift of genuine spiritual knowledge is to produce within us by faith the resurrection of God. Faith needs to be accompanied by the right ordering of our will and purpose - that is to say, by discrimination - which makes it possible for us bravely to withstand the spate of trials and temptations, sought or unsought. Thus faith, rightfully expressing itself through the fulfillment of the commandments, is the first resurrection within us of the God whom we have slain through our ignorance.
   - St. Maximos the Confessor

Christ’s Resurrection became life and healing from passions for those who believe on Him, that they might live in God and bring forth the fruits of truth.
   - Venerable Abba Isaiah

The Son of God, who in His compassion became man, died so far as His body was concerned when His soul was separated from His body; but this body was not separated from His divinity, and so He raised up His body once more and took it with Him to heaven in glory. Similarly, when those who have lived here in a godly manner are separated from their bodies, they are not separated from God, and in the resurrection they will take their bodies with them to God, and in their bodies they will enter with inexpressible joy there where Jesus has preceded us (cf. Heb. 6:20) and in their bodies they will enjoy the glory that will be revealed in Christ (cf. 1 Pet. 5:1). Indeed, they will share not only in resurrection, but also in the Lord's ascension and in all divine life.
   - St. Gregory Palamas

Today we celebrate our shining victory. Today our Master has set up the trophy against death, has undone the tyranny of the Devil, and has granted us the way of salvation through the Resurrection. … The virgin, the wood, and death were the symbols of our defeat. Eve was a virgin. When she suffered the fraud, she had not known man. The wood is the tree, and death is the punishment given to Adam. Do you see how the virgin, the wood, and death became the symbols of our defeat? Behold, therefore, how they again became the causes of victory. In the place of Eve, Mary; in the place of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, the wood of the Cross; in the place of the death of Adam, the death of the Master. Do you see by what means He conquered, with the same means Adam had been defeated?
   - St. John Chrysostom, A Homily on the Holy Pascha