St. Mary e-Newsletter for Thursday, May 28, 2020


Every Sunday Orthros is at 8:45am, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00am. Both services are live-streamed - please join us by clicking the live broadcasts button on the church website: They can also be seen at and and If you LIKE St. Mary on Facebook you’ll get advance notice of live-streamed services.

After Divine Liturgy every Sunday the Young Adult Ministry invites you to a virtual coffee hour. 

Monday–Saturday Morning Prayer on Zoom with James & Brooke Wilcox who write: We simply read the Trisagion Prayers, a Psalm, the NT reading for the day, we honor the Theotokos and the Saints of the day, and then say a prayer "waking from sleep," followed by prayers for the sick and the reposed (with names given from Orthodox parishioners and friends). And finally we close with “The Angel Cried. If anyone would like to join, we start at 8:45 each morning, Monday through Saturday, and go for about 10-12 minutes.

Sunday, May 31 there will be a Memorial Service for those who have died in the month of May, immediately following Divine Liturgy.

Tuesday, June 2, at 7:30pm, and every other Tuesday evening thereafter, the Young Adults 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.

Thursday evenings at 7:00pm there is an Adult Education program with Subdeacon James

Saturday, June 6 at 5:00pm there will be a live streamed Vespers service, followed by Young Adults fellowship.

Also, 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’.


Please 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:

Interesting Webinar
The Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton MA will be offering a special webinar on Sunday, June 7 from 1:00-2:00pm entitled “Sacred Space, Sacred Time.” In this talk, docent Dennis Sardella will explore how entering an Orthodox church is not simply to enter into a building, but an invitation to move from the time and space of our daily lives into an encounter with the transfigured and redeemed time of the Heavenly Kingdom, and the ways in which the structure, internal layout, and ornamentation work in concert to support this. The lecture is free, but advance registration is required:
An email link to the Zoom conference will be sent to the address that you use to register, on the morning of the event.

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 volunteers. 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. Remember, many people are ashamed/afraid to ask for help. Keep your eyes and ears open and ask about needs in a kind way.

Scholarships available
Antiochian Women’s Scholarships: 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 information click here:

Nicholas G. Beram Scholastic Achievement Awards are available for high school seniors of our Arab American Community planning to attend a 4 year college full time. Applications are available on-line at Application deadline is June 1, 2020.

Communion procedures

On May 6, 2020, His Eminence Metropolitan JOSEPH provided the clergy of our God-protected Archdiocese with a detailed letter of directives that our local Synod has put into place. Those directives that impact our faithful are as follows:

  • Twenty (revised from ten) members of laity may attend Divine Liturgy in rotation, with appropriate physical distancing throughout the nave.
  • On the Tuesday preceding the Sunday Divine Liturgy, you will receive a telephone call from our church secretary, Robert Kowalik, if you are in the twenty member group for that Sunday (members of an immediate family residing in the same household, or one household, will count as one member). If you are not home and do not return the message, advising that you will attend, Bob will invite the next person on the list. We will be using our annual ballot, as modified to include new members, for purposes of the calls. Bob will alternate each week working in alphabetical order one week and reverse alphabetical order the next week. This commenced Sunday, May 24, 2020.
  • Under no circumstances is any member to appear on a Sunday unless he/she has been invited. This is the directive of the Archdiocese.
  • Further, if you are scheduled to attend and become ill, please do not come to liturgy.
  • You must arrive no later than 10:15 a.m. on the Sunday you are scheduled to attend liturgy. After 10:15 a.m., there will be no one available to provide you access to the church.
  • When entering the Nave, you are to only sit in the middle pews that have a white piece of paper affixed to the end of the pew. Do not sit in any other pews. This limits the amount of sanitizing necessary.
  • There will be no access for any reason to the hall area, church offices and/or the kitchen. Children under 12 years of age are to be escorted to the bathroom by an adult.
  • You must have a mask or face covering, which you may remove when you are in the pew and must put on when leaving the pew. If you arrive without a mask or face covering, you will not be permitted to remain. You need to provide your own masks; the church will not have masks.
  • You must bring hand sanitizer with you for your use.
  • The Antidoron (holy bread) will be handed to you by Father Antony or the altar server.
  • There will be no hugging, handshakes or kissing, including kissing of icons, the cross, gospel and/or Father Antony’s hand. To appropriately venerate the gospel, cross or icon, please bow your head.
  • Communion and receipt of the Antidoron will be from the right aisle only. Tape will be placed on the carpet to provide for spacing for social distancing. An usher will be present; please follow his/her direction.
  • Father Antony will be wearing a face mask during the distribution of communion and during the dismissal for his protection and the protection of others.
  • Communion will continue in accordance with the church’s tradition. You must allow Father Antony to pour the Body and Blood by opening your mouth wide and not closing your lips on the spoon.
  • Do not wipe your mouth with the communion cloth after receiving communion.
  • The spiritual conversation of confessions may be done either over the telephone with the absolution prayer being given in person with physical distancing or all in-person with physical distancing. The stole will not be placed on the penitent’s head.
  • We ask for your patience and that you respect these directives and strictly comply. These directives and restrictions are necessary to protect the health and safety of Father Antony, our altar services, chanters and those laity in attendance.
  • Our services will continue to be available by live stream.

In the event you have any questions and/or concerns, please call the church office or Mary Winstanley O’Connor at (781) 641-2967


By prayer I mean not that which is only in the mouth, but that which springs up from the bottom of the heart. In fact, just as trees with deep roots are not shattered or uprooted by storms … in the same way prayers that come from the bottom of the heart, having their roots there, rise to heaven with complete assurance and are not knocked off course by the assault of any thought. That is why the psalm says, "out of the deep have I called unto thee, O Lord."
- John Chrysostom

By the Ascension the Body of Christ, woven of our flesh and of all earthly flesh, entered the realms of the Trinity. Henceforward the creation is in God, it is the true "burning bush" according to Maximus the Confessor. At the same time it remains buried in the darkness of death and separation because of humanity's hatred and cruelty and irresponsibility. To become holy is to clear away this weight of ashes and to uncover the glowing fire beneath, to allow life, in Christ, to swallow up death. It is to anticipate the manifest coming of the Kingdom by disclosing its secret presence. To anticipate, and therefore to prepare and to hasten.
- Olivier Clément

[Jesus prayed] "that they may be one, as We are." In this perfect unity, not only the all-conquering power of the faithful but also the glory of God will be seen; yes, and God's very being. As the Father and the Son are one in essence, differing only in Person, so let it be among the faithful, many and varied in person, but essentially one in love, will and mind.
- St. (Bp.) Nikolai Velimirovic, Homilies

These, then, are the things in which you must stand firm and follow the Lord's example: be steadfast and immovable in the faith; love the brotherhood; cherish one another; be united in the truth; with the meekness of the Lord give precedence to one another; despise no one. When able to do a work of charity, do not put it off; for almsgiving delivers from death. One and all, submit to each other's rights; for life among the gentiles must be beyond reproach; thus by your good example you will win praise for yourselves and the Lord will not be blasphemed on your account.
- St. Polycarp, Epistles to the Philippians