Update for the week of Thursday, April 16, 2020


For the foreseeable future, activities in the church will include no more than 5 people. We are all encouraged to join the services live streamed at: http://www.stmaryorthodoxchurch.org/live
If you LIKE St. Mary on Facebook you’ll get advanced notice of live-streamed services:
Schedule for the Remainder Of Holy Week:
   + Holy Thursday, 4/16 – 12 Gospels 7:00 pm
   + Holy Friday, 4/17 – Unnailing Vespers 3:00 pm; Lamentations 7:00 pm
   + Holy Saturday, 4/18 – Vesperal Liturgy 9:00 am
Paschal Services Saturday-Sunday, 4/18-19:
   + Vigil/Rush Service 10:00 pm
   + Paschal Orthros 11:00 pm
   + Paschal Divine Liturgy 12:00 midnight
   + Agape Vespers 11:00 am

Take Our Live Broadcasting Survey
We are asking that every parishioner take the following survey about our Live Broadcasting ministry. Your feedback is essential to help us improve what we are offering, both those who are tuning in and those who are not! It should take you less than 10 minutes to complete. To get started, please go to:  https://forms.gle/RxYxq76znb1a3Usz5
Food for Hungry People Mite Boxes
Food for Hungry People is due on Palm Sunday. Please mail a check in to the church office at 8 Inman St. Cambridge, MA 02139, or use Egive and note FFHP in the ‘Other’ dialogue box.
Scholarship/Grant Opportunity for Antiochian women
Each year, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Women of North America awards grants of $500.00. The grant is to help women with the cost of education or training, undertaken to improve their circumstances or that of their families.  Grants are awarded to women over 26 years old, who are active members of an Antiochian parish and who are perusing higher education or training. Applications are due June 1, 2020. For more info click here:
Scholarship Coordinator's Cover Letter & Application Form
Virtual Community Prayer Groups
Note the addition of a password to the Zoom account
In this very anxiety provoking and isolating time, some in St Mary’s community have found imaginative ways to use social media to support a prayer-life. These opportunities for communal prayer are open to anyone who wants to take part:
There is Morning Prayer with James Wilcox who writes: I simply read the Trisagion Prayers, two Psalms, a prayer "waking from sleep," I say a prayer for the sick (with names given from other Orthodox parishioners and friends) and we close with the Prayer of St. Ephraim.
   If anyone would like to join, we start at 8:45 each morning, Monday – Saturday, and go for about 10-12 minutes. Folks will need a Zoom account (which can be accessed on their home computer or their phones). Note the addition of a password to add a level of security. And there is also an adult Sunday school class.
On Tuesday Evening at 7:30 the Young Adult Ministry would like to invite everyone in our church community to a virtual Paraklesis to the Theotokos over Zoom. The Paraklesis is a service traditionally sung during times of great distress.
   We will be using the text linked below, and we hope to see you all there! You  don’t have to be a great singer to participate.
   After we offer our prayers we will continue the Zoom call to check in with one another and see what other virtual events/support we can offer one another during this time.
We would also like to invite everyone to a weekly virtual coffee hour after our streamed Sunday Divine Liturgy. 
You can pray the liturgical services at home 
The Archdiocese has published online instructions for reader services (services
without a priest present). You can find them at the Online Liturgical Guide. Look at the list of services on the right side of the page and click on the ones marked ‘Reader Service’.
People Helping People
A number of parishioners have made known their desire to help people who need assistance. The church office is keeping a list of volunteers. As of this writing we have 8 people. Call the office if you would like your name added to the list of volunteers. There can’t be too many.
   If you know of anyone who needs any sort of help call the church office (617) 547-1234 to make the connection. We don’t promise we’ll meet all needs but we’ll try as best we can.
If anyone is a devout lover of God, let him enjoy this beautiful and radiant Festival. 
If anyone is a wise servant, let him,  rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.   
If anyone has  wearied in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. 
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward.  If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let him keep the Feast.  If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; for he shall suffer no loss.  If anyone has delayed until  the ninth hour, let him draw near without hesitation.  If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let him not fear on account of his delay; for the Master  is gracious and receives the last even as the first;  He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him to has labored from the first.  He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one he gives, and to the other he is gracious.  He both honors the work and praises the intention.
            Enter all of you, therefore, into the joy of our Lord, and, whether first or last, receive your reward.  O rich and poor, one with another, dance for joy!  O you ascetics and you negligent, celebrate the day!  You that have fasted and you that have disregarded the fast, rejoice today!  The table is rich-laden; feast royally, all of you!  The calf is fatted; let no one go forth hungry!
            Let All partake of the feast of faith.  Let all receive the riches of goodness.
            Let no one lament his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
            Let no one mourn his transgressions, for pardon has dawned from the grace.
            Let no one fear death, for the Saviour’s death has set us free.
            He that was taken by death has annihilated it!  He descended into hades and took hades captive!  He embittered it when it tasked his flesh!  And anticipating this Isaiah exclaimed, “Hades was embittered when it encountered thee in the lower regions.”  It was embittered, for it was abolished!  It was embittered, for it was mocked!  It was embittered, for it was purged!  It was embittered, for it was despoiled!  It was embittered, for it was bound in chains!
            It took a body and, face to face, met God!  It took earth and encountered heaven!  It took what it saw but crumbled before what it had not seen!
            “O death, where is thy sting?  O hades, where is thy victory?”
            Christ is risen, and you are overthrown!
            Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen!
            Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice!
            Christ is risen, and life reigns!
            Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in a tomb!
            For Christ, being raised from the dead,  has become  the First-fruits of them that slept.
To him be glory and might unto ages of ages. Amen.