Update for the week Friday, May 24, through Thursday, May 30, 2013


BIBLE STUDY – Our Bible Study meets every other Thursday and is sponsored by the Fellowship of St. John the Divine. Join us at 7:00 pm tonight (Thursday, May 23), in the church library, for a discussion of false “apostolic” writings that are not part of the Canon (http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/supplemental-lesson-on-the-apocryphal-books-part-1  and http://orthodoxbiblestudy.info/supplemental-lesson-on-the-apocryphal-books-part-2). For more information contact Greg Patrick (greg@dailytradealert.com) or Fr. Antony (frawhj@gmail.com).

VESPERS – Great Vespers will be this Saturday, May 25, at 5:00 pm.

FOOD FOR HUNGRY PEOPLE - Boxes were due on Palm Sunday.  Please return them to the Bengarri this Sunday if you have not already done so.   

BLESSING OF GRAVES – On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, Fr. Antony will be blessing graves at Fairview Cemetery in Hyde Park, MA. starting at 9:00 am.  If you would like him to bless the graves of loved ones in other cemeteries, please let him know by calling the Church Office at 617-547-1234 or e-mail frawhj@gmail.com

REQUEST FROM FR. ANTONY – Please take time to go to sign 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 this Monday, 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.


OCMC MISSION TO ALBANIA – The Orthodox Christian Mission Center (OCMC) is sponsoring a Missionary trip to assist the  Church in Albania for the next three weeks, departing this Sunday. They ask for your prayers.  The group  consists of  Fr. Luke Veronis, Fr. Alkiviadis Calivas, our own Jamil Samara, and students from Hellenic College, Holy Cross, St. Vladimir's and St. Tikhon's Seminaries:  Andrew Calivas, Andrew Otto, Anthony Jonas, Chris Chininis, Hannah Pappas, Jennifer Cowles, Kevin Mellis, Luke Bullock. Nicholas Mueller. Nikoletta Evangelatos, Olenka Zharsky and Sebastian Mot.  Please keep them in your prayers.

CHRIST IS RISEN! – Truly He is risen! To learn how to say the Paschal Greeting in more languages than the ten or so we use at St. Mary's, check out this site which has text and voice recordings for over 250 languages:  http://www.srbigham.com/en/langues.html.

THEOPHANY SCHOOL – You are invited to An Evening of Art, the 13th Annual Benefit and Auction for Theophany School, on Saturday, June 1, beginning at 6:30 pm, at Apollo Restaurant in Norwood.  Join them for a cocktail party and celebrate an evening filled with art, raffles and prizes. For more information see http://theophanyschool.org/news-and-events/events/13th-annual-benefit-evening, or  contact Emily Pappas, Director of Theophany School, at 781-444-3058, or via email at theophanyschool@gmail.com.

GRECIAN FESTIVAL - Ss. Constantine & Helen Church, Cambridge, will be holding their  annual Grecian Festival Friday thru Sunday, June 14, 15, 16, from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm – featuring  live music, Greek cuisine & pastry, crafts, prizes.  Drawing June 16.  FREE Admission. Proceeds to benefit the Church Building Fund.  For more information, call 617-876-3601.

PICNIC/MAHRAJAN – St. John Church Dedham will hold their 2nd Annual Church Picnic/Mahrajan on Saturday, June 15, from 1:00-8:00 pm, with live Arabic music by Fouad Hajjar and Ensemble from 3:00-800 pm – featuring American and Arabic food, dancing raffles, children’s games, face painting, and more. Admission:  $10.00/Adult; Children under 12 free.  For further information, please contact Alan Cardoos at apcardoos@mac.com, Gail Kurker at gkurker@gmail.com, or Rick Ahto at rickahto@gmail.com.   


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, hosted by St. George Church, Lowell. Room Rate is just $99.00 per night – this special price ends May 30.  Book your hotel rooms at:  http://www.wyndham.com/groupevents2013/BOSAM_STGEORGE/main.wnt.
   For Registration, please go too: https://www.antiochianevents.org/event/96, or go to St. George’s site: http://www.saintgeorgelowell.org. Please feel free to e-mail the Chairperson, Soraya or Co-Chair, +Rt. Rev. Fr. Leonard at: LowellPLC2013@gmail.com.

SCHOLASTIC ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS – The Nicholas G. Beram Veterans Association announces its 47th annual Scholastic Achievement Awards, a program to encourage and support the education of students of Arabic-speaking backgrounds.  High school seniors can obtain an application with instructions by visiting the web page at: www.stjohnd.org/ngberam or by contacting our Church Office.   All applications must be postmarked no later than June 1, 2013.

NEW CD – You can still buy the Boston Byzantine Choir’s 5th recording, Lenten Journey – see Charlie Marge. $15 each, or 3 (Lenten Journey plus Thy Passion and Thy Resurrection) for $40.

NO FASTING – There is no fasting on Wednesday or Friday, not only during Bright Week, but until the Feast of the Ascension (June 13), for the whole forty days.  (This is the decision of the Holy Synod of the Church of Antioch.) This cessation of fasting, however, is purely voluntary; you may fast if you wish.

HABITAT FOR HUMANITY - Join us on Saturday, June 15 for St. Mary's first team Habitat for Humanity project! The location will be either in West Roxbury or Dorchester. We won't know the exact type of work until the day before - could range from painting to landscaping to building a wall. The FSJD will pay for part of the $62 per person fee, but volunteers will need to cover the remainder. We have 12 slots - please contact Phil Straghalis (phil@newtonfireandflood.com) to claim your spot on the team, or 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.

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

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.

VIDEO EDITING HELP WANTED – We are looking for volunteers to assist with some basic video editing to post the sermons and lectures from St. Mary's online.  If you have experience with digital video editing, please let Jamil Samara or Erick Straghalis know you are interested in helping by emailing live@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PHOTOGRAPHERS AND GRAPHIC DESIGNERS WANTED – Are you a photographer or a graphic designer and want to share your talents with St. Mary Church and her ministries?  We are looking to get you involved to help photograph the divine services and events and to design promotional material for events and programs at our parish. Please contact Jamil Samara at webmaster@stmaryorthodoxchurch.org with any questions and to let him know that you are interested in getting more involved.

ST. MARY ON FACEBOOK - Did you know St. Mary is on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StMaryCambridge)?  If you are already a Facebook member, Like our page to get timely updates on scheduled services, quick access to video sermons, learn about events of interest in the greater Boston area and more!  If you’re not on Facebook, don’t worry;   you can always access this information through our website at www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org.

PARKING RESTRICTIONS – Please do not park in the Church parking lot if you need to leave quickly after church.  Cars parked there will be staying until the end of coffee hour.
   Additionally,  do not park beyond the sign that prohibits parking at the corner of Inman Street and Bishop Allen Drive. (An orange cone will be placed in that No Parking area.)  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.
   And remember, there is no parishioner parking in the church parking lot Monday through Friday until after 6:00 pm.


GREETER:   Michael Decerbo

COFFEE HOUR:  Ascalu Teare


Saturday, May 25:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

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

SCRIPTURE READINGS for Sunday, May 26, Sunday of the Paralytic:
   Epistle: Acts of the Apostles 9:32-42
…. Now there was at Joppa a disciple named Tabitha, … She was full of good works and acts of charity. …she fell sick and died; and … they laid her in an upper room. …the disciples, hearing that Peter was there, sent two men to him entreating him, "Please come to us without delay." So Peter rose and went with them. And when he had come, they took him to the upper room. … Peter put them all outside and knelt down and prayed; then turning to the body he said, "Tabitha, rise." And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. And he gave her his hand and lifted her up. Then calling the saints and widows he presented her alive. And it became known throughout all Joppa, and many believed in the Lord.

   Gospel: John 5:1-15
At that time, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda which has five porticoes. In these lay a multitude of invalids, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water; for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and troubled the water; whoever stepped in first after the troubling of the water was healed of whatever disease he had. One man was there, who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew that he had been lying there a long time, he said to him, "Do you want to be healed?" The sick man answered him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is troubled, and while I am going another steps down before me." Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your pallet, and walk." And at once the man was healed, and he took up his pallet and walked. …

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


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

Saturday, June 1:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, June 2, Sunday of the Samaritan Woman:  Matins 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Saturday, June 8:  Great Vespers 5:00 pm

Sunday, June 9, Sunday of the Blind Man:  Matins 8:45 am; Divine Liturgy 10:00 am

Thursday, June 13, Feast of the Holy Ascension: No Services at St. Mary

Saturday, June 15: No Vespers at St. Mary

Sunday, June 23: Pentecost

Thursday - Sunday, June 27- 30:  Church and office closed – Parish Life Conference


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.
   The Jesus Prayer … is a profession of faith which, according to the mind of most Orthodox ascetics and mystics, is a summing up of the whole Gospels.
   We profess the Lordship of Christ, His sovereign right upon us, the fact that He is our Lord and our God, and this implies that all our life is within His will and that we commit ourselves to His will and to no other way.
   That is the name of “Jesus” in which we confess the reality of the Incarnation and all that the Incarnation stands for.
   “Christ” in whom we see the Incarnate Word of God in the line of the Old and the New Testament, the anointed of Yahweh.
   Then the perfect profession of faith, of what He is – the Son of God. This is not only a profession of faith in Jesus Christ, but it also opens up the Trinitarian way because He is the Son of the Father and no one can recognize in the prophet of Galilee the Incarnate Son of God unless the Holy Spirit teaches him to see, to understand and to commit himself. So here we have the fourth profession of faith that allows us to stand face to face with God in truth, and profess in Spirit.
   And then “have mercy on us.”  “Have mercy” is the English rendering of the [Greek] word “eleison.” … Some of [the Greek Fathers] derive “eleison” from the same root as the Greek words “olive tree,” “olive,” “olive oil.” …If you think of the olive tree, of the olive in the Old and New Testaments, you will see the following: the first time the olive and the twig of the olive tree appear is at the end of the Flood, when the twig is brought to Noah by a dove… This olive twig means that the wrath of God has come to an end, that forgiveness is freely given, that time and new possibilities open up ahead of us. …if we are sick at heart, if we are broken in will or if we are incapable in mind or body either of discerning or of following the path … we need healing, so remember the oil which the Good Samaritan poured on the wounds of the man who had fallen victim to the robbers. The healing power of God will make it possible for us to take advantage of the cessation of His wrath, of the gift of forgiveness that is offered and, indeed, of the gift of time and space and eternity. Another image is that of the anointing of priests and kings, who among the people of Israel were called upon to stand on a threshold between the world divine and the human world… To be able to stand there, a man needs more than human capability; he needs a divine gift. … In the New Testament all of us are priests and kings, and our vocation as human beings and as Christians is beyond what a human being could achieve… living members of the Body of Christ, temples… worthy of the Holy Spirit, and partakers of the divine nature.
   - Metropolitan Anthony Bloom, Beginning to Pray

Of course, every good deed done for Christ's sake gives us the grace of the Holy Spirit, but prayer gives us this grace most of all, for it is always at hand, as an instrument for acquiring the grace of the Spirit. … Prayer is always possible for everyone, rich and poor, noble and humble, strong and weak, healthy and sick, righteous and sinful.
   - St. Seraphim of Sarov